Tag Archives: Memphis Botanic Garden

Hanging Out to Dry

clothelinecolir-webIt was a perfect spring today. Lots of sunshine, a slight breeze and a blue sky made me think about hanging wash out to dry. At my grandmother’s house in Pennsylvania, it was one of the few chores that I really enjoyed. Fighting stiff sheets in the breeze while trying not to swallow the wooden clothespins grew into a talent. I loved grabbing the pins and stuffing them into the swinging bag. My cousins and I would race to the finish. In Manhattan, we had a clothesline strung from our fifth floor apartment across the airshaft to a friend’s apartment in the opposite building.The clothes dried, but not much could be said for their cleanliness, and if you missed grabbing a pair of underwear, they were lost forever. To my knowledge, no one had ever safely navigated the bottom of the air shaft. It would be like an archeological dig.These photos taken at the children’s garden in the Memphis Botanic Garden sum up the experience and beauty for me. I think we’d help ourselves and our planet if we resurrected wash lines.

clotheslinevertcolirweb


A Recipe for Creativity

watercolorbridge-webTake a quiet, rainy, gray Saturday morning with little ambition.Add a bit of a bridge shot in IR, layer a watercolored paper towel,then  an invert filter . Hopefully this results in a dreamy garden landscape. Like cooking but with less mess and zero calories, it’s just as satisfying. Enjoy!


Finding Inspiration and a Second Childhood at the Memphis Botanic Garden

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a big city and didn’t have a backyard, or that by the time I had the house and yard, I was too busy with kids and career to worry about making it whimsical. Maybe those are my excuses , but when I found My Big Backyard at The Memphis Botanic Garden (www.memphisbotanicgarden.com) I found all the imagination and charm one adult or child might want. It’s definitely the place for my second childhood.

My first visit , a weekday morning with bright sun and a whisper of clouds , was perfect for shooting infrared. As I entered the outdoor house with its moss-covered sofa and chair,vintage kitchen stove and refrigerator, beds and bath,  enchanted me. (I’d die for the outdoor shower with purple tub.) I could imagine listening to bedtime stories under the stars on one of the iron beds . It would be wonderful if they ‘d plant a patchwork quilt coverlet of flowers on each bed.

From this first visit I was hooked. It ‘s like having my own secret place without the work and I keep returning. Each time I visit my photos are different, and there are changes – in color , placement and additions.It grows.

The enormous treehouse , metal chrysalis swing , and house of twigs enchanted my camera for hours.The hand of artists is felt throughout the area. Birdhouses, bottle trees, sculpture, scarecrows, and treehouse art makes the garden a living gallery.

Recently, visit I was intrigued by how making music is such an integral part of the site. In the playhouse are making materials that include flip-flops as rhythm instruments, a xylophone of wrenches , and a set of chimes made from metal wineglasses (would make a  great Pinterest project). Right in front is a wooden bench of which the seat is a xylophone. I’d love one of those for my backyard. Sounds also include a half-hourly thunderstorm and spray at Raindrop Stop.

You need your imagination to dress scarecrows, crawl through anthills, or climb a spider’s web. You can put on a puppet show or take up residence in a person – sized doghouse . Each experience is multi-sensory, but the one I find myself using the most is the sense of delight.

After reading about the next addition coming to the garden, Candy Plant Land, I can’t wait to see Licorice Leap, climb Big Rock Candy Mountain or stroll through Marshmallow Meadow. It will be an interactive game and Candyland was my early favorite. I was always so excited when I got the ice cream card.I suppose I will need to volunteer to babysit a friend’s children so that I can explore My Big Backyard through a child’s eyes.I’ll also bring my sweet tooth and camera.


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