Friday, June 15, 2018

How We Spent Our Anniversary (G-rated version)

Thought for the day:  Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? [nursery rhyme]

[source: morguefile]
My name isn't Mary, but I'll tell ya how my garden grows, anyhow. At my age, I should've known better, and I definitely should've looked more closely at the labels on those dirt cheap seeds I bought from that shady guy at the flea market.

I thought I was getting a great deal on some Lavatera and Aster seeds, but it turned out, I bought Lavatoria and Assters. (sigh) Now we have bathtubs busting out all over, and even worse, little toilets are starting to come in. (I'm afraid to plant the Moonflowers and Twolips...)


[source: morguefile]






Okay, so maybe our garden isn't quite that bad, but I'm one of those people who always started out the season with big greenhouse dreams of how gorgeous our garden was gonna be, but when the reality of hot temperatures and biting insects dug in, I kinda let nature... and the weeds... take over. That's one reason I enjoy going to botanical gardens so much. I get to see all the beauty I imagined without having to do any of the work.

Like a good part of the country, we've had an incredible amount of rain this year. So much that my sturdy old rosemary bush drowned. Literally. Its roots simply rotted away. (I WILL replace it.) On the other hand, our hydrangea has never been happier, or its blooms more beautiful.

Anyhow, as our anniversary was approaching last month, I wanted to celebrate at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, because there's a reeeeeally special exhibit going on there. But no surprise, the forecast called for rain, rain, and more rain. (sigh) BUT... in spite of the dismal forecasts, the morning of the 24th was merely overcast. No liquid sunshine. Then the actual sun (What is that strange thing in the sky?) came out... and we (ta-DA!) went to the gardens. The temperature was toasty, but not a single drop of rain fell until after we finished at the gardens, went to dinner, and then got safely back home. (Then the clouds let loose.)

So what was this special exhibit I wanted to see? In July of 2013, I wrote a post about an awesome mosaiculture exhibit we went to see at the gardens, the first big exhibit of its kind in our country. And now? The gardens are hosting another even bigger and better mosaiculture exhibit!

What the heck is mosaiculture, you ask? It's a blend of art and horticulture that first bloomed (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) in Europe as early as the 16th century. Simply put, intricate metal frames are designed and built, and then they're stuffed with a growing medium, fitted with an internal irrigation system, and then plants are plugged into pockets of a special fabric that's stretched over the frames. Just as in 2013, the exhibit came to Atlanta from the fine folks of the International Mosaiculture of Montreal.

Before I show you pics of some of the sculptures featured in this year's show, how about a brief video to take you behind the scenes?



                                Okay, ready? Here goes... and I'll save my favorite for last.

This is the earth goddess,who first appeared at the first Imaginary Worlds mosaiculture show, and is now a permanent part of the gardens. Water usually flows over her hand, but her pool was drained and she was getting some maintenance work done when we were there.

This year's show was subtitled Once Upon a Time, and most of the exhibits were much more massive and ambitious than the last time around.



Like this massive Phoenix Rising... pretty appropriate for the city of Atlanta.






And this lumbering mastodon.




It was pretty warm, but it didn't keep ole Rip Van Winkle from taking a snooze.





No fantasy story world would be complete without Pegasus.





Or a mermaid, basking in the sun.









Shades of Arabian nights, perhaps? The details in these camels were amazing.





Camel #2 in the caravan.



And camel #3.




All three of them to give a better perspective as to how large they are.







A lovely sleeping princess.


And NOW... for my favorite!

Ready?








Isn't he absolutely gorgeous???





Here's a closer look at one of the dragon's legs. I took quite a few shots of the dragon, (Did I happen to mention he was my favorite...?) but none of them really do it justice. The piece is both massive and majestic. Just as a dragon should be.



The International Mosaiculture of Montreal's roots ( sorry) reach back to 1998, when it first began creating these gorgeous works of art, and each year since it first sprouted, (sorry, again) they've hosted an international festival-type competition. This year's festival hasn't yet begun, but plans are currently being planted and will soon be in full bloom. (sorry... but only a little) Would you like a sneak peek at what's happening so far?



So there ya have it. It was a glorious way to spend an anniversary... or any other day. It was every bit as wonderful as I expected it to be, and for those of you who live in the area, the show will be continuing until the end of October, so you still have plenty of time to catch it.

                                 Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


                                      A pic of the earth goddess from our first visit.

56 comments:

  1. Wow, love that mosaiculture, I would love to see things like that in real life, must have been a magnificent way to spend your anniversary. Here there are often bath-tubs in fields, used as water supplies for horses or cattle! Have a great day, hugs, Valerie

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    1. Since mosaiculture got its start in Europe, I'd be surprised if there weren't some similar exhibits there. Maybe if you did some research...?

      Hugs back atcha.

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  2. Wow, wow and wow.
    And of course the dragon was your favourite. It would be any right thinking person's favourite.

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  3. Not a bad outing. Not at all.
    Thank you

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    1. Nope! Not even a little bit bad. Even the rain clouds cooperated. :)

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  4. I did a rain dance to keep all the rain in Tennessee, just so you could enjoy a dry anniversary. It sounds like it was a very enjoyable day.

    I wouldn't mind having a mosaicultural show in my yard - I certainly have the room for it. That dragon would be spectacular - but my favorites are those camels.

    I could really use a few dozen of those bathtubs, too. They'd be great to use as planters. And perhaps to make some moonshine (bathtub gin??).

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    1. Well, thank you! I figured something extraordinary must have happened to give us that glorious respite in the midst of the monsoons. :)

      The camels are pretty spectacular, too.

      Yeah, bathtub gin would be appropriate... if ya like gin. (I think it smells like medicine, so I've never even tasted it.) But moonshine... now that might be the way to go... We have a friend in NC who makes some wonderful homebrew, and he used corn flakes as the basis for the shine!

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  5. Wow! Just...wow! I'm stunned by the beauty, I LOVE the dragon :)

    That's a lot of bathtubs. My mum used to have one buried in the backyard as far as it would go, the dirt was like cement, so not very far, she put old park style benches all around it and low growing shrubs and turned the bathtub into a goldfish pond.

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    1. Since you were so exited by the first mosaiculture post, I had a feeling you'd be blown away by this one, too. That dragon was the hit of the show for me.

      How clever! I've seen tubs used as planters, but never as a fish pond. Sounds lovely.

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  6. Thanks for the awesome tour, friend Sue … Greetings from (mostly) sunny Alberta … smiles … Love, cat.

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    1. You're welcome, friend cat. Smiles back atcha.

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  7. Wow, they sure are really well done. The dragon is awesome indeed. The amount of work that has to go into them must be a lot. But then I'm sure growing bathtubs and toilets is work too. At least with the toilets you can fertilize with ease.

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    1. The details in them are amazing. You Canadians know what you're doing, eh?

      HA! Yeah, the toilets would eliminate the need to bring in fertilizer from outside. :)

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  8. What a magnificent place. I would have been oohing and aahing all the way through. What a lovely place to spend your happy anniversary.

    This constant rain is “draining”. After hiring someone to replace our raised beds and all the soil, I was determined that this year my veg garden would be a thing of beauty. I bought only Burpee seeds, picked only the healthiest of the seedlings to plant, neatly placed them in the soil and was anticipating being able to gift my family and friends with beautiful, healthy Heirloom tomatoes. Then the rains came and black spot appeared. I have been cutting it off for days but I know it is a lost cause. After all the money (and time) I spent, I figure that each tomato I get will have cost about $10.00.

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    1. No doubt, you would have LOVED it.

      I feel your pain with the tomatoes. This is the first year we didn't even bother to plant any. In the past few years, the drought, coupled with water restrictions, doomed them, and this year, the rain has wreaked havoc on everyone's gardening dreams. Although the tomatoes we DID get from our garden over the years were delicious, like you say, the cost per tomato was staggering. Now, it's easier, and almost as delicious, to buy fresh maters from the weekly community farmer's market.

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  9. Wow, those are really impressive. Wouldn't it be cool to grow something like that in your garden?

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    1. Yes! It would totally be cool. I'd want one of those dragons. Not only would it look amazing, but it might keep the neighborhood dogs from "unloading" in our front yard. :)

      You? You'd have to have a ninja, of course...

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  10. Wow. Wow. Wow. That's awesome and amazing. Great Anniversary (happy by the way) day. And Wow again. enjoy your weekend (I'm reading a certain book by the pool!!)

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    1. Yep, they were definitely amazing. The whole darned day was. Our raw oysters and seafood dinners at Pappadeaux were outta this world.

      A certain book, eh? I hope you enjoy it. :)

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  11. I would love to see this garden. Wow! What a great place to visit. Happy Anniversary!

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    1. The gardens really are a wonderful place to visit, even when they aren't hosting special exhibits like this.

      Thanks! It was a loverly anniversary. :)

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  12. Wow! Love these! I can't get over the size of these creations - you can really tell in that one pic you took of all the camels. Thanks for sharing, and glad you had a great day! :)

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    1. All of the sculptures are pretty darned big, but especially the camels and the dragon.

      Thanks. :) (Alas, no tortoise sculptures...)

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  13. Sounds and looks like a wonderful way to spend the day. I've seen a few in gardens here and there but never so many in one place. I just cannot imagine the time and work it would take to put those plants together to make a dragon or anything for that matter. The detail is amazing. Glad you had a very happy Anniversary!

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    1. It was a fabulous way to spend the day, and I'm still grateful the rain took a break so we could go.

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  14. The dragon is great! This afternoon's thunderstorm just started. Penelope headed for my closet and Franklin is behind my chair.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Isn't he beautiful? :)

      The sun is shining here today, and it's bloody hot. Thank God for air conditioning!

      Have a super weekend.

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  15. Oh My Goodness, this is just magic !
    Thank You so much for taking us along, I wish I could have been there.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I'm glad you liked it. I thought it was magical, too.

      Cheers back atcha.

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  16. Hi Susan - congratulations on your anniversary ... and wonderful how the gods kept the rain at bay - clever Dinosaur gods!!

    Wonderful gardens ... and such fun to see - the animals are amazing and I love the bird creations ... while your shots for us are a delight and bring mother earth, sunworshipping delights - many to life ... Glorious - cheers and here's to many more - Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary. Yeah, I know. It was like a miracle for the rain to take a break so we could go to the gardens.

      Cheers back atcha.

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  17. Dear Susan, I absolutely love this whole post. Beginning with the bathtubs, I saw the little faces (plumbing ports) on the front two and still can't stop thinking of them as a choir at the beginning of "O, holy..." or the middle of "Hallelujah". And your own magnificent photos called the gardener in me. Thank you, dude needs that right now.

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    1. Thanks, dude. I'm glad you liked it. The gardener in you would LOVE those gardens. The sculptures are only a very tiny part.

      Your whimsical take on those bathtub faces is spot-on. And oh-so-wonderful. :) I kinda think they're singing, "Ooooooh, what a beautiful moooorning...."

      Have a good un, dude. Be well.

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  18. Your garden looks suspiciously like ours :) and those plant sculptures are amazing!

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    1. Um, those tubs aren't reeeeeally in our garden. :)

      Yeah, those sculptures are gorgeous. Real food to feed our imagination.

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  19. That show looks awesome, Susan. Thanks for sharing those pctures.

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    1. I'm glad ya liked it. It was my pleasure to share it.

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  20. Those are ah-mazing! I've been staring and trying to decide if 'your' dragon is kin to my favorite protagonist, Puff. (OK, it's a song, not a novel … but I like the word.)

    For what it's worth, I love public gardens for the same reason as you!

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    1. Sure, why not call the dragon Puff? Works for me. (I liked any song PP&M sang.)

      Kindred spirits! :)

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  21. Great shots! :-)

    Greetings from London.

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  22. Susan this is simply amazing.
    What a fabulous place to spend your anniversary.
    Loved seeing your photographs.

    All the best Jan

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    1. It really was a great place to spend our anniversary, or any other day. :)

      All the best back atcha.

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  23. What an awesome exhibit!!!

    Glad you explained the bathtubs! Between that and your title mentioning "G-rated," I thought some post about the two bathtubs in the Cialis commercials would follow - ha!

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    1. It really was awesome! You would've worn your camera out!

      HA! Your imagination was better than the real thing. No, I added the G-rated because when Jon said he hoped I'd post about what we did on our anniversary, he said something about, "The G-rated version, that is." :)

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  24. Happy anniversary! Glad it went so well for you. ^_^

    And whoa, those sculptures are all so jaw-droppingly amazing. Can only imagine how much more impressive they are in person!

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    1. Thanks! It was terrific.

      Aren't they amazing? And you're right; it's impossible to capture how impressive they are in a simple photo.

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  25. I think the dragon would be my favourite too.

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  26. Blessings....
    oh wow, that exhibit is magnificent.
    thanks for sharing.

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    1. Blessings back atcha.

      Yes, it truly is magnificent. I'm glad you liked it. :)

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  27. OMG! these are amazing, magnificent, beautiful. Oh hell, who am I kidding, I don't have the words either! I'd love to see them in person. Maybe someday I can talk my hubby into visiting all the botanical gardens, he likes long drives. WOW. I love that dragon!
    Thanks for sharing, oh, and congratulations on your anniversary!

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    1. TOLD ya! :)

      The exhibit will be there until sometime in October, so there's plenty of time to take that long drive... and if you do, let me know ahead of time. Maybe we can meet somewhere for a bite to eat?

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