Veggies and Other Goodies

At the Dallas Arboretum, we strolled through their new vegetable garden area and continued through all the gardens.

This is Mustard “Garnet Giant” (Brassica juncea).  The veggie plots were raised beds about 6′ x 6′.  Very neat and tidy.  No surprise there.

Everything looked so healthy, like this Cabbage “Ruby  Perfection” (Brassica oleracea).  The mulch throughout all the gardens are crushed pecan shells.  They obviously have a contract with a pecan shelling company.  Wish I knew a source.

Bronze Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

Confession:  I don’t personally grow vegetables but certainly appreciate the work involved and the results.

Around the vegetable beds are plots of low growing flowers.

Looking from that area is this lovely view of White Rock Lake.

Heading into a shadier area is a plot of ‘Marvel’ Mahonia.  I’ve seen these in other public gardens but have never seen them in bloom in the fall.

Chinese Fringe Flower ‘Purple Pixie’ (Loropetalum chinese) are decked out in their spring garbs ready for the Easter Parade.

Every time I see these in bloom, I think about buying one.  But, their cold hardiness is just at the edge of our zone.  Plus, I did try a couple of dwarf ones and they froze the first winter.  Still, sigh, they are so striking.

The Arboretum has many peaceful places like this small little stream.

These delicate white flowers look like Lily of the Valley flowers.

This tall urn sat on a concrete column, so it was above our head.

Lots of new things have been constructed since our last visit.

This was unique.  Wonder if they plan to put in Koi?

Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina), with its soft, fuzzy leaves, just begs to be touched.

Forsythia ‘Spectabils’ (Forsythis x intermedia) is spectacular, especially in a mass planting.

One of the many things this public garden does well is to provide many small peaceful vinegettes.  They also have lots of benches where one can rest a spell.

These ornamental cabbages are so pretty with their frilly, lace leaves.

Edibles and non-edibles abound in this wonderful garden.  Hope you have a place to amble along a wandering path and savor nature.  Have a wonderful spring.

“The journey is the destination.”  Dan Eldon

Anson Jones’ Barrington Farm

Anson Jones’ named his farm after his hometown in Massachusetts.  The house was moved to Independence, Texas, in 1936.  The outbuildings are not original but the builders tried to stay true to the period.

While most of us consider our washers and dryers to be essentials, the old wash buckets sure make them seem like a luxury.

Numerous small buildings serve different functions.  This covered wagon storage area is beside the barn, kind of like a carport.

Oxen were used for plowing, thus the yoke.

This looks like it would fit over the head of one animal, but I don’t know what kind of animal.  Notice the modern fire extinguisher.  A fire would would consume all of the outer buildings since they are close to each other but away from the house: devastating situation for early settlers.

This drafty building would be miserable in the winter but I guess most of the carpentry and repair would have been done in the warmer months.  So wide spaced trunks would have allowed some breeze to blow through.

The cast iron pots were what I would have expected to be used as wash tubs.  Not  sure what the other wooden buckets represented.  The large pots were placed over a fire to heat the water.  In the back ground is the house for the slaves.

This chimney blows my mind.  Usually stone was used.  Surely the gaps in the house walls would have been filled with clay and sticks.

Now it’s used as storage.

Bales of cotton would have been carded, and spun and then woven to make cloth for sewing clothes.

Lots of greens grew in the vegetable garden.  The tall ones in front are Collard Greens.

This Luffa or loofah vine (Luffa aegyptiaca) is also known as a vegetable sponge or a dishcloth gourd.  Young fruits can be eaten like cooked squash.  When the fruit is mature, it can be used as a sponge.

When the fruit completely dries, the hard outer shell is peeled off and the seeds removed for planting.  Then, voila, you have a fancy loofa that is sold to exfoliate skin.

And I thought these came from the ocean.  Greek sponge divers gathered natural sponges.  They dove naked holding their breath.  The Turks also had a thriving sponge business.  All that changed with the invention of Scuba gear.

Anyway, natural sponges from the ocean are different from these rough loufahs.

“You will always repeat the problems you refuse to take responsibility for.”  Kris Vallotton

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