I’m not much of a gardener–though when I was younger we tended flowers and vegetables and enjoyed some good yards. But I have a deep appreciation for them and make it a point to visit as many as possible year ’round. When Marc travelled often for work, I accompanied him time to time and immediately located gardens (and parks) to wander. Last week as temperatures hit mid-50s, my older sister and I visited Crystal Springs Rhododendren Garden. Spread out over 9.5 acres, it provides a home for over 2500 rhodies, azaelas and other plants. It boasts over 100 types of birds and other creatures (including nutria, not my favorite: it’s a huge water-loving rodent). Waterfowl dominate two separate ponds amid grassy areas. I often post shots of this place seasonally. Spring is not here but I am teased by several flowers blooming by February in Oregon. One I always look for is a shrub of pink, overtly sweet daphne flowerlets. (A photo is below of a bush by a walkway, after a shot of Allanya). It was just enough to give me hope that it’s going to really happen this year–though earlier today it snowed for fifteen minutes!
Being outside with Allanya is fun; we embrace our time together. She has dementia; it can lately be a challenge to get her out and about. She likes exploring nature as long as we rest often. Though her short term memory has significantly worsened the last year, she enjoys a good conversation and offers a ready laugh. As she states: “My memory issue bothers other people, not me–that’s just how it is and goes!” It’s been an adjustment for me over the last 4-5 years. She for decades held executive director positions and was also a dynamo in her personal life. Her essential personality still shines, for now: ebullient, funny, incisive and fascinated by others and life. She is my only living sister now.
Off we went once more. Enjoy the views.
We enjoyed our meander. The sunlight was sheer on mostly empty pathways. There was a slight but edgy breeze, yet earthy fragrances wafted about and to our noses. The waterfowl were dunking and hunting for food, bathing and floating or bobbing about gracefully–and Canadian geese gathered overhead in huge numbers, making a wild good ruckus. In another month or so all will warm up more and brightly hued flowers will be popping out like mad. I’ll shoot more scenes to share when it’s truly springtime.