Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Many of the street trees in Japan were propped with sturdy posts but this one in Tokyo's Shinjuku Gyoen Garden also sported a puffy coat. Not sure what the purpose of all this protection was but it sure gave the appearance of a bundled old man out for a long walk.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I do love witch hazel for it's sinus-piercing perfume in the dead of winter. This cultivar, Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena' is gorgeous but, alas, not very fragrant. Wish I would have known that before I gave it a prominent spot in my front yard! I'm commitment phobic about trees in general. Choosing and planting something that lives for more than a few years always makes me hesitate. I've opened Dirr's book dozens of times only to end up with a long list of finalists and no front runner.
Philly's famous bell has a new home across the street from Independence Hall. It's still visible 24 hours a day but is surrounded by a new visitor's center filled with interpretive displays. This is actually the third version of the bell. The first one cracked as it was initially rung in 1753 and was melted down and recast with more copper. The new one sounded flat and was again recast. It rang most famously (but perhaps mythically) on July 8, 1776 to announce a reading of the Declaration. This crack appeared sometime in the mid 1800's.