In the Rhododendron Garden

We’re having a gray day here in the Bogs so I decided to continue with last week’s walk at the Holden Arboretum.  This series of photos are from the Helen S. Layer Rhododendron Garden trail.

Another view of the gazebo

I had a nice weekend.  M and I worked in the yard on Saturday.  While our neighbors have been raking leaves, fertilizing their lawns, and doing their last few mowings of the season, we wait for all but the last few stragglers to fall from the trees out front.  Once the ground is covered and the trees are almost bare, we mow (I mowed this year) with the push mower which has a mulching function.  It’s great exercise.

The leaves are chopped up and thrown back onto the grass where they will nourish the lawn.  No need to buy fertilizer at the store or use other purchased chemicals.  Just the leaves, going back to earth.

I do sort of miss raking, though, as it’s something I always enjoyed doing.  It’s work, but it’s the kind of work that has a meditative quality to it.  Plus I get to enjoy being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine.

I mentioned to M that I prefer outdoor work to the indoor variety.  It seems much more satisfying than household chores.  It would be nice if I could make the household chores as much fun as raking leaves, mulching leaves, or even chipping and shredding.

It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

Closing the gate as we leave the Rhododendron Garden

Yesterday M the Younger and his lovely wife Merdi were here to help out with the chipping and shredding.  Since it’s basically a two-person job, M and I left them to it.  I did some cooking (okay, a lot of cooking!) while they were working.  As much as I’m enjoying the delicious vegetarian meals we’ve been eating, I am also growing a little weary of all the prep work it involves.  Lots of slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing go on in my kitchen these days.  Yesterday’s meal was particularly labor intensive, even with two of us (M and I) doing the work.  In the end we had a Kale and Sweet Potato Soup with Cumin and Lemon, a Layered Dip (made with all sorts of beans, hummus, tempeh, and loads of other stuff), and stuffed acorn squash.  It sounds like an odd mixture, but it worked.  For dessert we had an apple crisp that M made.

It wasn’t all work and no play yesterday.  Merdi taught me and M the Younger some of the basics of knitting.  Knitting has long been on my list of things I want to learn how to do before I kick the bucket.  Although I’m finding it somewhat awkward, it’s fun and relaxing.  I’m going to practice some more this evening.  Merdi will be back tomorrow to show me what to do next.  I took photos of my scarf-in-progress.  I’ll bring those along next time.

That’s it from the Bogs for today.  Thank you for joining me in the Rhododendron Garden.  We should be finished with this hike soon.  There are plenty of benches spaced throughout the trails at the arboretum if you’d like to sit and rest a while before we move on.

31 Comments on “In the Rhododendron Garden”

  1. I do love your Autumnal shots Robin.. The light and the colours are simply perfect… and I have to concur, I’d much prefer raking and mulching than vacuuming and polishing… 😉

  2. What a beautiful golden glow you captured in the gardens…it’s a wonderful meditation.

  3. Martina says:

    Robin, I really like the gazebo picture here. Thanks for the walk in the woods, beautiful!

  4. Your meal yesterday sounds wonderful, as does your learning to knit. My grandmother taught me as a child, but I’ve forgotten in the 35 years since I last did it. I’ve wanted to relearn for a while. Just haven’t done so yet. Alas————–

  5. nigel says:

    That 3rd photo is so magical and enchanting

  6. Marcie says:

    Breathtakingly stunning autumn scenery!

  7. bearyweather says:

    What a gorgeous place to get lost for hours and hours. The bridge, gazebo, bench, water … it could be a very romantic place.
    I let my leaves and pine needles nourish my grass naturally, too. There are a lot of little critters that appreciated that I leave them where they fall all winter long buried under the snow.

  8. afrankangle says:

    About the pics, all I can say is that you captured the essence of the season. Simply stunning.

    As the temperature falls, soup season is also creeping our house. We love the recipes in a cookbook from Claire’s Corner Copia in New Haven, CT. The restaurant’s website has many recipes. Enjoy.

  9. Kala says:

    So many glorious images of autumn, I cannot comment on just one. They’re all lovely.

  10. Such a lovely walk today. How nice to live nearby to stroll the grounds or sit on that bench with the beautiful view. A push mower?? You are my newest hero! Better for the environment . . .

  11. jenna says:

    I want to go to Holden. I just wandered over to their site to read about the birds. Put it on the list of places to take me when I visit *nod*

    I’m interested to hear about the knitting. My mom has taught me twice, and sent me off telling me to knit a couple rows every day for a couple weeks to develop the muscle memory, but knitting and I just don’t click and I always go back to crocheting.

  12. I have been following your blog recently — since finding you on another blog (Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens?). My husband and I met and married in the Cleveland area and I still miss the colors of autumn. Your pictures are warm and lovely. My husband and I often hiked in Holden Arboretum 38 years ago. One of our favorite hikes was Stebbins Gulch.

    Here in Houston we get a brief autumn toward the end of November. We have been sad about the loss of many trees due to our prolonged draught. Our trees are used to much rain and humidity.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you for stopping by to visit, Sue. And thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate it. 🙂

      Stebbins Gulch is lovely. I’m sorry to hear about your trees, and hope the drought lets up over the next few months.

  13. carlaat says:

    The forest paths are so beautiful. Love the photo with the bridge. These are the kind of scenes that used to be turned into puzzles, I think. We were big puzzle fans in my childhood home.

  14. Dana says:

    This might be a silly question, but are non-veg meals really less labour-intensive? (Don’t things still need to be washed, chopped, diced, and otherwise prepped with meat dishes?) My brain hurts whenever I have to prepare something with meat in it– I’m super paranoid about getting food poisoning from the bacteria on raw meat or from not cooking meat enough– steaming veggies seems so easy in comparison! 🙂

    • Robin says:

      I’ve been pondering your question about non-veg meals really being less labor intensive, Dana. I’m not sure. I have it in my head that meals were easier to make when I wasn’t double washing the greens to get all the sand out, removing the tough ribs, and chopping them up. That’s just the beginning of the prep work. The greens are just an example. With more veggies in the meal, more prep work. I’m not particularly fast, efficient, or good at chopping, slicing, and dicing. Then the grains or beans usually need to be washed and picked through (especially after I almost broke a tooth on a small pebble in my quinoa). Beans have to be cooked for a while. Grains can sometimes be a little tricky (although I mostly have the hang of that now).

      I think that with meat dishes, I may have also depended more on processed/convenience foods. I don’t like to do that when I’m on a mostly veg diet. I want everything freshly prepared, locally grown, etc. When I was eating meat on a regular basis, I didn’t think about that sort of thing as much, if at all. The change in diet really has been a lifestyle change for me. I think I deserve better than some pre-packaged, heavily salted, side dish that comes out of a box or can.

      The other factor is leftovers. We often had more leftovers with meat dishes, usually because I could make a small amount of meat go a long way in stews, chilies, etc. Leftovers mean less cooking. I do have some leftovers with vegetarian dishes (especially stews, etc.), but during the summer season when the produce was fresh from the garden, I usually cooked/served up several fresh dishes for our meals because I knew we’d be eating mostly (home) preserved (canned and frozen) stuff once the harvest season was over.

      All that said, it may just be a matter of attitude. I think it’s more work, therefore it is. Even if that’s the case, I believe it is well worth it. 🙂

  15. eof737 says:

    Thank you for sharing your world with us too… I enjoyed the journey. That dinner sounds delectable… 🙂

  16. […] In the Rhododendron Garden (from last November) […]

Thank you for visiting, and for commenting. I hope you'll join me at my new blog home, Breezes at Dawn.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.