Welcome reader to my blog - a mixture of this and that. Now that we are living in a retirement community in downtown Columbia, MD my personal gardening activities are somewhat curtailed. I still enjoy visiting gardens, reading, watching wildlife on my walks, traveling, and occasional food commentary. Please leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. I read every one of them.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Emily's Peony


I don't know the real name of this peony so like to call it Emily's peony because at our old house it bloomed around the time of Emily's birthday on June 5th.  We have photos of her as a little girl standing next to it.  She is now turning 32 so that was many years ago!


The peony was first planted under a very small maple tree - a volunteer tree - that we moved to the back garden bed.  The tree grew bigger so the peony was moved to the perennial bed that replaced the asparagus bed.


When we sold that house in 2003 I told the new owners I would be back for several of my perennials including the peony once our new house was completed.  We moved in here in November of 2005 and I returned to dig out the perennials in the spring of 2006.

The peony has not bloomed very well here.  This is the first year it has had three blooms.  Last year there were buds that failed to open.  The year before I don't think it had anything.  Hopefully this is the start of its blooming history for many years to come.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bird ID Needed



An internet friend of mine who lives in Minnesota has this bird in her backyard but she doesn't know what it is.  Can anyone help her out and identify the bird, please?  It's one I've never seen before and couldn't find it in the bird book.

Here's what she first wrote about the bird: Here is a picture of a bird that was and is in my yard.  It is about the size of a sparrow.  Anyone know what it is?  I think it might be hurt.  It  does fly a bit, but is hanging around the house on the ground.

Later she wrote:  I think it is a Western Tanager.  When I am outside he is hanging around me.  I have gotten very close to him.





Monday, May 27, 2013

Green Mount Cemetery

Saturday we went on a cemetery tour in Baltimore.  This one required that we sign up and pay ahead of time with the guide, Wayne Schaumburg It was well worth the $15 each!

We met up with Wayne and 40 others on a very cool morning at the cemetery at 9:30 am.  The tour was to last two hours but there was a lot to share so we didn't depart until after noon and were late meeting friends for lunch.


Green Mount Cemetery was one of the first three private cemeteries in the US in 1839.  Most folks were buried in family plots or in church plots up to this time.  The idea of purchasing a plot before you died was new but the developers of Green Mount had a wonderful location and many of the first occupants were bodies moved from other cemeteries including Westminster Cemetery that I wrote about here.  There are 67,000 bodies there now and only a few spaces left in the mausoleum.  Some of the plots that were sold still have spaces because each plot was enough for 10 burials but many of them will stay that way because there is no one left in the family to sell the remaining spaces.

Well enough of the background story.  We saw lots of famous and infamous burial plots and learned a lot about Baltimore and Maryland history while walking through the park like setting.




This famous sculptor has one of his own creations on his grave.



There's quite a mix of statuary in keeping with Victorian styles that this was a resting place.

We figured they are pointing up to heaven and ...


maybe down as well!








Enoch Pratt is responsible for the first free library in Baltimore.




A more recent burial.


No one knows any of the history around this strange monument.


Grave of the benefactor responsible for the Walters Art Gallery and another Rinehart sculpture.


A recent addition marking an old grave.


Recognize it?  Read below the backside of the monument.


Grave of Betsy Bonaparte who married Napoleon's brother and had his son but then Napoleon annulled the marriage and forced his brother into a political marriage.  She never married again.



I had to photograph this one because I've never seen my name, Marcia, on a tombstone before.


Grave of the only known slave to be buried in this cemetery; a woman much revered by the family that owned her.


The mausoleum where a few remaining burial plots remain.


This double plot will never have more than this one grave on it.



Lots of small graves denoting children lost.


This grave and its marker are being preserved in plastic.  It's the grave of the founding owner of the Baltimore Sun newspaper: A. S. Abell.



The last stop was the family plot for the Booths.


John Wilkes Booth is buried here but


no separate maker denotes the exact spot.  I left a penny on the grave, Lincoln side up.


There are many more photos too many for this post so look for the link on the side bar to my Shutterfly site.

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