Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade - my 70th and taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Smithsonian Victorian Gardens.


Another trip offered by the retirement community where I live.  This time the destination was Washington, DC, The Smithsonian Institution, and specifically the Victorian garden which resides behind the Smithsonian Castle.


As we exited the Castle through these doors,


 here was the first view.


What a blue sky day, low humidity for Washington, too.

Off to the right and left are large trees with air plants hanging from the branches.



The garden is so symmetrical.







The garden is flanked by two museums which are primarily underground.


In fact the Victorian Garden is on top of the museum spaces for these two museums.


Though the museum with the circle motif is on the left, the gardens on the right have the circle motif.



Another view of the castle.








The docent took us in to a hidden garden where tropical plants are displayed.







If I'm ever here for lunch I'll have to bring it to this out of the way spot.














We then visited the gardens on the left which had a square theme.








See the Washington monument above the trees.  Just this week it has reopened.










Here's another garden we visited on our own on the other side of the Exhibition Hall








One last shot of the castle where our white bus waits to take us back home.



Thursday, September 26, 2019

Union Mills Homestead

We visited the homestead of Union Mills one Sunday afternoon. Purchased tour tickets and joined up with a tour in progress in the grist mill.  It dates back to the early 1800s.




It has been in operation recently but I think they need a full time miller at present.







The Homestead began as 4 rooms in 1797.  It has been added on in stages.


It has remained in the Shriver family the whole time. They kept detailed journals and rarely threw anything away.  The house is filled with household items dating back from colonial times to 20th century.



Washington Irving stopped here as did James Audubon where he watched a Baltimore oriole build a nest.


The tour took us inside where no photos were allowed.  Here's the back of the house.











Besides the mill and farming there was a tannery here.


The Homestead is not far from Gettysburg and as that battle loomed troops from both sides passed through here.  Two Shriver brothers who lived here and across the street were divided in their loyalties.  After the war they went back to being partners in their business concerns.

By the way this is the same Shriver family as Sargent Shriver, head of Peace Corps and father of Maria Shriver, broadcast journalist and former First Lady of California.