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FLOWER and GARDEN
EVENTS & ATTRACTIONS

from Kath of Homespun

http://sac.uky.edu/~mthom0/flora.htm

Wildflowers of Western Kentucky is a full-color guide to the wildflowers of western and central Kentucky and surrounding regions, with photos and descriptions of more than 200 wildflower species. The new look for the site is complete! The individual wildflowers have now been classified by season. There are now 18-36 thumbnails per page rather than 50, in order to speed up download times over slower modems.

Clicking on any thumbnail on any page (except this one) will bring up a full-sized picture, name, scientific name and a brief description. The Kentucky Native Plant Society's web site is now completed and online! Until we can find a permanent home for it, the site will be hosted here. Thanks for visiting Wildflowers of Western Kentucky.

from Sue of Homespun

Nottingham Tour Home Page

This site offers historical and cultural information about Nottingham, England, the setting for the story of Robin Hood, as well as other culturally significant events.

Nottinghamshire Covers 844 square miles. Its North-South axis is 52 miles long. Nottinghamshire is located in central England in the area known as the Midlands. Lowland plains dominate the southern part of the county with the accent on Agriculture. The North-Western part is dominated by the Pennine hills. The major water feature of the county is the River Trent. Which flows for over 50 miles through the county and it is no accident that the two historically significant sites of Nottingham and Newark were built overlooking the Trent.

The geology of the shire is a mixture of magnesium limestone in the North changing to sandstone in the south. In fact the limestone in the Mansfield Area supplied stone used in the re-building of the Houses of Parliament in the early 19th Century.

from Debbie of Homespun

"Here in the San Francisco Bay Area (well, east of the Bay Area), we have Daffodil Hill. It is so gorgeous you wouldn't believe it! Absolutely exploding with daffodils (and tulips here and there!)."

DAFFODIL HILL
Amador County, California

http://comspark.com/daffodilhill/

A project which has its origin in a family garden has today become a full scale operation attracting thousands annually to the site known as Daffodil Hill near Jackson, which is 50 miles from Sacramento or Stockton.

Our grandparents, Arthur Burbeck McLaughlin and Lizzie Van Vorst McLaughlin, established McLaughlin Ranch, now Daffodil Hill, in 1887. Prior to this, they owned property just behind Daffodil Hill. At this site our mother, Mary McLaughlin Lucot, was born in 1881 – our uncle, Jesse McLaughlin, was born at the Daffodil Hill site in 1893.

The ranch was purchased from an old Dutchman, Pete Denzer, who had planted around the homesite daffodils from his native land. These yellow blooms were Lizzie’s most prized possession, and she divided and replanted the bulbs each year to increase the size of their garden.

At the time the ranch was purchased it was used as a way-station for teamsters and travelers using the road from Kit Carson Pass over what is now known as California State Highway Route 88. The McLaughlin's continued the way station, renting rooms and serving meals (breakfast for 25 cents) to the travelers and providing feed and shelter for their animals. For many years the loft of the barn was used for "Saturday Night" dances at the ranch.

Arthur was the supervisor of his district in Amador County; this – with mining, farming and "inn-keeping" – kept the family in food, clothing and supplies. They also hauled logs to the lower county to help in the building of the mines and manufactured charcoal for use in nearby gold mine.

Arthur passed away in 1912 and soon thereafter in 1923, the 17 room, 2 story house burned and a small cabin was built for Lizzie. The original bunk house and larder room has been remodeled into living quarters for the present caretakers. Lizzie passed away in 1935.

Following their mother’s death, Jessie and Mary decided to plant other daffodils in her memory. Daffodils were planted every year, just a few at a time – and soon people began to stop to admire the blooms. As groups of tourists grew, so grew the plantings until the few hundred planted annually, grew to a few thousand. Now every year we plant from 5 to 6 thousand new bulbs – both daffodils and tulips. There are approximately 6 acres in daffodils – 300 varieties and 400,000 blooms. The number planted depends upon the donations we receive each year from the tourists – there is no admission charge, but we do have old yellow teakettles and pots around that anyone, if they so desire, may place a donation.

Jesse and Mary carried on this planting, with the help of Mary’s children, until 1981 when Jesse passed away. Mary passed away in 1973. It is now overseen by Mary’s two children, Arthur Lucot and Mary Lucot Ryan, their spouses, her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. These generations are still planting thousands of new bulbs each year in memory of their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great grandparents.

There are 540 acres at the Daffodil Hill part of the ranch. We have planted walnuts to help pay for the taxes and other operation expenses. This is strictly a family project. Judge Martin Ryan, Mary’s husband, does the tractor work on weekends and evenings – Art Martin and our friend, Joe Bustillos, do the pruning and cleanup. Since our walnuts trees have grown beautifully and the crop is too much for a "family outing" to pick them, we must depend on hired crews to help us pick our crop. We still, however, knock our trees by hand; truck them to a commercial processor to be hulled and dried and delivered to Diamond Walnut Association before December 1st. We have approximately 1500 bearing trees.

November, December and perhaps the first of January, we do our planting. Arthur has ordered the bulbs earlier in the year and another "extended family outing" gets the daffodils planted. January and February we do clean up, bench and table repair, fence work and some painting and a lot of weeding and raking of leaves. Come mid-March, we’re ready for guests, where once again you will find the extended family and friends donating their time to say "hello", direct traffic, sell postcards and answer questions.

Each year, from approximately mid-March to mid-April, seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., weather permitting, the Hill is open to tourists. They come to wander the planted hillsides, gaze at the farm animals, old buildings and the historic barn. There have been as many as 4,000 people on a given day.

The Rainbow Girls have a snack shack at the "Hill" so the visitors can enjoy light refreshments, coffee and soft drinks.

Many people have asked why we have created this spot of beauty. Perhaps it is because we enjoy seeing the bulbs blossom forth each springtime, so symbolic of Easter and the Resurrection. Perhaps it is because we want to keep the ""old home place" from falling to ruin and neglect as so many of these old country places are doing. In part, too, it is our way of perpetuating the memory of our parents, grandparents and those early-day form folk whose way of life was so hard and so different from our present way of life.

Much of the earthly gold has been taken from the hills of this Gold Rush area, but we hope that the new rush of golden blooms will give visitors something to take away with them, not a treasure of ore, but a memorable bullion of flowering loveliness and sense of God at work in this act or our sharing with them.

from Sue of Homespun

"A great majority of these pictures are within a couple of hours drive from me. Enjoy.
Sue :-)"

http://www.hedgerow.co.uk/local-picarchive.html

Views of Derbyshire

A beautiful collection of photos of the
Derbyshire, England countryside.

Sunset over Kinder Scout from Derwent Edge, Derbyshire, England
Mist in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire, England
Ladybower Reservoir, Derbyshire, England
Stanage Edge, Derbyshire, England
Monsal Dale Viaduct, Derbyshire, England
Winnats Pass and Speedwell Cavern, Derbyshire, England
Wingfield Manor, Derbyshire, England
Ladybower Reservoir, Derbyshire, England
Peveril Castle, Castleton, Derbyshire, England
Edensor Village, Chatsworth, Derbyshire, England
St. Michael and All Angels Church, Hathersage, Derbyshire, England
Riber Castle, Matlock, Derbyshire, England
Chatsworth, Derbyshire, England
Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, England
Farming in the White Peak, Derbyshire, England
The Fountain Terrace - Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, England
Chatsworth House in the Snow, Derbyshire, England
Rock-climbing, Lawrence Edge, Bleaklow, Derbyshire, England
Chesterfield from Tapton, Derbyshire, England
Thatched Cottages, Baslow, Derbyshire, England
Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, England
The Midland Railway Centre, Ripley, Derbyshire, England
Ladybower Reservoir and plughole overflow, Derbyshire, England
Aerial View - Haddon Hall, Derbyshire, England
Chatsworth, Derbyshire
Chatsworth House from the East, Derbyshires
Daffodils at Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire, England
Solomon's Temple overlooking Buxton, Derbyshire, England
St Mary and All Saints Church, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
Derwent Edge & Ladybower Reservoir Derbyshire, England
Isolated farmstead, Abney Low, Derbyshire
Crushing Mill, Odin Mine, Castleton, Derbyshire
St Oswold's Church, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
Kinder Scout from Cracken Edge, Derbyshire
Hope Valley from Stanage Edge, Derbyshire
Delphiniums on the fountain terrace - Haddon Hall, Derbyshire
Gardener's cottage topiary - Haddon Hall, Derbyshire
Millestones below Stanage Edge - Nr Hathersage, Derbyshire
North Lees Hall, Derbyshire
Bradfield Moor, Derbyshires Reservoir
Peveril Castle, Castleton, Derbyshire
Sheepwash bridge, Ashford in the water, Derbyshire
Belper, Derbyshire
Early morning in Hope Vally, Derbyshire
Plague Cottages and St Lawrence Church, Eyam, Derbyshire
Overstones farm below Stanage Edge
Derwent Edge & Ladybower Reservoir, Derbyshire
Youlgreave, Derbyshire
Matlock Bath, Derbyshire
Monsal Dale, Viaduct, Derbyshire
The vale of Edale nr Castleton
St John the Baptists Church, Tideswell, Derbyshire
Carl walk & Higgerton, Haversage, Derbyshire



ANTELOPE VALLEY, CALIFORNIA
POPPY RESERVE


http://www.calparksmojave.com/poppy/

The Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve is established to protect and perpetuate outstanding displays of native wildflowers, particularly the California Poppy, Eschscholzia californica, the state flower. These spectacular floral displays are maintained for the enjoyment, inspiration, and education of the people for all time to come.

WILDFLOWERS
This 1,745 acre State Reserve, nestled in the Antelope Buttes 15 miles west of Lancaster, California, is located on California's most consistent poppy-bearing land.

Other wildflowers: owl's clover, lupine, goldfield, cream cups, and coreopsis, to name a few, share the desert grassland to produce a mosaic of color and fragrance each spring. As unpredictable as nature - the intensity and duration of the wildflower bloom varies yearly.

Seven miles of trails, including a paved section for wheelchair access, wind gently through the wildflower fields. The broad views of this landscape provide eyefuls of brilliant wildflower colors. Whether you most enjoy expansive fields of wildflower colors and fragrance or the close-up study of a single flower, this is the place to visit.

Wildflower blooms occur from March through May. The peak viewing period is Mid-April.



CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
Washington, D.C.

http://dcpages.com/Dccb/cbhist.html

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual commemoration of the gift in 1912 of 3,000 cherry trees by Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to Washington as a memorial of national friendship between the United States and Japan and a celebration of the continued close relationship between the people of the two countries.

1885 Mrs. Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, upon returning to Washington from her first visit to Japan, approached the Superintendent of Public Building and Grounds with the proposal that cherry trees be planted along the soon to reclaimed Potomac waterfront. Her request fell on deaf ears. Over the next 24 years Mrs. Scidmore approached every new Superintendent with her proposal with no success.

1907 The Fairchilds, pleased with the success of the trees, began to promote Japanese flowering cherry trees as the ideal type of tree to plant along avenues in the Washington area. Friends of the Fairchilds also became interested and on September 26, arrangements were completed with the Chevy Chase Land Company to order 300 Oriental cherry trees for the Chevy Chase area.

1908 Dr. David Fairchild gave cherry saplings to boys from each District of Columbia school to plant in their schoolyard for the observance of Arbor Day. In closing his Arbor Day lecture, Dr. Fairchild for the first time expressed an appeal that the "Speedway" (the present day corridor of Independence Avenue, SW, in West Potomac Park) be transformed into a "Field of Cherries". In attendance was Eliza Scidmore, whom afterwards he referred to as a great authority on Japan.



LEGEND OF THE BLUEBONNET
By Kelton Kupper

As a Texas History Teacher for the past 20+ years I have discovered some "STRANGE AND UNUSUAL FACTS ABOUT TEXAS." I would like to share these with the readers of VIRTUAL TEXAN.

Each spring Texas roadsides are decorated with blankets of bluebonnets. The bluebonnet was adopted as the state flower by the 27th legislature in 1901 upon request of the Society of Colonial Dames of Texas. Texas folklorist J. Frank Dobie recorded an Indian legend regarding the origin of this beautiful wildflower.

According to the legend, there was an extensive drought one summer followed by an unusually cold winter. The severe weather caused the game to either die or leave, leaving the Indians near starvation. The Tribe's medicine man petitioned the Great Spirit to alleviate their suffering. Finally the message came to the medicine man, indicating the village had committed acts that had offended the Great Spirit.

As penance for this offensive act, the Great Spirit required the village to offer a burnt offering of its most valued possession. Among those who heard the message from the medicine man was a young girl who had a tiny doll whose dress was made from the feathers of the blue jay. She loved her doll as a mother loves a child.

Upon hearing the message, the little girl became very distraught, since she concluded that her doll was without doubt the most valuable item within the entire village. But she had to save her people. So that night as the village slept, she placed her beloved doll into the campfire, and the flames consumed it.

She then took the ashes and scattered them over the nearby fields. The next morning those fields were covered with beautiful blue cover-like flowers, the same color as the dress of her doll, signifying the Great Spirit had accepted the girl's offering, and the village was spared.

AS WE DRIVE AND VIEW THESE BEAUTIFUL WILDFLOWERS MAY WE REMEMBER THIS STORY AS A TESTAMENT TO THE FAITH OF A YOUNG GIRL AND HER DEVOTION TO HER VILLAGE.

Kelton Kupper is a retired Texas history teacher who is still teaching and extolling the virtues of Texas.

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