Just two more days until Summer wraps up and we venture into Autumn.
This trip to the Emily Frank Gardens at the Trenton Cultural Center on July 31st was probably one of the shortest walks at a venue that I’ve taken, then blogged about. But, rest assured, after capturing about 200 images at the Gardens, I headed to Lake Erie Metropark, then Elizabeth Park, aiming to walk more miles and make the most of my day before my self-imposed month of errands, etc. that would occupy my August agenda.
I had seen photos of the Gardens and Cultural Center previously on social media and put it on my list of “places to visit sometime” and then, after I began following Facebook posts by the plein air painting group in the Spring, this was one of the venues they visited. A few group members painted the big red barn with its whimsical wall and nearby Children’s Garden. It looked like a fun place so I stopped there on June 18th to check it out.
The Gardens was a beehive of activity, even in the early morn. I met Debbie Barnes and many of her slew of volunteers a/k/a “Garden Angels” that maintain the Emily Frank Gardens PLUS the 300-plant pollinator gardens at MacArthur Park a mile or so down the road. A couple of the volunteers were headed to MacArthur Park for gardening chores and said “come, check it out!” Another volunteer responded to my “oohs and aahs” while I picked my way along the mulched paths, carefully stepping over garden hoses, saying“you absolutely have to return later in the Summer when the Gardens are in full bloom!”
So I did and will likely scrap the June 18th photos in favor of those taken when the blooms were at their peak.
As I drove to the Gardens, I wondered if there would be sunflowers and assumed, given the heat, humidity and occasional copious bouts of rain, that there would be an abundance of sunflowers to photograph and the Gardens did not disappoint.
Maybe a Bummer Summer for us, but the Sunflowers were Sunsational!
So, that is the backstory on why I found myself on July 31st strolling around the Emily Frank Gardens, the only flower-loving soul there, (unless you want to count “Golden Boy” my little male Goldfinch, who was not keen on posing in or on the sunflowers, preferring instead to play hide-and-go-seek with me most of the time I was there).
Yes, Debbie Barnes was right – it was an entirely different landscape, “carpeted” with bright flowers everywhere. Garden ornaments were at every twist and turn on the mulched and paved paths: stone children with arms or wheelbarrows filled with flowers, makeshift receptacles brimming with bright blooms – even birdbaths spilling vines as a few butterflies and bees flitted about. I truly didn’t know where to look first. I will wait until the coldest and ugliest days in Winter to create a post with these bountiful blooms and will wow you with them then.
But in the interim, though we have waved “hi” and “bye” to the Harvest Moon, Autumn décor abounds and pumpkin treats have been eyed or snatched up, a beautiful reminder of Summer’s endless sunny days are the perpetually happy-looking sunflowers.
Here are my favorite shots from that morning, some sunflowers still in progress, others already bowing their heads as they were so laden with seeds. I have interspersed some photos of the Goldfinch who dived in and out of the blooms in search of seeds to nibble on. He was, at times, elusive and I think thought I was a bit of a pain to intrude upon his breakfast ritual.
A little birdie suggested I share some shots of his home at the whimsical Children’s Garden at Emily Frank Gardens and so I will do so for this Wordless Wednesday. (Fellow blogger Jeanine will love it as it’s kitschy.)