Friday, December 29, 2017

Paradise Gardens

This "garden" is one of the strangest I have ever seen. But it's so interesting, I have to post about it. Paradise Gardens is located in Summerville, Georgia. It was created by folk artist, Howard Finster. He spent more than thirty years making art from objects people normally throw away. The inspiration for it came in a dream, where God told him to create art and make a garden. He started the garden in 1970 and continued until his death in 2001.

Visitors will see all kinds of junk put together as art: Saw blades, wheel wells, hub caps, bottles. You name it. It's probably there. Before you walk around the garden, you should start by viewing the video of the artist's life and work. It will give you some insight into this unusual individual.

The garden is open Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Cost of admission for adults is $15.00, and $5.00 for students.

Before I go, I have two announcements. Actually three.

1.  My book, That Mama is a Grouch is available as a free ebook from Smashwords from now until January 1st. Please visit this link to get your copy.

2.  My book, Ten Zany Birds is available as a free ebook from Smashwords from now until January 1st. Please visit this link to get your copy.

3. Don't Feed the Elephant, my upcoming picture book, will be published in 2018. We have some formatting issues we're still trying to work out. My apologies to anyone who might've wanted to get it as a Christmas gift. I'll let you know when it's here.

Hope you all have a very Happy New Year and a terrific 2018!   


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Monticello Gardens

Virginia is a place rich in history. Last week, I wrote about the Colonial Williamsburg gardens. This week, I'll tell you about the gardens at the home of the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.  The gardens surrounding his home, the Monticello, are impressive. They are a tribute to the creativity and inquisitiveness of his great mind.

Set among mountain views, the gardens showcase a variety of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Jefferson grew 170 types of apples, peaches, and grapes in his orchards. He had 330 different vegetables growing in his 1000-foot-long terrace garden. Jefferson liked to experiment with plants and create new types. These gardens were the places he conducted his experiments.

Visitors can explore the gardens on their own, or they can take a Garden and Grounds tour which is available April through October. Other events include a Spring Wildflower Walk in April, and a Heritage Harvest Festival in September. 

The  grounds are open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Cost of admission to view the house and gardens is $22 for adults and $10.00 for children. 

Before I go, I'd like to let you know that I'm a guest on the ePublishing Children's Book Blog. I'm talking about my upcoming book, Don't Feed the Elephant. If you'd like to visit and see a sneak peak of a couple of the illustrations, visit here.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Colonial Williamsburg Gardens

You may know that Williamsburg, Virginia, is well-known for its historic buildings, but you may not know that it also has many beautiful herb, flower, and formal gardens. The Williamsburg of 1777 did not have such lush green spaces. Horticulturalists and historians worked together to choose native plants which would tolerate the area's hot summers and cold winters. The result is simply stunning. Visitors can photograph and enjoy the picturesque landscaping. 

There are several tours one can take to see and learn about the gardens. "Through the Garden Gate" is a walking tour that explains the historic documents and archaeological evidence that was used to create the gardens. "Gardens of Gentility" visits the formal gardens of the Governor's Palace. "Meet the Gardener" is an opportunity for visitors to ask volunteer gardeners about the gardens they see.

There are a total of 90 acres of gardens, ranging from those at the Governor's Palace to the Kitchen Garden of the James Getty site.

Garden tours are available April - September to Colonial Williamsburg ticket holders. Reservations are required. The cost of a single day ticket is $40.99 for adults and $20.49 for children. Colonial Williamsburg is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.