Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wish You Were Here

By here I mean there!

There being Providence, RI, where the sky was the most amazing blue with billowing clouds and near perfect temperatures.

Our hotel, chosen because it was walkable to our son's neighborhood, was across the street from the Narragansett Bayand the India Point Park
We woke up to golden skies, brilliant blue waters and swans floating by.

Let me tell you, besides seeing my delightful son, the lack of humidity and mosquitoes was wonderful. MMD and Frances...did you hear me? No mosquitoes and no chiggers! Just lovely.
Look at that fantastic sky~ it was like this everyday!

It was heavenly. I hadn't realized how much mosquitoes were affecting my gardening pleasure until I was away from them for five glorious days! Not once did I spray myself with a poison. Did I say it was heavenly? It was!

Heavenly, to was spending time with MJH, our son and his delightful gf, V. What a joy to see him in his grownup life. It's not the same when he comes home...that's our turf. Providence is his. He's in Providence working on a phd in ecology. His area of research is invasives and the effect that some of these plants have on various eco-systems. Isn't that exciting! I love that we have so many things to talk about when we get together.
Included in our days of catching up, talking about plans for the future, sightseeing and eating out...we were able to slip in a visit to Ledge and Garden
Layanee's favorite perennial bed

to see my dear friend Layanee.
detail of Ledge and Garden's iconic astilbe

I love her garden. I've had the pleasure of visiting here before (go here to see the garden in late September). Rhode Island is a postage stamp sized state and she's about 50 minutes from Providence...a pleasant drive out into the countryside. Her home is so far west, she's almost in CT!

When I saw it last year, summer was past and the skies were a dull gray, but the garden was a beautiful composition of texture, line, form and color....I had similar feelings this summer~~perennials with bold leaves, grasses that swayed in the breeze, delicious evergreens and Ledge.

Ahh that fantastic Ledge! It has to be capitalized~~Ledge commands attention~~it has a presence! Imagine a massive granite whale
poking out of the garden! Then imagine it here and there all over your garden!
Talk about garden bones! It's spectacular.

What a gift blogging has been in my life, to allow me to meet and get to know people I might never chance upon. I count myself fortunate to to have met Layanee. She is one of the kindest, funniest and
most delightful of gardening pals! On the way home Mr I, MJH and I voted her the most charming hostess of any we had met!

I do wish you could have been there with us!

Warmest thoughts for all of you,


"Stay" is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary. Louisa May Alcott


  1. Oh Gail, what a wonderful quote at the end! I do wish I could have been there with you at Layanee's too. She is a delight with that sly sense of humor and ready laugh. Her garden looks wonderful, and no insects did you say? Pure heaven with sprinkles on top. So glad your trip was such a joy. Some day I hope to meet the much adored MJH too. :-)

  2. Gorgeous! Both the garden and the bay! My aunt and uncle have a second home in Bristol. Lovely historic area, it's fun to walk or bike along the street and look at the signs, like captain so and so lived here in the 1700s. Amazing.

    What a lovely thought to have respite from the chiggers and mosquitoes! I am getting scared to go out without "off!" because I've already have so many terrible bites!!

    Hope you have a great time! ....well, I know you did.

  3. I had a comment all typed and the power went out! Darn! Just wanted to say your visit looked like so much fun in the sun.

  4. Charming Gail simply charming. I felt I had joined you for just a little while....it all sounds so perfect.
    Spending time with close family and blogger friends is a blessing.....the garden looks so beautiful....I love the ferns....

    I am glad you had time to relax and enjoy, also to get away from the mosi's, I understand that one.......

  5. Gail you make Rhode Island sound like heaven. How perfect that your son is an ecologist!

    Layanee's Garden looks magnificent. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Gail, what a wonderful trip you must have had! I know what you mean about visiting one of your children on "their" turf--it's a completely different experience. And seeing Layanee's garden in person and getting to spend time with her--what fun! She has such a beautiful garden; now I understand the "ledge" part so much better.

    And no mosquitoes?? I will have to put Rhode Island on my "wish list" of places to visit in the summer:)

  7. What a great trip! And I'm very jealous that you had five days without mosquitoes. They're out of control around here!

  8. It was a good time and the skies were heavenly...I hope you are all having a good weekend~~free of bugs that bite and sting!...and

    Frances, we hope you get to meet MJH, too!

    Lzyjo, Bristol is a charming city and the bike trail can be riden all the way up coast to Providence.

    Rose, Layanee might say otherwise about biting bugs, but not one bit me.

    Rambleonrose, Yikes, that's what Barbara said, out of control!

    Sweetbay, I am really proud of the hard work he's doing...almost heaven, Rhode Island!

    Cheryl, I did have a nice relaxing time...I miss my boy!

    Tina, You've been to maine, you know what those skies look like!


  9. I an sure you are very proud of your son and it must be nice to be able to share an interest

  10. It sounds like a splendid time was had by all! Your pictures of Layanee's garden just reinforce my belief that hers is one of the gardens I must see someday. If the summer heat gets to be too much for me, I may just take a road trip and go knocking on doors. I'll stop in Tennessee and pick you up!

  11. Cindy, You would be welcome here! The heat must be getting to you...I know when it gets bad here I want to holler! Gail

  12. Sounds like a wonderful time and lots of lovely memories Gail! Glad you had such a great trip. Layanee's garden is lovely.

  13. I hope to see that Ledge sometime. Laynee's garden is gorgeous as seen in pictures I can imagine how it looks in person...and no mosquitoes. WOW

  14. What a nice trip you had, visiting a gorgeous garden & seeing your son. How wonderful that he is pursuing a phd in something so important to our ecology. :)

  15. It would be wonderful to be without the humidity we are having today! Layanee's garden is beautiful in pictures I bet it is way better in person!

  16. Gail, That is a very lovely post and I thank you. You and the men in your life made my week! I do agree that the bloggers I have met on line and at Spring Fling and the occasional visitor (Heather) have added much to my life. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and someday, I will visit Clay and Limestone. To all else, you would all be welcome here at Ledge and Gardens.

  17. I wish Pink Floyd was here or there too to play the song...... Agreeably gardening and blogging are twins. And how blogging connects people , gardens and plants... ~ bangchik

  18. Thanks for the link love, even if it does have to do with my mosquito woes. Does not having to deal with mosquitoes make up for having to deal with Hurricane damage?
    How fun that you got to visit Layanee & her garden again. I would love to see the Ledge in person, and I wish I could have joined you both. I'm glad I got to hang out with Layanee at Spring Fling, and if ever I'm going to be in Rhode Island, I will bring a dog biscuit for Tucker.

  19. Gail,
    What a lovely post and I'm glad you had a wonderful weekend in Rhode Island!

    Sorry to hear that mosquitoes are dogging you in your garden. We have those dreadful Asian mosquitoes now, that fly all the time, but they've haven't been too bad this year so far (June was dry). They can reproduce in a teaspoon of water, bah humbug.


  20. Layanees garden is drop dead gorgeous. Those boulders {Ledges} are fantastic. One can only see that it is the NE.
    So glad you had a great visit with son & friend.

  21. Gail, Thank you for taking us with you! You have every right to be proud of your son - just think, something you've done has rubbed off! :-) It's wonderful that you've met and visited so many great gardeners/bloggers. Thank you for taking us to Layanee's, too.

  22. Oh my, you have clay and mosquitos? That doesn't seem entirely fair. I have clay, but really hardly any mosquitos (of course also no summer water).

    Sounds like a great trip!

  23. Gail girl .. Sounds like a totally refreshing/recharging trip you have had there .. and not knowing how pleasant life can be without the heat/humidity and little"buggers" gnawing at you all the time .. well that is a double edged sword isn't it ? You might consider moving up there now ? LOL
    That was a perfect garden trip in every aspect : )

  24. Gail : I would agree that those blue skies w/ the billowy clouds are so pleasant to be under! WOW what a view and love that fact that you had a chance to meet and spend time w/ a fellow blogger in her own garden of bliss! Having met several bloggers in their own turf myself it surely warms the heart.The world seems smaller each time I meet a blogger in person.Particularly when I visited Paris and Germany last summer!
    Wishing you continued Joy and a wonderful visit w/ your son..love what he's studying..you did good in raising him..to be concerned about our world.
    Thank you for sharing your visit w/ us and for sending me encouragement and prayers as of late. hugs NG

  25. Sounds like a wonderful visit. She should give tours of her gardens, spectacular!

  26. Hi Gail, it sounds lovely. I wish I was there too. Great place your son chose! I really respect his choice in research too. The problems with alien species has gotten so out of control that we need the help of these dedicated ecologists.

  27. It looks like Layanee has avery large garden to tend! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit.--Randy

  28. What's with the heavenly? Don't you mean Blissfully? ;-) I wish I had been here, I mean there, too.

    When are you coming this way cos musquito free gardening is something we have all year round.

    BTW quite envious of you're visiting Layanee. I think I need a hug. Now where did I leave my hedge trimmer.....?

  29. What a lovely tribute to your friend and clearly a lovely visit

  30. Yolanda E, You have to stop rubbing it in that you have the best hedge trimmer! Layanee's garden is blissful and she is a delightful friend. As soon as I can talk Mr I into visiting I'll be on a grand European tour! Gail

  31. Gail, it certainly is a lovely area. Of course anywhere near water, without humidity and bugs, and has skies that blue would seem like heaven to me.

    Ledge is a gorgeous garden and so much better understood now with your photos. It must be almost as hard to dig there as at Clay and Limestone. :) Glad you had a good visit with your son and gf, too.

  32. Gail, I'm so sorry I missed seeing you while you were here! At least you got the best of the weather and the best of visits with Layanee who is undoubtedly The Best. Maybe next time another tour of Blithewold?

  33. Oh, what fun! To visit Layanee on her home turf and ledge (or granite whale!), and to spend time with blue skies, blue water, and no mosquitoes! I'm most envious, Gail.

  34. That is so truly wonderful and how grand you told the whole visit. You can tell that Layanee is a gracious person by the way she talks on her blog!

  35. you won big points with me in choosing a hotel for reasons of walking. best wishes to your son and his studies.

  36. Gail, you lucky duck! A visit with the kids always warms the heart. Ecology..a great field of study choice! I wonder where he got his interest in plants..hmmmm.
    Oh, to visit Layanee at her Ledge and Gardens! How wonderful! Thanks for the gorgeous photos and blue skies. We actually had a warm summer day here today. It was glorious after all the rain, wind and cool temps.

  37. What a fun time! It's a cool your son is studying about invasives.

  38. Sounds like you had a fun trip. I also love astilbe. I stayed in Providence for a week a long while ago and really loved it. very walkable and so close to many other east coast attractions.


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson