Blogging helps me share things with people. My goal is for you to see something that brings a smile to you.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Toledo Bend Reservoir

   On 5-22-2011 I went to Center Texas to see the Lily Farm on Hwy 7 W.   Since we didn't have anything better to do after seeing the farm we decided to go to Hodges Garden, in Sabine Parish LA.  To get there we took Hwy 87 to Hwy 12 and then crossed over the Toledo Bend Reservoir.  When we went from Texas to Louisiana the road changed from 12 to Hwy 6 and it was a long bridge.  Then we took Hwy 171 to the gardens.
  Going over the Toledo Bend Reservoir the bridge it reminded me so much of Hwy 190 going over the Atchafalaya basin..  I started to think about what was happening in that part of the state. What struck me so much was how down the water was at Toledo Bend.  It just boggles my mind that we are in drought conditions around here yet they are having to flood the Atchafalaya Basin because of all of the flooding that they have had to the north.  I just wish we could have had some of that rain that went north and also some of that water going into the Atchafalaya basin area.  Its hard to believe the two reservoir areas are only about a 150 miles apart.

Texas side of Toledo Bend, heading east
Looking north to where the Sabine River enters  Toledo Bend Reservoir
Half way across the bridge around were Texas / Louisiana boarder is over Toledo Bend

Toledo Bend where you can see the water is way down.
Toledo Bend Reservoir on Hwy 6, approaching Louisiana  from Texas.

Monday, May 23, 2011

My GeoLolCats

Lockwood over at Outside the Interzone has this geololcats meme going on with cats. 
I have problems with my editing photos, so here's my cat Shaddow meme picture.  The caption I would use with it is something like this:

What type of rx izz that?  Itzz sedimentary.  I can c the sand grains!

Shaddow is an out door cat and he's hard to see unless he's hungry.  It took awhile for him to show up for me to get this picture.
PS I know his name is spelled wrong but that's how we spell his name.

The Lily Farm, Center TX

   Sunday was one of those rare days where there was a lot to do in our town, mostly associated with people graduating and having parties, so none of my regular stuff was scheduled that I would normally do on a Sunday afternoon.  My family and I were not invited to any of these events so I had the afternoon off.  It felt so weird not having anything to do and because of that I decided to take advantage of the day off and go on a day trip.  In the Sunday paper there was an add for a lily farm in Center Texas.  I thought that would be the perfect thing to do. The problem was the hours they were open, just 9-2:30.  My husband and I decided to go anyway and left around 11 to get there. 
   It is an indescribably beautiful place to visit.  I felt like the rapture had occurred on the 21st and I was in heaven seeing all these lovely flowers.  Some of them were so pretty I just had to get pictures and share them.  .
 This is the sign you see as you pull up to the place.  It is West of Center TX on Hwy 7W.

 We drove past field after field to get to the place to park the car.
 Finally we found these covered screen areas where you could park. 
As you walk to where the help is there to greet you, you see this fountain.  I thought it amusing that here we were surrounded by all these lovely lilies and they have roses around the fountain and it says 'The Lily Farm'.

 We started to talk to the owners,  they explained that each row had a sign.  They asked you to take some flags with you of a certain color to mark the ones you are interested in.  We got orange flags.  They then directed us to these covered areas to start our looking.  You can't tell it from the pictures but they had over 20 areas covered with screens, and that didn't count the numerous fields we passed as we came up where the operations were carried out.

As they were showing us the lilies, they explained to us that if there was a blue flag by a group those were lilies that were being closely observed and were not for sale.
  We came at a good time and that next week should be there peak week.  I'm glad we came when we did because you can see how many we saw that were already blooming.
  Here's two that were not for sale.
 Then we were  turned loose to see all the lovely lilies.  There were so many to see it was overwhelming at first

  But you quickly start to walk and take an interest in certain ones that catch your eye.
 Some of them you really like, that is until you see the price on them.

I quickly found that each group had a tag with its name.  I thought I was smart taking pictures with the tag so I would know them when I got back home.  I didn't realize the glare from the sun would keep me from knowing what some of them were.
  Here is a typical clump that had the name and price.
I was happy to find these that I could afford, like these for $20.  Most of the lilies that I really liked were out of my price range.

Like these Spring Mystique that cost a $100.

Now to see some that caught my eyes.


  My husband like these.  He said either one would be good for LSU fans.

We wondered around and then got to the fields.

I was surprised to see these being grown too.

   I never knew there could so many different day lilies to choose from.
Oh decisions, decisions.  How could you not want to take one of every one home.  I'm just glad I don't have enough space (or money) to put them all and had to narrow down to just a couple of affordable ones.
It was hard to choose, but eventually we got five to take home. 

  Since we where done with the Lily Farm around 2:00,  and had the rest of the day of ,and we were in an area that we normally don't get to very often we decided to take advantage of that and see if Hodges Garden was open since it had been closed the last time we were there.  It was-- but its going to be a different post since I took so many pictures there.

I've had people looking at this post looking for the Lily farm so I'm going to include the  link for hit here:
Lily Farm, Center Tx

Saturday, May 21, 2011

American Rose Society - Home Garden

1. Entrance to the Gardens of the American Rose Center
 I don't know if you know it or not but the American Rose Society home garden is the "The Gardens of the American Rose Center" located in Shreveport, LA.  Only I think of it as being located in Greenwood, LA.  Anyway - its adress is 8877 Jefferson Paige Rd; Shreveport, LA 71119.  phone is (800) 637-6534. Web:, and here's the link to the brochure American Rose Society Garden brochure
 (The numbers used for these photos correspond with this brochures numbers.)

  It is one of the prettiest places you could ever go to..... and I got to visit it once again. I love going to this place and can't get there often enough.  The peak season is usually the last of April and the first of May when the first blooms occur.  This year my schedule didn't give me that luxury of going during that time but I finally made it today and it was still worth the while.

   I first found out about the gardens when I went to work for a major oil company in 1981.  Believe it or not, one of our fields was located with it in it.  Since it was so close to our office they sent me there to show me what an oil well looked like and it was the first oil well I saw in the area.  It was not what I was expecting.  The well is still there but it looks like it has a different operator because of the new storage tank.  Here's the pictures I took today of the storage batteries, I didn't want to get closer because of the other activity that was going on in the area.
 The road to the gardens looking from the road to the tanks.
Oil field storage tanks behind the American Rose Society gardens

View from the road of the storage tanks behind the American Rose Society gardens

 As you can see you have to know it is there to find it, otherwise you can drive right by it and not even know there is an oil well there in the Greenwood/Wascom field.
  I know that there are a lot of environmentalist that scream about how horrible oil and gas wells can be.  I know that the well that was above has been around for 30 plus years and you can see how the area is easy to miss and the vegetation seems to be growing fine around it.  All I know was when I worked for an oil company the absolute last thing we wanted to do was to spill or loose oil.  It was drilled into me time and time again that every drop that was spilled was a drop that couldn't be sold.  Not only that but every drop that was spilled had a triple whammy to it in the fact you had to pay to clean it up, you also had to pay fines for the spill occurring  to the government and finally you had to pay lawyers and defend law suits that were sure to occur because of it. Needless to say some of the strongest defenders of the environment I knew where people who were in the Oil/Gas business. All I can say to those who oppose wells being drilled - Don't complain to me that gas is now four dollars a gallon- if you drive a car, use electricity or use plastic products -- you are just as much at fault as any oil company because they wouldn't be drilling for it if you weren't using it.
  I was surprised to see that they are still developing the area.  I figured they must be going after the Haynesville shale gas.  When I was with the company they were only interested in oil and we passed a lot of the gas plays up.  Here's an well being drilled today right across from the Rose Gardens.

Oil well being drilled across from the Gardens of the American Rose center

So much about my ranting about those who complain about oil wells.  That's not what I was going to talk about today.  It's the lovely Roses and the garden that they are in.

The first building you see is this lovely place where most people hold their wedding reception after being married in the chapel.
 3. Klima Education and Visitor center with the Dudley G. Watkins Reflection Pool

Here's the rear view of the chapel.  Most people have the front view but the back is just as pretty.
9.  Jane Owen & Quintin T. Hardtner Jr. Chapel and Garden
They have you drive around to the gift shop which is in a different building and then you can start to visit the gardens.  The gardens are located on 118 acres and is the nations largest park dedicated to roses.
Getting to the gardens you get to see all the exciting things they are working on.
 58.Research trial garden

 58. Research trial garden

 61 & 62 Dr. Charles T. Beaird Memorial garden with the Thigpen-Herold Administration Building behind it.
Before you can walk the gardens you need to check in at the administration building.  There you are charged a nominal fee.  (I have a membership so I'm not to sure of the fee - I think it is $5.50 a person.)

Now to the Gardens themselves.
The feature that draws the most attention is the Windsound Carillon Tower- Hudson Heritage Garden of AARS Winners.  The thing that catches you attention is it chimes on the hour and the half hour so you know what time it is and how long you have been there.
40. Windsounds Carillon Tower, front view

 40. Windsounds Carillon Tower and the Hudson Heritage Garden of AARS Winners, side view.

 One thing I like about the rose garden is things are labeled so you can sometimes figure out what you are looking at. 

 60. Desert Peace Rose
40. Moon bean rose
 It was so neat to see this Eastern_Tiger_Swallowtail  butterfly.  I must have tried to take ten photos to get one that would work here.
37.  A tiger swallowtail butterfly pollinating a rose

36.  Danielsen Wishing Well Garden

38. Durham Japanese Teahouse & garden

38.  I thought this stone was intriguing, you can see how the running water has weathered a nice hole in it.

35.  Palmer Garden, Greater Los Angeles Rose Council Sculpture
35. flowers in the Palmer Garden
37 Archie & Edalee Brandt Memorial Garden

36. Rose  in the Daielsen Wishing Well garden
23. SW-LA Rose Society Garden

39. Adele Q = Petersen Garden

There are a lot of sun dials in the garden. This one was at (20.) Cleo Barnwell's Rose and Companion Plantings
14. Adeline Eaton Memorial garden (I think)

Some gardens had other things besides roses like this Hollyhock.
I'm not too sure what these flowers are but they reminded me of Gladiolus.  Unfortunately I didn't think to look and see if there was a label for these. (I just found out they are Hollyhock  from my mom- we use to have them in our garden.)
10.  I think these are Shreveport Roses, in the Shreveport Medical Auxiliary Azalea Plantings.
They have places to rest like this beautiful black granite table
 I didn't have enough time to really look at this table to figure out exactly what it was but everyday people would call it black granite.  It is very pretty and I thought the next table that I get I would like to be something like this one if I could find one like it.
63.  Sandstone bench to contemplate the Dr. Harold & Ida Hayden Gardens of 'Shreveport Roses'

I forgot where these were but they were so pretty to me.

33. Illinois-Indiana district Garden with the flags.
 There were a lot more things to see and enjoy but my time there with my son had to end.  Here is the bridge that you see as you leave.  My kids love this bridge when we visit at Christmas time because it is all lit up with lights that change color as you walk under it. 

43. Sooner State Bridge as you are leaving the garden area.
And finally this is one of my favorite things in the gardens, as if you need to be reminded to smell the roses.  Needless to say the aromas you smell as you are walking through the gardens are incredible and can't properly be described.  All I can say I've never smelled a place like this place with its combination of roses and pine. 

Stop and smell the roses at the American Rose Society home garden.

If you ever get a chance to go through LA on Highway 20, its definitely worth the effort to get of at exit 5 and visit the gardens.