Posts By: Dandy Lion

My name is Danforth Lion. Most people just call me Dandy. I live here in Norfolk Botanical Garden because it is such a great place for someone like me. It is the perfect environment for me to grow, there are lots of fantastic plants for me to hang out with and I get to see a lot of interesting people. Unfortunately there are some people who don’t like me much – namely the gardeners who work here. They are always trying to get rid of me, but I just move around. You never know where I will pop up. I am starting this blog so you can get to know me a little better, but mostly so I can tell you about all the neat things I see happening here at the Garden. It is amazing how much stuff goes on around here. Plus I can share all the gossip about the other plants that live here. A little about me. I am a fairly short fellow – I stand around 4 inches tall. I have lots of green leaves and I really like to get my feet dirty – I dig my toes as deep into the ground as I can. Like many Americans, my ancestors came from Europe. They came over with early colonists – in fact they came as an invited guest. I think it was because they were pretty good in the kitchen – you know, making salads and wine for example. In the 20th century, when everyone started getting excited about having pretty grass lawns people started calling us names like “weed” and kicking us out. It kind of hurts. At least some people like us still – mostly kids. I think they really like the older folks with the white fluffy hair. Anyway, we are a . . . Uh-oh! Here comes someone from the grounds staff so I gotta go. Talk to you later


Odd Couples

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials, Trees.

By Dandy Lion I had a dream the other night that I was walking through the Garden. People usually dream about flying, but for a plant, walking is just as fantastical. Anyway, I was walking through the Garden, enjoying all the wonderful plants.  Suddenly I stopped, because something seemed odd.  I noticed two plants that…

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Forbidden Gardens

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials, Shrubs.

By Dandy Lion As the days start to shorten, plenty of plants are telling us that fall is here.  Ornamental grasses explode like fireworks, berries ripen for the birds, sasanqua camellias begin to bloom and mums create vibrant mounds in the Garden.  Actually a chrysanthemum’s bloom date is not determined by cool weather or a…

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Busy as a Bee

Posted by & filed under Perennials.

by Dandy Lion Sometimes we get so busy in life we forget to take the time to appreciate what is around us.  A short walk through the Garden can always change that.  During a stroll through the tropical garden, you might casually notice a beautiful passion flower.  But take a little extra time and really…

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Fun Guys

Posted by & filed under Natural Areas, Perennials.

I went to the woods today, but not deliberately.  I’m not such a Thoreau thinker – the wind just blew me there.  (Actually to be more reflective about my movements, I should be walled-in.)  While in the woods I met a bunch of fun guys.  They were definitely very interesting and you don’t get to…

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Sunrise at the Garden

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Natural Areas, Perennials.

Have you ever wondered what the Garden is like when no people are here?  It is not quite a “Night at the Museum” scenario, but pretty close.  Let’s just say I am not at liberty to discuss details.  However, a small group of people got to see the Garden this morning at sunrise and had…

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Humming Along

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

by Dandy Lion I’ve spent the last week or so in the Hummingbird Garden and have enjoyed my time here very much.  Of course, the purpose of this garden located behind the education wing is to showcase plants that will attract hummingbirds to your garden.  For me, it has been a good place to hide. …

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Water Hoarding

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

Thanks to hot temperatures and infrequent rains, the gardeners have really had to work hard to keep the plants watered and healthy these last few weeks.  Given our adversarial relationship, normally I would laugh at their misfortune. Instead, since my thirsty roots benefit as much as their targeted plants, I am thankful for all their…

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A Cut Above

Posted by & filed under Annuals, Perennials.

Have you ever done something that you know is such a bad idea or so dangerous it defies common sense, yet you are compelled to try it anyway?  I guess that’s how thrill seekers live much of their life.  Well yesterday I went and did that crazy thing and this week we’ll see how well…

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Supporting Cast

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

The butterfly house opens this weekend and there should plenty of fun for anyone interested in spotting these flying masterpieces.  This year the house is filled with a larger variety of butterflies, all native to this region.  There are large ones like the swallowtails.  Six different swallowtails will make an appearance this year – the…

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Shady Characters

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

Have you ever noticed most of our theme gardens that feature perennials are in sunny spots?  The Sarah Lee Baker perennial, sensory, butterfly, hummingbird, sunken, fragrance, Matson, border, and colonial gardens as well as the wildflower meadow all enjoy long exposures to that glorious fireball in the sky.  Many of my good friends can be…

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