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


Magical Plants

Posted by & filed under Shrubs.

Well the summer heat was turned on last week, so I decided to do my best magic trick by disappearing into the shade.  I’m not very good at magic, so I decided it is time to learn from the masters. I headed for the Hydrangea Garden.  Besides, it’s pretty shady there which always helps me…

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Out of Sync

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Trees.

The beautiful thing about this Garden is something is always in bloom; something is always interesting to see.  Of course, each part of the garden has its moment when it is at its best.    The Rose Garden is bursting with color right now.  Mirror Lake is ablaze in April when the azaleas are blooming.  The…

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Dangerous Plants on the Loose

Posted by & filed under Natural Areas, Perennials.

There is something dangerous in the Garden.  I’m not talking about the gardeners, although I think they are very dangerous too. At least for me they are. I’ve heard they can be nice to people visiting, but I’ve never had that experience with them, so I can only tell you what I know. No the…

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The Sweet Spot

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Shrubs.

I think I’ve found a pretty good spot to hide from the gardeners.  It is a little counterintuitive because I am hiding in the Garden’s most popular spot at the moment – the Bicentennial Rose Garden.  Why?  Because most people are dazzled by the overwhelming rainbow of colors that is about waist high.  Why should…

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Running To My Roots

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

Spring in the Garden can get very crazy.  Flowers are blossoming, people are coming, lots of things are happening.  That is great for the visitors and the beloved plants, but for those of us who have the misfortune of being labeled a weed, it can get a bit scary.  The gardeners seem to be extra…

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Worth the Wait

Posted by & filed under Trees.

Sitting in the flowering arboretum right now, I realize this is a fantastic year for spring flowering magnolias.  This is really good for me since most people will walk around looking up and not down at me and all my brothers and sisters in full bloom.  Hopefully the gardeners will do just that. The glorious…

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Which Hazel

Posted by & filed under Shrubs.

Have you ever had that problem where you look at someone and you know their face, but you can’t remember their name?  It happened to me the other day.  Not with a person, but with a plant.  It’s quite embarrassing.  Of course, with plants I have a better excuse than those of you who forget…

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Love and Flowers

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

Valentine’s Day is around the corner.  It is a time when lots of guys try to impress the sweethearts in their lives with flowers and candy.  Of course I think flowers are great, but I am not so sure that decapitating a bunch of roses and handing them to your girlfriend is really all that…

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Snow Daze

Posted by & filed under Natural Areas, Trees.

Snow last week.  Snow on the way.  After years of almost no white stuff falling from the sky, the Garden is in a snow daze.  The winter weather is unusual, but not unwelcome as far as I am concerned.  Snow is a pretty good insulator for many plants and it makes the Garden very beautiful. …

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Winter Vacation

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

I’m a little tired of winter right now.  What I want is a little tropical vacation.  Of course, I can’t fly south for the winter – TSA would not like the fact that I can’t take any shoes off and all the birds I know that go that way have already left.  So instead, I…

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