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


Posted by & filed under Perennials, Trees.

I left the hollies right after the dusting of snow on Saturday night.  I like the hollies and all, but sometimes their personalities are a little too prickly for me.  I headed over to the Rose Garden and have been enjoying the sunshine during the day and the lights during the night.  In the evenings,…

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Holly Days

Posted by & filed under Shrubs, Trees.

As we approach the winter solstice, I decided to visit some of my winter friends.  I am across the road from the children’s garden, safely hiding under the branches of a holly tree.  A good prickly tree like this should discourage the gardeners from looking for me here. This is a good time of year…

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Transition to Winter

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

This week I am hiding in the Transition Garden.  Appropriate since we are finally making the seasonal change to winter – on the calendar, with the weather and with the types of plants that are now most interesting.  With a few exceptions, fall foliage is almost over and the stars of winter are starting to…

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Necessary Roughness

Posted by & filed under Natural Areas, Trees.

Let me just start by saying I am not a fan of pine trees right now.  As many of you know (and probably experienced) we had a pretty strong nor’easter last week.  The Garden, just like a lot of other places in this region, was hit pretty hard, losing over 40 large trees and quite…

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Veterans in the Garden

Posted by & filed under Trees.

Today is Veterans Day – a time to honor the many men and women who served our country in the military.  I also want to take the opportunity to recognize some the great veterans of our Garden. The Garden’s oldest “veteran” would be the beautiful white oak standing guard on the north-eastern side of Cobblestone…

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Overlooking Great Fall Color

Posted by & filed under Perennials, Shrubs, Trees.

When people talk about fall color, they think about bright yellows, oranges and reds lighting up grand trees like maples, hickories and oaks.  A visitor to our Garden will certainly see these brilliant trees and many others.  This year, the autumn colors are gradually progressing through the landscape, lighting up a tree here and there. …

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Scary Times in the Garden

Posted by & filed under Natural Areas, Perennials, Shrubs, Trees.

Halloween is less than a week away and quite a few plants are ready.  Let’s go on a whirlwind tour of the Garden and finds some scary plants. First there are the plants that have creepy names – or at least evoke a creepy feeling.Spiderwort – This spring bloomer has pretty little flowers and long…

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Making Sense of this Garden

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

After a few days, the spider lilies started to creep me out, so I left the Japanese Garden in search of a new place.  I ended up in the Sensory Garden in front of the education building.  This is a good spot for people watching – most folks walk by this garden on the way…

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Posted by & filed under Perennials.

Today I am hiding out with some friends right behind the guide hut at the bottom of the Japanese Garden.  The red spider lilies are standing on the edge of the road, screaming to be seen while I sit quietly behind them.  This is their time for some attention, so I will let them have…

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