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


The Ides of March

Posted by & filed under Natural Areas, Perennials.

“Beware the Ides of March” So the soothsayer warned Julius Caesar and that gloomy forecast went well with today – at least as far as the weather was concerned.  A cold soggy gray day kept most folks away and the Garden was left mostly to us plants.  The quiet is a nice respite – I…

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Naked Beauty

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

Signs of spring are here, but winter has not released its hold yet.  Mild days intermingle with cold days and it is easy to see why people can get sick in the changing weather.  Fortunately I don’t have sinuses so that’s not a worry for me, but the gardeners sure are.  They seem to be…

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Party in Pink

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Shrubs.

I spent the weekend in the Camellia Garden, enjoying a wonderful Valentine’s Day party.  Hundreds of camellias were there and most of them were all decked out in their party clothes, ready to have some fun.  They were all wearing shades of pink, red and white.  I felt really out of place, dressed in just…

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Hiding in Plain Sight

Posted by & filed under Shrubs, Trees.

It’s another glorious weekend and I’ve been enjoying the conifer garden – hiding in plain sight.  It’s a little odd for me to be here since I have so little in common with all the conifers. I flower, they don’t.  They are wind pollinated, I need bees (and bees need me – don’t forget that). …

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Tough Guys of Winter

Posted by & filed under Shrubs.

It’s been pretty cold lately.  Bark peeling cold if you ask the paperbark maple in the Winter Garden.  I think he’s just exaggerating – that bark always peels no matter what the temperature.  It’s just a complaint to gain some sympathy.  But it has been leaf-curling, flower-browning, pond freezing cold. The camellia flowers in full…

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A Trip to Japan

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Natural Areas.

Today is a lovely rainy day.  The Garden is quiet with only a handful of visitors enjoying the damp envrions.  I have spent the last few days in the Japanese Garden.   This is a great place to avoid gardeners at this time of year.  Some are busy setting up lights and displays all over…

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Fall Foliage – Finally!

Posted by & filed under Annuals, Natural Areas, Trees.

Fall came to the Garden this week.  Yes, we’ve had some cooler weather for a while and a few trees here and there had some leaves turning color, but the autumn season seemed a little lackluster.  Then, with all the cool damp weather this past week, the color started coming out on the trees.  I…

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Halloween Comes Early

Posted by & filed under Annuals.

What a scary couple of weeks!  A couple of  Saturdays ago, I was all set to enjoy a nice relaxing birthday.  All of a sudden there came a huge crowd of people for something one of them called a “Pull and Plant” day.  For some folks, Halloween is the time for all things scary, but…

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens.

Tomorrow is my birthday.  I am always grateful for that nice honeybee that introduced my father to my mother.  Without her help, my parents would never have gotten together.  Along with my brothers and sisters, I was conceived here in the Garden and ‘Ecuador’have enjoyed my entire life here.  So far, it’s been great.  The…

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A Berry Beautiful Garden

Posted by & filed under Natural Areas.

After I dried out from all the wetness of last week, I moved to the Matson Garden.  It’s only a short walk for most people and the journey is not that bad for me as well.  I’m not going to tell you how I move, because you might tell a gardener and then ruin my…

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