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


Blustery Day

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Perennials.

Last weekend I picked up my roots and headed to the Sarah Lee Baker Perennial Garden. With the arrival of all the wind this week, I think I made a great decision. Today a nor’easter must be coming through. The yaupon hedge surrounding the garden is perfect protection for a little guy like me and…

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Kaleidoscopes

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

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks in the Butterfly Garden and the Wildflower Meadow.  Like a kaleidoscope, wherever you turn you will see a variety of beautiful colors in an ever changing pattern.  Zinnias in shades of pink, red, yellow and orange; Pentas in white, lavender and red; purple gomphrena; deep orange firecracker plant;…

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We Are The Summer Champions

Posted by & filed under Annuals, Formal Gardens.

After having a nice two week vacation in the tropics (Tropical Garden, that is) I headed north.  I stopped in the All-America Selections garden, near NATO Bridge.  Last spring this area was filled with flowering tulips, but now some winners of the All-America Selections are commanding the space. The All-America Selections is a long running…

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Vacation in the Tropics

Posted by & filed under Annuals, Perennials, Shrubs.

August is the month for vacations so I wanted to go see some new plants and get away from the gardeners.  I headed to the Tropical Garden yesterday.  Since I am from a more temperate region, tropicals are not plants I know well and I feel very much like a tourist here.  Unfortunately there are…

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Food for Thought

Posted by & filed under Annuals, Formal Gardens.

It is funny how two different random events can start you acting on a completely new idea. I was sitting in the AAS beds the other day and saw a parent pointing out some of the vegetables to their child and the child seemed totally amazed how the vegetable was growing in the ground.  It…

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Blaze of Glory

Posted by & filed under Annuals, Formal Gardens.

I am in the Sensory Garden today.  It’s a nice spot – lots of pretty flowers, plenty of people walking by and most important of all, irrigation.  Having been in the Butterfly Garden recently and now here, I have had a chance to spend some time with many of the summer annuals.  I like having…

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What’s in a Name

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Trees.

I was in the arboretum yesterday and I ran into some old friends who are blooming very nicely.  One is the crape myrtle and the other is the loblolly bay.  While I was visiting with them I noticed these plants are both named for people (that is – the Latin name), while the common name…

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The Arrival of Summer

Posted by & filed under Formal Gardens, Shrubs.

Wow!  I have been so busy this last month I haven’t had time to write.  As spring rolled into summer, I found myself visiting a lot of different friends in a lot of different gardens.  The Japanese Garden has been beautiful as the iris and lotus create colorful splashes in the wonderfully serene garden.  The…

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A Matter of Perception

Posted by & filed under Annuals, Perennials.

I need an agent. I’ve come to this conclusion after a few more weeks on the run.  Let me back up and explain. A few weeks ago I was hiding in the trial beds as happy as could be.  Along came a gardener working hard to get rid of the weeds, so it was time…

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On The Run

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

WOW!  I’m sorry I’ve not been able to write lately, but I’ve been on the run for the last several weeks.  I thought with only two eagles in the garden (and now a smaller third), I wouldn’t have much worry about being spotted, but I didn’t count on the eagle eyes of this gardening staff. …

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