Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Holiday Road Trip Part 2

Yes, we have Thanksgiving at an off-road vehicle park. Lots of people did. I sure do like to get free and muddy, but as it turns out, a 4-wheel motorcycle making sounds of intestinal distress isn’t my cup of tea, or rather, can of Bud. Doesn’t matter. It is tradition now for cousins, aunts and uncles to converge there in the cabins down by the creek with sugary white sand beaches.

Curiously named Red Creek has white sand.

My cousins own Red Creek Offroad. There is no gardening to speak of, but the woods are full of trees and shrubs that have made the landscaping bigtime, so I find it interesting to see them at free range.

Huckleberry or farkleberry or something Vaccinium is in foreground.
Berries tasted not so great.

Going home (50,000 calories richer)...

Isn’t it terrific to find a world class gem somewhere unexpected?
Right off the interstate and behind the Wallmart in Picayune, Mississippi, is the Crosby Arboretum. (My mother’s people are from nearby Poplarville.) I went there for the trees, vaguely aware there was something else there in the woods.

The Prairie Style gateways and notice board, and nicely constructed bridgeways were clues that resolved in a splendid pond-side pavilion designed by the late Fay Jones.I assume it was mentioned in a May 2007 article in Landscape Architecture magazine, but I forgot about that. What I remember from the article is that people walking around on site have asked the staff, So where is the arboretum? The plants are Mississippi natives in their own wild habitat, and that is the intent of the Crosby Arboretum. Some people can’t see the trees for the forest.

The structure of the pavilion speaks softly of a weathered barn gradually coming apart.

We were given a bag of pellets for the pondlife. Turtles were a no-show; hibernating. In the main pond, perch came up, looked hard at the floating pellets, and left. They were sick of pellets. In the backwaters of the pond the fish were not so choosy.

Canted benches—so you don’t roll into the water by accident if you are asleep, the Husband says.

Vistas came and went around the pond, like a Japanese stroll garden. In fact, even without a stalk of bamboo, this was more of a Japanese garden than the Jungle Gardens (see Part 1) with its various Asian decorations.

There were other sections left unvisited, such as a large meadow called the pitcher plant bog. Prospects of lunch down in New Orleans, just an hour’s drive away, got pretty hard to ignore.
From there on, the trip was roads and restaurants--too tangential for this garden blog.

Leaves from a red maple / Acer rubrum

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