I just love flowers. All flowers – even those that are considered “weeds”. It doesn’t really matter what color – even beautiful green foliage is a flower in my book. They can be the “wild” variety or hybrids so cultivated they have names a mile long. Doesn’t matter – I love flowers.
I spent an hour or so last week with Cathy in the gardens below the Grand Hotel. We strolled around the pool area, then visited the Rose Walk and shade garden. The flowers and greenery were so vibrant that we felt as though we had found Dorothy’s Yellow Brick Road and entered the Wizard of Oz movie during the scene where everything changes from black and white to glorious Technicolor.
You know by now that I don’t know flower names, and even though Cathy is going to try and help me out here, I’m sure we will be naming something incorrectly (where IS that Mary when I need her!). Anyway, here we go . . .
Cathy was hoping the peonies would still be blooming profusely at the Grand, but they had just passed their peak. Nevertheless, we found a few blossoms that would still win prizes in a peony flower show.
It seems the theme was "shades of pink, purple, and white" in the beds along the white fence that enclosed the pool area.
Happy little zinnias were smiling everywhere.
I believe this is Victoria Blue Salvia.
I remember this type of Lantana growing in my grandmother's garden in Georgia. My Lantana in Georgia is yellow, but this pink and yellow variety has always been my favorite.
I don't know the name of this delicate pink blossom, but I sure thought it was lovely. Perhaps it's simply a peony that had reached middle age.
The poolhouse of the Grand Hotel is nestled into a grove of trees and surrounded by gardens.
The Rose Walk stretches from the pool area up to the steps that carry you to the portico where guests disembark from taxis and carriages.
John Cabot Climbing Roses entwine the rustic lamp posts along the walk. Note to self: Slip down the hill one evening and photograph the glowing lamps after night has fallen.
I believe this is a Care-Free Beauty Rose.
I never thought it could be possible, but the shade garden is even more lush this summer than it was when I photographed it last August. The Hostas are unbelievable!
Again, clueless. I bet my reader Jeff knows what every one of these plants are.
Cathy - admiring the gardens.
One stray Day Lily among the green and purple.
"Cathy," I said. "The leaves on this plant look like Geranium leaves." Cathy gave me a look that said, "Will you get a grip!" But she didn't know what it was either.
Profuse foliage and flowers overlooking white benches.
The Grand pool, where the vintage film "This Time for Keeps" was filmed (Esther Williams) is just over this white fence.
A peek into the pool house.
A beautiful shaded path back to Cadotte Avenue.
As we walked down the trail, Cathy remarked, "Isn't it amazing that just yards from one of the most elegant hotels in the world, you almost feel as though you're walking through a primeval forest."
The Grand Lady on the Hill.
Cathy and Charlie are leaving Monday morning, and I’ll be writing this week about the rest of their visit with us. You’ll be getting more than photos this week, so come on back Tuesday for lots more stories. Please keep these two in your prayers as they travel back to New Orleans. They sure have enjoyed the wonderful cool weather we’ve had – although the last two days have been pretty warm. It’s all relative though – 80 is a lot cooler than 102! We always so enjoy their visits, and we look forward to them coming back next summer!
See you tomorrow!