Weekend Break

I think a lot, if not most, bloggers pause from writing on weekends. I do, but not because Saturday and Sunday is any different than Wednesday or Monday (I commented on this last Friday). Lots of summer activities are scheduled for weekends, just so those of you who are off then can get a chance to get out and enjoy whatever it is you happen to enjoy. My wife and I love gardening, and summer is mainly for that activity. We might complain about being a taxi service for teens when we’d rather visit a botanical garden, or work in our own, but we know they’ll leave the nest soon enough (much too soon to our liking) so we run them here and there.

Yesterday, she and I took a short trip south to Pittsburgh for a tomato and garlic festival at Phipps Conservatory. To get in, all you needed to do was bring along a sack or two of fresh produce from your garden. So we gathered a quart of cherry tomatoes and six gigantic heirlooms and took them in.

We were a little disappointed not to see a prominent display of heirlooms or garlic laid out anywhere, but local chef Chris Noonan appeased us with a demonstration and a taste of his delicious “Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho.” I’m not into ethnic foods, I suppose it might have a little to do with being a southerner, but Mr. Noonan whipped up a fine batch of tomato juice/soup that would please anyone’s palate no matter what part of the country you’re from.

And of course there’s the gorgeous display of flowers and plants at every turn. I’ve yet to purchase a polarized filter for my camera and yesterday’s sunshine was exceptionally bright, so please overlook the whiteout in some parts of the photographs. Some time back Phipps had Dale Chihuly create glass sculptures for a display that ran through the winter. I never got around to seeing it, but thankfully, Mr. Chihuly donated some pieces that are on display now.

The man’s a genius in my opinion, but then I’m a lover of such things as can’t be described. And how can you describe Chihuly’s work? (Forgive my subjectivity.)

This last photo came out pretty good, you can see the Pitt Tower in the background, the low growing plants are coleus Solenostenom scutellarioides ‘The Flume,’ and I’m pretty sure the gorgeous dark purple, larger plants are some variety of Colocasia esculenta, perhaps ‘Black Magic.’

If you live near a botanical garden, arboretum, or conservatory, plan on visiting soon and don’t wait for the weekend if you can help it.

I’ve been meaning to say that I’m a huge fan of music, practically all genres except country (bluegrass IS NOT country). I get NPR’s “All Songs Considered” newsletter, today’s included the “Top 10 ’80s Pop Songs.” It brought back a lot of memories, good and bad. Starting now, I’ll try to include something relating to music with each post. Who knows, you may even catch one of my performances here.

By TC Conner

Pro hobbyist photographer, drone enthusiast, musician, husband and father.

10 replies on “Weekend Break”

I missed the Chihuly exhibit but now that I know there are a few pieces there, I will have to make a trip down to Phipps.

Oh yes! I heard about this garden and the glass sculpture artist at a Perennial Plant Society meeting last year! Wow, such a small world and great pictures. Sounds like fun and that you and your wife both love gardening.

A tomato and garlic festival! Two of my favorite foods. 🙂 Yes, I’m part Italian.Of course bluegrass isn’t country, although I like both (if the country isn’t whiny) and your band the other night was my favorite of the whole evening!I look forward to your music knowledge. Borders in the mall now has a big Top Singles book on clearance for $6. Picked one up today — research. 😉

T: I’d love to go there. And I’d bet a Yankee dime it’ll happen with you and Amy as my guides. MMD: Fitting description. I’d love having a piece of his art in my garden.RandL: We grew, ‘Hillbilly,’ Brandywine, ‘Mr. Stripey,’ ‘Cherokee Purble,’ and ‘Potato Top,'(‘Potato Top’ is a Pittsburgh heirloom). They’re all producing now. I have to limit myself or I’d grow way too many.

Ah, another heirloom tomato lover. I grew a limited number this year. Usually I have 5-6 heirlooms. I make sure to always grow Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, and Black Krim.Marnie

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