Monday, February 27, 2012

Lewis Ginter BOGO

A great winter time deal at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia goes through the end of February.  Yesterday my husband and I enjoyed a day roaming the gardens for half off.

I love gardens no matter what time of year it is.  Lewis Ginter shows off their plantings best features year round.  My husbands favorite plant was a massive Loblolly Pine back in the Dwarf Conifer section.  I went to see the Daffodils.  It was a bit early but there were some early blooming varieties that were quite lovely.  Especially a patch of miniature yellows with a cup no larger than my pinky fingernail.

Also showing interest were multicolored Hellebore's, pink Cherry trees, Witch Hazel, Magnolia, various berried plants and shrubs, Daffodils, and Crocus,   Winter allows visitors to better view a variety of birds not only in the garden but in the ponds and lakes.  There were some beautiful Geese enjoying diving for fish and floating gracefully.  The Conservatory, a relatively new element at Lewis Ginter, is always in full bloom.  Currently showing are lovely displays of spring bulbs and a wing full of incredible Orchids.

There were also two impressive exhibits, one inside and one outside.  In the Library, Seeing Trees: Photographs by Robert Llewellyn (the last day was Sunday) and outside behind the Conservatory the massive,  Diamonds in the Rough stick sculpture by Patrick Dougherty; a Meadowmorphosis.  Children were especially enjoying the outside exhibit.

We had a relaxing day once again at Lewis Ginter.  This Tuesday the discussion will continue in Charlottesville concerning the possible addition of a Botanical Garden to McIntire East.  Let's hope it's a major part of this City owned park land.  Check out my NEW Garden Lovers Calendar on my blog for upcoming Charlottesville gardening related events.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Seed Deals

It's that time of year again to plan your vegetable garden or grow a few flowers!  It's quite difficult to not notice all the colorful seed packets that have once again appeared at your local hardware or home improvement store.

I discovered a few good seed deals this week.  Walgreen's has 5 packets of American Seed for $1.00.  You can't go wrong with that.  I purchased Zucchini, Chives, Zinnia, Radish, and Cilantro.  I also stopped in Kmart to find some Vermiculite (which they didn't have) and noticed 40% off all NK Seeds.  They have a bizillion varieties.  Lots of herbs, wildflower mixes and more unusual varieties.  It's all I can do to not buy more seed.  I have a big stash from the Monticello Fall Harvest seed exchange.  I have plenty - MAKE ME STOP.  I have to really rein it in.  There is no way I can manage all these plants!

I'm an addict.

Bad Chicken !
Happy Spring - apparently it is HERE... 70 degrees today.  Off to try and stop my Little Moltie (the roaming chicken) from digging up my front flower bed!!!!  At least I have replacement seed on hand.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dump Finds / Cabinet Makeover

Discarded mod collage table at the Encore Shop
Last week I took a trip out to our capped landfill.  While there I always check out the cool "last chance" store.  Formally known as the Encore Shop at the Ivy Materials Utilization Center.  It can be very hit or miss.  But sometimes I just get lucky and hit it right.

A sea of lawn mowers at the Encore Shop
You never know what you will find there - usually not much - but sometimes good "slightly worn" but salvageable items. 

This last trip I found a great retro yellow filing cabinet, two wonderful antique concrete planters, a pair of shutters, a huge mailbox in great shape, and a little record stand from the 60's.  Unbelievably, it all cost me $30.00.  I've seen the concrete planters over $30.00 each!  I spent several days working on freshing up the Record Stand.

Every now and then I get a creative burst of energy so here is my refinishing job of the record stand or should I say "our"... my husband did all the detailed parts.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Local Healthy Deal

DO IT - DO IT - DO IT - says my Mockingbird.
Last week I decided to finally drop by the new Charlottesville City operated Smith Aquatic and Fitness Center.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover not only a great pool but a gym and exercise class offerings.  I was allowed to look around and was given a few free passes to test the waters - literally!

What I like about the center is that you can sign up for a month at at time, there is an annual pass option but it seems staying with a gym program is never easy so go for the one month initially.  You can also buy a day pass but this is the least cost effective method.

Of course a great deal is what actually got me in gear to go check it out.  There is currently a buy one month get one month free deal.  It's even sweeter if you live in the City of Charlottesville or if you get a friend or family to join with you.  This deal expires on SUNDAY - February 12th so don't procrastinate!

U C H I C K E N ?  cluck cluck - says Little Moltie.
I checked out the 29N ACAC but the pool water was frigid but they did have a jacuzzi (which was wonderful).  That is the only con about the Smith Center - no jacuzzi (darn it) but they have the water temperature set perfectly and it is very clean. 

I really enjoyed the beginners Yoga and they also offer Water Aerobics for various health and experience levels, and Pilates.  I love Pilates using an exercise band - it gives you resistance that you do not get from swimming laps in a pool.  I've been swimming now for 10 years.  It really makes a difference in how you feel!

Get off your can and just GO FOR IT.  If you don't swim, there are plenty of other options - weights and classes.

If you are currently not a member of any local health club, this is a great trial deal.

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