Wednesday I got to spend the day with one of my favorite people in the world, the lovely Ann. I can’t even believe it had been over two years since we saw each other last. Ann is one of those great people that when you get together, two years feels like two weeks. Of course, many things have happened in both our lives since we saw each other last, but we slipped easily into meandering conversations and it was just wonderful.

Giant bird nest at the Morris Arboretum

Ann is talented in many ways, but plants are definitely one of her passions. It was so nice to see the grounds at her house. Of course, as the master of the garden Ann saw the needs-to-be-done parts, but as a visitor I just saw the lush and lovely garden beds and calming forest that she has created.

We chatted for a while at her home (absolutely beautiful and inspiring, by the way. What great artwork! What fabulous personality! Something magical tucked into every nook and cranny.) and then headed over to the Morris Arboretum. I’ve been there before, for a friends wedding ages ago and then again with Chris back in 2010. Going with someone who knows about plants is a completely different experience though. Ann was a fantastic guide, and I learned more than I can remember. Ann and I both love the fernery, so despite the heat we spent some time in there, watching the fish and enjoying the lushness of it. I think it was half under construction when I saw it last- looks lovely now.

The fernery

The whole arboretum is pretty amazing. I think my second favorite area to the fernery was the Japanese hill and water garden by the swan pond. I think I must have completely missed it last time I was there. Walking up to it isn’t too impressive, but once you’ve wound your way inside, the slight mounding and statues tucked away transport you to another place. Would have been even lovelier if the caretakers hadn’t been mowing around the swan pond, but I suppose the constant care is why the arboretum looks so good!

My walk with Ann in the heat has reminded me that while working at home and freelancing, I need to make sure to take advantage of the time I have to just Get Outside. It is hard when you’re so used to being locked in an edit room, staring at a computer all day. I find myself doing the same thing now, and getting a little stir-crazy during the day. Perhaps it would be different if I lived in a house with windows overlooking green expanses- South Philly sidewalks and concrete yards aren’t nearly as enticing. Ah, but the greenery isn’t that far away and despite the muggy awfulness that has descended on Philadelphia these last few weeks, if I’m not on site at a job I need to be spending more time in the sun.

Trumpety flowers that belong on Mars