Mom and Sue picked me up at 8:30 this morning and we began our 3½-hour journey to Cleveland. Though the Northeast Ohio Environmental Awards and reception preceding them - the reason we were going there - didn't begin until 5:30 in the evening, we had a few other things planned, so we needed the early start to our day.
About an hour after our journey began, we were driving through Waterville, Ohio and decided to stop at George Carruth's studio, Garden Smiles. Mom and I have been here many times before, but Sue had not. George Carruth is the creator of those whimsical stone pieces you've seen in many garden centers. I have a few of them in my own gardens and home. His home store in Waterville sells seconds as well as first quality pieces and you can find new pieces there that are not yet in the catalog.
We walked around the corner to Joe Cooper Florist, where I always manage to find something I can't live without. Today it was a metal wind chime featuring a flower. We then continued on our way to Cleveland via the Ohio Turnpike and Interstate 80, stopping near Avon to eat lunch at Cracker Barrel.
Avon . . . hmmmm. Mom and I got 'that look' in our eyes when we both realized the Petitti's we'd visited in May was located within view of the interstate and was only two exits further up the road. We decided to stop in, even though we'd planned to visit their Strongsville store tomorrow. I mean, how could we just go on by, being that close?
After spending about an hour and a half browsing the store and making some purchases (Aster alpinus 'White Beauty', Coreopsis 'Autumn Blush', Digitalis obscura 'Sunset', and Dendranthema grandiflorum 'Bolero'), we then went on to Cleveland Botanical Gardens. We had about an hour to tour the gardens before we needed to change our clothes for the Environmental Awards cocktail reception being held at the gardens prior to the awards ceremony.
The reception started at 5:30 and was held on the pavilion just outside the main building. Hors d'œuvre were served as well as drinks while we mingled, listening to live music and hearing from Natalie Ronayne, Executive Director of Cleveland Botanical Gardens as well as Bruce Klink, President of Dominion East Ohio. Dominion is the sponsor of the awards, along with the Biodiversity Alliance, which consists of Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Following the reception, we walked across Wade Oval to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where the awards ceremony took place in Murch Auditorium. Mom and Sue accepted the Honorable Mention Award ($500 and a framed botanical print) on behalf of the Van Wert Master Gardeners. We then heard a very interesting talk about Caribbean Sea Turtles by Karen Eckert, Ph.D. She was available for questions and book signing following the awards ceremony.
The Museum was open for us to browse, as was the Ralph Mueller Observatory. I'd never been in an observatory before, so I was excited about getting to see this. We viewed a couple of unique star formations through the 108-year-old refracting telescope, originally located on the roof of Case Western Reserve University's physics building.
We finally made it to our hotel room in Independence half an hour after leaving the Museum and ready for a good night's sleep following a full day. There's more planned for tomorrow, including meeting a fellow garden blogger for the first time!
Gate in Hershey Children's Garden
Giant Frog in Hershey Children's Garden
A Cat Visits the Restorative Garden
Tuscan Wall and Entrance to The Restorative Garden
Reflecting Pool and Fountain
Mom and Sue by the placard highlighting
the Van Wert Master Gardeners
Mom and I enjoy our Diet Cokes
Monarch Update: Romie reports there is still no butterfly emerging yet and that the chrysalis still appears the same.