May 30th, 2015

Pink Poppies, Oh My!

Being a volunteer at the Garden means you sometimes get the best view of the blooms.  Plus, you have an insider’s perspective on the Garden. When horticulture volunteer Hillary Liddick emailed me earlier this week she was so cute.

Pink poppy and bee

Honey bee on a poppy bloom

“My husband got me a way-too-fancy camera for my birthday this month, so I’m trying to put it to good use,” she says humbly. But I know how hard it is to get a shot like this. Being a volunteer makes it easier to be in the right place at the right time, but poppies are tall leggy things, and even just the slightest wind gets them going this way and that. All of a sudden focusing is not so easy with a moving target. Plus, you’ve got the whole bee-factor. The thing about bees is they love to buzz from flower to flower, never staying very long on any one. Looks like Liddick had no trouble at all getting the shot though.

Liddick has been volunteering at the Garden since November 2014. She says, “I get to help Shannon [Smith] in the Asian Valley on Fridays. It’s a wonderful day to volunteer because I get to hang out with a group of ladies who have been working together for many, many years. And Shannon is always teaching me about the plants, the tools and the art of garden maintenance.” Notice how she says get to help. I would say that I am surprised, but I’m not, because this is how many of our 600 volunteers are. Just simply happy to be here and give back to the community and a place that they love.  How lucky are we!?

Photographer’s secret: Liddick took this photo in the demonstration area of Community Kitchen Garden where there is a large patch of poppies we grow each year to harvest the seedpods for Dominion GardenFest of Lights and to harvest a supply of seeds for the following year. It’s located behind the Conservatory, to the left, and you are welcome to visit. (The main production area of the CKG is further down the path, behind the Massey Greenhouse). The best part of all is that there’s a pathway in the bed where you can walk to get up close to the blooms. In the Garden you don’t have that advantage, since we ask visitors never to step into the beds.

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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