Plants on Vacation

August 10, 2018

By: Barb Holtz

Actually, I was the the traveler, not the plants. Mid-July, my husband and I skipped across the "pond" to Edinburgh, Scotland. While our main focus was a little golf outing called The Open, we took in many a site in the nation's capital. The Royal Botanic Garden is a wonderland of flora for those locals seeking respite and beauty to visitors seeking immersion in one of the world's top gardens, like me.

My husband deserves a medal for his hours of patience as I rattled off genera and phrases like, "See that? I planted that in our yard but the native one." I snapped photos of American native plants like a proud parent whose kid was studying abroad. I marveled at how different species of the same genus could present such a different face when the only difference was country of origin.

The manicured and wildly tamed areas of RBC fed both sides of my brain. Neat and tidy versus free and unkempt. I darted from ID tag to ID tag as if looking for a friend at a reunion. Felt royal in the Queen Mother's garden. Stood drenched in the aroma of blooms around this corner or that. While the sheer size and artistry of the garden mesmerized this plant nerd, I still longed for my patch of home soil. To see how the Ohio Prairie Nursery prairie changed in my absence.

Sense of place grounds us. Sense of place is witnessed in people, buildings, sounds smells and wildlife. We know where we are from and even when we are away, a glimpse of the familiar calls us home. Here are a few postcard images for you to enjoy.

Dense Blazingstar and Brown-eyed Susan far from home in the Royal Botanic Garden.
Dense Blazingstar and Brown-eyed Susan far from home in the Royal Botanic Garden.
An eryngium at home in France, Italy and southwestern Alps appears much more teasel-like than our native Rattlesnake Master.
Purple Loosestrife, the blight in our wild areas but at home in its native Europe and Asia.