Archive for July, 2016


Living in Austin and growing up in Phoenix, I had never been exposed to hostas. My first introduction was the Garden Bloggers Fling in Portland, OR two years ago. I immediately fell in love. If I didn’t have several Austinites convincing me that they just won’t grow here, I would have wasted countless dollars by now, purchasing and repurchasing these lush, leafy beauties.

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I had the pleasure of attending the 9th Annual Garden Bloggers Fling this month. Although I suffered with a stomach bug for a good chunk of the trip , I was still able to enjoy some  beautiful gardens, visit with some incredible people, and take a ton of photos. I missed one day and had to take it easy the other two, but I’ll still post about some of my favorite gardens.


The first garden we visited was Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. Eloise Butler was a teacher near the turn of the century and upon her death donated this beautiful garden. Those caring for the garden have done a great job of making it look completely natural and native.

Many of the wildflowers in the prairie garden were similar to what we have in Austin. The big difference was the height. Where our plants struggle with our lack of rain, and exist as small shrubs, in Minneapolis these same flowers towered over us. There were times you couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of you.

After the prairie garden, we had the chance to stroll through the woodland garden. Here they let fallen trees lie in place, providing habitats for wildlife. I also couldn’t help but snap a picture of the geometric structure on this bridge.


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State 6 – Idaho

Idaho is a beautiful state, filled with rivers and mountains. Originally the plan was to just drive through, but a change in schedule had  us stay the night in Pocatello.

We stopped for dinner at Portneuf Brewery, great beer and food.


We had our second beer flight of the day, the first being at Wasatch Brewery in SLC. Splitting a flight is perfect for us. Eric likes lagers and pilsners, I like IPAs and stouts, and we both like ales.

Our hotel was one of the nicest Holiday Inns we’ve stayed at. It was atop of a hill with a panoramic view of the city. It must be beautiful in the winter as well, with snow covered mountains.


After leaving the hotel we headed over to the Idaho Potato Museum. They were under renovations, so things were in a bit of a disarray, but they waived the admission fee. They had a selfie stand in front of the museum which we put to good use.


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Two of the states we hit were by way of Four Corners, Arizona and Colorado. Seeing as I was raised in Arizona, and we lived there for 10 years together, I don’t feel too bad about the short visit. We have future plans to hit Colorado on one of our football trips, so we’re covered there as well.

States 3&4 – Arizona and Colorado

My first attempt was a bit of a fail. Although technically by being in the center I was in all four states, it just didn’t accomplish what I was going for. Several people standing around yelled, “You’re only in 2 States”. I quickly corrected and Eric snapped another photo .

State 5 – Utah


Southern Utah was incredible. It is similar to New Mexico with beautiful rock formations.

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This area is also known for its mining. The train tracks went straight from the mining operations straight through the mountainside.


Originally, we had planned to hit Arches National Park. We were going to stay in Moab and then drive through the next morning. We learned that Moab is a huge tourist attraction and there were way too many people and the hotels were outrageously expensive. Instead we decided to drive on through. Luckily, we passed an arch called “Wilson’s Arch”, which was right on the side of the road. Not only was it a really cool arch, but also completely free.


Another free stop on our trip was Gilgal Sculpture Garden. I found reviews for this one on RoadTrippers. It is in Central Salt Lake City, just a few blocks from Liberty Park. Even with the map, it took us a few minutes to find it. It is nestled into a neighborhood, with only a small entrance sandwiched between 2 houses.

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Although it is known for being a sculpture garden, the flowers were enchanting, especially the Irises. I tried growing the variegated irises in my garden before without much luck. I don’t know if they like our heat.


The sculptures were a bit irreverent and definitely unlike any garden we’d been to before.

Joseph Smith - The LDS Church Founder as a Sphinx

Joseph Smith – The LDS Church Founder as a Sphinx


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Battle Scene




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