But this swallowtail on Dianthus chinensis was too outrageous to resist! I was a guest docent in Jim Dronenberg's garden, one of 8 stops on the first annual Brunswick Maryland Garden Tour. It was quite an experience to spend so much time in his garden. Rare plants are everywhere, the lithic constructions are massive and wonderful, and I got to talk to Jim McKenny, the author of My Virtual Maryland Garden, one of my favorite Blogs, for, well, a long time. Jim D has more than 50 Tree Peonies. Wow. I have been in that garden dozens of times, but never experienced it at a leisurely pace before. Every time I stopped and looked closely I saw something rare or beautiful.
Jim M has memories of the Arboretum dating to the '40s. Among other things he recalled a large grassy area at the north end of present China Valley that was filled with Sternbergia lutea. There is no grassy area anymore, but there is a remnant population of Sternbergia. I hate to think about the knowledge that exists only in peoples minds. It's good to record things like that. We talked too, about how many amateur photographs there must be of this site (and so many other areas of interest) that are sitting in albums and shoeboxes waiting to be tossed out. Ouch!