If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

Inspirations for Home Design

 

Matthaei Botanical Gardens – Ann Arbor

Color throughout the seasons *

© Becky Linhardt 2011

You still have some time to catch the beautiful fall colors at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor. Intense reds on the Discovery Trail through the wetlands, bright yellows and oranges in the trees that border the Dix Pond Trail, and then all of those colors plus the shocking contrast of purple asters in the Display Gardens. Winter, spring and summer also have their own beauty.

 Located east of US 23 off of Plymouth Road, the University of Michigan property includes the gardens and the Gaffield Children’s Garden near the Conservatory, wetland areas, the Marilyn Bland Prairie, ponds, brooks, and since this is university land there are nurseries, a research station and a special area for “Project Grow.” Five short (.4-.9 miles) well-marked trails wind through the property. Few overlap so you can really hike the trails here if you want or take a short stroll.

 The Children’s Garden is as much of a play space as it is a garden – a sensory garden at that, with places to make noise and dig in the dirt freely.  For the comfort of caregivers there are Adirondack-style chairs and park benches placed near favorite play spaces. Tangent to this delightful area are a few picnic tables and it is not unusual to see parents and kids sharing snacks and drinks that they brought with them.

 Adults will find a series of tables and chairs on the plaza of the Conservatory. From there they can enjoy the views into the Display Gardens and benches throughout the gardens provide places to sit and observe, meet with friends, or claim a place to sketch or paint pleine air.

 All outside areas are free to the public from sunrise to sunset every day. 

 The large Conservatory with Tropical, Temperate and Desert environments has scheduled hours and admission prices.  However, U-M students, Arb & Garden members, and members of reciprocal gardens receive free admission to the Conservatory.  FREE – Wednesdays at the Conservatory from noon to 8 p.m. are free and the bonus of the late night hours gives visitors a chance to enjoy a breath of tropical air during the winter months.

 University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

1800 N. Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

734-647-7600

www.mbgna.umich.edu

  *DESIGN INSPIRATION

Color – Reds and greens together in the same room?  Why not.  Mother Nature does it all the time and the horticulturist on staff realized that as the greens go to grayed or olive/sage in the fall a bit of bright red adds focus and dimension.  Note: the key to any color scheme is balance so not too much red, not too much green – enough neutrals to keep the room from looking like a Christmas display. 

Hues and tones of oranges and yellow that are naturally just a bit grayed can work together for an overall warm, inviting feeling.  Then a pop of purple or sky blue as an accent really punches the monochromatic yellow/orange/rust colors with the energy from the contrast.  Just a little bit goes a long way.

IF you love PURPLE and are feeling adventurous, consider the combination above. Here the gardeners have combined a fresh green, lavendar and a red purple with startling effect.  I would advise plenty of soft cream colors with the purples and greens as accents.

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.

 

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