Cheekwood Botanical Gardens - Not just flowers!

  One reason we are excited for our move closer to Nashville is that it has opened up our opportunities for field trips. It's important to get out of the house and explore!

This month we took advantage of Homeschool Day at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville, TN.

The Robertson Ellis Color Garden was bursting with seasonal displays of colorful annuals.

Hundreds of pumpkins were even used in bringing seasonal colors to the garden.

The arbor walk was in full bloom.

I don't think they missed one color of the rainbow in the flower display. It was interesting to see how they used different types of flowering plants to bring height and texture to the displays.

We enjoyed the walking tour given by one of the Garden's employees who knew the garden and it's history well.

The Cheekwood Botanical Garden doesn't just have flowers on display. This fall they are featuring the artist Jaume Plensa, a Spanish artist whose works are displayed all over the world.

This piece is called the Soul of Words - painted stainless steel on marble pebbles.

Wilda and Arma - a more open work of stainless steel “mesh” allowing for light and the surrounding landscape to be part of the work.

Cade especially enjoyed Silent Music II - a work of stainless steel and stone. It represents the impact music has had on the artist.

This exhibit was titled Self Portrait. It is composed with letters from nine alphabets.

We spent the most time looking around the Heart of Trees exhibit. The bronze figures were created to have trees growing out if the center of each one.

 On each of these figures are names of composers. There are seven figures to represent the seven notes on a musical scale.

Cheekwood isn't just a botanical garden with sculptures either; it is also an Art Museum. This gorgeous mansion, which once was the home of the Cheek family, now houses an Art Museum with rotating exhibits.

Even the porch windows were decorative.

Jaume Plensa's works were also displayed inside this museum including paintings and other interesting sculptures. 

Silent Rain incorporate vertical lines of poetry and consists of eight poems by well-known poets such as William Blake, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, and Shakespeare.

We weren't about to miss the Herb Study garden. Because this was Homeschool Day, they had several different activities in the garden for the students to try. Sage was the Herb of the Day! Here the girls are making sage prints by pounding a sage leaf between pieces of muslin.

We took time to look through the many different colors, shapes, sizes, and varieties of pumpkins in the Fall Pumpkin Garden before we headed home.
Our field trip to Cheekwood Botaincal Gardens was fun, as well as educational. The weather was perfect. We brought our lunch and enjoyed eating it at one of several picnic tables scattered throughout the garden. One little boy even took an accidental swim in the creek running through the garden!

Creating storage in small houses

kitchen storage shelf by

We moved from a house with lots of storage to a rather small house (for a family of 7!) that is sorely lacking storage, especially in the kitchen.
We visited the home of a friend who had created a shelf over her dining room table mainly for decoration.
Inspired, we decided to create the same shelf but use it for both additional storage space and "kitchen character". (Please ignore the IKEA bookcase still in its box on the kitchen floor. Once our closet gets built, the bookcase will be moved. Until then, we're walking around the box!)
We bought the first set of shelf supports at IKEA. When we decided to create more shelves around the house, we bought additional supports at Home Depot.
We also bought some colored stain at IKEA. They have lots of colors to choose from, but I choose blue, of course!
After purchasing a 1"x 10"x 12" board, my husband cut it to the length we wanted and painted it. He put two coats of paint on the kitchen shelf and went with one coat of paint for the bedroom shelves.
He used a laser level to make sure the shelf supports were hung straight and then affixed the boards to the shelf supports.
We then emptied one kitchen cabinet onto the shelf. It's a little "different" putting the dishes on a shelf rather than in a cabinet, but they are right by the kitchen table where we use them. Plus it has opened up an entire cabinet for storage of other less used items.
We liked this kitchen shelf so well, that we created two in our bedroom!
One for all of John's books he's going to read "someday" and one for my crochet books where they can be easily found.

 I'm still working on the best way to arrange my crochet books on the shelf. I think I need to find some cute bookends.

Sounds like another project in the making!