Catherine Verdier lives in Norfolk with her husband and daughter. She blogs about kid-friendly living in Hampton Roads at Where the Watermelons Grow.
Our playgroup met at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens recently to check out the new Reflections of Nature exhibit that opened there at the end of April.
The exhibit was created by artist Craig Mitchell Smith as part of the Garden's ongoing 75th anniversary celebration this year.
The sculptures Smith created are meant to enhance and to blend realistically with each garden's particular design, and they really do. I actually had a hard time photographing some of them because of how seamlessly they fit in with the rest of the surrounding foliage.
Many of the sculptures tower into the air in a way that's hard to miss but we were fooled pretty well by a few others.
It was incredible, how we all stopped at once to exclaim over a vine of deep blue wisteria winding around a trellis -- only to find out when we looked closer that it was actually made of glass. The photos I took actually don't do them justice -- they don't even come close to capturing the amazing color and texture of the glass and the clarity of the light that passes through them.
The word of the day -- among the moms and the kids both -- was definitely "Wow!"
We tried to see as many of the sculptures as we could in the two hours before naptime. In the end, we made our way through the Japanese Garden and the perennial garden and the areas around the NATO tower, but got sidetracked at the children's garden because all of our little ones demanded to be let loose in the sprayground.
Luckily, the Reflections of Nature exhibit will run through August 18, which gives us plenty of time to go back and see everything. Find out more on the link: http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/