An unapologetic plant geek shares advice and opinions on gardening, the contrived and the natural landscape, as well as occasional topics from the other side of the gate.

October 13, 2013


     Yesterday I carted my son and a teammate of his to a crew regatta on the James River west of Richmond at Robious Landing Park. Weather-wise, it was another miserable day, in a week long string of miserable days, where it has alternated between fine mist, downpours and everything in between. As is the nature of these events, it was a long day, but at least the setting was nice. I had plenty of time to explore the park's trails between races, and it was good to see one of my favorite rivers. Despite being only a couple hours from home, the climate and species are different. Winters are a little colder, the summers are a little sultrier, and there is no chance any of the plants will ever have to contend with salt water. The forest is free from the tyranny of loblollies, and deciduous, bottomland hardwoods flourish. It even smelled different, like the aroma you get when a black walnut husk is split. Another thing that struck me were the grape vines, some as big as my thigh. I had half hoped to see some fall color, but I know that is still a couple of weeks away, but any time spent in the forest is good, fall color or not, wet weather or not.

The River James (2)

River Woods (4)

River Woods (6)

River Woods (7)

River Woods (5)

River Woods (2)

River Woods (3)


  1. Amazing grape vines! Our fall color is basically gone. Most of the leaves are down.

  2. Amazing vines. Water + trees = happiness, whateve the weather, or season. Though I find myself hoping you are playing taxi again come Fall...

  3. So lush. Love that first photo.