• Lorraine A. Lee

Hail Capitol U.S.A. Gardeners

Being so close to the Western mountains made me feel like I was coming home in a sense after living in California for 25 years. Not all those years were happy but the surrounding mountains were around me like a watchful companion. Some people from the East visiting would say, "yuck, brown hills! I like Connecticut where we live where it's all green". An artist, though, knows beauty comes in all colors. Wyoming has it's similarities but is vastly different from the West coast. Perhaps it was the way California was 100 years ago except they have technology-the wide open spaces, herds of dear and buffalo, relaxed atmosphere and friendliness to strangers is the way it used to be. 'Laid back and hard working people. 'Down to earth, traditional values and my favorite kind of people-unpretentious.

It was the beginning of June when the gardeners said they felt they could plant again after the big winter. I didn't know Wyoming was the hail capital of the country-"two years ago in the summer we had what looked like a snow storm in the backyards. All the flowers and plants were knocked down. It was so sad". When I asked how they handle such extreme weather one elderly woman said, "we just accept it".Immediately, I thought to myself, 'there's a life lesson there'. They grow a lot of perrenials knowing most will come back.

'Who would have thought such a sparsely populated state would have a premeir botanical garden in the making? I look forward to going back to see the progress-As a conservative (you still like me ;) I never vote for bonds with the exception of library expansion and botanical garden expansion. Wyoming is like minded and voted to give Cheyenne the money to build a gorgeous, welcoming conservatory people can enjoy all year round, especially with such a short growing season. Hurray!!!! These barrels are filled with water in the greenhouse to keep the temperatures warm in the cold months. It is all solar operated and lovingly staffed by volunteers. Handicapped people come to the greenhouse to plant thousands of seeds in the winter and gives everyone hope for another summer.

Handicapped people work very hard in the greenhouse to plant thousands of seeds to plant outside in the warm weather!

Laramie Episcopal church's grounds were kept impeccably. A small town seen by most as a city. The sky is so big and blue! Such as short time to garden but it's worth it to see color and shape.There were many saloons in town and no church until they built this stately building.

'Always open, heated by a wood stove and an outhouse in the back next to the almost ancient cemetery. 'Hail coming so I admired the wildflowers and kept going south! My mother used to say "make three wishes when you enter a church you've never been to before". I was wishing we could become members of this sweet church in a peaceful place but Jesus is with me wherever I go. Seeing God in the landscapes, simple and dramatic, is evidence of His existence and love for us. Virginia Dale is just about the middle of nowhere.

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