Sunday, November 20, 2011

Surprise at the Indianapolis Museum of Art: A Paved Paradise

The last time I visited Indianapolis was the early 70s. My one-week stay didn't start out so hot. Perhaps it had something to do with the paranoia of being a longhaired hippy musician in Middle America, coupled with my first (and only) tequila hangover. Did I mention it was Easter Sunday?

This year was different. I was back in Indy for the annual Garden Writers Association symposium, and aside from my soulful karaoke rendition of Joe Cocker's You Can Leave Your Hat On, there were no reportable shenanigans.

This was my fourth GWA event and I have to say that each trip is better than the last. There was a big turnout: We were dubbed the Indy 500, attending sessions covering everything from publishing e-books to the benefits of beneficial insects. The exhibit hall was packed with vendor booths sharing hot new products and services you'll be reading about soon. And these annual meet-ups always provide opportunities for "the tribe" to reinvigorate old friendships and germinate some new ones.

Lest you think we spend all our time indoors, the host committee for each city always organizes tours of private gardens and estates, public spaces, and educational facilities. That way we have stuff to write about and share with our readers - sort of like this article.

One of our obscenely early morning tours took us to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, housing over 50,000 works representing a variety of cultures and 5000 years of art history. But I'll have to take their word for it, since I spent my time trying to make a dent in the horticultural offerings contained in 152 acres of gardens, woodlands, wetlands, lake shore, meadows, and even their parking lot.

Loads of luscious pictures and reading ahead...

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