Early May 2018

Many flowers are currently in bloom around the yard. Flowers growing include: Alyssum, Anemone, Primrose, Double Cowslip Primrose, Basket of Gold, Betty Boop Iris, Inky Dink Iris, Many varieties of Daffodils in yellow and white, Muscari and Valerie Finnis. We also had geese visit our yard with their new cute babies. Spring is finally here and we are very excited for more blooms! 

 

Lake Ronkonkoma Beach

Recently, there was a cleanup/ beautification happening at Lake Ronkonkoma Beach. We were so excited to be a part of another project like this through Keep Islip Clean. There was many volunteers from the Lake Ronkonkoma Beautification Group and Nature’s Bounty. All the before pictures were taken on April 1st, and all the afters were taken on April 18th. From all the wind, there was so much sand blown up around the garden. A big thank you to all the volunteers that removed all the sand by hand. The volunteers that participated at this cleanup/ beautification also tended to another memorial garden area, and cleaned the rest of the Lake Ronkonkoma Beach! All of the flowers for this project came from Stables Nursery in North Babylon. Thanks Ken! 

Longhouse Reserve Garden Tour

Located in East Hampton Township, Longhouse Reserve covers 16 acres of property. Jack Larsen has owned the property since 1970, and has turned it into a work of wonder. Every inch of this land is covered in gardens, established lawns, sculptures and artwork. Longhouse Reserve is open to the public a few times a year, showcasing all this beautiful art. Pieces include Dale Chihuly’s Cobalt Reeds, An infinity pool entitled Black Mirror by Ray Smith & Association, A cinderblock sculpture called Irregular Progression High #7 by Sol LeWitt and Study in Heightened Perspective by Jack Lenor Larsen. Study in Heightened Perspective was interesting to look at; the garden posts were deliberately shortened in height the farther in to the garden they went, creating an illusion that the path was longer then it actually was. All of the posts were created from recycled materials. Here are some photos from our day at the Reserve. 

Islip Historical Society Garden Walk 2017

On July 15th, the Historical Society of Islip held their annual garden walk. Bob and I had a booth for Keep Islip Clean, where we shared information about the KIC message of anti-littering and gardening/beautification. We also gave away hundreds of plants grown from seed in our little backyard greenhouse. We were able to visit four local gardens which were beautiful and colorful. I couldn’t get enough of those big and beautiful hydrangeas! 

LA Arboretum

I had the chance to visit the Los Angeles County Arboretum in late May. The place was over-run with Peacocks! Showing off and trumpeting loudly. The LA Arboretum is 127 acres and is located just off Route 66, just east of Pasadena.  All of the gardens were beautiful, it was breathtaking to see, even though it was a rainy day. 

Clark Botanic Garden Tour

Clark Botanic Garden is located in North Hempstead, NY. It is 12 acres of lush plant life, rock gardens, and a pond. They even have bees! While walking we found a turtle roaming in the grass, as well as a bunny. The blue hydrangeas were so beautiful to look at! Here are some photos from our visit in late June! 

Eisenhower Park Memorial

On June 24th, Bob and I visited Eisenhower Park Memorial in Nassau County. The memorial was erected in 1947 as a tribute to those who died in World War II. The grounds surrounding the memorial were very beautiful and maintained. We went there to see the synchronized swimming international competition. We had fun watching. 

Garden Walk – “Secret Gardens of Islip”

On Saturday, July 15th (rain date July 16th) the Historical Society of Islip Hamlet will have their 5th Garden Walk – “Secret Gardens of Islip” – from 12 noon – 4:00 p.m.  Come enjoy a beautiful summer day as 5 friends of the society open their gates for guests to stroll through and enjoy these unique gardens; entertainment by Carols for Causes and light refreshments served at each location.  Tickets can be purchased, in person, starting June 1st, at Caroline’s Flower Shoppe, 341 Main Street, Islip (631) 581-3464, or through Eventbrite, starting May 12th (there will be a small processing fee).  Tickets are $20/adult (no one under 16) pre-purchase and day of tour.  The 2016 Garden Walk was highlighted in Newsday’s “weekend top 10 things to do”.  For more info call, (631) 245-0675.

Click here to purchase tickets from eventbrite. 

To purchase tickets from Caroline’s Flower Shoppe visit:
341 Main Street, Islip – 11751

Poppy Mural

I visited my sister last week in Phoenix, while I was there I painted this beautiful mural of poppies. 

Best Hiking Trails on Long Island

Summer is nearly here, which means getting out of the house and having some fun with friends and family in the sun. Want something to do other then go to a beach? How about hiking! It’s something fun that any age can do! Here are the best hiking trails on Long Island (that are family friendly): 

Connetquot River State Park Preserve
4090 Sunrise Hwy., Oakdale (Open Wednesdays – Sundays)
Price: $8 Parking Fee

Sunken Forest National Park
Sayville Terminal, 41 River Rd. (Ferry ride to Sailors Haven, next to park)
Free Guided Tours are available Wednesdays through Sundays
Price: $13 adult ferry fee, $7.50 children younger then 11

Quogue Wildlife Refuge
3 Old Country Rd., East Quogue (Open Sunrise to Sunset Daily)
Stroller friendly
Price: Free

Sagamore Hill
20 Sagamore Hill Rd., Cove Neck (Open Sunrise to Sunset Daily)
Price: Trails are free, Museum $10 for ages 15+

Southhampton Trails
377 Bridgehampton-Sag Harbor Tpke., Bridgehampton
Price: Trails are free, Guided tours available, Museum $7 ages 12+, $5 ages 3-12

Blydenburgh County Park 
Northern Entrance is located at the end of New Mill Road, Hauppauge (Open Dawn to Dusk Daily)
Price: No Parking Fee on Northern Entrance 

Tackapausha Preserve 
2225 Washington Ave., Seaford (Open Sunrise to Sunset Daily) 
Price: Trails are free, Museum $3 for ages 13+, $2 for ages 5-12 and seniors, free for 4 and younger

Planting Field Arboretum State Historic Park
1395 Planting Fields Rd., Oyster Bay (9AM-5PM Daily)
Price: $8 per carload

Richard D. Fowler Preserve
Wickapogue Rd., (East of Narrow Lane) Southhampton
Price: Free 

Downs Farm Preserve 
Route 25, Cutchogue (Open Dawn to Dusk Daily)
Stroller Friendly
Price: Free

 

Thank you to Newsday for the original information, You can read more here.

2017 Spring Garden and Flower Show at Hick’s Nursery

Here are some photos from the 2017 Spring Garden and Flower Show at Hick’s Nursery in Westbury, NY. There were so many bright colors and beautiful displays. My favorite display was the “Under the Sea.” The waterfall, and all the hanging jellyfish from the ceiling really captured the feeling of being underwater. All of the flowers were incorporated beautifully, they didn’t seem like an afterthought. 

Ardastra

Here are some photos from Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Center in Nassau, Bahamas. I visited on December 5th, 2016. Most of the zoo exhibits were closed for restoration, due to hurricane Matthew which passed through 2 months prior.

Lucayan Kayak Tour

Here are some photos from a Kayak tour through Lucayan National Park in Nassau, Bahamas.

Twig Buildings in Washington

Over the Christmas holiday, we visited Washington D.C. and got to see these cool twig sculptures of buildings! They included the capitol, the smithsonian museum and many others! 

National Arboretum in Washington

Over the Christmas holiday, we visited Washington D.C. and got to tour the National Arboretum. It was so beautiful, so many flowers! There were so many different types of flowers; including Hydrangeas, Orchids, Amaryllis, Bigleaf Hydrangeas, A Chocolate Tree (wow!), Bright Pink Poinsettias, Bird of Paradise, Aechmea ‘Blue Tango’, and in the center of it all was a large Christmas Tree! 

Islip Beach Planters

Here is some photos of the beautiful planters that are at Islip Town Beach. The large planters are located along the boardwalk by the sand. I love all the colors from the flowers against the sandy beach background. There are two planters which consist of mainly dry grasses and perennials. It is such a wonderful addition to the beach. 

Redhook

We recently took a trip up to Redhook. We walked along ‘Poet’s Walk’ which was next to the Hudson River. At the top of the walk, there is an Overlook House that you can see Kingston Bridge from.

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Intercostal Cleanup at Knapps Lake

Photos attached of our day on Knapps Lake at Brookwood Hall for the Intercostal cleanup.
I filled out the “Citizen Scientist” sheets and sent them in the provided envelope so our debris could be counted as part of a global coastal cleanup inventory.

We found stuff we couldn’t get out of the lake:

  • A picnic table floating upside down in middle of lake
  • Construction lumber near Union Blvd. culvert.
  • A Rolling desk chair
  • Cabinet door
  • 4 Tires
  • Full sized garbage can
  • Large amount of landscape fabric at shoreline of new esplanade.

We should probably go back. We weren’t able to cover a lot of ground, because the lake is so shallow in some areas, it was hard to navigate. We only did the area north of the fishing dock, along the east side.

Glover Farm

Here are some photos from when we visited Glover Farm! Jim Glover was kind to give the Master Gardeners a private tour. Jim is the guy in the center of the photo, wearing the straw hat. They have 23 acres on their nursery grounds in Cutchogue. They grow out of the ordinary varieties, and the gardeners were excited to be able to shop there. Jim is also focusing on growing natives for our Long Island area. I was smitten with this colorful sedum.

Catapano Goat Farm

Here is a couple of photographs from Catapano Goat Farm in Peconic. It’s so much fun watching goats get milked! They line right up and it only takes a minute or two for each one to be done. It’s funny to see them line up outside the barn. They know when it’s 4 pm!!

Joan’s Daylilies

A group of Project Bloom Gardeners toured Joan Turano’s beautiful home garden. Here are some photos of her amazing Day Lilies! All of the lilies were in full bloom, and were bright and boisterous. My favorite Day Lilies are the type that are two toned, and fade from one color into the next. Like the pale yellow fading into royal purple towards the bottom of the gallery. 

Joan’s Garden

A group of Project Bloom Gardeners toured Joan Turano’s beautiful home garden full of Day lilies, Hostas and Hydrangeas. All the flowers were bright and gorgeous. I loved the color on all of the blooms. Her entire yard was super lush, and full of greenery. All gardeners should strive to have their yards look like Joan’s. The purple hydrangeas were my favorite to look at. 

Trip to Orient Point

Yesterday, Bob and I took a drive out to Orient Point for Independence Day this past weekend. We visited Catapano Dairy Farm (to see the goats of course) and the Glass Greenhouse. The greenhouse was beautiful, and all the flowers were gorgeous. We stopped at a farm stand and bought peaches, they were so fresh and simply amazing!! Here are some photos from that trip. 

New Elevated Park in NYC

This past week, a new elevated park opened in New York City. It is called Liberty Park, and opened at the World Trade Center. It has a twenty five foot high vertical garden and also contains a sapling from a tree that grew outside of Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam. The park is located above Liberty Street on the World Trade Center site, it is a smaller scale version of the iconic High Line with a beautiful view of the Freedom Tower. The park contains a three hundred and thirty six foot long vertical garden which is coined as a “living wall.” The wall is built with eight hundred and twenty six panels filled with 22,356 plants of six different varieties. The park is home to the American Response Statue which pays tribute to 9/11 responders.

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Thank you to NBC New York for the original information and photos. You can read more here.

 

Oldest White Oak in the Country

In the quiet town of Basking Ridge NJ, lives a town that is united by the love of one tree. White Oak to be specific. This tree has been part of U.S. history since the beginning, when George Washington decided to picnic in its shade. It also had the honor of having General Jean Baptist de Rochambeau and allied French troops march past it en route to the Battle of Yorktown VA. There is also thirty five Revolutionary War Veterans buried beneath its branches. This tree has been a part of history way before Basking Ridge was even a town!

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This tall and strong tree has withstood through six hundred years of storms and droughts. The cause of death for this landmark is unknown. According to the church that was built next to this
massive white oak, it is one hundred feet tall with a spread of one hundred and fifty six feet and a circumference of twenty feet! When the tree didn’t green for the spring last month, experts were consulted. They tested the soil, the roots and even checked for beetles and disease. An ecologist from Rutgers University inspected the tree in mid-June and declared it to be “in a spiral of decline.” The Basking Ridge Church have used cables to support the heavy limbs, and have also pruned it is a specific way so the limbs grow up rather then out. (This protects them from becoming too heavy.) Dave Culver of the Religious Society of Friends (Salem,) says that one limb weighs approximately six thousand pounds! He is also quoted saying “We found that old trees that survive do end up dropping limbs and become smaller so they can support themselves.” The town puts the fallen branches to good use however. When branches fell in 1999, limbs were offered to local artisans to create lovely creations from the wood.

With no timeline of when the white oak will officially die, residents are preparing themselves for the worst. Many talk about the tree’s death as if talking about a family member. “It’s knowing when to let go.” said Pastor Dennis Jones from Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church. Below is a segment CBS News NY ran about the tree.

Thank you to CBS News NY for the video. Thank you to Marie Scaefer, from Philly.com for the original information. You can read more here.

Islip Historical Society Garden Walk 2016

This weekend on June 25th at noon, the Islip Historical Society will be hosting a garden walk. You can either purchase tickets online or at Caroline’s Flower Shoppe on Main Street (between 11AM and 1PM.) Once you have purchased your ticket(s) you must redeem your Garden Walk Booklet at Caroline’s to know where the gardens are located. Tickets are $15, and are non-refundable. The rain date is set to be June 26th from 12PM-4PM. Project Bloom will have a booth set up at one of the gardens with loads of free plants grown for the garden visitors. Stop in and say hi!

You can buy tickets here!

To see pictures from last year, you can visit Islip Historical Society’s Facebook page! Click here!

Planting Fields

On Tuesday June 21st, we attended the Summer Twilight Tour at Planting Fields Arboretum. It was hosted by LINLA (Long Island Nursery & Landscape Association.) We were taken on a tour of the gardens, with Vincent Simone as our tour guide. After the walk through the beautiful gardens, we were treated to a light dinner and learned how Vincent and his staff are improving the gardens and their own practices to become more sustainable. It was a great way to spend the Summer Solstice with an incredible tour and spend time among fellow garden lovers.

Cherry Blossoms and Sakura Matsuri

On Saturday April 30th, I went to see the Cherry Blossoms and Sakura Matsuri at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. It was such a beautiful and sunny day, it was no surprise that I was not the only one who thought to go that day. Most of the trees were at peak bloom at this time. The smell on the air was sweet, and the scenery was breath taking. In the front of the garden, was what I like to refer as the Cherry Blossom Alley. Planted here was large rows of Cherry Blossom trees, that created an alley down the center of grass. Everyone was sat under the trees, taking in the sights and smelling the sweet air. You could faintly hear the Sakura Matsuri festival going on within the garden from the alley. Past the Cherry Blossom Alley, was a pathway that went through giant bushes of Lilac. It was definitely a photo-op spot and I even captured three different shades of Lilac in the same bushel! The pathway led to the heart of the Botanical Garden, where the festival was being held. There was a long piece of grass where pop-up shops selling books, candy, pillows, and kimonos (to name a few) resided. There was music being played over speakers, and there was even performances from J-pop groups and drummers. Everyone was happy to be there, many people were dressed up in cosplay of their favorite Japanese characters and celebrities. It was a fabulous day out in the beautiful weather, and the flowers were such a sight to see!

Cherry Blossoms in Brooklyn

Its that beautiful time of the year again, when Cherry Blossoms are in bloom left and right. At the Brooklyn Botanical Garden in Brooklyn, you have the chance to see these magnificent plants

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 2.28.15 PM right now! On their website, they have the “cherry watch” which is an updated map of their Japanese garden tracking the blooms. The map is broken down into Prebloom, First Bloom, Peak Bloom and Post-Peak Bloom so you know what you will be seeing when you go. There are even pictures of each bloom for each variety!

There are many varietals that are in bloom or will be blooming shortly. The varietals include Prunus ‘Shirotae’, Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula’, Prunus ‘Accolade’ and Prunus subhirtella ‘Rosy Cloud’ to name a few.

At the end of the April, there will be a big festival happening to celebrate the Cherry Blossoms. It is called Sakura Matsuri. This year will mark the 35th anniversary of the festival. There will be over 60 events and performances that will celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture. Some events will include Taiko Drumming, Samurai Sword Shows, many J-pop Vocal groups and even a traditional tea ceremony!

You can purchase tickets starting now, you can visit Brooklyn Botanical Gardens Website for more information! Click here.

 

To see pictures of what it was like when I went, click here! 

Botanical Gardens and Arboretums Around Long Island

When people say summer on Long Island, the first thing that comes to mind is our lovely beaches and parks. However, there is another way you should be spending your time this summer. Throughout Suffolk and Nassau County there are a plethora of Botanical Gardens and Arboretums. Botanical Gardens were created for the public to enjoy collections of numerous plants while also being a space for botanists to study. Arboretums are a collection of trees. Having botanical gardens on Long Island, allows us to enjoy plants from other parts of the county and even from other parts of the world. Here is a list of beautiful Botanical Gardens and Arboretums throughout Suffolk and Nassau County for you to visit this summer. A huge thank you to LongIsland.com for the original list, you can read more about each garden here.

Adventures in the East End

While out in the East End, we visited some farms, Lavender By The Bay, Catapano Goat Farm, Custer Institute Observatory  and Garden of Eve. The Lavender Farm has been on Long Island for the past 15 years, and is still thriving. With 17-acres of farm land and 20 varieties of Lavender, the cultivation yields over 50,000 plants. They offer many products from dried lavender and body soaps, to lavender for tea! The Garden of Eve is an organic farm that is set on helping the community eat well through their CSA program. It is a colorful and fantastic place. I would definitely go back to each farm and suggest you visit soon!

Canoeing in the Connetquot River

We went canoeing on the Connetquot River here on Long Island this past weekend, we went with another couple and had such a lovley time. We saw schools of fishes under the water, baby ducks, and a baby swan! It was very peaceful. The coastline along the river was super pretty, and it is definitely something I would do again. Canoeing is a great workout for the arm muscles too! 

Ladew Topiary Gardens

This past week we had the chance to visit Ladew Topiary Gardens in Maryland. Harvey Ladew was an avid traveler, artist, and fox hunter. He purchased the 200+ acre farm from the Scarff family in 1929, due to its closeness to the Hartford Hunt Club. When the land was purchased, the buildings on site were in shambles and only contained a few lilac bushes. It was renovated in 1930, and was reopened to the public in 1971.  There are many topiaries, including a hunting scene featuring men on horseback and dogs chasing a fox, swans swimming on waves near an outdoor fountain, a camel, and numerous shapes and sculptures. There is an antique aquarium in the center of a garden and even a special card room in a small building. It is a magnificent place, and I would recommend seeing it in person.

Longwood Greenhouse

Here are some photos from the greenhouse at Longwood Gardens. It was just as spacious and beautiful as the garden grounds. The greenhouse is 4-acres and is a splendid space for peace and relaxation. One of the highlights from the room is the hydrangea balls hanging from the ceiling. You can see photos of the garden grounds here.

Longwood Gardens

We recently just visited Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania. This garden has a lot of history behind it, such as it’s founder Pierre S. DuPont’s reasoning for purchasing it. The original park was a small area and was to be torn down, DuPont stepped in and created an entire lush garden around it. It was a very beautiful place, and was also very photogenic. While we were there, they were renovating a piece of the garden– hence the dirt pit in some of the photos. The renovation was for the Fountain Garden. The aim is to protect and preserve the history of the gardens and it’s founder Pierre S. DuPont.   Here are some photos of the garden, it is a magnificent place. We also visited the greenhouse that was on the property (see more here.)

Cherry Trees in Bloom in D.C.

These photos were taken last weekend on April 10th by my friend Gail Griffin. She writes “I lucked out this year and hit the cherry blossoms at the exact hour of peak (the National Park Service really does time this!) It was just gorgeous… weather wasn’t great so no blue sky but beautiful flowers. Today all the little and pink and white petals are carpeting the ground. As I’m sure you know they don’t last long but they sure are gorgeous. People describe them as marshmallows on branches.”

 

Disney's Epcot Flower Show 2015

Disney’s Epcot Flower Show 2015 Part II

Here are some close up shots of the flowers in Epcot. All the displays were eye catching and were such a welcome sight after the long NY winter. I would highly recommend seeing this show if ever given the chance. I loved seeing all the intricate landscape designs made with the different colored flowers. Who would have thought that a picture of flowers made from flowers would look so immaculate! 

Disney's Epcot Flower Show 2015

Disney’s Epcot Flower Show 2015

Every spring for the last 5 years, my sisters and I meet up with a trip to Walt Disney World. This year we were lucky to be going the same time as the Epcot Flower Showcase. Epcot was lush with beautiful flowers and topiary’s of the famous characters.  This year the showcase was being held from March 4th until May 17th. At Epcot they have concerts, games for children, informational meetings, even food and drink that is based on the showcase!  Here are some wide shots of the beautiful displays and some favorite characters of mine.

Rock Design at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Staten Island Garden Tour and Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Established in 1945 by Jacques Marchais, the gardens have been transformed to resemble a tibetan monastery. The buildings in the garden represent the first Himalayan style architecture that was built in the United States. It was also the first Museum that was solely devoted to Tibetan Art. The surrounding landscape contains a fish pond, meditation cells, and many of Marchais original plantings.

Commack Train Layout

This is an impressive example of a privately owned large scale outdoor garden railroad. It contains horticultural and architectural elements. Adjacent to the railroad is a Koi pond and waterfall. There are also Bonsai plantings throughout the garden. All of this is inside someone’s backyard in Cormack! The attention to detail was unlike anything i’ve ever seen before.

Bellingrath Gardens, AL

Opened in 1932, Bellingrath Gardens is located in Theodore, Alabama. When first opened, Mr. and Mrs. Bellingrath wanted to keep the gardens as a free activity– so there was no charge to get in. There was an overwhelming response to the gardens, so in 1934 the gardens were opened year round. Today the gardens are still ever so popular, acting as a host to weddings, birthdays and special events.

Giants Causeway

Giants Causeway in Ireland is one of the natural wonders in the Northern Ireland. It was created by volcanic activity, and when basalt intruded the volcanic plateau. The basalt pillars that came up from the ground are all hexagon shaped and the highest reaches 39 feet. There are identical pillar sites across the sea, from the same lava field. There is a legend that surrounds the basalt plateau. The mythology is that it was put up so two giants could cross the ocean to fight. The legend also says that the basalt was meant to be a bridge but one giant was scared so he broke the middle.

Top Garden Tour Project Bloom

Project Bloom’s Top Gardens Tour

In August of 2014 the team of Project Bloom got together and caravaned around Islip Hamlet to look at some of the best garden beds we had seen all season. These beds are maintained by KIC volunteers, and were planted with the flowers grown by us earlier in the year.

The first stop on the tour was to the Welcome sign to East Islip, near the library. Here, the East Islip Community Cleanup planted our plants and beautified beneath the town sign. See more pictures here!

IMG_4952Next, we headed north to Central Islip, to visit the North Great River Civic Association. This group had two beds, both of which were equally impressive and gorgeous. A small shady bed off Connetquot Avenue, and a large impressive triangle at the North end of Connetquot Ave. See more pictures here!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next bed that Project Bloom visited was planted by the Central Islip Civic Council. They had maintained an organic farm, and had large and vivid bushels of flowers.All of the flowers planted by the Central Islip Civic Council came out very nice. They were very enjoyable to see fully grown. See more pictures here!

The next stop for the caravan, was to see the bed planted by the northeast Neighborhood watch. They had planted a huge bed, that was very nice. See more pictures here!

IMG_5045The next garden we looked at was from the Islip High School KIC (Keep Islip Clean) Club. They had planted some of our flowers in front of the school and also within the school courtyard. See more pictures here!

The final stop on the caravan tour was to see the East Islip Community Watch bed. Their bed was small, but had a lot in it. They had strawflowers, foxglove, big coleus plants, allysum and ageratum. See more pictures here!

Photo Credit: Joanna Kane

Disney Epcot Flower Show 2014

The Epcot Flower show never fails to impress me. All the vibrant colors and showcases– just magnificent. The showcase has many things surrounding the flowers, from viewing the topiaries built with hundreds of flowers, to having food and drink inspired by the flowers as well. It is something I will without a doubt go back to.

Vanderbilt Museum

We visited the Vanderbilt Museum in Centerport some time ago. The dioramas inside of the garden was interesting. The gardens were also equally beautiful and lovely to look at. I especially loved the amazing shell museum. I bet a lot of people don’t know about this place, and think it’s just the planetarium. I love the overlook that looks out onto the water- breathtaking. 

Florida Keys

When we visited the Florida Keys, it was like being in a tropical paradise. Kathy swam with dolphins on Islamorada, we stayed on San Marco and Key West. I loved the pelicans, and all the exotic plant life. All the tropical warm weather plants were large and fabulous. We also saw loads of butterflies, in many varieties at a garden in Key West.

Old Westbury

The Gardens at Old Westbury are stunning. It is like stepping back in time, or being transported into the garden of a wealthy nobleman. The ponds and pathways are designed with elegance. The walled gardens and statuary are wonderful and the house is amazing too. Everyone on Long Island should visit the Gardens at Old Westbury.

Maine

Maine is a beautiful part of the country. The lakes and coastline were beautiful, it looked surreal, like a painting at some places. We stayed in Arcadia National Park, and ate lobster every night, and blueberries for breakfast and dessert every day. Arcadia National Park is so beautiful, all of the coastlines were beautiful, and the mountain peaks were amazing to stand on and look down. 

 

Around Ireland

When Bob and I visited Ireland, it was an unforgettable trip. Everything was super lush and beautiful in early September. We started our tour south of Dublin, then turned north to Northern Ireland and the Devil’s causeway, then over to Kylemore Abbey, and south to Galway and then onto Bantry Bay. We crossed along the south before flying back out of Dublin 9 days later. The people were warm and kind, the food was delicious (especially the cheese!) and the gardens and scenery was wonderful. Wish I could go back…