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! 

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

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. 

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. 

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. 

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! 

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.

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

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. 

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.

Bayard Dahlias, Great River

The Bayard Arboretum in Great River has many beautiful flower beds. Here are some photos from the dahlia garden. This garden is planted each year, and maintained by the members of the Long Island Dahlia Society. It’s really magnificent this time of year. All of the flowers are vibrant, and boisterous. Look at the bee that stood still for a photograph on one of the dahlias! 

Bayard Arboretum, NY

The Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River, NY is a great place to visit. They have a garden strictly for dahlias which is lovely. You can see more of that here. It is about 600 acres of natural beauty, full of well maintained paths. It is such a scenic place that is great for taking photographs. The water was at high tide when these photos were taken.