This zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the US and one of the largest in the entire world. The Bronx River flows through the Zoo and it is a neighbor of the NY Botanical Gardens.
I can honestly say going on the Fourth of July in close to 100 degree heat was not the brightest idea but it was a friend’s birthday and on her bucket list and she was here from Arizona and – well….. you know what you must do for friends!!!
Be prepared however if you want to enter the Children’s Zoo that it is an extra fee. Also the concession stands throughout the park do not open until 11:30 but the park opens at 10:00 am so bring water if it is hot.
Within the Children’s Zoo you can see: Prairie Dogs, A Two-Toed Sloth (if it is out), Flamingos, Squirrel Monkeys, Porcupines, Tortoises, Skunks, Rabbits, Screamer Chicks, and Mini Nubian Goats
Did you know: Flamingoes tip their heads upside down to eat!
Did you know: Porcupines use their spiky quills to keep predators away.
Did you know: Tortoises can feel vibrations when people or animals walk by.
African Plains featuring: Tigers on our visit it was so hot the tigers were not moving, just panting in the heat trying to keep themselves cool like we were!
Himalayan Highlands: Snow Leopards were trying to stay cool in the shade. Do you sense a theme here! A 7 day heat wave in New York in not a common event.
Birds of Prey: Bald Eagles, Snowy Owls and King Vultures
Did you know: While all owls hunt at night, Snowy Owls also hunt during the day since they live near the Arctic Circle.
Madagascar: Red Ruffed Lemurs, Coquerel’s Sifaka, Ring-Tailed Lemurs
Did you know: Ring-tailed Lemurs raise their striped tails like flags to signal their location to other group members when traveling.
Did you know: the Collared Lemur uses its long tail for balance when leaping across branches
Did you know: The Red-ruffed Lemur is hunted by people on parts of Madagascar but is free from that threat in Masoala and Makira.
Père David’s Deer has Back-pointing antlers, a long head with small pointed ears found in China on the marshy grasslands.
A fun stop is the top of the Prudential Tower where you have a 360 degree view of the city. Above is a view towards Cambridge. Look down onto Newberry Street and all those lovely shops and restaurants and over to Fenway Park! I never realized how many brownstones were in Boston!!!!
Some other Boston Facts:
The very first Boston Marathon was held on April 19th, 1897 and had only 15 runners, all male 🙁
The Custom House Tower is a skyscraper in McKinley Square which is in the Financial neighborhood of town and stands 496 feet tall and is currently home to a hotel.
The Boston Public Library is on the National Register of Historic Places and opened in 1852 and was the first free publicly supported municipal library in the United States.
Old South Church is a Northern Italian Gothic architecture style church and a national historic landmark.
In 1742, the gilded grasshopper weathervane on top of Fanueil Hall is considered the symbol of Boston.
Home of the Boston Red Sox since 1912!!
Hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July. Please take some time to remember that this is truly a wonderful country we live in. Be kind and remember we are all immigrants!
At the top of the Prudential Tower was a poignant quote from the former President George H.W. Bush, 1988
“WE DON’T WANT AN AMERICA THAT IS CLOSED TO THE WORLD. WHAT WE WANT IS A WORLD THAT IS OPEN TO AMERICA.”
“Memories are not the key to the past, but to the future.” Corrie Ten Boom
People ask me why I do what I do and why am I so passionate about it?
Those who are gone are not forgotten! They are always with us in our hearts and minds. I spoke to my mother almost every single day of my life until she died unexpectedly of Lymphoma. I desperately wish I had more photographs to remember her vitality and joie-de-vivre and to eventually share with my grandchildren. The same goes for my Dad and grandmother.
“Take care of your memories for you cannot relive them.” Bob Dylan
Don’t make the mistakes many of us make. I was always the one who wanted to take photographs so I wasn’t usually in the picture. If I was busy, playing hostess or dancing at a wedding, I often let it slip. I usually asked someone else to do it but it wasn’t their priority so once again… ‘no pictures’. Even if you only have a smartphone, snap away! They take great photos! One of my sons captures moments and memories through his music and these tell ‘his’ stories. My passion and inspiration is gardening and I capture the moments through my photography. Capture the moment and the memory forever!
Cherish your memories and visit them often and share them! Record the memories and the events of your life! They are the key to the future of your family. Look for the happy moment in each when you look at your photos. What was it that inspired you to take that picture?
What inspires you? Is it writing, music, running, playing an instrument, poetry, sports, photography or gardening?
“Some memories are unforgettable, remaining ever vivid and heartwarming!” Joseph B. Wirthlin
My parents gifted me money to get my landscaping well under way. I had just purchased my dream house and I wanted the gardens established quickly. I wish I had found the time to take more photographs to preserve my memories. It was never the right time! That was 2005 and through an unfortunate set of “wrong place”, “wrong time” we lost the house in a foreclosure that occurred when my husband and I lost a company we had purchased prior to the recession of 2008. Sadly, our homes were collateral for our business and a 50 year old company disappeared almost before our very eyes. I never took enough photos and was thinking I would wait until the garden grew into itself. I always thought “tomorrow” would be soon enough. I wished I had taken more photographs of my dream house and gardens.
Now they are a memory only to me! The following is an excerpt from a song in the movie Yentl called A Piece of Sky that has always had great significance for me. There is so much to experience in this world. Why ever stop searching for it all? I will always want to experience more!
“No matter where I go,
There’ll be memories that tug at my sleeve,
But there will also be more to question,
Yet more to believe…” Yentl – Barbra Streisand
I may have lost my dream house but the truth is I can create another garden and another memory TODAY! What memories would you recreate TODAY if you could?
Photos are our connection to our past but we don’t always know what those connections are. It’s wonderful to look back but we must look forward. What are the photographs you are going to take NOW? This is what being alive is about our opportunities from now on! What will those photos mean to us and future generations? We must put mindfulness and intention into them. How will your grandchildren and great-grandchildren know you? Will they see your sense of style and your personality in those photos you leave behind? Tell your stories through your photographs and not just in the ones you have already taken, but in the photos you have yet to take! What was important to you may be important to them and they didn’t know there was a connection. Are you a painter or a gardener? Was your great grandfather a painter too or do your children share your passion for gardening?
“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” Rosa Parks
When I look back through old photographs I see images that make me laugh, like bad hairdos, or make me cry, like my Mom in the hospital dying but ALWAYS, ALWAYS I remember the wonderful, loving times of them all and I can laugh. Laughter is a key ingredient to finding happiness. Laugh at the absurd and at yourself … often! I try not to take myself too seriously as life is so unpredictable. Just when we think we have it figured out, it fools us again. We can’t take life for granted though! Don’t take nature for granted! Nature goes through cycles like life! Spring is a time for reawakening and every year we have a chance to start fresh. Keep exploring, seek out new experiences and opportunities. Keep believing and sharing with those you love. Those moments of sharing forever bind us to our loved ones. They comfort and sustain us in times of sorrow and are the cornerstones of great joy.
In my garden I have planted to encourage butterflies, bees and birds to enjoy and pollinate. At this time of the year it is important to keep food sources plentiful for these wonderful creatures. Black-eyed Susan’s start blooming in late July and continue all fall in my garden in Zone 5.
Most common of the Black Eyed Susan’s is Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’. If happy, I find it seems to reappear in new areas of my garden as if by design. Remember when your pollinators are busy plants appear where they are most happy. If you don’t want this you will need to pull them out. These look best when planted in masses or drifts. Leave the seed heads and the birds will love you! Hardy to Zone 4.
Rudbeckia hirta like most of the Rudbeckias are herbaceous perennials and is happy in Zone 3 to 7. It blooms from June to September with yellow or orange yellow rays and dark brown centers. The leaves are a little rough and hairy giving a nice contrast in the perennial border. It loves full sun and medium water. It will naturalize! That means spread!
Rudbeckia fulgida var. ‘Deam’s coneflower’ has large daisy like flower heads in yellow or orange petals (rays) with a dark center. It tolerates either full sun to partial shade. Have clay soil, you’re good to go with this variety and for the most part all in this category.
Problems with deer? Then Black-eyed Susan’s are for you as deer typically don’t touch them. BUT!!!! when hungry deer will eat anything! Forewarned!
Indian Summer is drought tolerant but don’t think the bunnies aren’t interested! This summer I have been battling with these determined guys. Winter hardy to Zones 3-7. All Black-eyed Susan’s need full sun and well-drained soils. I find that deadheading spent flowers helps prolong bloom time and encourage additional blooms. Given a spot they love they will self-seed. They have daisy like flower heads that appeal to butterflies. The flower heads are huge and add bold, stunning color to borders.
Black-eyed Susan’s are sometimes called Gloriosa Daisy.
Rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne’ is a tall beauty and one of my favorites and this summer a favorite of my local bunnies! It can grow up to 7′ tall so I use it in the back of the border and support it. It starts blooming in June and goes all summer. It loves well drained soil in full sun. The large daisy like flowers having drooping petals (rays) with bright green center cones.
Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’ prefers medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Deadheading here also helps encourage additional blooms. It typically grows 3-5′ tall so I use it in the back of the border to showcase smaller plants. It has stiff, upright leafy stems that hold these blooms straight and tall. I prefer to support all of my very tall plants with decorative supports. The rays are rolled unlike the typical Black-eyed Susan’s so it has a quilled effect. The flowers bloom in clusters starting in July and lastly all the way thru September.
What pairs with these late summer gems? Well I love purples so in my garden I have Agastache Blue Boa, Russian Sage, Liatris, Daylilies, Phlox, Nepeta and Dahlias. In one bed I have paired it with “hot” colors like red and orange daylilies and Dahlias as well as Red Persicaria.
What combinations do you love with Black-Eyed Susan’s?
Just a short drive from Philadelphia, Chanticleer is one of the great gardens in this area. Once the Rosengarten estate, today Chanticleer is a contemporary garden situated in a historic setting. Garden Design magazine has dubbed this “America’s most inspiring garden.”
“The Chanticleer estate dates from the early 20th-century, when land along the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad was developed for summer homes to escape the heat of Philadelphia. Adolph Rosengarten, Sr., and his wife Christine chose the Wayne-St. Davids area to build their country retreat. The family’s pharmaceutical firm would become part of Merck in the 1920s.”
They purchased a neighboring property in 1933. It is now the site of the Minder Ruin Garden composed of three “rooms”. The Great Hall; The Library; and The Pool Room
As you leave the Ruins you enter the Gravel Garden filled with orange butterfly weed, grasses, Alliums and a variety of other plants including Yuccas.
Daughter Emily’s house, located at today’s visitor entrance, was built for her in 1935. It is presently used for offices and classrooms. Here is another house on the property.
The heirs left the entire property for the enjoyment of the public The garden opened to the public in 1993. If you are in the area and are visiting gardens be sure to check out both Chanticleer and Longwood Gardens.
Morikami celebrates the connection between Japan and South Florida. Little did I know that in the early 1900s, Japanese farmers arrived in southern Florida and formed an agricultural colony called Yamato, an ancient name for Japan. Most of those farmers returned to Japan but one of the remaining settlers George Sukeji Morikami donated his land to Palm Beach County as a park to preserve the memory of the Yamato Colony.
The garden consists of 16 acres of authentic Japanese gardens and art exhibits. There is even an authentic tea house and don’t miss Hotei, their resident god of happiness.
This remains the only museum dedicated to Japanese living culture and the gardens are among the finest outside of Japan. So let’s begin our walking tour:
As you exit the main building you are immediately in front of the Wisdom Ring (Chie no Wa) which is a replica of a 500 year old stone lantern, a symbol of Delray Beach’s sister city in Japan.
Next up cross the Memorial Bridge marking the entrance to the gardens and symbolizing the link between Japan and Florida.
Follow the path to the Shinden Garden which recreates the 9th – 12th century Heian Period that featured lakes and islands and emphasized informality always with an appreciation of nature and often meant to be viewed from the water.
The “Ancient Gate” (Kodai-mon) was inspired by the large mansions of samurai leaders from 1600 – 1868. Walking through this area of the garden you pass through a Bamboo Grove and the lovely sound of the bamboo stalks knocking against each other as the breeze blows. It was a lovely, musical sound and I am sorry I didn’t do a video for you to hear the clinking of the stalks.
The Paradise Garden or Buddhist heaven was meant for casual exploration.
I need one of these! The Shishi Odoshi or “Deer Chaser” is a swinging bamboo arm that collects water and then strikes a rock basin below and startles the animals who shouldn’t be there!!!!! I am definitely creating one of these in my garden!
The Karesansui, Late Rock Garden which means dry landscape consists of rocks not plants and features a bed of raked gravel.
Continue on through the Modern Romantic Garden as inspired by the late 19th – 20th century gardens with its very naturalistic setting which leads you to the Contemplation Pavilion. No real view to speak of from here but every twist and turn of the path through this garden affords some incredible views.
The South Gate is the exit from the historical gardens in contrast with the Ancient Gate.
Yamato Island is the site of the original Morikami Museum and the island represents a modern garden emphasizing the relationship between interior and exterior spaces. The Bonsai Collection of trees are housed here. A unique collection of Bonsai for sure!
The tour ends at the Morikami Falls a dramatic and powerful waterfall set among massive boulders signaling the end of your journey thru the garden or maybe you are ready to take another walk around so see what you might have missed the first time!!!
These six gardens are inspired by the famous gardens of Japan and encourage you to find peace in the environment and within one’s self. So if even just for a little while leave the outside world behind and just be one with nature. Visit a garden today!!!
Thankfully the weather held out for the Sunday Garden tours this year unlike Saturday’s Garden and Rare Plant Sale at Lion Rock Farm. Wethersfield Garden in Amenia, NY is a beautifully manicured ten acre garden surrounding the home of the late Chauncey D. Stillman. The gardens were created in a classical style similar to the Italian villas found in the 17th century.
In every direction the Garden takes full advantage of the views and creates rooms and spaces with statues, steps, water features and plant materials. It was created on a north-south and east-west axis by Landscape Architect Bryan J. Lynch and then Evelyn N. Poehler.
The Garden relies on the architecture of varying shades and textures of plant material that marry themselves into the natural landscape starting immediately upon arrival in the East Garden. Besides the sculpted yews there are Korean dogwoods, azaleas, lilacs, rhododendrons and magnolias. The four corners of this garden feature the most magnificent European Weeping Beech trees trimmed into cylindrical shape. Sorry the Garden geek in me was drooling!
The north wall in the East Garden features the Cupid Fountain surrounded by a fieldstone retaining wall that supports Sedum, Campanula and Ivy.
When you look to the south through the Arborvitae Arch which is flanked by two figurines playing pipes the views of the countryside unfold. These statues are called the “Pan Pipers”. This area features Witch Hazel, Hawthorne, Elderberry and Gray Dogwood.
The reflecting pool has a black interior that allows the surrounding shrubs to reflect onto the water’s surface. The surrounding yews are shaped into globes and cones.
The Inner Garden was originally designed when the house was built.
In the Knot Garden the flower tubs on either sides of the steps supposedly were designed by the architect Stanford White so they plant them with white petunias in his honor.
The Pine Terrace so named for the White Pine in the center of the stone terrace. A goldfish pond with its frogs and Iris and Agapanthas and Clivia that attract hummingbirds.
The Allee is flanked with Cupid urns that encourage “silence” in the garden. This area features a 12′ wide lawn and a bronze statute “Naiad” by a Swedish sculptor Carl Milles.
The Trade Secrets Garden tours are always a wonderful opportunity to tour private gardens that we can get ideas from for our own gardens even if only in our dreams.
Pollinators are crucial to the production of most fruits, nuts and berries including apples, oranges, tomatoes and blueberries. There are many plants that will attract hummingbirds, butterflies and bees to your property. In order to attract these pollinators plant a succession of blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs so pollen is available throughout the growing season. Planting flowers in large drifts and different shapes will also help attract pollinators. Just as we can’t find a ‘needle in a haystack’ neither can they. One plant will not say ‘COME HERE’ to my yard! Be Bold!
Butterflies are attracted to red, yellow, and purple blossoms that are flat topped or clustered and have short flower tubes and they prefer to feed only in the sun. Sunflowers, Zinnias, Lupines, Red-osier Dogwood, Chokecherry and Asters are a few. Female butterflies select specific plants on which to lay their eggs. The Monarch butterfly relies on Ascelpias – Butterfly weed as it serves as a Host and Nectar plant.
Hummingbirds are attracted to scarlet, orange, red or white tubular flowers sipping nectar from long tubular honeysuckle flowers as well as Verbena, Zinnias and Penstemon.
Bees are attracted to bright white, yellow or blue and purple flowers so plant several colors in your yard to attract a variety of pollinators such as Black-eyed Susan’s and Sunflowers. Bees, unlike Hummingbirds and Butterflies feed only on flowers gathering nectar and pollen.
You will get hours of enjoyment watching the hummingbirds and butterflies dance around your garden and think of all the cut flowers you will have for bouquets!
Some Plants that attract polliantors:
Salvia guaranitica; Asceplias; Agastache; Asters; Verbena bonariensis; Rudbeckia – Black-eyed Susans; Lavender; Lespedeza; Leucanthemum- Daisy; Ligularia, Coreposis, Helianthus annus- Sunflowers; Baptisa, Catmint, Solidago – Goldenrod, (not to be confused with Ragweed); Lilacs, Antirrhinum – Snapdragons; Buddleia – Butterfly Bush; Zinnias, Penstemon; Phlox; Allium, Cosmos, Monarda- Bee balm- Eupatorium- Joe Pye weed; Columbine; Echinacea- Coneflower; Achillea millefolium – Yarrow to name just a few.
A great source for plants to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to your garden is White Flower Farm. They can help you select a variety of plants to keep a steady supply of pollen and nectar available all throughout the growing season. You can find them at White Flower Farm
With Trade Secrets being this weekend in CT I thought you might be interested in this blog I wrote several years ago on the Saturday event which is always a widely anticipated event by plant geeks everywhere. People come from far and wide to attend, booking their hotel rooms a year in advance! Many of the vendors come every year so although this blog is from several years ago the information is very relevant to this weekends show in Sharon!
Trade Secrets is a two-day event which started 18 years ago in Bunny Williams backyard. This event is the foremost fundraiser for Women’s Support Services which offers crisis intervention, counseling and education, as well as legal, medical, and housing assistance to fulfill its mission of creating a community free of domestic violence. Women’s Support Services is a nonprofit organization that provides free and confidential aid to victims of domestic violence and abuse. WSS provides a 24 hour hotline, (860) 364.1900 short-term emergency shelter, counseling, legal advocacy, education and emergency support for those in need.
The proceeds from Trade Secrets 2018 will help WSS fund programs that teach children about healthy relationships and conflict resolution and will help fund operation of their 24-hour hotline. If you missed it this year mark your calendar for next year like Martha Stewart.
“Sadly 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lives” (National Violence Against Women Survey, 2000)
The mission of WSS is to create a community free of domestic violence and abuse through intervention, prevention and education.
Trade Secrets is the premiere Rare Plant & Garden Antique Sale of the season on Saturday with Private Garden tours on Sunday! Today I will take you on a tour of the Rare Plant & Garden Antique Sale.
The plant and antique sale is held yearly at Lion Rock Farm in Sharon, CT. This is a stunning property overlooking Amenia, NY located in one of the most scenic areas in northwest CT. There were antiques of every variety, rare plants that you can only find here as well as perennials, vegetables and annuals for sale. There are trees and shrubs, containers and planters, statuary and towers, peonies, roses, and lavender. You name it and I am sure you can find it here.