Monday, April 29, 2013

Oh, how I love spring!

It's hard to believe that it's the end of April already. Between persistant cold weather and rain a few nice days appear here and there.  I could probably count on one hand the actual spring-like days we have had. Saturday was one of them and of course I had to work but I got up early and took my cup of coffee and camera and took a stroll through the garden to see what is blooming.

Virginia Bluebells
Who doesn't love these? I love blue flowers anyway and these are one of my favorites. These have been a very slow grower for me but I think my clump is finally big enough to split. I'll do that when they are done blooming and just before they go dormant for the summer. 


At one time I wasn't that fond of Daffodils but I have so much trouble with critters eating the tulip bulbs I start planting more Daffodils. Now I can't imagine a garden without them!

Ziva Paperwhites

Fern Leaf Bleeding Heart
 Dicentra formosa

These are supposed to bloom all summer unlike......

 Dicentra spectabilis which go completely dormant by mid-summer.

The few tulips I have are just opening. This is Angelique and has surprisingly returned for the second year. I rarely have tulips return two years in a row. I have these planted right up against the house and I guess the squirrels and chipmunks haven't found them there.

Tulip 'Claudia'
These were planted last fall and this clump came up and the other one just a few feet away didn't. Getting very annoyed angry at those critters!

Grape Hyacinths and  Periwinkle 'Vinca minor'.

Wood Anemone

Rue Anemone

Pulmonaria 'Majeste'
Despite their unfortunate common name Lungworts, they are some of the most showy and dependable spring bloomers. Plants should be cut back hard after blooming to rejuvenate the leaves, which will then remain attractive all season.

Lamium 'Red Nancy'
I like this for a ground cover. This might be considered evasive for some but it's well behaved for me. It's very easy to remove where I don't want it.

I showed my Star Magnolia on gardeners bloom day just when it was starting to bloom but I have to show it again in full bloom. It bloomed more profusely this year than it ever has. We had a huge maple tree cut down last year that was keeping this Magnolia in mostly shade and I think it's benefiting from the additional sun.

It looks like we might actually have a few days in a row of spring-like weather this week. I hope to get some mulching least favorite gardening task! It takes me forever because I always find something else I'd rather be doing.
Have a great week!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park is located at the edge of the village of Watkins Glen, New York, south of Seneca Lake. It is the most famous of the Finger Lakes States Parks, with a reputation of leaving visitors spellbound.
Within two miles, the glen's stream descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs and sculpted rock, generating 19 waterfalls and cascades along it's course. Rim trails overlook the gorge.

This is a trip we did with my cousins going way back to 2007. I always thought I should do a blog about this gorgeous place but never got around to it. As they say, better late than never. It's just too beautiful of a place not to share!
 I must say that I am blessed with the greatest "bunch" of cousins and we have gone to places I probably would never get to otherwise. This is one of those places I had never heard of and one of these years my husband and I would love to take a trip back here.  We would love to do some hiking and look for some more waterfalls......and perhaps visit a few of the more than 100 wineries in the Finger Lakes region.

The best way to view the Glen is to ascend the 1.5 mile gorge trail from the main entrance which starts in the village of Watkins Glen to the upper entrance and then return the same way or perhaps a rim trail.
 Our bus took us to the upper entrance so we hiked back down to the village. I think the picture above was taken at the bottom of the first set of steps known as Jacobs Ladder. The park has over 800 steps but fortunately we were going down instead of up!

There are many pools and cascades in the glen.

There's the trail winding along on the left side.

Pluto Falls

I love the stone bridges and how they blend in with the natural surroundings. It's hard to tell where the man-made walls start and end.

Rainbow Falls
This was my favorite place in the gorge.

Central Cascade

Minnehaha Falls with Cavern Cascade in the distance.

Here's a closer look at a heart shaped pool at the base of Minnehaha.

Here the trail goes behind Cavern Cascade.
I may not have all the names correct of the waterfalls or in the right order.

Sentry Falls and Bridge.
If you start your hike at the main entrance this is the first waterfall you will see.

On that same trip we also stopped to see these falls in the Letchworth State Park. We were told there are three waterfalls here but we only went to two of them. These are the upper Falls.

The Middle Falls

These are also part of the middle falls.

The upper and middle falls are located at the same place. The lower falls are about two miles downstream and we did not get to them.  That will be on my list on the next trip.

Monday, April 15, 2013

What's blooming?

The 15th of every month is Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, a day to share what's blooming in your garden with other bloggers. This was created by Carol of May Dreams Gardens. Be sure to stop by her blog and see what's blooming in other gardens.
Spring is very late and slow coming this year so blooms here are pretty scarce yet. Here's a few of mine.

Daffodils are in full bloom right now. Of course I had to wait until two severe thunderstorms, hail, and several inches of rain rolled through before I took the picture. I figured they would look better that way!!  Sorry...that's just how I roll.  Hence, the droopy daffodils:(

Pulmonaria, I think this is Majeste. These do great in my shade gardens.

Raspberry Splash


Star Magnolia

These are so pretty but I wish they would last longer.

Grecian Windflower


The Crocuses are done blooming but I'll include it here since they weren't blooming in time for last months bloom day.

 Since spring is unusually late this year or maybe it's that spring was so early last year, I thought I would show a few photos of some of my plants taken on this date or earlier last year. The difference is amazing!

Paul's Glory Hosta last year.

Paul's Glory today.

Solomons Seal last year.....

and this year.


Isn't that crazy? What a difference.

Bleeding Hearts

And one more......
One of my favorites....Virginia Bluebells last year.....

and today.

Hope you are having a great spring and Happy Gardening!

Linking to: May Dreams Gardens