Showing posts with label Saratoga Secret Gardens Tour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saratoga Secret Gardens Tour. Show all posts

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Garden news around these parts: Tours and sales and hummingbirds in my own backyard (edited)

Overcast! Oh, yes it is, again! So cool and gray this spring has been. Very like English weather. At least in our yard, this has thrown off bloom times. Until yesterday, I had not seen any returning hummingbirds, where as in most years, they would have been here and happily darting about from blossom to blossom by now.

But last evening, I did spot a couple, zooming around in the near-dusk. They seemed frantic, even by hummingbird standards, going to places in our garden where, normally, plants would be in bloom: clematis, trumpet vine, peonies. But although there are buds on those plants, the hummingbirds were finding little to sip there.

I quickly boiled up some sugar water (see how to do that, here) cooled down the nectar, then rinsed out the feeder and filled it up. I hung it out last night, just before 8:00 PM, hoping the hummingbirds would find it in the morning. 

And they have.  Even bleary-eyed as I was making coffee, I quickly noticed their comings and goings at dawn this morning. It took them no time at all to find the feeder. I guess they were hungry. (Sorry, no actual hummer photos: They are too quick and my camera is too humble.) Later edit: Despite my lack of sophisticated camera gear, I was later able to get the somewhat blurry photo, above, of one of my hummingbird visitors this afternoon.

If you have never fed hummingbirds before, please do a little reading before you start. Usually, I only feed them in the spring, as it can be a challenge to keep the nectar from becoming rancid once the weather becomes very hot. But my theory is, now is when they really need the help. By midsummer, there is much more nectar available from natural sources and they don't need the feeder then.

Yeah, about that weather forecast.

Today was supposed to be sunny. Looks cold and gray to me. (Sigh.) Eat up, little hummers, and keep warm as best you can.
 Alas, the wet spring has been a challenge for sellers of plants this year. But you can take advantage of resulting special deals, such as at Fiddlehead Creek Native Plant Nursery, one of my favorite plant sources in this region. These next two Fridays and Saturdays, they are having a huge sale - all stock is buy one, get one free. The nursery will be open for retail sales for only four more days this spring, starting June 2 and 3, and then June 9 and 10. Their hours are 9-5 all four days. After that, the nursery is open by appointment only.  Find Fiddlehead Creek nursery in beautiful Washington County. Their address is 7381 State Route 40, Hartford, NY 12838.

It is getting to be the season for garden tours. There are two good ones coming up that you can buy tickets for right now. Check out Historic Albany's 2017 House and Garden Tour

Center Square Association, Hudson/Park Neighborhood Association and Historic Albany Foundation are proud to present the annual Hidden City House & Garden Tour on Thursday, June 22 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Every year, this tour brings the neighborhood to life as homeowners open their doors and gardens to the public. Guests are able to tour, at their leisure, the beautiful and historic homes and hidden gardens that make up the Center Square & Hudson/Park neighborhoods. This year we'll also feature Pine Hills.

The link for tickets is here: 

And another favorite, the 23rd annual Secret Gardens Tour presented by Soroptimist International of Saratoga County, is coming up on Sunday, July 9, from 11 AM to 5 PM. From their promotional information:

This year, we are featuring an eclectic mix of 11 private gardens in and around Saratoga Springs. From homes on North Broadway, to a cluster of in-city yards, to a handful of suburban secrets, the gardens are a mix of styles and sizes, in both sun and shade, sure to inspire garden lovers of every level.

One cautionary note from me: Garden tours of private homes and spaces may have accessibility issues. You should be aware that there may be stairs, slippery places, narrow and uneven footpaths, lots of walking. Before you set off with your aged aunt or strollers full of wee bairns, you might want to call ahead for advice and details. (Trust me on this.) And please, do NOT bring your dogs.



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It's Saratoga County for horses and blooms this weekend

I love farms. I love horses. I love FREE. So the 2014 Saratoga County Horse Tour, sponsored by CCE Equine/Cornell Cooperative Extension sounds to me like the perfect way to spend Saturday afternoon.

This is a self-driven tour that is open to the public. Click here for a printable brochure and directions to each farm. If you've never met that lovable loser, retired thoroughbred Zippy Chippy, this weekend is your chance.

Several of the featured farms are in the thoroughbred biz in one way or another, so local racing fans may find this tour fun and informative. And if there is anyone in your family who is smitten with horses, this is a Must Do event.

And then there is Sunday. This event isn't free but it sure is popular. One of the main fundraisers for Soroptimist International of Saratoga County is this annual garden tour. Several generous and ambitious families open their private gardens to visitors on this one Sunday in July. Some gardens are professionally "done" but most are the result of the hard work and creativity of mere mortals who happen to love gardening. Those are my favorite. They fill me with awe and admiration. Please click here for information about when and where to buy tickets for the garden tour.

For those of you who can't make either tour, please check back here after the weekend. I will try to get some good photos to share with you.

Wherever you live, I hope your weekend is filled with lots of things you love to do in the out of doors.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saratoga's Secret Gardens, 2011

My sister, her daughter-in-law, and I set out late this morning for our annual trek around Saratoga as part of the Soroptimists Secret Gardens Tour. 
Despite the overcast day, we had plenty of company.

There were lovely vignettes...

...and awesome vistas.

There were clever twists.  Here, ordinary PVC pipe with a few slits became a vertical garden feature.
There was beauty in small spots and dappled shade.
There was garden art with attitude. Look at me!
There were tiny urban gardens that offered something to see in every nook.
After a lunch stop at the Country Corner Cafe, we finished the tour and came home with lots of ideas to try in our own gardens. If the rain will just hold off, I will be out weeding and digging and snipping spent blooms in mine tomorrow.