Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Camellia House Weekend at the Planting Fields Arboretum, New York State Historie Park

 What do Long Islanders do when the month of February begins to get awfully dreary?  We go to the annual exhibit of the Camellias at the Planting Fields Arboretum, in Oyster Bay, on the North Shore of Long Island.
 Fortunately the Coe estate is under the jurisdiction of  the New York State Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.  Click photos to enlarge.
The Olmsted brothers of Brookline , Massachusetts, oversaw the estate projects from 1918 to 1944, including the Camellia House. 
Camellia trees were planted directly into the soil within the greenhouse, and have matured ever since.

 Other plantings such as this Jasmine,

and the Creeping Fig vines enhance the brick walls.

The amazing blooms both very large,
 and very small,
 offer a spectacular  desplay,
 which can take one away from the blues of February.

 At this event, Roberta Erlagen, a water color artist,
 demonstrates her techniques,regarding capturing the essence of Camellia blooms.

 Visitors, both adult and children, gather around her work table,
 to see how she captures the fragile Camellia blooms and,

 shiny waxen leaves.

 The result  is a delicate  harmony of shape and colors.

If that wasn't enough, the charming Josh Kekoa Cho, serenaded the visitors with his ukulele and Hawaiian songs.
 So if you want to get away, go on  "stay vacation" as they say, without really traveling far.
 The Planting Fields at Camellia time is the answer, and you can learn about their blooms, names,and habits while also enjoying talented artists.  what a great day.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Nor'easter Called Nemo Snow Storm February 2013

 According to meteorologist and long term weather forecaster, Joe Bastardi, we are in a weather cycle similar to what we experienced in the 1950's.
 This week, February 2013, Long Island and most of the top half of the Northeast, was slammed with a storm named Nemo.
 Here on the north shore of Long Island, the western end of Suffolk county, snow totals were as high as 29 inches in Huntington.  The further east you got, it rained for the first part of the storm, then caught up later with snow.
 These are the back steps with the snow covering.  I started using a broom to whisk away the crystals of ice and fluffy snow.
 Later I went out to see how things looked.  The snow was up over the mailbox.
 The back yard look pristine.
 The shrubs were laden with ice and snow and the sun dial was covered with many inches of snow.
 Winds were fierce, and blew snow up against doors and buried the boxwoods.

 The only thing nice that I can say about Yews, is that they hold up under mountains of snow.
 Everything was coated with ice and heaving under the snow.  The  very old Quince tree split in half.
 Looking west.
 Drifts were up past the front steps, and almost to the windows.
North where the plows has piled road snow in front of the driveway
Looking south
 The big holly tree, shown here with its berries, fed the wild birds, especially the Robins.

 The Leylands were droopy,
 the Kwanzan Cherry trees in the park were covered.
 For some reason, Robins forgot to migrate south and were in the trees.  Fortunately, there were plenty of berries to eat on the trees and shrubs.
 It is a long walk to the street in deep snow.
 Garden furniture
 Rhododendrons covered with ice
 Starlings waiting for better weather and warmer temperatures.  Today started out at 15 degrees F.  Tomorrow it should get up into the middle 40's, then everything will begin to melt.  Long Island is know for its roller coaster weather.  "If you don't like the weather on Long Island when you go out the front door, go out the back door."