Sitting here at my computer, I get a wonderful satisfaction looking at old photos taken on garden tours. At times I shake my head to wake up from dreams of tours yet to come. Many of these places are close enough that a tour would only take half a day. Other places require a bit more planning, some require serious travel.
Planting Fields Arboretum is an easy half day tour for me, only 1/2 hour from my house. It is by far the place I've visited most. (Photo credit goes to my daughter Emily who took this shot when she was 12.)
Even closer than Planting Fields Arboretum are the trial gardens at SUNY Farmingdale, our local State University. Only a 15 minute ride, I could shoot a hundred photos there in an hour or two. Best of all, there's always something new to capture my attention.
Old Westbury Gardens was the first formal Gardens that I remember visiting as a child and we visited it often. Funny thing though, I couldn't find any digital images of this wonderful place and I realize it's been a number of years since I've visited there. This is something that needs to be addressed in 2010!
Now if you want a real treat, something totally unexpected, you need to tour the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park. Central Park is the most amazing place, smack dab in the middle of New York City. When you're walking through this delightful garden you'll never realize you are surrounded by skyscrapers.
Just a little bit north of Central Park (still in New York City) is the Bronx Zoo where you will find not only a vast collection of animals but some truly beautiful plantings. I was in heaven when I came upon stands of Podophyllum (May Apples).
Just across the highway from the Zoo is the famous New York Botanical Gardens and just a bit further is Wave Hill, another to-die-for garden visit. The Bronx is just chock full of garden places to tour.
Day trips taken a bit further afield include Stonecrop Gardens up state in Cold Spring, New York. The potager there had me on my knees, it was a dream come true.
Still within a day's travel is Chanticleer Gardens, just outside Philadelphia. Another place that you could totally lose yourself in as you wander around and drool over some of the latest plant material.
This photo is blurry and yet I still love it. My daughter Emily took it while riding a tour bus through Washington DC during the Cherry Blossom bloom season. I'd love to plan a trip there and see the US National Arboretum. What do you think, would you come with me?
Finally, furthest from home are the heart wrenching swamplands in Florida. Every year I make a trek down there to visit my mom. Every year she takes me to one or two of the wildlife sanctuarys where I feel like I've been transported back in time.
Mom called me yesterday and offered me plane tickets as my Christmas present. You can bet I said yes, so it looks like this January I'll be photographing the swamps and wildlife in Florida again. Maybe, just maybe I'll have a new camera by then. It's a great goal to shoot for...
Time to stop dreaming and get ready for work,