Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Glamping in the Forests of Southern Maine

 When staying at Huttopia, a resort in Southern Maine, you’ll be glamping where your cozy, comfortable dwelling is snuggled by soaring Eastern white pine trees.

Everything about Huttopia in Southern Maine is peaceful, especially in the early morning and evening. My tiny house faced Sand Pond where the wee beach and the dock with a pair of Adirondack chairs were perfect places to enjoy the bucolic scenery.

Sand Pond is a nexus for relaxation and recreation at Huttopia in Southern Maine. I never tired of the sunrise - or anything else at this playful and peaceful resort.

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Saturday, July 17, 2021

A Bucolic and Historic Accommodation in Delaware

 Just a few miles from Wilmington, the Inn at Montchanin Village & Spa combines a sense of history — it’s connected to the DuPonts and the buildings date to the 18th century — with some whimsical landscaping. Walking from my cottage in the early morning, I found that the gardens instilled a sense of peace.

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Sunday, July 11, 2021

A Green Space Atop A New York City Library

 On Fifth Avenue stands a gem of a library. No, not the “one with the lions” that’s diagonally across from this other one, formerly known simply the Mid Manhattan Library, which had been going downhill in terms of its architecture, design and functionality for quite some time. Then it closed for renovations and I pretty much forgot about it. Until a week or so ago when it reopened. The completely resurrected and renovated Mid-Manhattan Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library is dramatic, bold and sun-filled. And, the rooftop terrace and soon-to-open cafe/coffee shop are the icing on the cake.

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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Green Spaces Near Tivoli, New York

In the Hudson Valley, the Olana State Historic Site and Blithewood Garden are stunning. These are a few more images from my recent trip.

Nature and art are interwoven at the Olana State Historic Site, just like the fencing and benches dotting the landscape. It shouldn't come as a surprise, given that this scenic property was largely designed by noted Hudson River School painter, Frederic Church who lived and painted there.

On the forested property of the Olana State Historic Site, this is one of several silk banners - Memento Mori Mandalas - created by artist Portia Munson. They each honor a creature that had been felled by climate change.

Blithewood Garden on the bucolic Bard College campus offers myriad sensory delights, from the sweet fragrance of lavender and other blooms to the sweeping sight of the Hudson River and the Catskill Mountains in the distance


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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Another Bucolic Hudson Valley Town - Tivoli

On my recent travels to the picturesque village of Tivoli, I jogged just under two miles every day to the banks of the Hudson River, passing this magical house along the way. 

Numerous carriage roads wind through the scenic Olana State Historic Site that sprawls along the Hudson River. (It's just a short drive from Tivoli.) Among the myriad botanical species growing on this expansive property, the smoke trees with their cloud-like blooms were especially evocative.

The woodsy campus of Bard College is stunning, especially because of its abundance of gardens. (Many Bard students reside in Tivoli.) The walled Blithewood Garden that's set more than 100 feet above the Hudson River is the most spectacular.

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Sunday, June 27, 2021

A Spectacular Garden in Canada's Quebec Maritime Region

The Gaspesie Peninsula in Canada’s Quebec Maritime region is a year-round gem, whether you desire undeveloped sandy beaches, networks of hiking trails or an abundance of cross-country ski options in the winter when a thick blanket of snow coats the landscape. But horticulture fans will also want to visit this area that’s home to the unique and historic Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens. Here, it’s not just the thousands of botanical specimens that will delight, but also the avant-garde installations that are part of the annual International Garden Festival as well as the numerous sculptures dotting the property. I recently interviewed Alexander Reford, the director as well as great-grandson of the horticulturist and Reford Gardens' creator, Elsie Reford. Here’s my article for Forbes Life

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

New York City’s New Green Space

Derelict Pier 54 in Manhattan has been reimagined as Little Island, a new Hudson River installation that adds an almost three-acre green space to the city.

On my recent visit, I found an abundance of stellar flora, though it seemed everyone else seemed to be captivated by selfies.

Spending just an hour climbing the undulating landscape of Little Island and concentrating my attention on the many-hued blooms is a rejuvenating experience.

I noticed dazzling blooms and creative hardscape structures everywhere, even along the stairs and beside the railings.

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Sunday, June 13, 2021

Nature-based and Creative Finds in Greenport, Long Island

Just two hours from New York City, Greenport on the North Fork of Long Island is a more low-key alternative to the scene in the Hamptons. 

Roaming around Greenport early in the day before high season started has many advantages, including finding artistic shapes outside restaurants that had not yet opened.

I found plenty of artistic inspiration in Greenport, Long Island even without visiting the myriad galleries.

In fact, not all the creative art in Greenport, Long Island is displayed in the galleries.

A short drive from Main Street, numerous shaded boardwalks zig-zag through the wetlands that provide abundant bird watching opportunities in the Arshamomaque Pond Preserve, which was renamed for an environmental champion, Paul Stoutenburgh.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

More Wanderings Across the Pennsylvania Border from Wilmington, Delaware

 This is the last of my three posts documenting my nature-based findings while visiting Wilmington, Delaware, President Biden’s hometown, as well as the surrounding Brandywine Valley and across the Pennsylvania border. 

Longwood Gardens is draped with a rainbow of brilliant colors — beyond the tulips that the crowds sought.

Though a springtime visit to Longwood Gardens means you’ll find the venue thronged with those who came for the showy flowers, I chose to stroll along paths that bordered the expansive and picturesque Meadow Garden that exuded nothing but a sense of calm.

Seeking to avoid the masses at Longwood Gardens who came for the tulips, I discovered serene woodlands.

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