A Garden Party

I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends, A chance to share old memories and play our songs again” ~ Ricky Nelson, 1985 [Read more…]

Boscobel House & Gardens

The Boscobel House flanked by massive maples in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

The Boscobel House flanked by massive maples (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Although its foundation is now firmly planted on the soil of Garrison, New York, the magnificent Boscobel house did not originate there. Instead, the stately residence was moved from Montrose, New York (about 15 miles away), where building was completed for the Dyckman family in 1808. States Dyckman envisioned his future home as a sanctuary from the stresses of serving the British army, so he chose the name of Boscobel after the Boscobel estate in Shropshire, England, where King Charles II took refuge after battle. Sadly, States passed in 1806, before the construction was finished. While considered a very luxurious home for its day, Boscobel functioned as a working farm with 250 acres and a variety of animals (fowl, hogs, cows, sheep and horses) that were managed by States’ widow, Elizabeth Dyckman, until her death in 1823. Descendants of States and Elizabeth continued to live in the home until 1888. [Read more…]

The Berkshire Botanical Garden

Entry to de Gersdorf Perennial Garden in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Entry to de Gersdorff Perennial Garden (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

I can’t think of a better way to start the month of August than by visiting the enchanting Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge, Mass. (www.berkshirebotanical.org) Easily accessible from scenic Route 7, this garden is situated on 15 gently rolling acres that are surrounded by the breathtaking Berkshire mountains. The property consists of two parcels, requiring road crossing to access 14 of the 26 display gardens that are positioned throughout the landscape for optimal viewing. The pathways and gardens are easily maneuverable; a hat and comfortable walking shoes are all that’s needed to stroll around the grounds. And there are numerous seating areas tucked into perfect vantage points, each offering wonderful opportunities to stop and reflect on a beautiful setting. [Read more…]

Happy Trails

Jenny & The Rock in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Trail guide Jenny stands near a glacial rock (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Upon meeting Jenny Benner, the first thing you’ll notice is her face, as it absolutely glows with enthusiasm. Among her many talents, Jenny is an author, speaker and photographer (see the book she wrote with Stephanie Cohen, The Nonstop Garden), but first and foremost she is a wife and mother, which has only served to heighten her loving, protective attitude for all things pertaining to the environment as well. Like the most diligent watch dog, she sinks her teeth into a mission and doesn’t let go. It was this passion and sincerity that led her to become involved with the non-profit Connecticut Forest & Park Association (www.ctwoodlands.org) in 2008, and not surprisingly she’s still going strong with the organization. [Read more…]

Hollister House Garden Revisited

The Grey Garden at Hollister House in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

The Grey Garden at Hollister House (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

For those that think New England gardens really don’t hit their stride until June or July, you haven’t been to Hollister House Garden (in Washington, CT) in May.  Allow me to be the first to dispel the myth that May gardens are boring, because right now that place is rockin’ with vibrant tulips, dazzling daffodils, and cornflower blue forget-me-nots (Myosotis) sprinkled about as if a piece of the sky dropped down to frolic amongst the plants.  And don’t be fooled into thinking that bulbs are the only thing happening in this “informal and rather wild” garden, oh no.  Instead, let me take you on a little stroll and show you exactly what’s going on during this prime time in mid-spring. [Read more…]

Great Local Destinations

The water garden at Wave Hill in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

The water garden at Wave Hill (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Life is crazy busy for so many of us these days.  Between careers, family, (animals & gardens!) and home, it’s a wonder we ever have time to relax.  Although many of us can take the time to travel around the world, for a variety of reasons, some of us can not.  I have traveled a little; within the U.S. I’ve hiked the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, visited the red hills of Sedona and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, lounged on the beaches of Southern California, even going as far as the Virgin Island of St. John where I swam with sea turtles (and barracudas).  But honestly, as Dorothy discovered when she ventured off to see the Wizard of Oz, to me there is no place like home.  And no matter where you live, with a little research you will find lots of great places nearby to spend a day relaxing and rejuvenating.  Here are a few places close to me where I easily recharge my batteries: [Read more…]

The Boardwalk

Tall grasses line the boardwalk in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Tall grasses line the White Memorial boardwalk (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

Located on a 4,000 acre nature preserve in the hills of northwestern Connecticut, the White Memorial Conservation Center is proudly celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.  Established in 1964 in the former homestead of Alain and May White, this public center is dedicated to conservation, research, education and recreation.  More than 35 miles of trails through a variety of terrains offer opportunities for anything from a casual stroll to mountain biking, cross country skiing and horseback riding.  But it’s the boardwalk that does it for me. [Read more…]

The High Line

Beautiful grasses line the walkway in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Beautiful grasses line the High Line walkway (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

All I wanted for my 55th birthday was a trip to New York City, to walk the High Line and to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.  This may sound like a simple enough endeavor, but for my self-employed husband and a household full of animals, taking a day off is serious business.  Once you factor in erratic train schedules and somewhat unreliable weather patterns, you’re left with the potential for either a fabulous day or a disappointing one.  However, my husband addressed the whole conundrum with one solution: LIMO.  One that picked us up in the morning, drove us everywhere our hearts desired throughout the day, and brought us safely home in time to tend to the herd.  What a way to celebrate! [Read more…]

Mine Hill Preserve

Mine Hill granite cliff in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

Mine Hill granite cliff (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

A huge piece of granite sits comfortably in front of the fireplace of a home built in Roxbury,  Connecticut in the late 1800’s.  This stone is worn from the feet that stood upon it while cooking food, and blackened by embers that fell onto its surface throughout the decades.  Though you can see this is an old piece of stone, and imagine by its size that the weight was somewhat unwieldy when originally placed there, what the granite can’t tell you is its history.  But I can. [Read more…]

Walkway Over the Hudson

View of the Mid Hudson Bridge in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer https://agardenforall.com

View of the Mid-Hudson Bridge (photo by: Kathy Diemer)

The first train crossed what was considered an engineering marvel of its day, the Poughkeepsie Bridge, on December 29, 1888.  At a length of 6,768 feet and height of 212 feet, this multispanned cantilever truss bridge was constructed of steel, with the two approach viaducts made from iron; together forming one of the most direct rail routes between the northern and mid-western states. The Poughkeepsie Bridge remained the only Hudson River crossing between Albany and New York City until 1924, and was a vital link for World War II war freight traffic, diligently guarded 24 hours a day.  Due to the competitiveness of other railways such as Erie and Penn, by the late 60’s Poughkeepsie Bridge became a far less important access way, and a severe fire in the spring of 1974 signaled the bridge’s final demise.  Abandoned and left to deteriorate, Conrail sold the bridge for $1.00 to a private party in 1984, and with years of back taxes left unpaid, the bridge was finally deeded to a nonprofit organization called Walkway Over the Hudson (www.walkway.org) in 1998. [Read more…]

A Garden for All