Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Rochesterians , myself included, so look forward, with great anticipation, to Springtime. Winter seems so long and drawn out. As soon at the temperatures start to reach 45 degrees, everyone breaks out the shorts and sandals.

This milestone could happen in April, but it’s not to be trusted, because snow may appear out of nowhere at any time. I remember having snow on Mother’s Day once.

Rochester has 3 seasons: Spall (combination of Spring and Fall), Summertime and Wintertime. Spring is so short as to be almost un-noticeable. We go from snow plows to planting peas in the blink of an eye. Fall is a bit longer. Lasting from about the end of September to the end of October.

I must confess that I do remember golfers out on the links at Thanksgiving time but that is a huge fluke. Oftentimes, there’s snow on the ground in November. November is the beginning of winter and it lasts until mid to end of April. Followed by the “S & P” of Spall, which is like a flash of lightening.

All our Spring flowers make their seasonal appearance in May. Tulips, forsythia, lilacs, the flowering trees (including fruit trees), magnolia and dogwoods. If the weather is too hot, these Springtime bloomers bow their heads and wilt. Here’s what’s blooming in my yard.

Pictures: in order of appearance.....Quince Bush, Forsythia, Dogwood Tree and Lilacs 

Summertime is a riot of all kinds of flowers and fruit trees.  Summertime’s calender is mid to end of May, June, July and August and about half of September.  Right now in early May, the temps are hovering around 70. June normally is 80, July could be 90’s, and August starts to think about Spall but still has temps from 75 to 85.

Pumpkins, other squashes, and apples come in the “ALL” part of Spall (2nd half of September and October). 

Rochester is famous for its lilacs and the spectacular park (HIGHLAND PARK) designed by the Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed Central Park in NYC and the gardens on the Biltmore Estate in NC.
 The Lilac Festival is an art, music, food and flora festival hosted annually in early May in Highland Park in Rochester, New York. It is the oldest festival of its kind in North America, drawing spectators from all over the globe. Highland Park possesses a huge collection of lilacs, featuring more than a thousand bushes and hundreds of different varieties. Early May is the season that lilacs are blooming in Rochester.

The festival was informally started in 1898 when 3,000 people came to the park one Sunday in May to see the lilacs. Since then the number of viewers has grown to over 500,000 and the festival plays out over the course of ten days. The modern day festival is started with a parade and frequently hosts concerts and other attractions during the week. The Highland Park arboretum is toured free of charge and is open to all visitors. The fields surrounding the arboretum host a myriad of vendor's tents and food stands. 


  1. This is right on Rita!! I have forsythia in my garden blooming along with tulips, grape hyacinths and still some daffodils. It seems once these bloom the rest of Spring and Summer fly by! I love the Fall in our area so I am never disappointed when Summer is over.

  2. Hehehe, you got it right, lightning fast is a perfect way to describe spring. In Toronto, the Magnolias are just spectacular right now, and my crab apple tree has little buds, which I expect to bloom in the next 2 to 3 days. They last too little, but I look forward to that. Thanks for a very informative post :)

  3. Oh, that sounds so nice! I love lilacs, and mine are just starting to bloom too. :) Spring is fun to watch unfold here in WV. My forsythia is such a bright spot in my yard.

  4. ooooooh the Lilac festival sounds heavenly!! Loved seeing photos of the various flowers in bloom as well. My mom's favorite are dogwood :)

  5. Wow... those are positively beautiful. I'll bet the festival is something to behold! We have forythia around here, too... and mimosa and azaleas :) All remind me of my Grandmother.

  6. I think I have read about the Highland Park Festival before. I didn't know that it was the oldest festival. I get a show magazine for the entire U.S. This spring we have had a Spall, which is totally not like Georgia. We usually have about two weeks of spring then blazing hot temperatures until late October.

  7. Charming photos! The redbuds here are my favorite, but the dogwoods are a close second.