Monday, July 27, 2015

Life Started in a Garden

I am so blessed to have girlfriends who are just as enthused as I am to go touring around our region getting inspired by God's awesome creativity - lakes, gardens, mountains, hills, vineyards, ponds, dwellings, families. I am still soaking in the beauty we witnessed together two days ago taking the RMSC Garden Tour . I think I saw the most inspiring gardens on this Saturday past than in all the years I've been touring. (but then, again I might say that every time)

There are several annual garden tours in the Rochester, NY area. All of which make for an awesome "girlz day out". All the tours are fundraisers for various civic organizations that bless our community all year long, year after year.

The one we attended on this fourth Saturday of July was far flung with 3 gardens in an eastern suburb and 3 gardens in a western suburb. I am going to divide this account into two installments. This post for eastern gardens and next week's for the western suburb.


The first garden we visited was a shady garden and oh, so peaceful and serene. It was raining when we arrived. We all carried umbrellas. The gardener was present in each garden. They were all so hospitable and full of information about their gardens. This particular garden was completely covered in a thick carpet of decaying leaves. It felt luxuriously opulent. I asked the gardener if she imported leaves to make this huge expanse so dense. She answered me "no". The many trees on her property shed their leaves in the Fall and where they fall, they stay. She does create pathways through the garden, using the free mulch the town offers to residents (a recycling project in which the local towns shred residential garden wastes of tree limbs, Christmas trees, etc. and make it available to local residents)

The next garden was just a few steps away from the first one.  In picture 1, the rain soaked bench is reached by a decent on slate garden steps. It looked to me like a perfect spot for morning devotions. Note the mossy ground cover. In picture 2, you can see that this garden is on a slope. Therefore the gardens below are reached by stone steps. This garden was so rich in beauty, it was difficult to even absorb it into my tiny "point and shoot" camera. No shot could capture it enough for my satisfaction. Does that ever happen to you?

In the third and final garden on the east end, the gardener is the owner of a local art gallery. Therefore, you'll see garden artwork in her garden. Also a place for fairies. In picture 1 you'll see the fairie house and the fairie asleep on the moss on the right. Picture 2 shows a fanciful garden bench. Pictures 3 and 4 show a garden path lined with handmade etched stepping stones. Picture 5 is of a front lawn garden bed and picture 6, another piece of garden artwork - a glass and metal octopus, totally out of his element.

Stay tuned for the next post where you'll see the awesome western gardens of Scottsville, NY

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

La Tea Dah

A couple days ago, my gal pals and I had another of our "girlz day outs". We try to do this as often as we can while still juggling around everyone's schedules. One works four days a week with Friday's off (that's  good thing), another works during the school year and has Summers off. And I am "at liberty" almost all the time.

This time, our plan was to check out a local tea room which moved into a new site because of a fire at the original site. The original site was in an old Victorian mansion, with a rabbits warren of small rooms on the first floor. Of course it also boasted of fireplaces, niches, bay windows, window seats, and cubbies, all those wonderful Victorian architectural fancies.

The new location is far less elegant and of a more modern vintage, but it too is in a re-imagined house. It does not have the ambience of the original location but it's still a tea room and there's a feeling  that you've, somehow, gone back in time.

white fur muff hanging off  a chair - who remembers using those to keep hands warm?

wall of vintage hats to wear while tea drinking
Sometimes we scrapbook the memory of our "Girlz Day Out" but this time this blog post is the record.

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Night On The Town

The town I speak of is Pultneyville, NY, population 698. Layed out in 1896 and on the National Register of Historic Places. Pultneyville, NY

My reason for being there on this past Friday evening was my friend wanted to have dinner by the water. Pultneyville is certainly by the water. It is situated at the mouth of Salmon Creek, an inlet from Lake Ontario. Dinner on the patio of the Pultneyville Grill offers an awesome view of the Lake with sailboats striping the view with their masts.

I highly recommend it

In 1865, Pultneyville was home to approximately 30 Great Lakes captains, thus the "widows walks" (where the wives would ascend to to look out over the lake for the return of their husbands from seafaring) on the top story of some of the houses facing the lake.

Hitching post for horses in front

this house built with the cobblestones used for building the Canal-note the preciseness of the layers 

The little port town served as main access point for Great Lakes commerce before the Erie Canal was built. Sending agricultural goods to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Laurence River then on to east coast cities of NYC, Boston and Baltimore.

In Spring of 1814, it was the site of a small skirmish during the War of 1812 when British troops needed supplies which they seized from the intimidated residents. A dispute broke out and weapon fire commenced on both sides. Two citizens were killed and three wounded and two were taken prisoner.

The excellent rating I would give to the Pultneyville Grill plus the total charm and rich history of this little town puts it high on my list of "favorite places to visit".

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Landmark Society House Tour

This year the Landmark Society house tour was held in the Highland Heights section of the city of Rochester. This tract of land is the highest elevation in our city. Because of its hilly terrain, it wasn't settled until the early 20th century. It has an exceptional view and homeowners in the neighborhood have a binding covenant built into their property deeds stipulating that all changes to the design of the houses and yards have to be approved by the Board of Directors. Therefore, on the tour, we saw no fences or swimming pools but rather an attempt to maintain an open landscape. The result is an unique community whose appearance has been carefully shaped by its residents for over a century.

It was a walking tour. All the homes were close to each other. Much hill climbing was involved, however. So much so that one driveway offered a ride up to the house by golf cart.

golf cart hill

The homes in this neighborhood were built at the time of the advent of the automobile and as you can imagine, this historic change brought about a change in the way people lived their lives. In one home on the tour, the main entrance was on the driveway side of the house to accommodate entrance and departure by car! Another home featured a rear entrance much more elegant than the front entrance, featuring leaded glass side lights and decorative railing, reflective of the influence the auto had on home owners who assumed most visitors would arrive by a car driving up their driveways and enter the home from the rear!

Rolling lawns without any obstruction between properties

The day of the house tour was one of those perfect Summer days. I bought by ticket at a church in the neighborhood and when I reached out to purchase my ticket the hostess said "that will be $20.00 plus your bracelet".
Stacking Bracelet

 I was so happy I had business cards in my purse. I handed out 4 of them to the 4 ladies who were "manning" that reception table.