You know spring is near when the Philadelphia Flower Show rolls into town. Each year the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) hosts the wildly popular show downtown at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. For 2018, the show is tackling the theme of water. This precious and limited resource is highlighted in some interesting and unexpected ways. But, as the Philadelphia Flower Show demonstrates this year, conserving water doesn’t mean you have to forgo a beautiful garden.
In recent years, the theme for the Flower Show has made things a bit difficult for the exhibitions. “The Movies” was inexplicably interpreted as Disney princesses. The National Park Service, while beautiful, wasn’t very floral. Simply put: people want to see flowers. They want to see colors. They want to anticipate spring. And if ten acres of blooming trees and flowers don’t get you in the mood for spring, then you’re just not trying.
It’s about this time of the year — halfway through winter and halfway to spring — when people start dreaming of warm locations and vacations on bright sandy beaches. But only just recently my fellow Pennsylvanian, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted a further six weeks of winter. However, I have found a loophole! A visit to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. The horticultural garden in suburban Philadelphia is currently exhibiting more than 4,500 orchids as part of their annual Orchid Extravaganza exhibit. It’s a first taste of spring that really shouldn’t be missed!
But how incredible are the naturally occurring phenomenon that surround us? This month’s featured Must See is located in Ireland. Giant’s Causeway is a unique stone formation along the Irish coast made by volcanic eruptions. But what is amazing is that the formation is roughly 40,000 basalt columns. It might look like a pathway carefully crafted by human hands. But it’s not! It is just Nature doing its thing. Continue reading →
Each spring, people flock to Philadelphia’s West Fairmount Park for the city’s annual cherry blossom festival. The setting is perfect with countless cherry trees and Shofuso, a traditional Japanese home and garden. But through those warm spring, summer and fall months, you can visit Shofuso even if those famous blossoms are not on display. The house and garden is a special gem you wouldn’t expect to stumble upon within the park. And it’s one you shouldn’t miss either!
After dreaming a few months ago about visiting one of Japan’s Cherry Blossom Festivals, I made sure to schedule a visit to Philadelphia’s own version of the international event. Sakura Sunday is the closeout to a week of sakura, or cherry blossom, related events that take place around the city as part of the Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival. The Cherry Blossom event on Sunday takes place in a small section of Fairmount Park that includes the Shofuso Japanese House & Garden. The schedule includes traditional drumming, dancing, Harajuku fashions and more. Continue reading →
When I was growing up, I vaguely recall that once a year my grandmother, who lived with us would meet up with her friends and they’d ride into city for the Philadelphia Flower Show. I’ve really never had much interest in the show until I saw photos from last year’s show. It was more than just a few flowers assembled together. It was nature. It was art. It was spring. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to last year’s show but I promised myself I wouldn’t miss this year’s show. Continue reading →
It seemed for a while like Mother Nature had forgotten that it was winter. It’s been so mild here! Even at the end of fall, when we’d normally see at the very least a dusting of snow, we saw next to nothing. Well maybe Mother Nature finally checked her calendar. The past week has been cold. Really cold. It’s colder here than in Stockholm, Sweden. (I checked.) The creek that runs next to our house is almost completely frozen over and has a light coating of fresh snow on it from this morning. And we had a few inches of snow fall earlier in the week. I made sure to snap a photo of the sun trying to peek out as the snow flakes came gently down. It sure is pretty.
What a whirlwind weekend. We recently spent approximately 48 hours in San Francisco in order to attend the wedding of a friend of mine. Our flight took off bright and early at 6 am on Friday and we touched down back home late Sunday afternoon. I say that in the past tense despite the fact that I’m drafting this post high above the clouds. (Too bad United’s domestic flights don’t offer the free flight tracker like they do on international flights; love that feature!) This was the first time both my husband and I have been to San Francisco, or even California, so I wanted to share some of experiences. Continue reading →
As I was reading the news online the other week, a story caught my eye. Apparently there is a forest overlooking the Bay Lough in Ireland’s Knockmealdowns Mountains that has rhododendrons growing so densely on it that a couple got lost and had to be rescued. The BBC reports that the rescue operation took five hours! If you’re looking for a place to visit and enjoy some rhododendrons without needing emergency supplies and a preplanned evacuation route, you might want to make a visit to Rhododendron-Park Bremen (site in German only) in northwestern Germany. It’s definitely on my must see list. Continue reading →
If you are in the Outer Banks area and you’re looking for something to do, say, for a morning or an afternoon, you might want to consider the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. North Carolina has several state aquariums and one can be found down a quiet residential road, near an airport, on the edge of Roanoke Island. It’s a small aquarium but a very nice one with plenty of things to stop and enjoy depending on your level of interest and your schedule. Continue reading →