About Ellen Park
Ellen Park has been gardening ever since she discovered playing in the dirt was more fun than digging in the sandbox. In her blog, Road Trips for Gardeners, she covers the world looking for plant-centric events, flower shows, great gardens and places to see the best things growing.
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The flowering beauty of the apple tree is celebrated during the annual Apple Blossom Festival to be held May 16 through 19, 2013, in Williamson, New York.
A community festival, it has all the essentials — a 5K run, food vendors, carnival rides, arts & crafts, a street dance — and something extra: fireworks at dusk on May 17, 2013.
Cherry blossom season must come late in Barberton, Ohio, since their annual Cherry Blossom Festival doesn’t take place until May 17 through 19, 2013.
All the fun stuff — we’re talking games, food, vendors — takes place at Lake Anna Park, 535 West Park Avenue, Barberton, Ohio.
There is a cherry pie eating contest under the Big Tent at 4 p.m. May 18, 2013, with signups at the Visitors Center that day between 1 and 3:35 p.m. Contestants compete in three categories: 6-10 years old, 11-15 years old and 16 & up. Participants will be expected to eat a 1/4, 1/2 or whole Gardner cherry pie — without their hands.
The annual festival is sponsored by the Barberton Area Jaycees.
Did you know that Spokane, Washington’s official nickname is the “Lilac City”? That’s probably the reason they schedule a Lilac Festival, which is celebrating its 75th year this week.
One can only assume that this city-wide fest in Spokane, Washington, coincides with the time of year that lilacs typically bloom here. That makes this week a good time for traveling in the inland Pacific Northwest to swing by, even if there’s no official tour of great lilac bushes.
Kickoff event is a Lilac Luncheon hosted by the Associated Garden Clubs of Spokane, to be held at 11:30 a.m. today (May 13, 2013) in the Isabella Room of the Davenport Hotel.
The biggest happening is Saturday’s torchlight parade. It snakes through downtown, beginning at the corner of Spokane Falls Boulevard and Washington Street at 7:45 p.m. May 18, 2013.
The eighth annual Lilac Festival is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (May 11, 2013) in Defiance, Ohio.
Always held the second weekend of May, it takes place along Clinton Street downtown.
The lilac, the official flower of Defiance, is celebrated with all sorts of activities, including an arts and crafts fair, a 5K race, the Power of Purple Parade and live music.
A bonus: the first 500 attendees will receive free lilacs.
It’s sponsored by the Defiance Development and Visitors Bureau.
The Lilac Festival in Rochester, New York, is set for May 10 through 19, 2013, in Highland Park.
This year’s opening day celebration will be like no other. If you’re in Upstate New York on Friday, wear your purple and head for the center stage. The idea is to set the record for the biggest crowd of people wearing purple ever assembled.
A world class arboretum (or “tree garden”), Monroe County’s Highland Park is included in the Mount Hope Preservation District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Established in 1887, the park was the dream of George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry, two Rochester citizens and nurserymen. Owners of the Mount Hope Nursery, they endowed the community with 20 acres of their nursery’s land and enlisted the help of noted landscape engineer Frederick Law Olmsted to develop the park.
The relationship with Olmsted lasted into the 20th Century and, now in the 21st Century, Highland Park has grown to comprise 150 acres of rolling hills filled with botanical delights, magnificent gardens and the largest collection of Lilacs in the United States — more than 500 varieties on 1200 plants.
Lilacs are known for their fragrance. When Evangeline comes into bloom, you can smell it all the way down the street. The double whites could be Madame Lemoine or Miss Ellen Willmott, two of the most popular and fragrant of the Lemoine hybrids. Pocahontas has a nice rounded shape and a dark purple flower. Fenelon, a fragrant pink, is another favorite, and the earliest to bloom in Rochester.
From the multi-petaled Rochester Lilac, to the early blooming single white Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Dwight D. Eisenhower, which has huge clusters of sky-blue flowers, there’s no shortage of rare discoveries to be found among the Lilac Collection.
Photo Credit: 2013 Lilac Festival Poster
There’s something especially southern about the magnolia tree, and it’s only fitting that an Arkansas town named Magnolia in the southern part of the state should host an annual Magnolia Blossom Festival.
The county seat for the state’s Columbia County, Magnolia has lined its courthouse square with the trees known for their fragrant flowers that should be in full bloom during this year’s event, set for May 17 and 18, 2013. Of course, there also will be a parade, a queen contest, arts & crafts vendors, fishing tournament and antique car show.
But, as they say in the infomercials, that’s not all. On the same weekend is the 24th Annual World Championship Steak Cook-off. More than 4000 steaks will be cooked on some 70 grills around the square May 18. (Wanna eat? Buy a ticket online ahead of time.)
It’s all sponsored by the Magnolia-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.
If you’re heading to New England this summer, here’s an event to mark on your travel calendar.
Connecticut Historic Gardens Day takes place from 1 to 4 p.m. June 23, 2013, at Roseland Cottage, 556 Route 169, Woodstock, Connecticut.
Celebrate the event’s tenth anniversary with a guided tour of the formal parterre garden. Learn the history, significance and theory behind the garden layout and design, and hear about Historic New England‘s ongoing boxwood restoration project. Guided tours begin on the hour.
Built in 1846 in the then newly fashionable Gothic Revival style, Roseland Cottage (a National Historic Landmark) depicts the summer life of Henry and Lucy Bowen and their young family. Prominently situated across from the town common, the “cottage” epitomizes Gothic Revival architecture, with its steep gables, decorative bargeboards, and ornamented chimney pots. The interior is equally colorful, and features elaborate wall coverings, heavily patterned carpets and stained glass — much of which survives unchanged from the Victorian era.
Henry Bowen was a Woodstock native who returned to his hometown after establishing a successful business in New York City. While Lucy Bowen enjoyed summers away from the city, her husband used Roseland Cottage as a place to entertain friends and political connections, including four presidents of the United States.
Roseland Cottage’s picturesque landscape includes original boxwood-edged parterre gardens planted in the 1850s. The estate includes an icehouse, aviary, carriage barn, and the nation’s oldest surviving indoor bowling alley. The entire complex of house, furnishings, outbuildings, and landscape reflects the design principles of Andrew Jackson Downing, a leading nineteenth-century “tastemaker”.
Photo Credit: Roseland Cottage
A major summer exhibition opens at Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey, England, next month, offering visitors a rare chance to see the botanical work and other creative talents of renowned artist and musician, Rory McEwen.
Ranging from the 1950s to early 1980s, the exhibition titled “The Colours of Reality”, will feature works loaned from his family and private collectors. It’s open from May 11, 2013, through September 22, 2013.
A supporting exhibition, Rory McEwen’s Legacy, opening April 13, 2013, in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Kew Gardens, will show how he inspired many of the artists in the Sherwood collection. Dr. Sherwood is a contemporary botanical art collector who is world renowned for her extensive collections and regular exhibitions. Her comprehensive collection of over 200 artists documents the emergence of a new wave of botanical painting and the renaissance of their art form, according to Kew Gardens.
If you can time your trip across the pond, consider signing up for one of two guided tours of the exhibitions conducted by Dr. Sherwood. They’ll be held May 21, 2013, and July 17, 2013.
Photo Credit: Rory McEwen