Posts Tagged ‘Vermont’

Happy Summer! What we love…

Monday, June 24th, 2013

 

Well, Flower Lovers, it’s officially Summer!  Here in Vermont, it seemed like a long road to get to the season of beach days and cookouts but it’s finally here.  We have the windows open and the sweet smells of the gardens wafting into our office – something in the air definitely changed and it is Summer!

We would like to know what is your favorite thing about summer? Is it the beach?  Is it having the kids home from school?  Is it the smell of sunscreen or perhaps the taste of fresh watermelon?  Let us know!  Also, what is your favorite summer bouquet?  If you had your choice what fresh flowers would you buy at the farmers market?  Do you prefer a DIY bouquet or one perfectly designed for you? At Calyx, we like to know what our customers like so that we can be inspired to create bouquets we know everyone will love!

This summer, we have several floral obsessions.  For the Fourth of July, we’re going gaga for the All American Orchid Bouquet.  We can see it on a beach wood table outside near sand dunes, the ocean within eyesight, adding a pop of color to a 4th of July picnic. It says ‘Cape Cod’ with a pinch of fun and a whole lot of class. We also can’t seem to get over Blue Heaven Hydrangeas – they’re perfect in a window in a cottage near the shore or on a bedside table so the first thing you see in the morning are these fresh and gorgeous flowers.   Mango Delight Callas in our funky bubble glass vase are the perfect statement to put on a dinner table for a summer eve’s dinner party where your guests eat at dusk and spend the rest of the night dancing beneath the stars.  The Calyx Enchantment Bouquet makes us think of hot summer days in the country, picking strawberries and making pies!  Lastly, we can’t get enough of Jewel Orchids.  These tropical and exotic beauties make us want to go for a swim in a clear pool with a pina colada in our hand!

OK, so now we’ve shared ours – it’s only fair for you to share yours!  Tell us what summer flowers you’re mooning over and we’d love to use your ideas!

Happy Summer to our Flower Lovers!

 

10 Interesting Gardens to Visit in the United States – 2013

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Here’s a wonderful list of Interesting Gardens to visit in the United States to visit if you’re ever in the area. These resources are useful for flower lovers and garden gurus alike, looking to visit nature at its finest. To make it easier to use, this list is broken into states. Feel free to share the link to this post!

 Florida

McKee Botanical Garden –Vero Beach, FL

Known for its 18-acre subtropical jungle hammock, filled with plants appropriate  for horticultural growing zone 9B, this little botanical gem is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a historic Florida landmark.

Georgia

Gibbs GardensBall Ground, GA

Opened in March 2012, this new garden developed and designed by Jim Gibbs sits on a distinguished 220 acres in a mature forest in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains. Get ready to experience “the harmony of nature” as you stroll through his 16 garden venues.

Hawaii

Limahuli Garden & Preserve – Kauai, HI

Located on the north shore of the island of Kauai, you can take a guided or self-guided tour of the verdant tropical Limahuli Garden and Preserve. Selected by the American Horticultural Society as the best natural botanical garden in the US,  prepare to see Mother Nature’s finest against the backdrop of  Makana Mountain and the Pacific Ocean.

Iowa

Better Homes & Gardens Test Garden –Des Moines, IA

Outside the offices of the corporate headquarters of Better Homes and Gardens® are 22 different garden spaces with hundreds of perennials, trees, and shrubs — and a changing palette of annuals and bulbs. Employees are even available to answer your garden questions.  

Louisiana

American Rose Center  – West Shreveport, LA

The gardens are home to the national headquarters of the American Rose Society. Best time of year to visit is during the official bloom season which runs from April through the end of October. View over 65 rose gardens with more than 20,000 rosebushes on the property.  

Nevada

Ethel M® Botanical Cactus Gardens  – Henderson, NV

Considered one of the finest cactus gardens in the American Southwest, the garden was founded in 1981 by Forrest Mars Sr., the patriarch of the Mars Candy Co. Over 300 species of plants can be found on the grounds. Visit during the holidays to see the garden lit in over 250,000 twinkling lights.

New York

The New York Botanical Garden –Bronx, NY

With a new 3.5 acre Native Plant Garden that celebrates the beauty of Native Flora opening in May 2013, the New York Botanical Garden is a fine museum of plants, seasonal gardens, exhibitions and attractions like the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

North Carolina

Cape Fear Botanical Garden – Fayetteville, NC

Located on 78 acres the garden boasts more than 2,000 varieties of ornamental plants and has several specialty gardens. Take in the lush outdoor garden and forest with a hike on their trails. Every season tells a different floral story and make sure to check out the magnificent collection of magnolias given to the Garden in 1996 by the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

Rhode Island

Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum –Bristol, RI

Considered a top public garden in New England, Blithewold is located on Narragansett Bayand features an exceptional collection of rare and unusual plants and specimen trees. Tens of thousands of brilliant yellow daffodils open the season on the property which continues to bloom for visitors through October.

Vermont

Shelburne Museum –Shelburne,VT

Over 20 gardens add color and natural beauty to the museum grounds. From hundreds of lilacs and peonies in the spring to thousands of daylilies in the summer, these gardens are maintained organically. Each year, new gardens are added to complement special exhibitions.

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

 

Some pretty terrifying things have happened this past week which can make seeing the beauty in things difficult.  However, we at Calyx Flowers believe in paying it forward – be kind and see kindness come back to you.  The planet is full of wonderful people and natural beauty so let’s take today to notice that.  Let’s be kind to our planet that graciously provides us with so much.

How will you celebrate Earth Day?  Planting a tree?  Spending some time in the garden?  Even just going for a nice walk to appreciate all of natures offerings around you.  Today is a day to celebrate the planet!  Today isn’t the only day we should be kind to our mother earth, it’s important to do something daily that will contribute to the betterment of our communities and the continual improvement of our planet.  We want our children and our childrens’ children to be able to enjoy the same fruitful natural beauty that we often take for granted.

So, grab a shovel or a rake and get to work.  Let’s all give the planet a little loving today and know that we’ll be getting it right back.  Happy Earth Day flower lovers!

 

Emerald Orchids

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Don’t let your Irish pride end with the flag outside your home, show it with the beautiful Emerald Orchid Bouquet from Calyx Flowers.   The color is enhanced but there is nothing fake about the beauty of these gems.  Looking like a bouquet of shamrocks but holding tight to the majesty of orchids, the emerald bundle will no doubt surprise and delight guests and recipients - maybe it will even inspire a little luck of the Irish.

 

Emerald is not just festive this season, it’s also very chic.  Not only was Emerald named the Pantone 2013 Color of the Year but Calyx Flowers has found a way to infuse the luxurious hue to create the perfect St. Patrick’s Day bouquet.  Our Emerald Orchids is sure to make an elegant statement on March 17th as a gift or to decorate the home.  A holiday is a fun excuse to decorate and St. Patrick’s Day is the most fun holiday of all!

Otter Creek Gorge Preserve Hike

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Having faced two cancelled hikes to Otter Creek Gorge Preserve we were wondering if this particular hike would happen at all for Sharon and her group of dedicated hikers. Otter Creek Gorge Preserve Trail is part of the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM), a 17-mile loop around the Town of Middlebury in Vermont. Sharon details the hike for us:

The weather finally cooperated and we made it to New Haven for a hike.  But once there, on a whim, we decided to do a different loop.  Same starting place but we traveled through Otter Creek Gorge Preserve instead of Wright Park.

Otter Creek Gorge Preserve

Otter Creek Gorge Preserve

We started out by crossing two suspension bridges over Otter Creek and its waterfall at Belden Falls dam.  Then we meandered through shady woods and past moss-covered ledges with Otter Creek often in sight.  At one point we scrambled down an embankment to a ledgy “beach” (slab instead of sand formed the shoreline).  This was just downstream from where the water rushed through the gorge and then spilled into a wider cove area.

Queen Anne's Lace

Queen Anne's Lace

Wild Mint

Wild Mint

Back on the trail, we continued through woods, took a detour on an un-mapped trail, then retraced our steps when that path ended.  We eventually came out to a road that we walked on for about a quarter-mile, and then climbed into a cow field via a double-sided ladder over a fence.  After about 5 minutes, we climbed back out of the field via another ladder and entered onto a woods trail with occasional tree identification signs posted along the way.

 Soon we were back at the waterfall, recrossing the bridges, and making our way back to the parking lot for a total of about 4 miles.  It was another evening with great scenery and great company.

Vibrant Thistle

Vibrant Thistle

Hiking in the Hinesburg Town Forest

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Last week Sharon & her fellow hikers had a fun adventure, covering 6 miles, in the Hinesburg Town Forest.  Let’s see what she has to say about one of the best trail systems in Vermont.

We started out on a wide trail, climbing steadily for about 3/4 of a mile.  Then we veered onto a narrow woods path that led us to the top of an unnamed hill of about 1,500 feet elevation.  We could see hints of views of the local hills in between the trees and surmised that this would be a great snowshoe hike when the absence of leaves would better reveal the vistas.  The footpath continued along the ridge for quite a while before gently winding its way downhill.

 

Ferns on the Ridge of Passing the Horizon

Ferns on the Ridge of Passing the Horizon

There were a ton of switchbacks on the trail and it was amusing to see the paths almost touching one another in places as the route curved back on itself again and again.  The woods were pretty open with an understory of ferns.  Most of the way, we had the trails all to ourselves and deep into the hike a bicyclist came upon us (most of the trails were made by a bike club).

Jewelweed Spotted Touch Me Not Flower

Jewelweed Spotted Touch Me Not Flower

The final leg was done mostly in the dark and we opted to rely on our night vision rather than use a flashlight.  A barred owl serenaded us while we rambled along.  Eventually another biclyclist came up behind us, this one with a headlight on his mountain bike.  He made sure we were okay and assured us we were almost back to the parking lot.  And, about a dozen switchbacks later, at 8:45pm, we reached our vehicles.  Hooray to my hardy trailmates for easily tackling the “mountain” as well as taking the nighttime hiking in stride.

On Colchester Pond

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Another week, another trail walk. This week my fellow co-workers tackled trekking around Colchester Pond. Being the only Floridian of the bunch, I had to laugh at all the humidity talk that ensued in Sharon’s description. But then again, they laugh at me during my visits when its 60 degrees outside and I have my winter coat on. Here’s what Sharon writes…

Pretty Colchester Pond was last week’s destination. Four dedicated (foolhardy?)walkers braved the heat, humidity, and air-quality warnings to take a stroll around the pond. Pulling into the parking lot gave us a great bird’s-eye view of the large pond, and I thought, “Wow, we’re going to walk around that? That looks longer than the advertised 2.5-3.0 miles!”

Colchester Pond with view of golden grass

Colchester Pond with view of golden grass

Several large birds quickly caught our attention and we decided to travel counterclockwise in order to get closer to the shoreline where the birds were hanging out. We saw a heron, a cormorant, and an osprey. The osprey made a spectacular dive into the water in search of fish (or maybe he was just hot). We walked on double-planked boardwalks close to the shoreline and then rambled through fields on mowed paths at the south end of the pond. Then we entered onto a wide woods path that we followed for the remainder of the route. We tackled several hills and saw a few toads.

Reflections: The pond & the bridge

Reflections: The pond & the bridge

 

A short spur path led to an outlook at the northern end of the pond. There were wooden slats nailed to a slanting tree trunk and a rope for swinging out into the water. Back on the main trail, we hit a couple more outlooks to the water and saw a couple canoeists.

Purple Flowering Raspberry

Purple Flowering Raspberry

 

We walked past a large field and then were soon heading up a final hill back to the parking lot, feeling either lighter (from the exercise) or heavier (from the sweat and humidity) from our efforts. Based on it taking 2 hours to circumnavigate the pond, as well as info from my mapping software, I’d say we hiked nearly 4 miles.

Red Berries

Red Berries

Checking Out Colchester Causeway

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Colchester Causeway provided a great outing for six of our employee/dedicated walkers last week.  Our narrator/walk coordinator, Sharon gives a wonderful recap of their experience.  Read on! 

The causeway juts 2.5 miles out into Lake Champlain, allowing for ample views of the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains, and several islands.  It was hazy yet we could still see the outlines of the many surrounding peaks.  There were fishing boats, sailboats, and canoes that also captured our interest.

Colchester Causeway Trail in Vermont
Colchester Causeway Trail in Vermont

We started at the closest parking lot on the Island Line Rail Trail and reached the causeway proper in just under a half-mile.  I was surprised to see a few trees lining the causeway at the beginning – I had been expecting a barren expanse of stone.  The trees quickly became scarcer and the views were expansive, but the trail was by no means barren.

 Wildflowers lined the gravel footway, as did shrubs and occasional trees.  Big blocks of marble could be seen alongside the causeway.  It was a fairly popular place for a Tuesday evening with walkers, joggers, and bicyclists.  People often climbed down amongst the blocks and vegetation to perches closer to the water and out of sight of the trail.

 The variety of wildflowers was impressive and I learned several species that I hadn’t seen before, including those with such interesting names as umbrellawort (wild four-o-clock) and viper’s bugloss.  There was also bedstraw (tiny, but abundant white four-petaled flowers), daisies, yellow sweet clover, crown vetch, cow vetch, wild roses, and many more.

 

Wildflowers: Crown Vetch
Wildflowers: Crown Vetch

Every step of the way was delightful with perfect temperatures and pleasant breezes.  For those of you that have walked here before and wondered if the causeway ever ends, we can attest, that yes it really does finally end.  Although, even as we approached, it looked like the trail kept going since the water cut was fairly small and the trail picked right up on the other side.  There was a bench at the end, a dock on both sides of the cut for the bike ferry, and a sailboat traveling through the opening.

 The return walk was also enjoyable as the setting sun cast the mountains and sky in pretty colors.  This would be a neat place to walk on a clear night with only starlight illuminating the landscape.

 

View of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks

View of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks

Welcome to the beautiful Shelburne Farms

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

As I talked about a few weeks back, many of the employees at Calyx Flowers’ sister company, The Vermont Teddy Bear Company have been participating in summer trail walks. Last week Sharon provided this recap on the historic Shelburne Farms. Enjoy!

This week we walked along the Shelburne Farm trails and dirt roads for about 2.5 hours. We started out across an open field and soon found ourselves strolling along a smooth dirt road lined with magnificent old trees. The trees tower above the walkers. The furrows in the bark are 3 inches deep! Shelburne Farms offers all sorts of sights, but this was my favorite part. There were views of Camel’s Hump and the other Green Mountains from this allee.

Majestic trees line the pathway at Shelburne Farms.
Majestic trees line the pathway at Shelburne Farms.

A tractor laden with hay bales drove by us as we dipped into a brief area of woods and when we emerged, the castle-like Farm Barn came into view through the haze and almost appeared to be a mirage. Seeing some farm animals en route, we walked right past the “barn” and then headed uphill into the woods. There was an eerie gathering of totems near the trail. We followed the wide, smooth path farther upwards and soon reached a brick patio/bench/wall structure overlooking the lake, although the views there were mostly obscured by trees.

View approaching the Shelburne Farms BarnEnjoying their dinner & a nice summer evening at Shelburne Farms

View approaching the Shelburne Farms Barn & then some hungry pigs along we saw along the way.
Just beyond that we reached the “summit” of Lone Tree Hill with expansive views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Looking behind us, we could also see a slice of the Green Mountains. After enjoying the vista, we headed down the other side of the hill and made a wide circle through the property alternately going through woods and on dirt roads along fields with more views of the lake and the Adirondacks. We explored the Market Garden area which had both flowers and vegetables growing over a wide area. Whew, lots of hard work went into all those plantings. There was a neat shelter that looked like an inviting, shaded break area for the gardeners.

After that, we soon circled back to the parking lot, completing our loop, and bringing to an end another pleasant evening ramble.

A view of the garden area & shelter

A view of the garden area & shelter