Monday, June 27, 2016

A Step Back In Time: Thousand Islands Park

Last summer (2015), my husband, Ted, and I went for a drive up to Wellesley Island in the Thousand Islands to visit the Thousand Island Park. To get to the Thousand Island Park you have to cross the Thousand Islands (toll) Bridge at Alexandria Bay. Wellesley Island is part of the US so if you are a US citizen you do not need a passport. But if you are coming from Canada you will need a passport to visit this Island.

The Thousand Island Park is a small community of summer cottages on Wellesley Island. It was founded in 1875 as a Methodist Campground. People originally tented in the area and a large Tabernacle was built and is still standing today. It is a historic district and has been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places.

Thousand Island Park Library

By the early 1900's several hundred cottages were built in the Thousand Island Park. But in 1912 a fire destroyed quite a few of the businesses and cottages. Presently, there are about 325 cottages.

The cottages reflect various styles of Victorian architecture. Some still have gingerbread trim while others were updated to current styles and trends.

The cottages have public water but only from about the middle of May to the middle of October. The water is shut off for the winter months due to freezing temperatures which could burst the waterlines.

The TI Landmark Society offers a Garden & House tour every other year in mid-July and the next one will be scheduled for 2017. While we missed their Garden & House tour, we did our own walking tour of the area. We parked our car near the hotel and walked and photographed the beautiful cottages, boats, and views of the St. Lawrence River.

Replica doll house of one of the cottages

The Community has a governing body called the Thousand Island Park Corporation which is a private entity with shareholders. The Corporation owns all the land and commercial buildings within the Thousand Island Park. Residents own their cottages but have a 99-year lease on their lots. Residents have an extensive manual called the "Green Book" for rules and regulations for vehicles, construction/repairs to buildings, and other related items.

The Island also has golf courses which overlook the St. Lawrence River, and several marinas. Wellesley Island also has a State Park which offers camping for tents, trailers, and cabins to rent. Website: Wellesley Island State Park

Detail of cottage pictured above

Thousand Island Park Landmark Society
Thousand Island Park: TIParkCorp
Thousand Islands Community: 1000 Islands Life

Local Garden Tour sponsored by Gardening Friends: Pulaski, NY
July 9, 2016 from 10 am to 2 pm. The tour begins at the Pulaski Wesleyan Church 4591 US Rt 11. Tickets $10 each (children under 12 free)

Hope you enjoyed your tour of Thousand Islands Park. Thanks for stopping by!

Feel free to comment below~

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Birds and Ferns and Other Growing Things

It's still spring, right? Well, around here you never know. It could be a cold season like we had in April or a hot summer/spring like we had last week with temperatures in the high 80's. We started off with a slow spring and then the heat brought out all the spring bloomers as well as the black flies and mosquitoes and other annoying bugs that fly in your eyes when you're trying to get some stuff done in your gardens.

Warm, dry temperatures are predicted for the northeast for this summer. That will mean dragging your hoses around to keep those flowers blooming and the vegetables coming.

Photo taken by my husband, Ted, looking down into one of the ferns. 
I usually like gardening in cool weather because you can cover up with long-sleeves and sweats and not be bothered with all the bugs that get in your eyes or bite which causes itching sometimes for several days.

Bleeding Heart
Quite a few of the spring shrubs and perennials are just gorgeous this year. Like the Lilacs, Alliums, and Irises, but yet other perennials seem to be struggling like the Bleeding Hearts and Poppies. My guess is that possibly some plants perform better under stress. I have a Weeping Cherry tree that had only one poor blossom on it. Hopefully, the (fruit) cherry trees will not suffer from the cold snap we had in April-May.

I have several hostas that have not all leafed out yet. I think they were very late in our area.

Sweet Woodruff in bloom around the hosta garden.

Bumblebee on Wood hyacinths (Bluebells)

Close-up view of Sweet Woodruff and Lily-of-the-Valley

We are enjoying the return of our migratory birds that spend their winters in the south. We've either seen or heard the Woodthrush, Catbirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Brown Thrashers, and Bluebirds.

Eastern Towhee -female 

Rose-breasted Grosbeak -male

Eastern Bluebird 

Ted made the PVC birdhouses (pictured above) several years ago to attract Bluebirds. We've had Tree Swallows nest in it every year, but this year the Bluebirds beat out the Tree Swallows to the box.

Ted got a great picture of this female Ruby-throated Hummingbird with her tongue out.
Pileated Woodpecker - Male 

My husband, Ted, got some great photos of a Pileated Woodpecker (in the photos above). The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the largest birds of the forest. They do not kill trees. These woodpeckers drill large rectangular holes in dead or fallen trees. They are searching for carpenter ants which is their favorite food. These large holes in dead trees also offer great nesting sites for owls, ducks, and other bird species. We have never seen them at any of our suet feeders, but a friend of mine had them at one of their feeders.

If you are in the area the Pulaski Garden Club will be having a Plant Sale on June 18, 2016 from 10am to 2pm at the Pulaski Wesleyan Church, 4591 US Rt 11, Pulaski, NY. Also, the Pulaski Garden Club will be hosting a Garden Tour on July 9, 2016. Hope you can make it!

In the midst of movement and chaos, 
keep stillness inside of you.
~Deepak Chopra

Thanks for stopping by,
Feel free to leave a comment ~