July 4, 2012

Planting Fields Arboretum

Happy Fourth of July!

Well so far, Independence Day here on Long Island is looking to be a bit of a washout. At the writing of this (8:00AM), it is raining and the forecasts are calling for thunderstorms pretty much all day. I thought about going to the beach in the morning and then having a barbeque in the late afternoon, but the meteorologist is putting a bit of a damper on those ideas. I guess I'll just have to wait to see how the day progresses. Perhaps I can get out to do something later on. As long as I get to see a few fireworks in the evening, I'll be happy. For now, I'm going to write about a place I visited last weekend: Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park in Oyster Bay. It is a 409-acre Gold Coast Era estate that features the lavish Coe Hall as its centerpiece. This Tudor Revival mansion has 65 rooms, several winding stairways, ornate chandeliers, and a few secret corridors. I was quite intrigued by the hidden panels in the walls and behind the bookcases around the house where Mr. Coe would keep his valuables. It is an absolute marvel in design and I love the fact that most of the furnishings are originals. With so many nooks and recesses, this mansion would have been an ideal setting for a game of "Hide & Seek."

Another extraordinary feature of the estate is the Main Greenhouse. It is made up of 5 parallel glasshouses centered around the main "Hibiscus House." One step into this huge structure and I was instantly taken to an entirely different world. I was surrounded on all sides by lush greenery, beautifully tended paths, and thousands of colorful and unusual blossoms. Standing in the middle of such magnificence just took my breath away; I love such settings and I lingered long to take it all in.

Some of the other points of interest around the estate are the Tea House, Blue Pool Garden, Rose Arbors, Azalea Walk, and Beech Copse. On the whole, the Planting Fields Arboretum is a great place to pass a day. As of this coming weekend, I will be traveling to the Poconos. I doubt that I will get the chance to post anything more before then, so, until I return, stay cool. May your blue bird of happiness never turn out to be a pecker! Cheers!

"Blessed are they
whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes
and seek him with all their heart."

~Psalm 119:1-2