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Another Bloom Day in Ithaca

Garden path at Cornell Plantations

I’d love to see Cornell establish way more garden “hot spots” such as this one at a parking area along the Plantations roadway. As large as the Plantations is, most of it lacks complexity. When last I toured the botanical garden, it sported a well-designed layout featuring azaleas and rhododendron. Perhaps they’ve expanded it and added variety; I look forward to finding out on a future visit.

My archeological expedition through my family’s life continues and I’m spending another Garden Bloggers Bloom Day in Ithaca rather than at the Cityslipper ranch. When last I was home (about a week ago), my pea plants were blooming strong, the peonies were putting out their last flowers, and the bloom was on the sage. I have no garden at all at my dad’s house in Ithaca, so I celebrated Bloom Day this month with a visit to the legendary Cornell Plantations.

The Plantations occupies a large chunk of the Cornell University campus. It includes various horticultural features including an arboretum, a large water garden, a botanical garden and visitor center, greenhouses, walking trails, a shrub garden… I saw a lot of signs (but I can’t remember all of them). Having one of the best-regarded ag schools in the world, it’s appropriate for Cornell to have such an assortment of horticultural attractions.

My visit to Cornell Plantations was anything but academic. I was simply escaping from the emotional and logistical mess that comes with emptying out your family home of 50+ years. I stuck to easy-to-reach areas where I could park and walk without paying fees. So, I skipped the botanical garden and visitor center and spent a lot of time around the water garden. The photos in this post show flowers I saw during my walk. I hope you also enjoyed a fine day among flowers on this Bloom Day.

Layered flower planting at Cornell Plantations

This one garden patch near a parking area sported a variety of colors and textures that seduced me into lingering.

Viceroy butterfly at Cornell Plantations

Viceroy, not monarch. This beauty lingered along with me on that densely-planted garden path.

Monarch butterfly at Cornell Plantations

Three flower spikes to the north of the viceroy, a swallowtail butterfly also lingered. It put on a terrific show, flitting among blossoms for at least 15 minutes.

Water lily at Cornell Plantations

Seems I can never resist taking photos of water lilies. They were in full bloom in the water garden, and I spent at least an hour looking for frogs, turtles, and fish among them. It was a sunny, pleasantly cool day, and it was really hard to drag myself back to the house for more sorting and packing.


5 Responses to “Another Bloom Day in Ithaca”

  • Lea:

    Beautiful flowers to help you cope with the emotions of the family home clearing out. I still have a bunch of all sorts of stuff’ from my mother that I can’t seem to let go.
    Have a beautiful day!
    Lea’s Menagerie

  • Can you believe I am but an hour away and have never been there…I keep wanting to go and never find time with my work schedule..that will end soon and I think one of my day trips will be here.

  • Paula:

    Viceroy, not monarch?? Can you explain the difference? I am afraid i do not know—and so enjoy when butterflies keep me company in the garden. We’ve cleaned out 4 family homes now and it doesnt get any easier—i find myself getting rid of things now so our daughter won’t have to later….you just gotta take it one step at a time….

  • Paula – Viceroys are a little smaller than Monarchs and the pattern on the backs of their wings are just slightly different. Also, I don’t believe Viceroys migrate as Monarchs do.

  • Mick:

    Beautiful variation of colors there. This is why I love nature, would be nice to pay a visit one day, but it’s a little far for me unfortunately.

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