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Kicking off Summer at NYBG's Chihuly Exhibit!

Chihuly's "Red Reeds" greet us for the beginning of our fun day in the garden

Although summer hasn’t officially started, it certainly feels like it and that means an obligatory trip to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. It’s always one of my favorite things to do once the weather turns up the heat and you just know that the gardens have started their breathtaking displays of vibrant color. I definitely get the itch to see what's happening in the garden--from technicolor red poppies to pastel peonies and lavender hued allium, it is truly a spectacular array of plant life.

With my "professional gardener" parents in town for the week, I also know this is one of their favorite things to do while visiting NY. And I also had my sister and her boyfriend join us for this fun "get outdoors" Saturday.

In addition to the permanent gardens, this summer NYBG has collaborated with Dale Chihuly to create an installation of his beautiful organic glass creations set against the lush backdrop of the gardens. Chihuly is renowned for his large scale glass sculptures that are typically installed as environmental pieces of artwork playing against natural textures and light. What better way to spend a gorgeous day--outdoors relaxing with family and enjoying the sights, sounds, and scents of the garden!

I don't need to say much--the photos will tell the whole story of a beautiful day not to be missed!

As we start our walk down towards the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, we come across a long stretch of vivid peonies in bloom just calling out for us to come and see them.

Continuing along to the conservatory. Even with some overcast skies--it doesn't take anything away from the fun and striking display of plants.

We soon arrive at the entrance to the conservatory with Dad hamming it up next to Chihuly's "Citron Sun" tentacles sculpture.

Back out on the grounds passing through the creative cool-warm color mix of poppies and allium. Some of these flowers are so gigantic in size they seem unreal!

Hello poppy!

In the herb gardens--oregano, sage, scallion, rosemary--making me want to get creative in the kitchen!

Mom and Dad taking a break in the culinary garden area.

As we continued to walk around the grounds, it was fun to find the Chihuly glass sculptures hidden throughout the landscape. Every now and then, you'd come across one and it would be the perfect opportunity for a break and a photo op.

In the shade with "Sapphire Star"--prickly and beautiful all at the same time!

From here we were off to see the lilacs in bloom!!

My sister Mindi enjoying a chill moment with her photo-bombing boyfriend, Adam:-)

And then yes--all of a sudden you could smell that heavenly scent of lilacs hit you! They were literally walls in bloom....

I could just hang here all day inhaling the lilacs and relaxing. All I need is a picnic blanket, some snacks and a bottle of wine!

Once we were ready to get up and start off again, we made our way down to the Native Plant Gardens where there is an incredible water feature and of course another hidden gem of a surprise with Chihuly's triple installation of Koda Study #1 and #2 walls as well as Float Boat.

My sister Mindi and her boyfriend, Adam overlooking the water gardens.

Koda Study #1 and Koda Study #2 explore light and color within the movement of water

Admiring "Float Boat"--love these beautiful glass baubles set in an old rowboat

After our day at NYBG, we headed back to my sister's place in Sunnyside, Queens to hang out, have dinner, and talk about our amazing day. We hung out in her back yard which if you can't tell, is a testament to my family's love of gardening. My family truly loves nature and gardening so of course, I couldn't leave without taking some cuttings of roses and other plants to add to my yard.

My sister's mini paradise in a small slab of backyard garden in Sunnyside, Queens. An amazing explosion of colorful flowers.

And with everyone else's excitement for planting and making things beautiful, I decided the next morning to get my self into high gear, put on my gardening gloves and get cracking so that I can bask in the glory of beauty in my own backyard and come August, I'll be kicking back and tasting my own creation of salad greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, beets, etc. that come from my own garden!! Here's hoping there's enough for the deer, groundhogs, bunnies, AND me!!

Getting busy in my garden and pretty darn happy about it too!

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