Archives for the month of: October, 2013

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The movie ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’ made this street name famous. In this Hudson Valley village Elm Street is a road lined with pretty Victorian houses and huge Maple trees.

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On Halloween it is teeming with trick-or-treaters, diminutive monsters and princesses knocking on every door where the lights are on. Home owners are generous with the candy – handing out 100s of mini Hersheys, Twizzlers, Reeses and all the other much-loved classics.

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Some people really go to town with the Halloween decorations. People build up their collections over time, buying an extra piece every year when the decorations go on sale the day after.

Time to get up..

Time to get up..

Just hanging around

Just hanging around

If you have Arachnophobia it’s probably a good idea to skip Elm Street on Halloween..

The big one

The big one

Home made web

Home made web

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Despite missing a pair of legs this is a happy spider! These paintings are on store (shop) windows in the business district, Main Street is decorated by youth groups such as Scouts, Brownies and Key Club every Halloween.

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My favorite hang out

My favorite hang out

Near Elm Street is a yard for a Memorial supplier – a little spooky on a foggy morning this time of year.

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It wouldn’t be Halloween without tombstones and body parts on the lawn.

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Missing Something?

Missing Something?

Tasty treats

Tasty treats

Not sure which birds would visit this birdbath, vultures perhaps?

Boo to you too!

Boo to you too!

When I first arrived from England I was amazed by Halloween in New York because it is not a big event in the UK. I enjoy strolling through the village looking at the Halloween garden decorations and stop by specific houses because I know they put on a good show every year. Have a happy and safe Halloween and if you are trick-or-treating be extremely careful of the traffic on the roads.

Check out these skulls in the garden on the Make Mine Mocha and vegetable decorations on Morning Came Quickly.


I first met Barbara Bravo at a lecture she gave about the ‘Top Plants for the Hudson Valley Region’. During the lecture I learnt about plants that were the favorites of local expert gardeners – what a resource, I was busy taking notes for sure!

In November, Barbara is presenting another lecture on a very pertinent topic – Invasive Plants in the Hudson Valley. Unfortunately something that affects us all whether we realize it or not. I recommend this lecture because Barbara is an expert in gardening in the Hudson Valley Region. Here are the details:

When: Thursday, November 7 at 6:00 pm

Where: Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster County Education Center. 232 Plaza Road in Kingston (Hannaford Plaza, the Cornell office is opposite Herzogs).

Each participant is asked to bring in one (1) weed to the lecture for identification.

Invasive Japanese Knotweed

Invasive Japanese Knotweed

Barbara will introduce participants to a few of the Hudson Valley’s most noxious weeds during her lecture. She says “Gardeners are in a good position to take action but need to be educated to recognize these plants. Be vigilant. If you notice some unusual and robust growth, especially if you didn’t plant it, identify the plant.”

Invasive Oriental Bittersweet vine

Invasive Oriental Bittersweet vine

As a resident of Ulster County, Barbara has more than 25 years experience gardening where the wildlife is plentiful and where she continues to learn peaceful co-existence. Her garden has been featured on the Saugerties Secret Gardens Tour and her articles have been published in Hudson Valley Life magazine. Barbara is a Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County, a Garden Coach and Coordinator of Garden Day.

Please RSVP by calling Dona Crawford at 845-340-3990 or email dm282@cornell.edu Please contact the CCEUC office at 845-340-3990 if you have any special needs.

Invasive Bush Honeysuckle

Invasive Bush Honeysuckle

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Kiss My Feet

Kiss My Feet

There is a vacant lot at the side of this 19th century building where a penny candy store once stood. The candy store was demolished many years ago and the empty lot has been reclaimed. It is the site of the patio which is in the early stages of construction.

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Looking for the perfect spot for the raspberry bush, for now it’s on the rocker which was found in the attic.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed is sprouting at the base of the wall. The plan is to put  eye hooks in the wall and tie it against the wall with twine.

Antique Arch

Antique Arch

This wooden arch is from a different building nearby, the owners were replacing their front porch and gave the pieces to the owner of Kiss My Feet. The arch is now at the side entrance abutting the bluestone sidewalk.

"Welcome"

“Welcome”

Wild Grapevine

Wild Grapevine

A wild grapevine grows around the feet of the sculpture. It was used to make a wreath which was hung in the garden.

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Some of the salvaged bricks from the demolished building are stacked neatly, ready for future projects.

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The brick manufacturer's name was sometimes on the brick.

The brick manufacturer’s name was sometimes on the brick.

The bricks were probably manufactured locally from the clay deposits on the banks of the Hudson River. Brick manufacturers used this clay to produce millions of bricks over a period of three centuries – the last manufacturer closed in the late 1950’s. The Hudson Valley bricks were used in the construction of buildings in NYC.

I think it’s wonderful to see recycled items being put to use in a creative way. I can’t wait to see the finished patio and would love to post some pictures when it’s complete.

© Text and photos by Andrea Giarraputo for HudsonValleyGardens.us


Bartering is a good thing! Haircuts and pedicures were bartered for the vintage wooden arch at the garden entrance to the ‘Kiss My Feet’ salon and spa. It’s a perfect fit for the beautiful red brick building.

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Although quite small the entrance garden contributes to the Spa’s welcoming home-town ambience, a customer supplied the rudbeckia (known affectionately as “Black Eyed Susan”) when she was separating them in her garden and the feet were purchased from the Christmas store in Albany about two years after ‘Kiss My Feet’ opened in 2000.

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There is an eclectic collection of modern and historic items outside the back door, can’t miss the giant metal flower. The owner spotted it at a metal fabricator’s when driving through Ocean County NJ, – “Man I have to have that because the flowers make me so tickled!” The piece of wood on the wall was found upstairs in the building, one of two pieces, the other was given to her fellow stylist. Tucked behind the flower  sculpture is a WWII can from local store Numrich Arms, this was the only one that didn’t leak! The dragonflies on the wall and hanging from a beam remind the owner of her sister who loves dragonflies.IMG_3932

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The watering can is a gift from the owner’s sister. Doesn’t the begonia look good with the red brick?

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So much more than an impersonal entrance way, this little garden displays the owner’s appreciation of history, love of community and respect for nature. And her sense of fun!

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Would you like to see more of this garden? Let me know by leaving a comment I always love to hear from you guys!

© Text and photos by Andrea Giarraputo for HudsonValleyGardens.us

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