Like a tribe of hippies living in a dome, hornets prefer a round home. And like flower children, they are peaceful. The hornets never hurt us.
Spring became summer and as case numbers bobbed along, vacation plans withered. But gardens sprung up, as more homeowners took to fixing their landscapes and outdoor spaces. The mindset became, “If we can’t fly away on vacation, how can we bring that getaway feeling to our home?” Front porches received a fresh coat of paint and a hanging basket or two, while backyard living rooms became an alfresco extension of the home, featuring hardscaped patios with comfortable seating made for socially distant conversation, plus cozy firepits, sleek wetbars, and more. Water features, like garden ponds, waterfalls, or even large-scale babbling brooks further established the summer oasis setting.
In the list of apples that I grow, notice that there was no mention of Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Empire, or other varieties commonly seen on supermarket shelves and at farmers’ markets. These varieties have the combination of productivity, ability to ship and store well, and eye-appeal demanded by commercial markets. But a backyard apple variety can be chosen with only one consideration in mind — flavor! With over 5000 varieties of apples to choose from why not grow the best?
Everyone’s outdoor spaces are getting a lot more use this year. With the continuing concerns about the pandemic, most of us are staying closer to home. And we learned pretty quickly that four walls can get claustrophobic.
If you’re looking for a themed garden, or staring at some empty pots you bought at a yard sale or a plot of ground that you’ve been meaning to till and plant, why not start with pollinator-friendly native plants?
Anecdotal reports suggest a more dynamic future for Hudson Valley residential real estate than the data about the recent past has indicated. The next two months should test that hypothesis. Meanwhile, the rumor mill will rule.
Energy Square is now alive with tenants. The net-zero-energy mixed-use building on the midtown site of the former Mid-City Lanes will be called home by 79 people who won a housing lottery that left 800 more on the waiting list. The ground floor will include new space for the Center for Creative Education, part of which will be sublet for a cafe.
Nurseries are among the few local businesses that have blossomed this spring. While fear of the pandemic may have ravaged the mind, it was planting that revitalized the soul.
The Woodstock Pollinator Pathway is currently working with 52 homeowners and properties around town. “We help people find the right plant hosts,” said Ellie Reese of the Woodstock Land Conservancy. “For caterpillars, say, only milkweed will host a Monarch butterfly. We’re stressing the need for much more than just nectar plants.”
Home may be where the heart is, but for more and more homeowners in the Hudson Valley, it’s also where their heart rates are measured.