Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Winter Special at Mohonk House; Day Two

We awoke the second day to a beautiful blue sky and blue water day, but a step out onto the balcony revealed that the air was crisp and cold. We were dressed and ready and had a few minutes before our breakfast at eight. Just outside one of the entrances to the hotel was a stone fountain. It was so peaceful to sit on a bench in the sun, listening to the sound of the water and watching the sunlight dance on the water.

Soon it was time to head to the dining room for the breakfast buffet. Once again we were seated by the windows. The waiter served coffee or tea and juice. After that it was up to us to choose from the breakfast buffet. This breakfast buffet had made to order omelets, pancakes, waffles, French toast, quiche, bacon, sausage, danish pastries, fantastic fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, ... I can't remember it all. I'm not entirely sure I want to remember what I ate. It was all wonderful.

Now it was warmer outside so we did some exploring along the paths that surround the hotel. Here on the rock ledges the soil is non existent or very thin. Soil had to be brought in to create the gardens along the paths. These beds, in fact all of the gardens, are very well maintained. I have to wonder how many people it takes to do it.

Even so early in the year it is a lovely walk. When we arrived at the entrance to the Spa, I went inside while Amy walked down to get a look at the now deserted lake swimming area. It must be nice in the summer!

The pool and our Aqua Chi class were fantastic. The space was warm and inviting with great light and soothing music. We were both peacefully relaxed after that. High above the pool were hanging plants, perhaps reindeer ferns.but I could not be sure. After we showered and changed it was time to head out to explore the gardens.

These cold frames outside the garden shop caught my eye right away. The plants on the shelf are at ground level, but the floor of the cold frame is down perhaps another three feet. Being sunk in the ground like that greatly improves the efficiency of a cold frame. This is not a new idea. Most historic gardens have them.

I thought this one was especially nice.

The greenhouses were filled with plants. I was told that planting out in the garden would begin in earnest in about two weeks.

Hardscape in this garden is mostly rustic cedar. This long covered walkway is not unlike the long hallways inside the hotel.

A nice drift of daffodils adds some spring color. This large tree has been carefully trimmed. The branches hang down to the ground and a tunnel has been made so you can drive under the tree on you way to the hotel. The mountains in the background make a magnificent borrowed view.

Amy climbed the hill to get this long view of the garden with the hotel in the background.

Here is a little closer look. The forsythia has been carefully trimmed and the beds are prepared waiting to be planted.

This rustic fencing is so interesting looking from a distance, but an up close view shows that netting is fastened to the fence. It's a great way to keep animals out of the garden. The deer can see that the fence is there and the netting would help with smaller critters.

After our time in the garden, we stopped by the Carriage House Lounge for lunch. We had a nice lunch and decided to share a piece of Key lime pie. We had just started to divide the pie with a knife when I remembered that I had the camera. This is a representative sample of what the food looks like here. The pie was delightful. After lunch we sat on the veranda watching the boats on the lake. The wind was blowing hard enough to create waves that sparkled in the sunlight.

Amy wanted to finish her walk around the exterior of the hotel. When we came to a gate and a sign that said "Caution Rough Trail", I gave the camera to Amy and took my chance to relax here.

This is a picture that Amy took from the trail. It shows the rocks and crevices complete with a few wildflowers. We sat for awhile trying to decide if we were ready to leave the mountain. We decided since it was now time for tea and cookies for the new arrivals, it was also time for us to go.

I handed the valet my ticket. Very quickly my car arrived, our bags were loaded and we were off. We stopped at the Guest self parking lot to get Amy's car and set off down the winding road back to the real world.

In addition to the memory of the wonderful relaxed feeling one gets from spending tome in such a place with someone special, I did bring home a Viola etain and a Mabel Grey scented geranium. They will be planted in the garden and be fragrant reminders of our winter special at Mohonk House.

As is always the case with Plants and Stones, no compensation has been solicited or received from the Mohonk House. Anyone can enjoy their winter special but not right away!

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