Searching for Clover

This afternoon was spent visiting the very pretty trails and gardens of Hart’s Brook Park and Preserve in Hartsdale. My only disappointment was that the enormous rhododendrons along the trail had not yet bloomed. This alone is a reason to return in the near future.
As people arrived for the hike, the kids spent a good deal of time playing on the beautiful expanse of lawn that was once a part of the Gaisman Estate while we parents jockeyed for parking–we had a very large crowd today, the first dry day we’ve had after quite a bit of rain. Once we were all settled snugly into the lot, and the Park Superintendent’s concern that our motley crew would trample the park flora was assuaged, we headed out for a hike along the preserve’s yellow trail.

As always, the kids were delighted when we happened upon a sweet woodland pond and miniature waterfall. They dipped toes precariously, tossed rocks and speculated about what lay beneath the nesting geese in the pond’s center. We then came across an old stone shelter of some sort, like the woodcutter’s cottage in a fairy tale, and the kids clambered around the foundation trying to get peeks into the dusty windows. A forest of rhododendron provided some joyful climbing for a while before we continued along the trail.

As we emerged from the woods, we found ourselves on the back side of the preserve’s gardens in a small glade with a hill that begged for rolling. The kids took to it with no prompting and were soon rolling down in tumbling, laughing piles, arms and legs askew. The parents chatted and admired the park’s abundant herb and spring-blooming perennial gardens.

Hart’s Brook is home to extensive demonstration gardens maintained by Master Gardener volunteers of Cornell’s Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Westchester County. Aside from the herbs and perennials, there is a vegetable garden, fruit and berry beds, a woodland shade garden and a children’s garden where kids and parents can learn about vegetable gardening alongside Master Gardner volunteers.

The day finished with a gleeful shout from my daughter upon discovering a four-leaf clover. It was a happy scene watching the kids crawling togther along the lawn in the hopes of finding another bit of lucky green.

Beautiful title shot (yes, that really is a four-leaf clover–it’s in our flower press now!) was taken by Debbie Allan of Debbie Allan Photography. As always, many thanks, Debbie!

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