Planting Fields Arboretum
I have discovered a beautiful place!
Okay, maybe "discovered" isn't the right word since I didn't exactly plant a flag and claim it in the name of Spain. But I'd never been there before.
The place is called Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, NY, and it's four hundred acres of loveliness. I went two weekends in a row because:
1. It has purdy flowers.
I really, really want to plant these at my house. I don't know what they are, though. Plus I have the most non-green thumb imaginable. It's more of a fuchsia thumb. I have slaughtered cacti with my fuchsia thumb.
These were in the greenhouse. Aren't they ridiculously perfect looking? I actually touched one to reassure myself it wasn't a plastic flower sprayed with perfume.
2. It's really organized.
I consider myself an organized person. In fact, when I make my grocery list, I sort the items by supermarket aisle. But this place puts me to shame. It has a synoptic garden in which all the flowers and trees are planted in alphabetical order by Latin genus.
Since visiting, I've had the overwhelming urge to alphabetize my books, my spices, and my socks. I am foiled by the fact that it's not easy to alphabetize socks. But I will not give up! Never give up, never surrender!
3. The gardeners cage the really dangerous plants.
Inside the greenhouse, the most dangerous flowers are kept in iron cages. This is obviously because if they taste human blood, they transform into evil faeries who steal iPhones.
4. Except the Whomping Willow.
Come on, tell me this doesn't look exactly like a real-life whomping willow:
It's a weeping linden tree, and it has a sign in front of it that reads, "Please do not climb on this rare tree... because it will eat you."
(I may have added that last part myself.)
5. The gardeners have created mystical tunnels out of trees that will lead you to magical realms.
This is a single tree, coaxed into the shape of a tunnel.
If you follow it, you will end up either in Pemberley:
(The cards have half-finished painting those roses red.)
And for all these reasons, this place has officially shot to the top of my list of "favorite places on Long Island."
I now claim the Planting Fields Arboretum in the name of Spain.