orange-county-tourism.JPGHow fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence.  ~ Benjamin Disraeli Hudson Valley, N.Y. - The renowned river and mountain views, and luscious farm and forest landscapes that bring visitors to the Hudson Valley are more beautiful than ever with the riot of color from flowers in bloom. Escape to the fragrant gardens of Orange County for the sheer enjoyment of their beauty, or to improve your green thumb. 34,000 tulip bulbs spring to life at the Orange County Arboretum in May, signaling the official start of the local flower-blooming season. This brilliant show, worth a trip from anywhere, is the first in a series of garden displays guaranteed to inspire visitors. The Arboretum, located at Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery, will continue to delight flower lovers for months to come with fragrant June roses, summertime perennials, and an amazing show of fall mums. The park is open daily from dawn to dusk.  www.orangecountyarboretum.org, 845-615-3830. Early May also delivers the delicate pink and white blossoms that blanket acres of apple trees at Orange County's many orchards. Soon's Orchards in New Hampton times their Blossom Bash Weekend to celebrate this scenic occasion on May 7th and 8th. Drink in the heady scent of apple blossoms on a special orchard walking tour, and savor the wine and food sampling. Bring a camera to capture those beautiful blossom-laden views and enter the photo contest. Soon's will also feature Dinner at the Farm by reservation that Saturday evening. www.soonsorchards.com, 845-374-5471 The esthetic elements of landscape architecture and horticulture have evolved over the centuries. Students of garden design will especially enjoy Historical Gardens of the Hudson River Valley, a two-part tour on June 11th and September 10th offered by the Captain David Crawford House in Newburgh. Tickets can be purchased for either date, but plant lovers will want a combination pass offering glimpses of both the summer and early fall foliage. www.newburghhistoricalsociety.com, 845-561-2585 Anyone who experienced the world-class botanical site that once thrived at Sterling Forest (now the location of the New York Renaissance Faire), will want to reminisce at the History of Sterling Forest Gardens presentation by Sterling Forest State Park educator and local historian, Doc Bayne. Reservations are required for this June 16th evening program to be held at the Fort Montgomery State Historic Site near the Bear Mountain Circle. Arrive early and stroll the grounds to take in majestic views of the Hudson River. www.palisadesparksconservancy.org, 845-446-2134 Historic Goshen, characterized by beautiful Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian-style homes, hosts a favorite annual event of garden experts, the Gardens of Goshen Tour and Luncheon on Saturday, June 18th. Six privately owned gardens open their gates for an inside peek at some of the most beautifully arranged plantings in the county. A gourmet luncheon on the lawn with flower bedecked tablecloths at the landmark St. James' Church is included. Get tickets while they last. This popular event is held rain or shine. www.stjamesgoshen.org, 845-294-6225. The finest gardens in the Middletown area will be available for viewing during the June 25th Hidden Gardens Tour.  Between 9AM and 4 PM, participants take a self-guided tour from city to country visiting 9 unique gardens. The tour begins on the veranda of the exquisite Morrison Mansion on the SUNY Orange Middletown Campus where refreshments will be offered and Master Gardeners will share their expertise. A plant sale and drawings for gardening prizes round out the day. 845-355-1284 The Town of Warwick, known for its fertile stretches of black dirt, the scenic 9-mile long Greenwood Lake, and many apple orchards, is host to the 18th Annual Countryside Garden Tour on Saturday, July 9th from 9 AM to 3PM.  Tickets for this self-guided tour of some of the area's most beautiful gardens are sold the day of the tour at the Railroad Green Park in the picturesque Village of Warwick.  Make plans to include Warwick's wonderful eateries, quaint shops, charming B&Bs, wineries and farm stands, too.  www.warwickvalleygardeners.com, 973-764-6959. An overnight stay at the Catlin Gardens Inn, a new 40-room Victorian-style boutique hotel in Slate Hill, offers a chance to stroll through the beautiful 5-acre garden. With manicured pathways meandering past fountains, water features, and over 12,000 blooms, guests are treated to a colorful oasis just steps from their room. www.catlingardens.com, 845-355-3555 Orange County is conveniently located in the mid-Hudson Valley just one hour north of New York City. A year-long fun filled events calendar as well as information on lodging, dining, shopping and attractions is available at www.OrangeTourism.org. The staff at Orange County Tourism is also happy to assist you. Call (845) 615-3860, or e-mail: tourism@orangecountygov.com

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Contact:  Mary Ann McCarthy (845)615-3860 mmccarthy@orangecountygov.com