travel-hudson-valley.JPG Hudson Valley, N.Y. - Clouds of color drift through the Hudson Valley landscape with a profusion of blossoming trees and flowers. The region has remarkable gardens and gardening events that lighten the heart after the drabness of winter. Warm breezes and longer days make this the perfect time to visit as nature springs back and puts on its showy display. Put a spring in your step at Mountain Top Arboretum's Early Spring Walk in Tannersville. Saturday morning on April 7th, staff from the arboretum will stroll with you through the meadows and woods pointing out some of the highlights of the beautifully planted 23 acres. This living museum was created for visitors to experience a sanctuary of native and exotic trees and shrubs. To make your own sanctuary, work side by side with Master Gardeners on April 28th in Millbrook. Demonstrations at "Preparing to Plant" in the Farm and Home Center will show you some neat tricks to use in the garden while the kids build a nesting box to attract backyard birds. Be mellow in yellow at the Daffodil Brunch on Sunday, April 15th at Troy's Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel. Tiffany windows and rich oak furnishings surround you in this National Historic Landmark as you savor a made-to-order omelet. Antique cars line the drive for a quick spin after you take in the 14,000 daffodils scattered along the grounds. Just down the river in Cold Spring, Stonecrop Gardens' twelve acres are resplendent with flowering bulbs, rhododendron, phlox, and wisteria. This beautifully planted hilltop is celebrating its twentieth anniversary as a public garden. Picturesque outbuildings like the Conservatory and Alpine House compliment the water gardens, raised stone beds, and English-style flower garden.   On a smaller scale, the jewel box setting of the Dutch Gardens in New City offer a lovely oasis. An historic brick teahouse is the centerpiece of the flowering gardens, walking paths, gazebo, and arbor. Originally constructed in 1934, this pocket park is a tribute to the early Dutch settlers of the area. A short drive takes you to the Orange County Arboretum, where 34,000 tulips bob colorfully in the soft breezes. Paved paths take you to water features, raised gardens, and beautiful plantings along the way. The Garden Courtyard is a perfect place to grab a bench and admire Mother Nature's handiwork fashioned by the park's gardeners. The weekend of May 11th is a busy one for flower lovers. The Tulip Festival in Albany is a wonderful 3 day event. Over 100,000 tulip bulbs blossom into a sea of color just in time for this Mother's Day celebration in Washington Park. On Saturday and Sunday children's activities, craft vendors, delicious food, and multiple stages with nationally acclaimed musical performances add to the fun. If you need excellent inspiration for your own plot, make tracks to Teatown's Annual Plant Sale, a gardener's paradise that same Friday and Saturday in Ossining. An abundance of annuals, native wildflowers, perennials, hanging baskets, vegetables and herbs await shoppers. What truly makes the sale unique is the dedicated staff helping shoppers with garden planning and choosing appropriate plants. While you're there, take a tour of Wildflower Island on Saturday and enjoy the quiet beauty of this sanctuary with over 230 native and endangered wildflowers. Historic gardens are always special and the ones at Mohonk Mountain House date back to 1869 when the property was purchased. Initially little more than a few struggling blossoms beside the lake shore, today visitors will find resplendent formal gardens reflecting the influence of French, Italian, and English landscape styles of the mid-19th Century. A visit in April reveals all manner of early spring flowers such as daffodils, tulips and pansies in bloom, along with more than a few magnificent Magnolia trees. And not to be missed on the lovely grounds of Clermont in Germantown is the Chancellor's Sheep & Wool Showcase on April 21st. The festival celebrates historic fiber arts, culture, and craft with a shopping concourse featuring over 30 skilled artisans and local craftspeople. Mimicking the colorful gardens on the grounds, the brilliantly-hued yarns and clothing are sure to banish everyone's cabin fever. Daffodil yellow, tulip red, and wisteria purple dress the Hudson Valley in a riot of color this time of year. Colorful blossoms perfume the air and it's just a great time to visit the region. Up and down the Hudson River, come see how Mother Nature works her springtime magic throughout our landscape. Additional information can be obtained from the Hudson Valley Tourism web site at http://www.travelhudsonvally.com/.  On the go, tap into http://travelhv.mobi from your cell phone. Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc. is the 10-county region designated by I LOVE NEW YORK to promote tourism for the area. Counties include Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester. Regional information can be obtained from any of the county tourism offices, or by calling 845-615-3860. RESOURCES Early Spring Walk. Mountain Top Arboretum, Tannersville. 518-589-3903, http://www.mtarboretum.org/ Preparing to Plant. Farm and Home Center, Millbrook. 845-677-8223 x115 Daffodil Brunch. Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel, Troy. 800-556-6273, http://www.oakwoodcemetery.org/ Stonecrop Gardens, Cold Spring. 845-265-2000, http://www.stonecrop.org/          Dutch Gardens, New City. 845-364-2670 Orange County Arboretum, Montgomery. 845-615-3830, http://www.orangecountynyparks.com/            Tulip Festival, Albany. http://www.albanyevents.org/          Teatown's Annual Plant Sale, Ossining. 914-762-2912, ext. 110, http://www.teatown.org/ Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz. 845 256-2152, http://www.mohonk.com/ Chancellor's Sheep & Wool Showcase, Germantown. 518-537-4240, http://www.friendsofclermont.org/   

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Contact: Susan Hawvermale shawvermale@orangecountygov.com   845-615-3863 Hudson Valley Tourism