The Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners hosted a Garden Party featuring the beautiful gardens at the Riley home in Albion, today. To say their gardens are spectacular is a total understatement! It was the perfect day for a stroll through these amazing gardens. They also had light refreshments by Zambistro’s restaurant, wine tastings by Leonard Oakes Winery, and lectures by the Master Gardeners. I went with one friend and ran into at least a dozen others – some I haven’t seen in forever…..including one of the sons and daughters from the Riley family, who I graduated high school with! I spent a couple hours there just strolling, gazing, chatting, nibbling, sipping, and thoroughly enjoying the afternoon! It was all just so lovely!
The Riley residence is tucked away on a dead end street on the edge of the Village bordering the canal. You’d never know it was there if you didn’t have a reason to wander back there. But…..once you do come upon it, you find a hidden treasure to be cherished and appreciated and taken in leisurely and with your eyes wide open. I’m sure we missed something wonderful as we meandered our way through a maze of paths, gates, archways, sculptures, lanterns, bird houses, flowers, trees, and several uniquely themed seating areas. They have found some of the most amazing and unusual items to incorporate into their gardens to make them interesting and different than anything I’ve seen in gardens anywhere! What a treat!
Since words can not possibly describe the beauty, here are a few photos that also don’t do it justice, but come closer to any words I can offer! I actually didn’t take many photos because I was too busy looking at everything! 🙂
Also…..here is an article that appeared on the Orleans Hub a few days ago about the Garden Party: CLICK HERE
Behind this seating area is a very large full length antique looking mirror!!! One of several mirrors used in the gardens – some large like this one, some somewhat smaller, some oval face-type mirrors. I thought I got a couple closer photos of some of the mirrors, but this is the only one I have…..I found it so clever to use mirrors in the gardens – they made the areas they were in look bigger AND provided a fascinating focal point! I loved it – I think the use of mirrors was my favorite part of the gardens! I may have to find a way to use some mirrors in my gardens!
This photo also shows just one of at least a dozen small seating areas throughout the gardens – some covered, some not – all cozy and inviting – all different color schemes and themes!
Another item that was used throughout the gardens was stained glass windows – like the heart shaped one above the seat in this photo – hard to see – hate it didn’t come out better! There were many stained glass windows around to provide interesting focal points!
I’ll actually have another chance to get some photos of these gardens next Saturday – I’m taking a Garden Tour sponsored by the Cobblestone Museum, which will include several stops at various gardens, garden shops, wineries, and historic points of interest…….the Riley family gardens is on that tour, as well! So, maybe I can focus on getting better photos and see the things I’m sure I missed today!