Along North Lake
Along North Lake

While on a brief getaway in the northern Catskills, we saw plenty of natural beauty, including late summer wildflowers (rudbeckia, asters, eupatorium, and more) along the trails. We also saw some lovely manmade landscaping that took full advantage of its context.

lm2Along route 28, just past Phoenicia, you’ll pass Kate’s Lazy Meadow, an unusual boutique hotel operation that combines mid-century modern/kitsch appeal with a bucolic setting on the Esopus Creek. As Travel and Leisure notes, “The ten suites will transport you to a time when Formica, Tupperware, and the Avon Lady were young, and lime green and burnt orange were viable decorative options.” There used to be a group of Airstream trailers used as accommodation options, but those have been moved to a new operation near Joshua Tree, CA.

riverThe gardens of Lazy Meadow are simple but effective. They mainly utilize bursts of sunflowers and hydrangeas—common plants that work uncommonly well in their settings. The area near the creek is deceptively artful; plants are used as punctuation in a sculpted plain of river rocks.

lm1I lack the self control for restricted-plant-palette gardening, and I don’t regret it. It wouldn’t be fun for me. But I can appreciate it.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. The place really looks amazing. The small cabin and all the nature… It’s a dream vacation for practically everyone. Everything looks natural and not like in most community gardens, where all the flowers are planted in patterns. I have always preferred the natural outlook of the garden, but every person has their own preferences…

  2. I love the hydrangeas and sunflowers, but those plants “used as punctuation in a sculpted plain of river rocks” look like goldenrod and the invasive purple loosestrife. Hopefully not planned.

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