Monday, April 13, 2015

Signs of Spring

Last weekend we took a trip into nearby Hershey - nicknamed "The Sweetest Place on Earth" - partly curiosity to see what all the fuss was about, and partly a need to get out of the house, even though it was raining (but very muggy).

View from Hershey Gardens across to Hershey Chocolate World and Amusement Park
Hershey itself, as you probably know, was the original location of the Hershey company back in 1905, which makes the famous US chocolate.  Everything there is Hershey-related, from Hershey's Chocolate World (factory store and virtual tour), to Hershey Amusement Park to Hersheypark Stadium (home of the Hershey Bears) and the Giant Centre (which hosts some big concert names).  Apparently the original Hershey factory was located downtown on Chocolate Avenue, but was closed and demolished a couple of years ago.

We did a tour of the Hershey Museum, which explains Milton Hershey's journey from bankruptcy in the 1880's to eventual chocolate success, and gives examples of how the original chocolate bars were made.  Interestingly, Hershey started out in his confectionary career  making caramels in Lancaster - caramels which are still available today (and have become Hubby's favourites)!

With a short break in the weather, we also took in Hershey Gardens - again created by Milton Hershey for the local community.  It's grown over the years from "a nice garden of roses" in the 1930's to a 23 acre site filled with lots of individually themed garden areas, seasonal displays, unique trees and a butterfly house (not yet full of butterflies).  Although we hadn't realised it, the garden had only opened for the year that week, and with the drizzly weather it wasn't busy at all.  Despite being so early in the season, there was still the promise of spring growth and colourful bulbs just starting to peep through in places.  You could see that it would be a lovely place to visit later in the spring, and probably through the rest of the seasons throughout the year as well.

Walking round the gardens inspired me to start thinking about my own gardening activities, particularly with a definite lift in the temperatures - so this week I've been looking for containers and herbs and vegetable seedlings, as well as some springtime colour.  Apparently there's a good market (Root's Market) held on a Tuesday nearby which does good seedlings - that could be next week's exploration sorted then!

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