Our first stop was the 19-acre Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve in Marblehead. This is peak blooming time for the rare, threatened plant, so the rocky limestone landscape has been transformed into a sea of golden flowers. (Click here to read about my first visit to see the Lakeside daisy preserve last year.)
Arriving at Wesley Lodge for Lakeside’s annual Mother’s Day brunch buffet, we beheld another sea, this time one of dozens of round tables decked out in white tablecloths, pink napkins and flowering plants. We made several strategic trips to the groaning board, which included a prime rib carving station, pasta primavera, chicken breast stuffed with spinach and mushrooms, red skin creamed potatoes, carrots, green beans, a salad bar, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, fresh pineapple and strawberries, danishes, muffins, fruit pies, cupcakes and dessert bars. As he loaded up our plates with thick slices of prime rib, our friend Jason from Black Tie Catering told us about the spiffy facelift under way at the Hotel Lakeside Café, where we enjoy lakefront lunches during the Lakeside season.
Next, we waddled down Walnut Avenue to Second Street, where we stopped in to say hello to Miss Mercedes and admired an abundance of the Kay Morlock glass lampwork beads I started collecting last summer.
After surveying the progress on the Splash Park from the Lakeside pavilion…
…we took a windy walk along choppy Lake Erie. This footpath tops my list of frequent Lakeside haunts, and yesterday, it was extra-special, since the Lakeside Daisy Garden was also in full bloom. Walking up Elm Avenue from the sweet sky-blue, flower-topped “Spare Change” cottage, I dropped to the ground to take a long, eye-level look at a precious neighborhood of fairy gardens.
As Red-winged Blackbirds called their “checks” and swooped overhead, I also spotted plenty of Virginia Bluebells, an iconic reminder of my Sweet Briar-era visits to The Farm Basket in Lynchburg, Virginia and touring its neighboring homes along Langhorne Road during the city’s annual celebration of Garden Week in Virginia.