Even innkeepers need to be kept on track with things that need doing, both for the business and in regards to self-care and to maintain creativity…which is why a photographer friend of mine and I have teamed up as each-others accountability partner. We meet once a month to keep each other on track with our personal and professional goals. I know that sounds like scarey stuff, but the truth is that I’m a bit of a procrastinator and get a little lost when left completely to my own devices in getting things accomplished. Its great not having ‘a boss’ in this business, but new ideas, a fresh point of view and someone to be accountable to has been really helpful. For our last accountability meeting, Jenna and I met at Duke Farms, in Hillsborough NJ and walked and talked for hours about things that are important to each of us. It was a dreary day, but the conversation was illuminating and the beauty that surrounded us made for a glorious April day..even though it was just 50 degrees! Here’s a peek at a little of our time spent at Duke Farms…
A close-up of that amazing magnolia tree…We couldn’t even imagine how old this baby is!
The Old Hay Barn as it is after a fire on the property in 1915.
The Hay Barn is an amazingly imposing and awesome structure…Here it is…both inside and out.
This beautiful Victorian Conservatory houses Duke Farms collection of Tropical Orchids. This Garden under glass is filled with a wide variety of orchid species from tropical regions along with some of the magnificent orchids that have been cultivated at Duke Farms throughout its history.
Some of the orchids inside…note the misty-ness of some of the pics…it was really warm inside the greenhouse and outside a damp and dreary 50 degrees…
When we came upon this unbelievable statue and incredible display of daffodils it was the icing on the cake for me! We plan to come back in a month or so, bring our bikes and see even more of this New Jersey jewel. What a wonderfully inspirational day we had… Thanks so much Jenna and Duke Farms.
A little info about Duke Farms: Duke Farms was created by James Buchanan Duke in the late 1800’s. He excavated nine lakes, constructed over 40 buildings, built nearly 2 ½ miles of stone walls and miles & miles of roadway. Approximately 35 fountains and countless pieces of sculpture were added to the property. His daughter Doris Duke adored the estate because it was a creation of her fathers, and she associated it quite closely with him. It became a touchstone throughout her life and was the house that she identified as her home and principal residence. A life-long environmentalist, Doris Duke expressed in her will that Duke Farms serve as a haven for native flora and fauna and be used for research that would help to drive positive change on issues related to conservation and the health of the environment. On May 18, 2012, Duke Farms was opened to the public as Doris had dreamed it would be. In just 12 months, over 300,000 visitors have discovered Duke Farms. Through the beauty of its natural setting, the diversity of the wildlife, and the scope and quality of their educational programs, demonstrations and research, Duke Farms has begun to inspire visitors to transform their approach to conservation and start building a more sustainable future. For more information on Duke Farms and the 1 year Anniversary Celebration, visit http://www.dukefarms.org/en/Visit/One-Year-Anniversary/ .