Friday, May 21, 2010

Carolyn's Garden

I took a road trip today about 30 minutes away to a little place in Mechanicsville VA called Carolyn's Garden. My friend Carol told me about it and she raved that the perennial selection was fabulous and the prices were affordable. Boy, she wasn't kidding.

I started down I-95 right after I dropped Ellie off at school and I must say I had a really enjoyable drive once I got off the main route. There were several horse farms and old houses dotting the scenery and no one was behind me for most of the drive so I could drive like a Sunday driver on Friday. I had not visited Mechanicsville before but with that name I guess I wasn't expecting too much. It's nice to be pleasantly surprised. Along the way I spotted a Baltimore Oriole flying in for a landing in a pine tree. Woo Hoo! He was gorgeous and I hardly ever get to see these birds. I am so loving my drive through this little town!

As I approached the gardens the road narrowed and the woods grew thick. I went down the gravel driveway and entered into Carolyn's Gardens and heard a Peacock calling in the distance. I was then greeted with happy barks from the 7 or so Sheltie dogs that the owner breeds and then I saw a woman who I assumed to be Carolyn standing off to the side waiting to welcome me. Carolyn and her husband retired and bought this land, then cleared it and started their gardens and then finally built their home. She only grows perennials, no annuals at all. The gardens are about 18 years old and just overflowing with beautiful plants everywhere. To the left of her yard you will find all the plants that are in the ground and on the right side are all the ones that are dug up and ready to sell. I was the only customer when I first got there so I was able to talk to her and learn more about the gardens and ask some questions about certain plants. She was a wealth of information and wonderful to talk with. She was like an old friend already.

After our talk I walked off on my own with my little red wagon that I quickly filled up two times. I bought several Black Eyed Susans (to replace the ones around our mailbox that we had for years that mysteriously disappeared), several Fever Few, a hydrangea shrub, 2 foxglove plants, Agastache, several shade loving perennials that are in the Astilbe family that I cannot remember the name of now, one large Hosta, Texas sage and several succulent plants for the screened in porch (hen and chicks, jobibarvs and some other cool ivy succulent all in decorative little pots). The perennials were all in large containers and were quite big and hardy. When Carolyn tallied up my purchases I had to pay out a whopping $88.00. What? I definitely would have spent $188.00 for all of that at our local nursery and I am sure it wouldn't have been as healthy. The other thing I loved were what I kept calling 'bonus plants'. Because her garden is not in any particular order and things grow all over the place, I was happy to notice that many pots had a totally different perennial starting to grow. I got home Friday afternoon and spent the rest of the day in the garden. That was my kind of day! Thank's Carolyn, I will be back again for sure!

Carolyn's Garden
A view of Carolyn's Garden from the shade area. It was super sunny (and there were major bugs out) so I didn't take many photos in the sun. Beyond the arbor was where all the in the ground plants were.

Yellow Primrose
Yellow Primrose. So cheerful and happy. I don't have many yellow plants in my garden but these were really tempting.

Covered in Duck weed
Found this guy in hiding in the Duck Weed in one of the water ponds.

They really do sit on lillypads!
I was happy to see that they really do sit on lillypads.

Carolyns' Garden in Mechanicsville Va
Another shot of all the shade loving perennials. Hostas are what Carolyn's is known for but there was also a lot of Astilbe and Hydrangeas too.

Brown Dragonfly
A brown dragonfly was providing me with good luck. Thanks buddy!

Roadside Friend
I stopped to visit with one of the horses from the many horse farms that I passed. He was beautiful until he sneezed all over me.

Family plot
In between two farms there was a small cemetery from the beginning of the century. If I were to be buried - I couldn't think of a nicer spot to spend eternity.