Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Weekend in Royal Oak

This summer has been a whirlwind of activity for me, unlike any other summer that I can remember.  It wasn't planned that way - not most of it - but opportunities presented themselves and as I want to live my life without passing them up, my summer became a very busy one.  It's been fun, and you know what they say about time flying...

Jan enjoys some conversation at
the RoyalOak Farmer's Market.
Last weekend, at the invitation of my Soil Sister Jan, I traveled to her home in Royal Oak, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit.  It was a 2¾-hour trip - an easy one, right up 75. The weekend had been planned for more than a month and we looked forward to doing some fun things as well as some "work" regarding The Soil Sisters.

When I first arrived, we snacked on crackers with tabouleh and hummus, both of which were a first for me. Then we got into the "Hoe-mobile" and headed to some local nurseries.  What's a Hoe-mobile, you ask? Jan owns her own landscaping business called Two Women and a Hoe™ and her vehicle sports the name of her business on the side.

Our first stop was Ray Wiegand's Nursery and Garden Center. WOW. Acres of green. Of course I found a few things I couldn't live without - Hakonechloa aurea 'All Gold', Carex muskingumensis 'Oehme', Carex hachijoensis 'Evergold', and Tricyrtis 'Samurai', 'Sinonome' and 'Amethystina'. I'm going to see if I can kill the 'Evergold' again. Yes, Marcella, I've killed a Carex!

Then it was on to Wade Nursery. It was here that we saw the adorable topiaries of a flower and moon and stars. They wouldn't be for every garden, but we liked them all the same. Here, I purchased a beautiful variegated elderberry shrub - Sambucus nigra 'Pulverulenta'.

Our final stop was  Deneweth's Garden Center, where I found a very nice Echinacea 'Hot Papaya'.  I already have one of those, but it's small and this one was about three times its size for the same cost I paid earlier this spring.

We had planned to visit Bordine's Nursery, but they'd closed for the day by the time we got there, so we'll save that one for another time.  Brenda Haas has posted several times about her visits to Bordine's on her blog, BGgarden. It's huge and I'm sure it has more than one plant that may have found its way back to Ohio!

One of the things I hoped for during my weekend visit was to catch a glimpse of Edgar, the white squirrel. Jan has a small house placed atop a tall dead tree stump where she feeds Edgar peanut butter bread. He loves it and comes every day to eat it.  But Edgar had not been seen for about four days and she was worried something happened to him. A neighbor said she'd seen him a couple of streets over, but couldn't be sure.

Saturday morning, Jan, her business employee Michele, and I headed over to the Royal Oak Farmers' Market, where we conducted a presentation for the public about various aspects of gardening. Generous sponsors contributed their products for a raffle that was held after the presentation. Thank you to: Annie of Authentic Haven Brand, for the compost tea; BBB Seeds for an assortment of garden seeds; Corona Tools for a pair of bypass pruners; Two Women and a Hoe™ for the organic personal care products.

The Farmers' Market was nothing short of amazing. What I loved best was the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit and cut flowers.  The COLOR! I accidentally had left my camera at home, but Jan let me use hers so that I was able to get a few photos:

Butterflies love honey!

Food for thought...

Look at these gorgeous tomatoes!

These are from a garden center in Ann Arbor - Hilltop Greenhouse & Farms.

I found some beautiful perennials for $4 each!

We had quite a bit of work to do for our Soil Sisters site, but we managed to have some fun the rest of the weekend, too. A few of Jan's friends came for dinner Saturday night (Salmon filets!) and we had a good ol' girlfriend gab session around the dinner table. I love to learn from other women, because we all have so many different experiences to share.

I decided to make a Texas Sheet Cake for dessert and while it wasn't finished before some had to leave, those that had it uttered sounds that let me know they liked it. No one in that house, except for me, had ever had it before!

Sunday morning began with Jan excitedly announcing that Edgar had been spotted! It had been five days since he'd been around and while Jan feared he was gone, he had come home. We sat out on her patio with our coffee and Diet Mountain Dew (my "coffee"), watching Edgar frolic in the treetops. Eventually, he returned to his house to retrieve the peanut butter covered slice of bread. 

Before I left for home, I again borrowed Jan's camera and took some photos of her beautiful gardens. Jan is a talented landscape designer and sitting on her patio was relaxing and peaceful, surrounded by her beloved hydrangeas and supporting cast of plants and flowers.


Jan's hydrangeas are nothing short of amazing! This is 'Limelight'.

Thank you, Jan and Wally, for opening your home to me and making me feel like family.  I hope you enjoyed having me as much as I enjoyed being there, because you haven't seen the last of me.  I'll be back!


joey said...

A delightful post, dear Kylee, and perfect trip. We are Michigan blessed to live in this beautiful state filled with wonderful nurseries/Farmer's Markets, talented designers, gracious hosts, and cute little white squirrels!

joey said...

A delightful post, dear Kylee, and perfect trip. We are Michigan blessed to live in this beautiful state filled with wonderful nurseries/Farmer's Markets, talented designers, gracious hosts, and cute little white squirrels!

Commonweeder said...

I've watched you shop and as I virtually watch that shopping I have to ask where do you put all those plants? It looks like a great trip - just the kind I'd like to have.

Nutty Gnome said...

It sounds like you had a lovely, happy, fun-filled weekend. Lucky you! :D

The Soil Sisters said...

Kylee, it was so much fun and an honor to share my home, gardens and Michigan with you! Cannot wait until your next visit! Love, Jan

P.S. A lovely post!

Kim said...

Perfect timing...I'm in the opposite end of Michigan and just ate diner at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids. Had an incredible Heirloom tomato caprese salad - your picture just filled in some blanks, green zebra, cherokee purple, maybe raw bow. Bookmarking for next year's seed planning.

~fer said...

Sounds like a great summer trip!
Hi, i just discovered your blog, it's great!
Keep the good work

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