There are some things that happen in life that make a lasting impression. There are good things and sometimes, sadly not so good things. You want to remember the happy, and enclose the latter in a vault inside your mind’s tunnels and passageways. Or that’s how I handle it anyway.
This weekend was another whirlwind travelathon to visit the offspring at their respective abodes. We began with Chickenpoet, mother of two rising baseball stars, after a too brief visit with friend Laurie and a stroll through the Spring Festival at Exchange Place, a restored small village of log cabins featuring crafts and gardens.In the midst of Little League season with the brothers on the same team due to their close ages, nine and ten, luck was with us once again as we got to see them both pitch. The older, M.A. was the starter and did a magnificent job with several strike outs. After he tired a bit, G.A., above, the younger took over the mound. M.A. traded places with his brother to the shortstop position. It was a joy to see them play, and they played very well with good hitting and fielding in addition to the pitching. Alas they lost the game, but won our hearts, as always. We went to eat our favorite Mexican food together afterwards. Then it was on to the next leg of the Magic Triangle roadtrip. We wrote about that last year, click here to read about it if you want to learn more details.Asheville, North Carolina, home of the famous Biltmore Estate and The Hop Ice Cream Cafe was our next destination. We had our season passes to the big house and the plan was to visit first thing the next morning for the Garden Flower Festival was in full swing. A brunch with offspring Brokenbeat and wife, and the Gardoctor now living there as well was the plan for afterwards. The entrance to the house and gardens at this amazing attraction is a long winding road past mature stands of conifers and deciduous trees underplanted with flowering shrubs, ferns and wildflowers. It is well maintained and a joy to traverse. After passing by the house the curves take you through an archway that reveals the splendor of the intensively planted walled gardens and conservatory. You can see the arch in the right center edge of the wooden oval as we look through the opening of the long arbor that leads to the greenhouses and beyond.The upper tier of the drivethrough was planted with thousands of pink, dark purple and cream colored tulips. There were many people there visiting this day, and every one gasped with delight as the scene was revealed, for the walls around hid this sight from view until one had entered by car or on foot.The Financier had decided that the Fairegarden photography studio was in need of new equipment. A box containing the key to the holy grail, the pristine hummingbird shot, had been presented before the excursion to the Biltmore. Yes, dear readers, a new camera was added to the lot, a Canon Powershot sx1 IS. Many things are similar to our old faithful, the Canon Powershot A720 IS, but the new camera has many more features that we will need to study and practice including a 20x zoom. The owner’s manual was brought along as we took shots with both old and new cameras. Finally we found the setting for the macro to superfine and took the Abutilon shot in the conservatory. But we were on a mission and had taken enough photos of flowers.The shop behind the conservatory, A Gardener’s Place had been closed on our last visit. A phone call had been placed to make sure this dismaying state of affairs would not happen again. The place was open and we set immediately to perusing. The search was for a piece of hardscape for the Fairegarden, a bench preferably. Several were spied, but we settled on this one, minus the large assortment of garden accoutrements. It fit into the vehicle with no problem and we were on our way to the Brokenbeats, satisfied with the results of the hunt.
Once there we entered the house and were greeted as usual. There was a gift in the kitchen for it was my birthday that day. The Gardoctor mentioned that his gift was in the back bedroom if I wanted to check it out. I opened the door and out burst the rest of the offspring and their families. They had completely snookered me, for this was a birthday that ended in the digit nine, not the momentous digit zero. Totally, blissfully, tearfully surprised as they rushed out, with Semi and Chickenpoet elbowing each other to be the first ones out of the gate to yell surprise! We had just seen the Chickenpoet family the day before, but there they all were, and we were to stop at Semi’s on the way home and there they were as well. All surrounding me in a group hug yelling happy birthday. This is a moment that will never ever be forgotten, ever.The sun was shining and we had burgers and birthday cake under the shade of the old apple tree. The three young ‘uns were petting the fish in the pond with Semi and I both trying to capture the moment. Take note how she is crouched with one knee to the ground for stabilization.
LTB carried the birthday cake out as we sat on the new bench and sang the traditional song. A sweet moment indeed.
Brokenbeat’s garden was breathtaking, for he and the missus have accomplished much in the three years they have owned this house. Note too his gardening position, as he digs plants for his siblings to take back to their respective gardens. The blue forget me nots, that have traveled with us for more than thirty years are growing well with blue blooms and a scattering of pink.
The group shot under the old apple tree shows in the front: Gardoctor, M.A., Chickenpoet, birthday girl, G.A., Semi, Brokenbeat (nearly hidden) and Mrs. Brokenbeat. In back: Mr. Chickenpoet, The Financier, LTB held by Mr. Semi.
The title of this post is about those thoughts that transport us when things are rough, or when things are smooth. My dentist will say “Go to your happy place”, when a particularly difficult bit of dentistry is about to begin. The vision of my family bursting from the back room and surrounding me with hugs and kisses is such a place, so easy to return to again and again it makes my heart nearly burst with happiness. Do you have a happy place too? I hope so and would love to hear about it.
My name is Frances and I am a lifelong gardener, having lived in various parts of the USA over many years. I am now gardening in USDA Zone 7a east Tennessee. From 2000 to 2014 I was gardening on a slope in a small town in Tennessee. I have been blogging about my gardens since December of 2007. Thank you for visiting!
The slope in spring
The slope in fall
The slope in winter
Visit The Hop Ice Cream Cafe When In Asheville, NC
640 Merrimon Ave.
or The Hop West
721 Haywood Rd.
Asheville, North Carolina
Older Posts Of Interest:
The story of the day a throng of cedar waxwings descended upon the garden, shown in the header image. (2009)
An awkward title that explains about making those very tall asters, mums and others shorter by cutting them down by half in May. Now is the time! (2011)
A book inspires the growing of lilies from seed. (2009)
How ten lily bulbs became hundreds. (2010)
A rant about the mistaken thoughts of non-gardeners. (2009)
There was something hidden in the forest and we were lucky enough to be able to see it. (2011)
Dreams turn into reality, in a way. The Green Man/Leaf Man faces live well in my garden now. (2011)
A yard without a lawn. (2010)
A history of all of the faire gardens and a couple of choice tidbits about me. (2009)
Very difficult to only pick your six favorite plants, some of us bent the rules a bit. (2009)
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