Friday, I was a guest at a luncheon at the home of friends Jim and Dan in Knoxville, Maryland. (94.2 miles from home) The occasion was a visit from Sean Hogan of Cistus Nursery, and the guests included all manner of horticultural individuals. This is always the smartest group of plant people I have ever seen, and I am thrilled that they welcome a rosarian like myself into their fold. (It was nice to visit with two fellow bloggers while I was there ... Jim of My Virtual Maryland Garden and Chris of 1003 Gardens) The food is always delicious, and the conversation flows easily ... with botanical names of plants flying in all directions. Every so often, I have to raise my hand and ask for an English translation. (I'm a rosarian, remember?)
Jim and Dan (mostly Jim) are plant collectors. There's something wonderful to see in their garden in every direction. This was the first time that I had been to their home in spring, so I was excited to finally get to see the colonies of hellebores in bloom. Beautiful.
One never leaves there empty handed, and I came away with a bulb of some sort ... I have totally forgotten what it is. All I remember is that Jim said that it's like a crinum on steroids. It will be good for semi-shade, which is perfect for my most recent bed of shady things around our Tiki Hut.
After saying my goodbyes at Jim and Dan's, I started down I-81 to the Colonial District (American Rose Society) Pre-Spring Meeting in Staunton, Virginia. (125 miles) It was much easier for me to go down on Friday evening and stay in the event hotel, to be there ready for action when the meeting started at 8:30 am on Saturday.
I love these meetings! We listen to speakers, eat good food, and share experiences with other rosarians from the 4-state area covered by the Colonial District (Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware) No matter how much we think we know, we all come away knowing more.
After dinner at Mrs. Rowe's Family Restaurant (go there, if you're ever in the area), I headed for home. (117 miles) The mountain and valley views from I-64 at sundown are spectacular. I stopped at one of the scenic overlooks outside of Charlottesville to stretch my legs and snap some photos.
I was really happy to see my husband when I got home, and it was great to sleep in my own bed.
Today, I head to southern Maryland to finally meet Kat of Low Tide, High Style. (72 miles) She and I met through our blogs (my version of Internet dating), and we hit it off instantly. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to spend the day with her. Excited enough, in fact, to drive my husband's enormous King Ranch F-150 (carrying cargo that I'm sure she'll show you later) across the infamous Rt. 301 bridge over the Potomac. Yikes!
... to be continued.