Is it just me or is this one of the prettiest spring seasons we've had in a long time? Shawn and I love the south in the springtime (hence the Indigo Girls song "Southland in the Springtime" on our blog play list). I love old southern Hydrangeas, Magnolias and Gardenias and it just seems that as I have been out and about I've noticed that the Hydrangeas this year are some of the deepest blues and purples that I can remember, and my Gardenias and Magnolias are going crazy at my home in Marietta. I take full advantage of this bounty and have bouquets throughout my home... I even haul them to our mountain house!
I moved to North Carolina in early May of 1973, I was only an infant (o.k. I'm lying but, I was pretty young). When I left Topeka, Kansas it was not great weather and things were still pretty brown, as our plane landed in N.C. I was overwhelmed by all of the green trees and quickly thought to myself this must be why they call it Greensboro.
We moved into an old neighborhood with huge trees, gigantic Magnolias, and enormous Gardenia and Hydrangea bushes. One of our neighbors introduced us to these wonderful unfamiliar flowers. To this day I can remember going into the Kale's old home (it seemed very large to me back then) with the attic fan running (yep, they had no AC!!) and the smell of these powerful flowers wafting throughout every room in the house...I have dearly loved the south ever since!
I remember telling Shawn's late grandmother Margie Hall about those Gardenias, they seemed almost elusive to me now because while I found those little "greenhouse" varieties I missed those big "rose-like" blooms found on the old fashioned, overgrown, southern kind. Margie had a green thumb (we know where Shawn gets it!) and she promised to "root" me some down at her little "getaway" place she had kept at the beach. She described a few different ways to do this and she made it sound very easy. Shortly thereafter she sent Shawn home with a few plastic gallon-milk jugs full of "rooted" Gardenias direct from the coast of North Carolina! Shawn planted them not knowing that a few weeks later we'd get a wild hair to sell our house and build another (same exact floor plan just a little bigger and with a basement, and a few upgrades we decided that we couldn't live without, literally only a few blocks away...it's a long story about loving your home that I'll share at a later time...) Anyway Shawn dug those little Gardenia bushes up and planted them at our new home, and they have flourished...actually almost overtaking one of our entrance gates to our backyard. We may end up selling that house but I pray that we can take some of those fabulous plants with us! We enjoy them so much, and they are such a wonderful reminder and celebration of Shawn's very special Grandma, Margie Hall!
So- to get to the point (thank you for letting me share my happy spring memories!), let's continue to celebrate spring! Come out and enjoy a lovely spring evening in downtown Blue Ridge. Please join us at for our second "West Side Block Party" this Saturday June 12, 2010. Hopefully the weather will cooperate but, we are going to have it come rain or shine! We look forward to seeing you there! Happy Spring!!