Monday, July 13, 2015

Erin's Meadow with Pat

 Swamp Rose Mallow growing at K-25

Erin's Meadow With Pat
 Friday July 10, 2015

Dana Koogler 
Pat Serio 

Pictures are here starting with frame 104

Link to their website
Erin's Meadow Herb Farm 

    I had the great fortune to make a new friend on Facebook! Pat Serio is her name.
I was delighted when she suggested we go to visit Erin's Meadow together. She had another good idea which was to swing by the Heritage Center at K-25 in Oak Ridge and check out the lily ponds.
We planned it out and met in Knoxville Friday morning.    We packed a picnic to take along.
Right away I felt at ease with this lady.    I had a good feeling about the budding friendship.

    We headed out to try to located K-25 first to see the lily ponds.   Neither of us had ever been 
before, but she had directions. Paul Mashburn had graciously provided me with some directions as well.  Between the both we located the place.  We were calling it by the wrong name.  We discovered this when  went up to a gentleman who was picking blackberries along one of the old roads.
I showed him the directions and in short order he helped correct our course.  We were calling it the Horizon Center when in fact we needed The Heritage Center.   We were only off course by 2 miles and perhaps 10 minutes if that.  Pretty quickly we passed the first pond and make our turn across
the railroad tracks as we were supposed to.   We happily found the place.   

     The lily ponds are very beautiful but it is not an easy place to view what is there.
We saw all sorts of butterflies and birds not to mention the hibiscus and water lilies and other 
wildflowers. The North Boundary Greenbelt is right there at it.   Pat got in an ant hill and got a few 
ant bites, but thankfully we brushed them off her fast.   They were not fire ants for that would have 
been worse.   We enjoyed the buttonbush, swamp rose mallow, coreopsis, asters, and water lilies.
Dragonflies darted and zipped around and they were so pretty.   We saw swallowtail butterflies and a common buckeye or two.   It was blistering hot so we did not linger as long or explore as much
had it not been so sweltering.  We both seemed to tire of it about the same time which was good.

               Buttonbush is a butterfly attractant and a wetland plant.

Hibiscus growing along the edges of the K-25 pond.

Pale yellow water lilies in the pond. Not easy to get a photo of because they are way out there.

Jeweled dragonfly on a blade of grass.

            Next we headed to visit Erin's Meadow Herb Farm just outside Oak Ridge.
I have been many times, but today would be a first visit for Pat.   We were having a good time with
lots of interesting conversation and laughter.  She lit into picking on me at once which always
makes me feel RIGHT AT HOME! :-)  Let the abuse begin!  Picking my seat for the opera indeed!

   Erin's Meadow teaches classes,sells herbs, and they are more than happy to permit guests to
stroll around the grounds or picnic there.  That is what we did. We toted our picnic supplies from the parking area up to a nice bench in the shade.  They even have a awning set up, but the bench was
very quaint and nicer.   We had chicken salad sandwiches topped with some fresh tomato slices Pat
brought.  We had some nice salty potato chips to help us keep our electrolytes in balance.
Pat made excellent sweet tea with lemon. Not too sweet and not weak or watery! It was perfect.
We enjoyed watermelon and cantaloupe slices.  Light fare for a hot day.  We sat and enjoyed a leisurely chat under the trees.  Finally we packed up our picnic mess and put it back in the vehicle.

      We strolled the grounds taking pictures and checking out herbs and flowers and the shop
with all its quaint items.   Stuff is a bit on the pricey side, but we did purchase a few things.
I had gone specifically for the hops vines and some additional rosemary to plant.  I ended up finding
a wind chime to put in my room that is my Cumberland Plateau colors of aquamarine, blue, green, white.   I had been wanting one and had put of buying one I found in Asheville at the Western NC
farmers market.  I was glad I waited because this one is THE one!   Pricey stuff, but if you're careful you can hit sales and she does keep some very unique items. She carries hard to find herbs and plants too.    I try to visit here each year at least once and spend some money.  It is hard for small business
owners to compete with the giants like Lowes, Wal-mart, etc.   It is hard for customers to find variety
and unique things at these giant stores though.

           It was just so hot today. We were over it and ready to wrap things up and go home
for a break from the heat.  I had a grand time and felt very blessed. I think Pat is a handful on
purpose in my life.  (Handful of blessing).  Sometimes if we're patient God sends along
the members of our family we need to encounter to complete our lives.   I knew from talking to her
that she is a kindred spirit.  Thanks for spending time with me and giving me a chance!

I look forward to the next adventure. Oh what we can get into especially when it is not
interfered with by sweltering heat!

Two of several greenhouse bays at Erin's Meadow.

Cool shady spots for our picnic

Pat, we need to learn to make these. I think we can do it!  It would be fun to hunt up the parts at
a thrift store or antique shop and put them together!

Pat checking out a snow on the mountain flower.

Vignettes along the way to the shop.  So pretty!

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