Before we embarked on our day, Michele and I went on a scouting trip to make the final list of stops. Of course before that I did what anyone would do and scouted the internet. I went to the website for High Hand Nursery. The pictures were lovely but I had been fooled by pictures before so I wasn't convinced by that. I read on there that they had an art gallery, but you and I both know art is in the eye of the beholder. I am a bit of a tough customer and when I read that they rent this place out for weddings, my first thought was not a nice one. I pictured country-bumpkins getting married next to the compost bins and snail bait. I will say it right here for the world to read "was I ever wrong". I drove on scouting day, and as we turned into the parking lot of High Hand we are lucky there was no bumper to bumper action. I was so distracted by the beauty of the parking lot I wasn't paying attention.
When you first walk in, there is a bar with outdoor wood burning pizza ovens and many windy paths with the tiny gravel that makes you feel like you are in a European garden. Go past the Koi pond and you will continue into the garden area. Make a left at the massive greenhouse and you are in a delightful restaurant. Scouting day included lunch there and I truly loved my pizza (from the wood oven) with fresh figs, bacon and Gorgonzola. We walked out and went through the garden and into what was the actual fruit packing facility known as High Hand. You will find a florist, antique rug dealer, amazing quilting, felting and sewing store all before you get to a true art gallery. There is something for everyone. I knew there was no other place we could go and I was more excited than ever to take everyone here.
So we pull up after lunch at the farm and you can hear the ohs and awes. Yes there was something for everyone. Unbelievable how everyone spread out and found exactly what was for them. I watched Gina & Rochelle go off in one direction, Eileen headed straight for the jewelry created by Doug Horton, the farmer at Horton Farm. I went with Debbie and Sylvia to the fabric store. Everywhere I turned I was amazed at what was calling to my bus-mates. Not always what I expected but not surprisingly they were as sucked in as I was. Many of us grabbed a delightful espresso drink in the "to-go" cafe. We loaded up the last of the goodies that were purchased, thank goodness no one bought one of the many Japanese Maples they had for sale. I don't think there was a single one of us not thinking of another reason to come to High Hand again.
Note: just above, these are the strawberries, ripe and ready to go underneath the espaliered fruit trees.
We headed home with a bit of Julie and Julia and daydreams of Michele's flea-market trip to Paris next Spring. I can't thank all of those who attended enough for the leap of faith, embarking on our first journey. There will be many more adventures to come and we can't wait.