Saturday, November 10, 2012

Southern Exposure, Autumn Magic

I'm sure there are those who would disagree -- Rick being one -- but I can think of few more glorious things to do on an autumn day than visit an herb farm with several historic outbuildings, have a fabulous lunch, go herb picking and then use those we chose in our floral arrangements.
If that works for you, too, then consider a trip to Southern Moon if you happen to be near Battle Creek, Michigan.
My friend Jan had been to their workshops and dinners in the past and she knew it would be something we'd enjoy, so off we went, through Michigan's beautiful early fall roads, ending up here!
When you turn into Southern Moon, the first thing you notice is a grand old car. Very Great Gatsby.
Then, several lovely older buildings and lots of glorious garden. Everywhere!
We took a walk around before our lunch and couldn't help but notice pumpkins in lovely cement urns...
... angels...
Charming little corners.
Every arrangement was simple but beautiful.
One of the outbuildings was prepared for an autumn dinner. I loved the dried corn on the backs of the chairs...
...and the beautiful mantle. It was so cozy.
Peek outside the door -- you never know what you'll see!
There were stark color contrasts.
All were inviting and beguiling.
Then we went to lunch -- the room was charming, all decked out for fall!
Even the chandeliers had their share of autumn leaves!
Our lunch was an elegant pork with the most delicate sauce served on wild rice, fresh roasted vegetables and a small but delicious salad with strawberries, grapes, blue cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette. Dessert? Apple pie with cinnamon crumb cake ice cream. There was wine and tea -- anything you could want!
After lunch, we went to the herb garden, where Scott, our host, told us stories of various herbs.
My favorite was the Ladies Bed Straw. The legend of this herb was that it was used to line Jesus' manger.
Then we cut away -- selecting lavender, rosemary and scented Martha Washington geranium for our arrangement, along with anything else we wanted to pick!
After our arms were full, it was off to the creation tent, where we were given a yelloware container, kale, gourds and, over the course of the workshop, roses, lilies, carnations, berries, grasses, moss and more.
Scott had a finished piece which he shared as leader Micah gave us tips on working the with materials we had. 
Meanwhile, chickens were at our feet. We were told they were fond of carnations.
Then it was free form! And it was a ball! Here's mine!
After, Scott told us to cut whatever herbs we wanted to take with us. My favorite? Curry! And, it meant another walk in the garden, which smelled amazing and looked more so!
And we also went through the gardens again and stopped at the gift shop. 
Our 20 percent discount was a delightful bonus!
It was truly an afternoon to remember! And, a photographer's dream. You'll be seeing more of Southern Exposure! I know I will!

P.S. As with all good floral arrangements, mine faded after a couple of weeks. But some of the elements were still fine so all it took was a trip to the grocery store and I ended up with this!

I took out the lilies, roses and kale and added the orange daisies and the fluffy green foliage. Plus, from my $7.99 batch of daisies and fluff-stuff, I ended up with another pretty vase of flowers! Love it when that happens!

(I'm linking up today with Pink Saturday, which is "Serving Up Autumn.)


Mae Travels said...

That looks beautiful!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

What a wonderful way to spend the day, Jeanie! I've never seen a place like that! Your pictures are, once again, fantastic!

Janet said...

You seem to find the most interesting places to visit. I'm glad you let us sort of tag along and enjoy your adventures.

Barb said...

What a great field trip! I'll go with you next time - Bob and Rick can ride bike on the country roads... (Special decorating ideas for fall.)

Introverted Art said...

Jeanie, this place looks wonderful and that chicken, I swear, it looks just like my Josefina. A pet chicken I had when I was a teenager.

Retired English Teacher said...

This place sounds unreal! I love it. What an interesting place. Talk about a place to satisfy all the senses. Wow.

I love your arrangement. Your creativity amazes me.

Maggie said...

What a wonderful day you had, Jeanie. I would have loved it, too!

Jeanie said...

As usual, your photos make a place you visit look very appealing. I would likely not have your knowledge or creativity to bring to it, but it looks like a great place to spend some time.

Joanne Huffman said...

I've been to Southern Exposure three times and loved it every time. Your arrangement (both variations) is lovely.

Marilyn said...

Oh would I love this day at the herbfarm. Your arrangement is gorgeous and the remade one too. Everything was just beautiful. I love herbs in a bouquet.

Tracy said...

Oh, now that is my idea of a grand day out too! Take me to Southern Moon in a heartbeat! ;o) WONDERFUL place... just love it! Thanks you so much taking us there, Jeanie . Your flower arrangement is lovely--you have a knack with flowers too! ((HUGS))

Joyce S said...

sound like a great way to spend a day with a friend!

Jennifer Richardson said...

my mouth waters over your lunch
and everything else smiles
over the beauty
of your autumn afternoon:)
what a delightful place
to add to your wonderful memories.
happy November to you,

Arti said...

I'm all envious... because we don't have an autumn day nor a herb farm here. It's been snowing for the past two weeks. Only today that we get some sunshine. Since it's all white here in our landscape, I've all the more appreciate the colors in all your beautiful photos. Michigan? It's now on the list of my must-see places.

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shoreacres said...

Tell you what - while you're busy picking herbs and making arrangements, I'll just sit in one of those chairs and watch the chickens! Well, and the people. And all the pretty colors. And the sky.

Even though this isn't really at the top of my list for how to spend a day, you present it so beautifully I'd always be willing to tag along.
The food sounds marvelous - I'm always up for new, interesting foods!

Thanks for the wonderful photos. It's gray as can be here today, and they really perked up my afternoon!

~*~Patty S said...

Oh My
How very beautiful from beginning to end Jeanie
Thanks so much for sharing such a glorious day and place with us

the name Southern Moon is so wonderful too!

Vagabonde said...

I am trying to catch up but I am far behind. I reread all the comments you left on my posts – first I’d like to answer your question about the photo of the cycling print that was in the park – I don’t know who is the artist, but I’ll check next time. Next, congratulations on being featured in Romantic Country – it is a well deserved honor.
It was so much fun looking at Holland through your eyes. Jim and I spent 10 days in Amsterdam and surrounding areas a year after we married and saw many of the same places you showed. It does take a while to go through all these pictures I know as I have barely shown pictures of the 9 cruises we took and now we took a 10th one last month so I have a lot of work to do. Your photos on your last posts are quite colorful and charming – what a lovely place to visit. I hope Rick’s health is fine now. Jim started his treatment but caught an infection so it’s back to the doctor tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Oh me, oh my, Jeanie, I wanna go too. It's GORGEOUS. My heart just about leaped out of my chest going through your beautiful pictures. I'd love to go with a group of ladies and sit at the lovely table for hours. Southern Moon, what a pretty name too.
I'm glad to see that you are savoring autumn instead of rushing it off as most are across blogland.

Virginia said...

Well that place is definitely what I call a Photographer's Buffet. The food looked delicious as well. What a fun day. Take a bow for your beautiful arrangement!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

What a cool thing to do! That place looks beautiful - and the lunch sounds divine. Your arrangement turned out great and that is awesome that you were able to supplement it with some new items to make it last even longer!!

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Hello hello my friend. Nice little corners you've shot here. I'm living in a gray day today so all this color was a warm welcome into my livingroom.
Hugs Dagmar

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