I always have mixed feelings about my last visit to Southern Exposure for the season. In this case, it is still early in the spring and I know that should I be there in the summer the gardens would look entirely different.
It will be the last Chef Elsie dinner till fall. And I'll miss the camaraderie of creating with others on an all new project.
In this visit we'll make a lighted conservatory, which you'll see later in this post. But first, the garden update. Lots of purple as the lilacs were in full bloom.
And the alium (I love these!).
One of my favorites, the muscari.
Plenty of pansies and violas.
And sweet woodland violets.
Scott let me pull up one of these woodland poppies for my garden. I have it in a small pot right now till I can get it transplanted but so far, it's looking very healthy!
The tulips were saying farewell, but there were still some generous clumps of them.
I loved these striped ones!
The herb garden is coming into its own. My first Southern Exposure project years ago involved collecting herbs from the garden and integrating them into an arrangement. I wonder if that will be on the fall schedule this year?
The greenhouse was ready to welcome visitors who wanted to take a rest...
...or peek inside! Check out that grassy birdhouse at the front of the table! (And all the plants in her have become much fuller!)
I really love how the plants in this little chest of drawers has filled out.
Every year I say I must get a bird bath, just to put pretty flowers in like they do at Southern Exposure!
And of course there is always plenty of critter action with the chickens...
...at the koi pond...
and with the sweet cows in the pasture.
And you are always being carefully watched by angels...
And here is that fun birdhouse in action!
Southern Exposure's Scott explained that the concept of this project was developed while traveling in France so Chef Elsie prepared a French-themed dinner. It included chicken with French tarragon sauce, fresh asparagus and new potatoes, a berry salad with raspberry vinaigrette, bread, wine and apple pie a la mode!
Then on to the craft tent. Here's how our place was set up. We had our container, moss, gloves, scissors, dirt, a spoon, the candle we brought from our place settings and a hens and chicks plant.
Supervised by Joan and Bette, the adopted chickens, we put a small layer of dirt on the bottom of our container, then moss on the edges to mask it and our greenery, also moss, with the plant and candle included. (Southern Exposure supports their county's humane society with a portion of our admissions and several fundraisers each year and also fosters abandoned chickens who entertain us wildly in the craft room!)
It may have been the fastest and one of the prettiest projects we've ever done! Here's how it looked at home after I added a small bird. I'll probably replace this tea light with a different, more subtle one.
In the end, it will hang outside at the lake but for now, a misting on the mantle!
Thanks for joining me on our last visit till fall! (Unless I sneak back just to take some photos!)