Cool Plant: Caracalla Bean

July 24, 2013 § 3 Comments

The Caracalla Bean, also known as snail flower, is one of the most interesting beans I think I have ever encountered. It has ordinary foliage but a beautiful snail like flower, that is quite fragrant, and is a surprising late bloomer. I discovered it last year while visiting Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. While I had fully intended to plant it in my own garden this year, I never quite got around to it, but these photos are certainly making me regret that!





Travel Here: Lavender Farms in Virginia and Beyond

July 19, 2013 Comments Off on Travel Here: Lavender Farms in Virginia and Beyond

Believe it or not, despite my obsession with Lavender, I have never actually visited a Lavender farm. It wasn’t too long ago that I discovered there are options in Virginia,many of these places are small farms and may bot be up to European standards, but look to still be a nice quick trip! Looking at these wonderful places makes me want to pursue a new profession, Lavender farmer…

Lavender Farms in Virginia

This is just a small selection of Lavender farms in Virginia, a more comprehensive list can be found here and here. Make sure to call ahead to make sure farms are open to the public and/or still open for the season. If you can’t even contain  your Lavender love and are in the Virginia area you may be interested in the United States Lavender Conference from the U.S. Lavender Growers Association, happening in Virginia in October.


Inglewood Lavender, Nelson County Virginia

411815lavender and hay 1

Seven Oaks Lavender Farm, Catlett Virginia


Scott County Lavender, Dungannon Virginia

Evergreen Lavender Farm, Appomattox, Virginia

Lavender Farms in the U.S.

As if anyone(me) needs another reason to love the Pacific Northwest, there are a TON of lavender farms in the Oregon/ Washington area.

Oregon Lavender Association-List of destinations, a festival(!), and tour maps

Sequim Lavender Festival (Washington)

A list of other farms around the United States can be found here , here, and here.

Shenandoah National Park: Big Meadows in Spring

June 18, 2013 Comments Off on Shenandoah National Park: Big Meadows in Spring

Big Meadows Shenandoah National Park

Big Meadows Shenandoah National Park



Garden Lust: VMFA Water Garden

June 14, 2013 § 1 Comment

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is hands down one of my favorite places.  When they underwent a major remodel and addition a few years ago, included was this wonderful reflecting pool.  When the Chihuly exhibit came through earlier this year they added an instillation of beautiful glass cylinders titled Red Reeds.  So today I lust after a beautifully designed water feature that will one day accompany my beautifully designed modern rustic home.




Wildcat Ridge, Shenandoah National Park

April 9, 2012 § 1 Comment

It’s no secret  that I am in love with the pacific northwest, and my ultimate life goal is to move out that way. However all my lusting can sometimes get in the way of taking in the beautiful  places that surround me here in the central Virginia region. I  made a promise to myself, as precursor to moving at some time in the distant future, that I would really get out into the region and explore. I made my way up to Shenandoah National Park, bought a season pass(only $30!) and hiked the Wildcat ridge trail. I’ve visited the blue ridge parkway and the Shenandoah National park at various times throughout my life growing up here . I found that it is one thing to visit and another to intentionally take it all in .

Have you ever take your surroundings for granted?  Are you lusting after a new place to live?

National Park Sign Font

April 8, 2012 Comments Off on National Park Sign Font

A little bit of a sneak peak of tomorrow’s post for all  you typophiles out there. I visited  Shenandoah National Park and one of my favorite things when I visit is the font they use(d) on the signs! The National Park Service actually has  official fonts, currently NPS  Rawlinson and Frutiger, however this is a much older style font used in the early days of the park, I believe  circa 1930’s.

Shenandoah national park | skyline drive | north entrance in warren county virginia

EcoTulips Organic Tulip Festival

March 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

Just got back from EcoTulips Organic Tulip Festival. This cute little farm is the only certified organic bulb supplier in the U.S, being organic limits negative impact on the surrounding environment and helps the bees. During the festival you can pick your own tulips for a dollar a stem, and visit the farm. If you are in the central Virginia area, it is certainly worth the trip, you have the rest of this weekend and next weekend to go. You can also stop by during the week and pick bulbs on the honor system. You will want to get out there in the next two weeks though as the unseasonably warm weather has pushed up the tulips early and they are in peak bloom now! IF you can’t make it to the farm EcoTulips are available in many of Whole Foods stores throughout the mid atlantic.

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