A trip to "Mrs. Martin's place"

What an outing! Yesterday I tagged along with four ladies from the Maple Glen Gardening Club in Montgomery County as they made their annual trek to plant nurseries in Lancaster County. All told, we made nine stops - yes, nine, which included lunch at the Town Hall Restaurant in Blue Ball. (When was the last time you had a $2 sandwich?)

The ladies bought a lot of plants. I, on the other hand, was the model of self-control. (If only I weren't working!) It was an exhausting but wonderful day, one that included stops at Conestoga, Black Creek, Briar Rose, King's Herb Nook and Willow Brook, among others.

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One of my favorites was Martin's Greenhouse in Narvon. This photo is of Marian Martin, a lovely Mennonite woman who grows some spectacular plants. Her nursery is behind the house, filling up almost two acres, and it's known simply as "Mrs. Martin's place."

She was so gracious - and funny, as she explained the noisy rooster in the background of all of our conversations. He punched out a window in the barn to escape and has been crowing up a storm this spring. He sleeps in the pine tree, just out of reach. No dummy, that rooster.

The ladies bought a ton of plants - they filled one trunk, the back of an SUV, and every available space in the back seats. We also bought cookies and fresh asparagus - the very best I've had in years - and sugar snap peas, sauerkrat and chow chow. I loaded up on that stuff, and bought a new vine that one of the ladies introduced me to. It's called candy corn vine, and hummingbirds love it.

You can read all about my long and wonderful trip to Lancaster on Friday, May 17, in Inky Home & Design. I'll share lots more photos before then, too.

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