Just south of the Mason-Dixon Line

Oh boy, was it fun to connect with my “roots” in Virginia for several days. My adorable niece was married last Saturday in Richmond.  mister gardener and I flew down for the lovely event and extended our stay to catch up with family (and plant life) just below the Mason-Dixon Line in the Piedmont area of Virginia.

The horizon was totally green under hazy skies as we descended for landing, trees fully leafed out, green, green, green, way ahead of the landscape in New Hampshire. That always amazes me. It’s just an hour and 20 minutes by plane.

Richmond VirginiaWe generally drop our luggage at the home of one of my brothers and wife in Richmond…. a couple who always make us feel right at home in their beautiful 19th century home that they have lovingly restored… all by themselves for the most part!

Richmond VA

Richmond

Edwards Virginia Ham

And first things first…. the most gracious Virginia hospitality includes what we have been craving…. Edwards Virginia Ham on warm buttered biscuits!

Edwards Ham is the salty type, a country ham that perhaps will seem too salty if one hasn’t grown up with it as a staple in the home. As for me, this wonderful ham has spoiled me for any ham I’ve tasted since.

Sadly, this unique Surry, Virginia ham company burned to the ground a year ago. While the insurance is being settled, the ham is being prepared and aged at other ham facilities across the country. Lucky for us!

Another priority in the south before you are unpacked and settled is a garden tour. This is a brother and wife who love and live just to be in the garden. I blogged about their gardens a few years ago. This is also the brother who saved the crow and that was quite an exciting story! Those blogs are two of my most read blogs and most ‘lifted’ photos from my blog… (that I willingly share if given credit for them).

The garden house my brother built from his own design (and where he hid from the attacking crow) always receives a lot of interest. For sure, he missed his calling as an architect. He is amazing and that’s no exaggeration from this sister!

The garden house looks great from any angle, even our bedroom window.

It’s fun on each visit to see what’s new in this fabulous garden. I told a blogging friend who photographed a door in another garden, that I knew a person with a garden door and this is the place! The fence and an old door were added to stop the deer from nibbling the azaleas. What a great garden accent! I love the RED.

Garden Door, Richmond VA

Everywhere you look there is nature looking back. I loved this sweet scene beneath the pergola he built last summer. It is covered with a lovely purple wisteria where wrens live in the house and robins are raising young practically on top of the wren house…. sort of condo style.

Wrens and Robins!

What will we look forward to on the next garden tour? They are planning another outhouse in the garden. This small one will be for the mower, weed eater, and blower. He’s already begun the foundation using discarded lumber from a neighbors deck. “What will it look like?” I asked. It will be a chip off the other garden house and he sketched it for me in a flash. The roof will be tin and atop the weathervane will be a copper bird dog, our family’s favorite pooch.

I can hardly wait for my next visit….

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9 thoughts on “Just south of the Mason-Dixon Line

  1. Next time you come to Richmond, come up to Charlottesville on Saturday and I can introduce you to a local ham maker who will top any you ever ate! And while you are here, you can seek out my very own Key Lime Pie (named the best on the planet) and my pimento cheese (cult following and Charleston approved!)
    I attended college in Richmond and reside outside Charlottesville now that I am retired. Diane

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  2. Hi! I love your brothers larger garden shed.. and well, the new one too! Do you think he’d sell the plans to the larger shed? I’m in the Charlottesville area and my husband is going to build me one next spring. I’ve been looking for one and this one is the one I love!

    Thanks,
    Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if he has plans for the garden shed or not but I will certainly ask him. He did just what you are doing…. browsing everywhere for the perfect shed. In a drive through a neighborhood and Williamsburg VA, he saw this shed and liked it so much he went home and built its twin.

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      • He doesn’t have actual plans, Karen, but this is what he wrote when another reader asked for plans: “Well, it’s small….by design. In my county one doesn’t need a permit to build an 8×12 or less……so, that’s what it is. It has a full 8′ ceiling and a stand-up attic with a pull-down stairway. The roof is a 12/16 pitch.
        I built the whole thing with no plans, except for a photo of a shed across from historic Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg VA. A good thing is that all building materials are sold in 4×8 sizes, like plywood for the sheathing, attic floor, under-flooring and roof, and the lumber all comes in 8 and 12 ft lengths.
        The floor is 6″ wide tongue and groove pine, and painted. Of course, I random cut the siding and improvised the shiplap on the ends to random widths and lengths too, and used handmade rosehead nails for authenticity.” He also added that the roof is Grand Manor, one that is found at roofing stores.

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