Lovely, don't you think? This is just one view of the big barn at Carolee's Herb Farm in Hartford City IN. I could have taken dozens of photos like this one, inside the barn, in the plant nursery, and in the surrounding gardens and fields, each view showing you something new. But instead, I suggest that you visit Carolee's website and check out her farm photo gallery. And the next time you're in central Indiana, make it a point to drop in. I know that Carolee will have something new and beautiful for you to see, taste, touch, smell.
When Bill and I drove up, we were greeted by a full parking lot and a cheerful welcome sign. Rain was forecast, but it mostly held off for our visit--just one brief shower while I was speaking. The event was sold out (Carolee always works hard at getting the word out about events), and I spent a delightful two-plus hours signing books, chatting with friends (all of China's readers are friends!), and talking about the Shakers and their herbs.
Then Carolee served everyone a proper tea: tiny sandwiches, delicious cakes and pastries, tea, and lemonade. All of us agreed that Beatrix Potter (surely an expert on the proper tea) would have been impressed.
After the tea, I went shopping (well, of course!). It's nearly the end of my trip, and the herbs I chose will be sure to survive the drive back to Texas. Carolee does her own propagation from "mother" stock plants that provide plenty of plant babies, and her nursery shelves are filled with culinary, medicinal, landscaping, and crafting herbs. She also has the most spectacular collection of lavenders I've ever seen--47 hardy varieties that she grows in her fields and 10 tender varieties she keeps in the greenhouse. Check out her July Lavender Daze, bring a basket, and pick your own. Think I'm a fan? You bet! (If you want to see any of these photos enlarged, just click on them).
Today's Monday, and we're beginning to wrap up the book tour. Today, Bill and I are driving over to Monticello IN, to speak to the Friends of the Library. Hope you'll be along for the ride. Then back in the car and heading south to Carmel IN, to the Mystery Bookshop. Tomorrow, the T.C. Steele Historic Site (another lovely place), and then--oh, glory, we're going home. I enjoy touring, but I am sooo anxious to get back to my garden, the dogs, the cows, and my favorite Texas landscapes. Not to mention my next writing project: the seventh book in the Cottage Tales, another dragon book. Yay!