Herbs, Flowers, and Pretty Places

When I was in college, I worked at a nursery where I was in charge of the herbs in the area visible to customers.  I loved that job so much that I thought that one day I would have a little nursery of my own.  I would grow herbs and native wildflowers in my little greenhouse and sell them from my little home based shop.  More than ten years later, and I don’t even have an herb garden anymore, because my chickens destroyed it.  But last week, I couldn’t resist filling a little cardboard tray at the farmer’s market.  I put a few herbs in a pot, and a few in the ground.  We’ll see if they survive my birds.

I love this time of year, when things are growing and blooming and I can take little walks around the yard to say hello to all of my plants, and even those that belong to my kids.  Some of them share my fondness for watching things grow as well.

We took an all day road trip yesterday to look at a house.  The property was beautiful, but the house was all wrong.  I am afraid we’ll never get over this house.  We did lots of sightseeing though.  There’s just so much prettiness to see in Virginia.  I love it here.  Around 8 p.m. we were still more than a couple of hours from home and hadn’t had dinner yet, having only packed lunch for the trip.  There wasn’t much to choose from, and we passed a Waffle House.  The kids all begged.  “We haven’t been there in years!  Please!!!”  Jonny has a love for Waffle House.  I liked it a lot as a teenager, but not so much anymore.  Most of the kids ordered waffles and I embarrassed Jonny by asking for real butter.  Evidently, you just don’t ask for real butter at Waffle House.  (They don’t have it.  In fact the teenaged boy didn’t seem to know what I even meant!)

Photos taken of the James River in Amherst County I believe, near the Bedford County line.


  1. another thing we share in common…in college I too worked at a nursery, but given who we have both come to be…lovers of plants and growing them and watching them grow…I guess that’s not all that surprising!


  2. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over *that* house either. Wasn’t it perfect?!
    I am inspired to get out in my garden but it’s still so chilly here, it’s pretty off-putting … soon hopefully 🙂

  3. gorgeous pics. Thanks for sharing!!! inspires me to work harder in my yard/garden this weekeend. 🙂

  4. Melissa L says:

    This time of year always makes me homesick for my childhood (and well into adulthood) home of Virginia. Here’s a great song I sing to myself & my daughter when I’m feeling nostalgic for VA:

    Flatt And Scruggs – Blue Ridge Cabin Home Lyrics

    There’s a well beaten path in the old mountainside
    Where I wandered when I was a lad
    And I wandered alone to the place I call home
    In those Blueridge hills far away

    Oh I love those hills of old Virginia
    From those Blueridge hills I did roam
    When I die won’t you bury me on the mountain
    Far away near my Blueridge mountain home

    Now my thoughts wander back to that ramshackle shack
    In those blue ridge hills far away
    Where my mother and dad were laid there to rest
    They are sleeping in peace together there

    I return to that old cabin home with the sigh
    I’ve been longing for days gone by
    When I die won’t you bury me on that old mountain side
    Make my resting place upon the hills so high

    Happy Spring, gardening, house hunting (I occasionally remember to pray that your “house” comes back on the market & it all works out– but God knows best & the horizon is an exciting if sometimes distant/overwhelming place.

    Peace & hugs!

  5. You were just a county away from lovely Botetourt, where we live and feel completely blessed to call it home. I don’t think we’ll ever leave!

  6. I must say I also loved that house and could see myself living there.

  7. The wisteria is making me homesick. They don’t do too well this far north, but I know they’re going to be blooming soon in the south.

  8. Hi Ginny! I’ve followed your blog for a few years now, and always feel that calm, peaceful feeling that someone else commented on. These pictures of Virginia are beautiful…I so want to visit. Thank you again for the gift of your blog, which I count as a blessing in my life. )

  9. Ginny, perhaps if you place a protection small-holed mesh wiring cupped over the herbs elevating it high enough to give them room to grow tall, then your chickens won’t bother them. That way the rain can water them and you can enjoy eating them. PS: Just an idea I thought of.

  10. Funny, I have just come in from planting a new herb garden! x

  11. It is a great gift you are ge children, introducing them to the wonder and joy of herbs.

  12. Hi there. I love reading your posts. The pictures and stories really are very calming. Thank you. Cheryl

  13. Adrienne C says:

    Oh man, I finally moved back to Virginia (Harrisonburg) after an awful 2.5 years in Memphis Tennessee. I grew up in Lynchburg & then Amherst, I LOVE Amherst! Lovely place, lots of land, we actually had a little herb farm out on Rte 60 West, sold from our little plant house & also at festivals. Good luck on your search!

  14. You will find a house, don’t worry!
    Also, we passed a Waffle House in Arizona while on vacation, & my husband called it the AWFUL House. He went a few times while in the Air Force and steers clear of it.

  15. Oh my…I was only in Virginia for college (Christendom) but those pictures made me so homesick for VA I almost cried!

  16. That’s so cool that you were exploring the AT! I would love to take it in.. And how funny, I have often embarrassed Lance in restaurants for similar things. HA!

  17. beth lehman says:

    oh, ginny… really… i am so in love with virginia. we spent the weekend near mt. rogers. there were trillium, trout lillies, and bluets in abundance. your images of another slice of virginia are magnificent!! xo

  18. Barbara B says:

    As always love your photos. Your flower press made me smile as I still have the one my grown son made for me at a local Audubon summer camp many years ago.

  19. Hello Ginny!
    Maybe you should ask St. Josef ( Jesus Dad down here) for help. He´s in charge if a home should be found.
    Best wishes!

  20. I’m sorry to hear about the house hunting. I hope you find the new *one* soon. That is hilarious about Waffle House, I didn’t know they didn’t have real butter. My husband loves that place, so we go every once in awhile. I just like ordering so I get to say “scattered, smothered, covered” even though I’m not even sure if I would order that way normally. Ha.

    Also, I think you guys should have your house on Love It or List It because I have gotten so used to seeing pictures of your house that I don’t want you to move!! 🙂

  21. Funny, I ask for real butter all the time! Guess I won’t go to Waffle House. Why in the world would anyone eat fake butter, yuck!

  22. Caitlin says:

    I grew up in Lynchburg, just off the James river. These pictures make me so happy, yet homesick. I could just cry. Your cicada post, and now this post, have made my heart feel happy and sad all at once. I’m really grateful for the taste of home! Thank you!! good luck on your house hunt, I know how you feel….

  23. wow, that is a lovely house you saw. I love the windows and light. Too bad it was not for you, but maybe a different one will show it self. I know for me light and windows and the beauty of older houses attracts me… best wishes 🙂 and lovely flowers!

  24. I knew exactly where you were from the first river picture. Like others here, I miss (and long) for Virginia…perhaps one day I’ll live there again!

  25. Very beautiful pictures

  26. I am another one missing VA this time of year. Your photos are reminding me of our time there last year and earlier this one. Good luck on the house hunt.

  27. Oh my…your pictures make me homesick! They are beautiful. I’m from Roanoke, VA…maybe 30-45 minutes from where you were and those mountains are amazing. Now living in Charlotte, NC I miss those scenic views and rustic countrysides. Ugh! One day I’ll get back for good…one day. For now, it’s only three hours away for a visit.
    Loving the herbs as well. I need to get some planted myself.
    Blessings, Ginny!

  28. Kendra Mitchell says:

    Best of luck. Our house waited for us and now we are finally in it. It is old and cantankerous and throwing some of its geriatric issues at us quicker than we had hoped, but we love it and know it was meant to be ours. I love the pics of “your” house. My family lived in a house like that in Kentucky when I was little and it was magic.

  29. Didn’t know what butter is? Oh, dear. I fear for that boy’s health and future.

  30. Oh Ginny! that house is beautiful! What made it not work? I so miss coming to Va. Our best friends lived in Roanoke/Salem for 20 years, but have just relocated to South Bend, Ind. We are visiting there in 2 weeks!

    Love the herbs. I have a few in the garden as well. My rosemary is always out of control and this year the basil returned!

  31. You might want to consider looking into building. The house won’t have the charm & true character of an older house, but you can purchase older items to create some of it (like doors, windows, etc) & you will be able to get the house that will fit your family on the land you want. Vance & I spent several months looking for homes, but being a large family, we just couldn’t find on with enough bathrooms & bedrooms & without all the extra rooms that we wouldn’t use, like formal sitting & dinning rooms!!! I know you can use them to home school in, but even when we make them our home school room the kids end up in the kitchen, their bedrooms, or if the weather permits, outside!!! It’s a long hard road (we’re in the middle of it & the end doesn’t even seem close) but I think in the end we will be so very, very happy with our decision! Good luck to you!!!

  32. We have had success with our herb garden and chickens- mainly due to the small bit of fence we bought to go around it. Nothing fancy, just a small wire and board section bought from Lowes.

  33. teresa c says:

    I know what you feel about the house. A few days after commenting here on the blog that we found a lovely house with a nice garden and the the owner accepted our proposal, we found out that the real estate agency accepted another offer without even asking us if we wanted to top it, and only informed us days later, after we tried to contacted several times. We keep saying we have to move on, but unfortunately it is harder to do it than to say it. Every single house we see we compare to the other, and I have a secret and a bit embarrasing dream/hope that the new owners decide they don’t want the house anymore. I know I have to get over it or else I’ll never like another house, but it is hard.
    An also, the whole issue meant I had to postpone yet again my dream of having a small garden. Sigh…
    I hope you get your house. It may be on the market again, no?

    • I’m so sorry it hasn’t worked out. It is very hard when you find *the* house and it becomes unavailable. We’ve been looking for years. I do think that “our” house will be put back on the market–definitely. And honestly, now that we are expecting a new baby, I’d rather not move until next year anyway. But Jonny…he’s always looking, and I try to stay open to possibilities.
      I hope that something works out for you soon–and that it’s better than you even imagined!

  34. Beautiful pictures.

  35. We drove through western VA on 77 and 81 over the weekend. Twice actually. Of course we could see only what we could see from the interstate, but I agree it is a lovely, lovely place.

  36. That’s my home! The Big Island Bridge! I’m so in love with Bedford/Amherst/Lynchburg and we hope to move back that way in a year or so! I am glad you enjoyed your adventure, even though the house wasn’t right. The property value that was is outstanding – much more house/land for the money. Good luck!

  37. Meredith says:

    There is nothing more beautiful than Virginia in the springtime. . .or anytime! These photos make me homesick for my own beautiful slice of Southwest Virginia.

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