As we walked into the Gardens we all quickly realized that this was a lovely craft, garden and Plant show and there wasn't anything small about it. The first booth we came to was the wonderful Wool items of Alicia
Chivers. In September of this year I visited her shop and then wrote a blog. Her partner George Castro was also there and he had brought 2 beautiful brown Alpacas for the public to see. If you live in this part of Florida her shop is a " must" for the holiday shopper. Socks, blankets, Jackets, shawls, mittens and so much more. The knitter can stand and drool over the alpaca wool and the many wonderful colors. To refresh your memory I will re-introduce you with the pictures below.
My best friend and I ambled along and we came to the Orchid booth of an old Friend, and mentor. When I first began to collect and cultivate orchids, Mr. Dude and I joined several clubs and one night heard an excellent speaker with great knowledge. Michael and Paula Polen own a family business in St. Petersburg Florida. If you are new to Orchid raising or what to buy beautiful Orchids and supplies Art Stone Orchids is one I can recommend. Michael Polen is always willing to share his vast knowledge and is very patient with you while doing it. I remember asking him some very basic questions, and he never made me feel less than adequate. I didn't buy any Orchids this day, but I did buy a beautiful Christmas Cactus that I needed, doesn't everyone have to have one of those? My dear friend bought two plants, I was tempted but I need to visit him for some Orchid potting materials. I know that I will also find a plant that I can't live without.
As many of my friends know, I am a collector of rabbits, I no longer have real ones, so those that I have collected over the years are everywhere. One of the first large rabbits was purchased for me by Mr. Dude from the Polens at Art Stone and that was a long time ago.
We chatted for awhile and then wandered off to see a number of other craft and plant exhibits. We saw
hand made organic dog biscuits, glass garden objects, bird feeders, jewelry and some very interesting plants.
I questioned one grower and although he does not have an open shop he does have a blogspot which should give you his schedule.What I found so interesting were the unusual and interesting tropicals that he was displaying.Here is his blogspot: WWW.heyplantman.blogspot.com
It was getting late in the afternoon at this point and we had decided to leave, when we came to Mr Stan the "Honey" Man. I have been looking for raw honey for awhile and this is a very knowledgeable man when it comes to honey. Representing a honey co-op he travels to several local shows and markets in this area.. The honey is wonderful. He has blends for every season and even has black honey, which will be my next purchase. It tastes almost like Molasses. I could not resist a purchase here , thank heavens Mr. Dude was ready to put his hand in his pocket, remember, I left my handbag at home-( hmm, I must remember that for the next time)-We tasted several blends, but finally decided that for our needs the Fall blend would be best.
Meatloaf, Mashed potatoes and gravy, candied glazed carrots, string beans and salad. Pumpkin pie, with lots of whipped cream and of course a cuppa of good coffee. We sat, talked and talked, as we say in Swedish-prata, prata, prata. It turned out to be a delightful day spent with old, dear, dear friends. How much better could that be?