The House at the End of the Road and The Weedpatch Gazette

 The House at the End of the Road

The Weedpatch Gazette
The Weedpatch Gazette

Do you have a lovely place you can walk to or past when you are getting your daily fresh air? Well, look how lucky I am to have this pretty place near me. This lovely old farm is at the end of my street, past the century old-houses and just as the town turns to country. This is the reason I chose this town when I was looking for a place to begin a new phase of life. How can one’s spirits not be uplifted by the beauty of old homes and lovely landscapes?

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The nice people who live in this home welcomed me to stop in and walk around the garden when I’m going by and I have done so. Rommy Lopat is an interesting and talented lady with a passion for gardening and the eye of an artist. She and her husband, John Drummond, keep this early home, barn and outbuildings in pristine condition.

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Their 6-1/2 acre farm is featured in the Spring (March) 2014 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest Publication “Country Gardens.” I ordered my copy from Barnes and Noble on-line, but I noticed last night, as I was in Walmart buying a new truck battery, that the magazine was for sale at the checkout line.

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Rommy wrote the The Weedpatch Gazette gardening newsletter for 12 years (Martha Stewart was a subscriber.) and now writes an unusual, funny and very interesting blog at weedpatchgazette.com. I think you will enjoy it as much as I do. A serious thing I learned from Rommy’s blog was the terrifying Monarch Butterfly food situation (Thanks to the commercial farm planting of RoundUp-Ready Corn.) and I ordered my Milkweed seeds immediately. The plant is really pretty and will bring Monarchs to your garden. Food for the soul, my friends! The seeds cost 3.00 and the type for your area will be mailed to you in your own self-addressed stamped envelope.

I don’t work for Better Homes and Gardens, but I have to say that this issue of Country Gardens Magazine was worth the price. I found out which Midwestern trees will not make it through the next 40 years of global warming and which will survive. This is good information to know when adding new trees to your property. The research was supplied by the Chicago Botanical Garden.

I also liked the simple tutorial for making violet syrup which can be used to color lemonade, homemade marshmallows, ice cream and this gorgeous spritzer. A lot of us don’t have the time to make marshmallows (I have always wanted to know how they taste.), but we all drink something cold in the summer and what an elegant (no red dye #10 here) way to color your lemon or lime drinks. The syrup lasts for six months in the refrigerator. That would get me through the summer.

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I would drink this on a hot summer day after working in the village flower gardens. And, with no air-conditioning in this old building, I drink a lot of lemonade. One must pick their own violet heads as most of the syrups for purchase must be imported from France and are expensive. If you have violets in your shady yard, I am envious! I will be searching for someone with a wild patch in their yard this year.

So, until next time, remember to feed the Monarchs this year and be rewarded with a butterfly visit on the end of your big toe when you are drinking violet-colored lemonade.