Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Road Trip

Last weekend I snuck away for a few hours and got a chance to hang out with my dear friend and fellow blogger Connie from Hartwood Roses.  I have been dying to get over and see Connie's beautiful historic home in person, and to buy some of her wonderful roses to add to my new off I went!

Connie lives a few hours from me over the river in Virginia, not far from where I spent my freshman year of college before transferring to play tennis at a school in Maryland.  When you come down the country road leading to her home, you know that this is a land of genteel living.  Just look at her driveway and those grand old growth trees!!

And when I pulled up this is what greeted me...a gorgeous 1800's home that has been lovingly restored by Connie and her wonderful husband Steve!

The beautiful trim work and antique brickwork had me at hello!  And as if restoring an old home wasn't enough, Connie and Steve also run an heirloom rose business on the property known as Hartwood Roses.

Now I complain regularly about trying to keep up with the various flower beds I have around my house, but after seeing everything Connie has to take care of, I won't be complaining again anytime soon!!  This summer has been brutal in our region, with very little rain and extremely high temperatures, so even with all of her loving care, some of the roses weren't blooming.

But because Connie has over 800 varieties of roses from tea roses, to hybrid teas, to climbers and name it this girl has it, there was color to be found almost everywhere in her breathtaking yard!

And everything from the rose beds to the fencing was picture perfect!  I love this unique old cement fence, that runs down the property line on one side of the house!

Now unlike me, Connie can rattle off the names of hundreds of roses!  And these little beauties have the greatest names, if you click on the picture you can read some of them, which are sure to bring a smile to your face.

These are just some of the potted roses that Connie has for sale each weekend and that she ships all over the country to other avid rose enthusiasts like herself!

Connie patiently propagates these sweet smelling roses on her property and then shares her love of roses with anyone who is interested...including me!  I picked up two climbing roses, including a fragrant New Dawn, while I was there, and I can't wait to watch them flourish along my fence line the way Connie's do on hers.

She has so many wonderful varieties growing all up and down her fences, some of them extending 16 feet from where they are planted!  I plan to visit next spring when I imagine it must feel, and smell, like you are in a French perfume factory or flower market!
And not only is her house beautiful, both inside and out, but Connie also has the most awesome outbuildings!  

I want a red barn like hers!!!  She hopes one day to use the barn for a few Alpacas...sure Connie you don't have anything better to yourself some Alpacas girl! ;-)

Her rose gardens just go on and on!  Even in the heat of the day I didn't mind wandering around and seeing every last rose bed!

And if you weren't quite jealous enough already, take a look at the property which borders hers...yup, that's a winery!  So not only is Connie's property to die for, but she gets to be neighbors with the Hartwood Winery!  Connie says they are the best neighbors ever and she raved about their wines!  How cool is that to be able to wander across your rose garden to the winery next door to pick up a bottle for a dinner party?!

And speaking of dinner parties, she has the perfect spot to host those too!!  This wonderful gazebo overlooks the barn, the rose gardens, and the winery!

And the gazebo is shaded by this huge Pecan tree that must be hundreds of years old!

There is also a lovely fenced in back yard for her two VERY sweet greyhounds and three kitty cats to roam around in!  Connie does tons of great work with Greyhound rescue and cancer research within the breed through an organization called Greyhounds Rock!  Ok, are you like me and wondering if she ever sleeps?!

She is also a very thoughtful person and gave me this book she found at her local Goodwill.  I've already perused it and plan to use some of the wonderful decorating ideas I found inside it!

After  touring around her home (sorry I didn't have my bounce flash or tripod so you'll have to visit Connie's great blog to see inside pics of her home!) we headed out to a lovely old tavern for lunch and then on to The Big Flea show at the Expo Center in Fredericksburg, Virginia!

We were both good girls and didn't come home with too much stuff!  I bought some Howard Restor-A-Finish for my dining room table, and then a C and a W to add to my old printers' type collection.  And Connie picked up a beautiful old rose painting!

I needed these two letters so that we all have our family initials represented, and Connie was so kind as to get her fingers all dirty along with me trying to find a C.  Who knew that C's were so scarce in the printers' type world?!

After a wonderful day filled with fun and friendship, Connie and I hugged and said our goodbyes and I headed back home, across the river!

It really is a lovely drive between her house and mine, filled with spectacular scenery and lots of open spaces!  I decided to try my hand at snapping pictures with one hand out the passenger side window!

I'm pretty darn sure there is a whole chapter on the dangers of doing this in driver's please kids...don't try this at home!

I just couldn't resist when I passed one of my very favorite spots in the whole world known as Allen's Fresh.  And aside from feeling like the world is tipping over, they really turned out pretty good, all things considered.  I didn't ever take my eyes off the road and just held the camera up and hoped for the best!

So there you have it, my fantabuloso, fun, flower filled day over the river and through the woods!  Connie and I have already begun scheming our next get together, flea market, food, and lots of chatting are in the works!

Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for Ms. M, she continues to improve with each passing day!


  1. What a great road trip. Beautiful photos!

  2. Love the scenery shots... so glad you two ladies enjoyed one another's company! And.... I want red barn too!!


  3. What a beautiful home and all those must smell heavenly there. The winery next door would be wonderful. This looks like a perfect getaway for you!

  4. What a lovely day off you must have had. I'll have to nip over to your friend's blog to have a better look!

  5. Such a beautiful area, Kat~ and the white roses photo was just gorgeous!

  6. I have a New Dawn here to remind me of the spectacular one I had in London - and a rosamutabilis chinesis which is about twice the size it should be! Must like it here (though I had to nurse the New Dawn along).
    I just love the old roses, used to visit David Austen in Wolverhampton to see his development of heritage roses there - all scented, which is the way it should be!
    Sounded like a lovely day~

  7. Oh my gosh - what a stunning home. And those outbuildings. I am now depressed!
    How nice for you to drive all that way to meet her - glad you had a lovely time.

  8. ... and you chastized ME for taking photos on the Bridge? At least I used a point and shoot ... you were using an SLR!

    I do TOO sleep ... even though it's 6 am now, and I've been up for over half an hour ... fed the dogs and cats, and read my email already ... fell asleep in the chair last night before 9:00, so I'm plenty rested.

    I LOVE making real friends out of cyber friends. Everyone should try it some time.

  9. I love that barn! And I tried a New Dawn, once - it didn't make it. I need to try again - everyone acts like they are so easy!
    Have a nice day.

  10. What a beautiful day you had! Her roses are absolutely gorgeous! And her house and property are breathtaking! Love the barn! I am so glad that you had a chance to spend the day with a friend and your pictures turned out amazing, even the ones while driving!! :)

  11. Hi, I wanted to send this privately, but don't have your e-mail. You might want to change the word "gentile" to "genteel" in your first paragraph. I believe that is the word you were going for!

    Janet@ Housepeepers

  12. This post has it all... beautiful scenery, roses, historic home, good friends, beautiful and inspiring books and a warm commentary!
    What a fun visit you had... and thanks for taking us along.
    The only thing missing was a tour of that marvelous old home... next trip?
    xo Yvonne

  13. I bet you did just have the best day...can feel it coming through your post!

    What a truly beatiful home and property! Thank goodness there are still wonderful people willing to save these treasures and call them home!!!

  14. Thanks everyone it truly was a much needed break and wonderful day!

    And thanks so much Janet, you are correct I did want the word genteel! That's what happens when I try and type a post at bedtime! Thank you for pointing it out! My mother was probably laughing at my misuse of the word LOL!

    Have a great day everyone!

    Kat :)

  15. David and I lived in Middleburg, VA before moving to Idaho. Oh how I miss it. Thanks for your charming pics. Great to see images of one of a favorite state again. Love that red barn too!!

    Susan and Bentley

  16. The river photos make me want to go for a drive...or have someone drive me, so that I can take photos! LOVE the big red barn! WOW! All of your photos are wonderful...ahhh....but beauty of roses! Thanks for sharing! ♥

  17. Gorgeous house and setting! It's a good thing that I don't live in such a lovely location or I'd never want to go to work - I'd just sit around and stare at it all day :)

    But Kat, you didn't include photos of the doggies (you know I love dogs) - haha! And I especially love greyhounds since I've had 3 in the past. They are such sweet dogs! I'd have a houseful if I could! Hmmm...maybe that 20 car garage that my husband wants isn't such a bad idea - he could live out there and I could live inside with 20 greyhounds :)

  18. What a graet day with Connie. I just started with some new roses but will alwasy love Lady Banks the best I fear. hugs♥olive

  19. What a wonderful day of flowers, fellowship, and fun! Connie's got an amazing house, and it seems, an amazing life, too! lol! What a gal! Thanks for the great field trip photos! Loved each and every one! Heading over to check out Connie's site now....

    xoxo laurie@heavens-walk

  20. Sounds like such a fun day for you and Connie. Her house (and setting) is so beautiful. I will have to sneak over to her blog and check out the inside pictures. And oh the roses, I can only imagine how heavenly that is! ~Lili

  21. What a treat this must have been for the two of you. Once a gain, you captured some fabulous images.

    Enjoy your weekend.


  22. OMG, Connie's place is sooo beautiful and so Fredericksburg. I've just GOT to put it on my short list of places to stop by next time I am on the road from Hampton to DC. xo, suzy


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.