Friday, July 24, 2015

Inspiring Gardens from Monticello

Recently I had the opportunity to tour the home and grounds of our third President, Thomas Jefferson, at Monticello in Virginia. Monticello was a plantation of 5,000 acres and Jefferson experimented with many plants, trees, flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables. Jefferson designed and planted his oval shaped flower beds in 1808 around the four corners of his house.  He loved the informal style of his landscape design. In addition to the flower gardens, Jefferson documented the planting of over 160 species of trees including mulberry, locust and ornamental trees. When Jefferson referred to his "garden", he meant his vegetable garden.  
He grew 330 varieties of some 99 species of vegetables and herbs. The vegetable garden is 1000 feet long.  My daughter was most fascinated by the fact that his favorite vegetable was peas and that he planted 23 varieties in his garden!

My parents, owners of Flowers & Thyme, don't have a plantation of 5,000 acres but they certainly enjoy the many flowers, trees, fruit trees and vegetables around the grounds.  My mother enjoys finding new perennials and annuals to plant each year while my dad takes care of pruning and spraying the fruit trees on the property.

Both work in the vegetable garden cultivating, planting, weeding, and harvesting their produce.  Much of the fruits, vegetables and herbs that are from the gardens are then served to the guests at breakfast.  The flowers from the many landscaped beds are arranged by Dad and displayed in the rooms. I appreciate and enjoy their love for gardening. Plan a visit to Flowers & Thyme Bed and Breakfast and enjoy walking around the flower and vegetable gardens!

Friday, July 17, 2015

USGA Meets Lancaster, PA

Thanks to the Women's USGA Tournament coming to Lancaster early July, more national and international people are now aware of this treasure we call "home". Lancaster is not only home to the Lancaster Country Club where the Open was played, but is home to many other private and public golf courses. There are a variety of different levels of playing experiences from the beginner to the experienced golfer. Most of the golf courses are open year round. There are also many driving ranges for those who need to practice their swing.

Lancaster also has miniature golf courses suitable for all ages.  Village Greens Golf Course is located about 4 mile from our Bed and Breakfast.  

Two large courses cover about 13 acres in the natural beauty of their lush gardens and woods. The scenery changes as the seasons change with daffodils in the Spring to vibrant Fall foliage. 
Both courses will test your skill as you golf through natural obstacles. This is a great opportunity to test your putting skills with friends and family!

So whether you are an avid golfer and want to try the many options of public golf courses such as Foxchase, Tanglewood, or Crossgates or want to enjoy a round of miniature golf, Lancaster has something to offer everyone.

Friday, July 10, 2015

How I Convinced My Husband to Love Zucchini!

Earlier this Spring, my daughter and I planted a small garden with tomato and pepper plants.  We also purchased some "squash" plants from the neighbor boy who grew the plants from seed.  Not sure what type of squash we would produce, we planted them and waited for the results.  We now have both yellow squash and green zucchini in abundant supply from our garden.
Basket of yellow squash and green zucchini
 Since I love to try new recipes, this is a great time to try summer squash in a stir fry, sauteed, breads, soups, ratatouille, etc!  My husband is not a true fan of this garden vegetable but I did find one recipe that he LOVES and enjoys.  Here is the recipe for Italian Zucchini Crescent Pie.  Don't ignore the slightly strange ingredient (mustard) in this recipe - I think it is the secret bonus ingredient that makes this recipe all the more special!

4 cups sliced zucchini (I mixed yellow squash with this also)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup butter
2 TBsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
2 well beaten eggs
8 oz shredded mozzarella
8 oz can crescent rolls or 1 unbaked pie shell
2 tsp mustard

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook zucchini and onion in butter for 10 minutes, or until tender.  Stir in parsley and seasonings.  In large bowl, blend eggs and cheese.  Stir in vegetable mixture.  Separate crescents and press into pie or quiche pan, if using.  Spread dough or crust with mustard.  Pour mixture into crust.  Bake 18 to 20 minutes.  If crust browns too much, cover with foil loosely until done.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

IF you have leftovers to reheat, cover loosely and bake 12-15 minutes at 375. This is so delicious served as a dinner entree or for breakfast!  If staying at Flowers & Thyme Bed and Breakfast during the summer squash season, this may just be on the menu!

A slice of zucchini pie garnished with fresh green cilantro leaves

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fourth of July in Lancaster

Join the fun in Lancaster County during the July 4th holiday weekend! There are a number of venues for watching fireworks and other activities in the area for you to enjoy.  Below is a brief listing of some of the events for you and your family to participate and see.

Friday, July 3
Lititz:  Patriotic Parade at 6:30 PM.  Starts on West Lincoln Avenue and continues to Lititz Springs Park where there is entertainment provided.
Lancaster:  Lancaster Barnstormers Baseball Game at Clipper Magazine Stadium
Lancaster:  First Friday in Downtown Lancaster.  Shops, Art Galleries, restaurants, live music in the streets!

Saturday, July 4
Lititz:  Fireworks begin at 9:45 PM at the Lititz Springs Park - this is the 197th continuous celebration! Entrance fee is charged.
Ephrata:  Lincoln Heights Area - fun activities beginning at noon for the family - pony rides, games, live music. Free Admission.  Fireworks at 9:30 PM
Strasburg:  The Amazing Maize Maze opens at Cherry Crest Adventure Farm
Buck:  Buck Motorsports has Grand Demolition Derby with 3D Fireworks Display beginning at 7 PM

Sunday, July 5
Lancaster:  US Army Band, Cannon Brigade and Fireworks held at Long's Park. Don't miss this free patriotic concert and fireworks display. Take your blanket and enjoy the evening!

Many more options are available for celebrating the holiday weekend. Check with us when planning your stay

Happy 4th of July!

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Visit to Root's Market

This past Tuesday my daughter and I traveled to Manheim to experience Root's Country Market.  It had been YEARS since I shopped at Root's, but I thought it would be a fun mother/daughter experience!  Root's Market is only twelve miles from the Bed and Breakfast so it is a great option for purchasing fresh produce, baked goods, meats, flowers, and even craft items.

Root's Auction was started in 1925 as a poultry auction and has now been operating by five generations of the Root family.  It is the oldest single family-run market in Lancaster County and has over 200 standholders.

Since fresh produce was on our shopping list, we mainly shopped the produce area and found zucchini and fresh corn on the cob that we needed.  Raspberries and blueberries are in season now so many of the standholders had those available.  The market was buzzing with lots of people and shoppers were seen carrying bags of produce, meats, baked goods to their cars.  It was a fun morning and a special treat was the freshly baked whoopie pie that my daughter enjoyed as we traveled home.

Root's Country Market and Auction is only open on Tuesdays from 9 AM to 9 PM and we would highly recommend this Lancaster County piece of heritage.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Flowers in Bloom!

Walking around our flower gardens at the Bed and Breakfast is a walk filled with splendor and color. The pink poppies are starting to show their vibrant colors as well as the purple larkspur that have popped up over the gardens.  The lavender plant is putting on its display and nearby the white calla lily in all of its purity and the gorgeous purple lisianthus is starting to bloom.  

As for perennials, the yellow Rudbeckia  Goldstrum are bursting into bloom as well as the stately yellow yarrow. The lilies are in bud and some have opened up. The echinacea will be the next perennial to begin showing color.  Enjoy these flowers next time you visit us!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Who Needs New York City for Broadway Shows?

Lancaster County is home to many theatres - take your pick from musical, dramatic, or comedy shows!  

Two shows we recently had the pleasure of seeing were at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre and Sight & Sound Theatre.

At the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, Broadway-style shows are performed and a American cuisine buffet is part of the package prior to the show.  The buffet includes a salad bar, hot buffet and over a dozen desserts.  The entertaining shows are favorite classic musicals and hits and combined with a live orchestra. We were at the Les Miserables show and the performers/singers did a fantastic job.  Next show from June 18th through August 1 is Oklahoma!  West Side Story, The Church Basement Ladies, and A Christmas Story continue through the rest of the year.

Sight & Sound Theatre is the largest Christian theatre in the United States and has story, song and incredible effects.  It has a 300 foot wrap around stage and uses live animals during their outstanding performances.  Joseph is the show currently and the stage is set from scenes in the Egyptian palace.  This theatre is truly "where the Bible comes to life".  Joseph runs through October 2015 and the end of the year will be "The Miracle of Christmas". 

We hope that you are able to enjoy a theatre show while visiting Lancaster and plan to stay at Flowers & Thyme Bed and Breakfast!  We offer discount tickets to these theatres so please check with us when making your reservations.