Friend Barb and I took Tuesday to chase autumn and spend time together enjoying the beautiful Shenandoah Valley where we both live. Besides the fun of back roads and stunning mountain vistas that we both enjoy, we found all kinds of fall décor for our houses.
Our first stop was Myers Pumpkins just east of Harrisonburg, a family-run farm that provides already-picked pumpkins and gourds, chrysanthemums, pick-your-own pumpkin patch, corn maze, and corn stalks ready for decorating. This was a new place for me that Barb introduced to me, and they were well stocked.
Facebook: Myers Pumpkins.
The farm overlooks Massanutten Mountain.
It was a good stop so after loading up with all kinds of seasonal goodies, we turned toward western Rockingham to check into other familiar places.
Last year a handmade sign on Rt. 42 pointed my sister and me down a scenic, roller coaster back road to a garden of mums on a farm in the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains. On Tuesday I introduced it to Barb and, by the time we left, the Rogue was filled with huge, beautiful chrysanthemums.
All colors — yellow, white, bronze, burgundy, purple — are available in these oversized, healthy plants that are a staple in fall landscapes. At $8 each, they are equal to $30 mums in other locations.
These are the burgundy mums I bought last year for my front porch and planted after the season. They are gorgeous and in full glory this week — huge mounds of blooms in the flower garden.
Our next stop was at last year’s favorite pumpkin stand on Rt. 42 south of Broadway. He wasn’t as stocked as before, perhaps because the crop is still coming in, or maybe he had a busy weekend, but we’ll be back because his prices are very good. Look for the big pumpkin sandwich board with the “Open” flag at his driveway.
The park in Broadway is a favorite for picnics and yesterday was no different. This little city park that has a pool, three ball fields, and three picnic shelters looks out over the Appalachians and West Virginia.
This is the view while sitting at the picnic table. Those mountains are in West Virginia.
Fall color is popping out all over the Shenandoah Valley and western Rockingham is no different. We are early this year — WHSV’s meteorologist said autumn colors are 10 days to two weeks earlier in 2017, after last year’s extremely late color season.
One of Barb’s favorite places to stop for country ham is Fulks Run Grocery, about 10 miles west of Broadway.
The shelves were stocked with a variety of items. There’s a deli and indoor seating, and the owners are friendly and helpful. But the best part of all was Barb got her country ham suitable for sandwiches.
Leaving Fulks Run, it was back to Broadway where we stopped at Blue Ribbon Nursery and Landscaping. Located in an old feed and seed store, every year it looks like a truck dumped autumn right on top of them in the form of pumpkins and other fall decor. This year was no different and I found a special something for someone special … will have to put up the photo after giving it to her. They have wreaths, garden flags, potpourri, and much more. The signs of the season were in front, in back, inside … everywhere!
If this kind of autumn-ness doesn’t inspire you to decorate, not sure what will. Scarecrows add to the fun, and this year they were even selling apples. They are pricier on some things but there are bargains to be found so Blue Ribbon is a must-stop every year.
Once we were back in Augusta County we stopped at Valley Pike Farm Market to sit on the porch with mocha iced coffee from Rumor Mill Coffee. Not only can you play a game of chess there but they also sell chess sets.
We were the only ones on the porch when we left. It was a great day with a friend traipsing the Shenandoah Valley following the back roads and patronizing small business folks. America!
Enjoy your fall!
Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 19, 2017