Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flowers and Foothills

Last weekend my mother and I decided to take a Saturday to get out and enjoy some sunshine and flowers while Jeff enjoyed a cold one and a baseball game. We turned it into a day trip up to the foothills and visited a couple of nurseries that my mom has been quite fond of. If you are into flowers and a pretty drive I recommend you do the same sometime in the next month before everything turns brown. If you have kids, there is even a huge park complete with a swimming hole, playgrounds and Frisbee golf course to let them burn off some steam. Today I’ll share the first half of the trip with you.

If you go up highway 99 for a long time and then make a few lefts and a right you will find yourself on a narrow road near the town of Brown’s Valley. You may think this is just some dead end country road with nothing of interest, but you’d only be half right. Less than a mile off the main road is Bald Mountain Nursery, a family run establishment that makes you feel like you are just wandering around a friend’s front yard. You’ll find cozy benches nestled under shade trees should you need to take a break from browsing and friendly doggies running around keeping an eye on things.

While this location definitely focuses more on ornamental plants, it still has a very good selection of fruit trees and a few tables of basic vegetables. If you are looking for a specific kind of fig, they probably have six or seven different varieties, all at a very reasonable price.

This nursery also has a very strong focus on the plants themselves, not garden decoration. You will find no statuary or little miscellaneous garden bobbles for sale. About the only thing you’ll find in the actual store is a cash register, fertilizer and ice cold bottled water for 50 cents. When you’re ready to check out, just leave your cart outside and get an employee to come ring you up by hand. Of course, there might be a security inspection first.

After you leave Bald Mountain you should head to the equally small town of Penn Valley for the previously mentioned park, some of the world’s best pizza at Northridge Restaurant (complete with a trivia booklet at each table) and a little thrift store browsing. Personally I think the better of the two thrift stores is the Penn Valley Fire Dept Auxiliary Thrift Shop‎ located behind the fire station next to the rodeo ring. The Hospice Gift and Thrift next to the pizza place is way more expensive.

*pictures from the lense of K.E. Fisher

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