Thursday, April 16, 2015

Quick Share: Blue Ridge Country magazine article about Blue Ridge, Georgia

Here is a wonderful article about a town nearby, Blue Ridge, Georgia. 'Weekend in Blue Ridge, Georgia: A Modern Mayberry' by Blue Ridge Country magazine tells about Blue Ridge's historic building and train, a famous local orchard, restaurant, natural ambiance, and driving tours.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A View Worth the Miles: Bald River Falls & Tellico Grains Bakery

Sometimes you have to go the extra mile to find something worthwhile, or an extra six miles or so. Outside of Tellico Plains, Tennessee and a short detour from the Cherohala Skyway is the 90 foot tall Bald River Falls. A drive on the Cherohala Skyway is a dream of mine that I will one day see through. The skyway connects Tellico to Robinsville, North Carolina via a winding road lined with virgin Poplars and other old growth of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Bald River Falls is on the Tennessee side of the skyway (directions posted below with link.)

Bald River Falls is a tributary of the Tellico River and is easily accessed by a paved road. Upon arrival at the falls you'll cross over a bridge with limited parking. I can't wait to come back up in the fall and see the leaves make their colorful annual transition.

Directions courtesy of

'Waucheesi Club'

Back in Tellico is the 'I can't believe this is the boonies' kind of restaurant named Tellico Grains Bakery. They mill their own red winter wheat flour, create pastries such as chocolate croissants and muffins, bake pizzas in a wood fire brick oven, and make delicious paninis. I enjoyed the Waucheesi Club which consists of smoked ham, roasted turkey, Benton bacon, pepper jack cheese, red onion, mayo, dijon mustard, lettuce, and tomato on their scrumptious rustic Italian bread which is baked in store. Each panini halve was the size of a regular sandwich which allowed for a nice dinner later along with the chocolate croissant I picked up. 

I hope that you can add the extra well deserved miles to Tellico Plains next time your in Eastern Tennessee or the smokies. Don't let this small town just be a glare in your car window; but, make an afternoon out of visiting Bald River Falls, Tellico Grains Bakery, one of the few local museums, downtown shops, and the Cherohala Skyway.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

How to Root Lavender

Sunshine, rain, wind, and sunshine once again it must be Spring. After battling the typical wind gusts of Spring that sweep through the mountains I've finally began the process of propitiating lavender. According to Webster propagate means 'to produce' and that is what most gardeners do each Spring to produce more plants either through seed, grafting, rooting, air layering, and many other forms with the goal to replicate the perfect plant for that little empty nook in your garden. When I was younger I equated lavender to old the scent of an elderly lady's perfume; but, now I adore the plant for its medicinal and fragrant qualities. Below is a pictorial tutorial about how to propagate Provence Lavender 'Lavandula X intermedia Provence' through cuttings.

Healthy parent plant, Provence Lavender

1) Cut 3 to 5 inch stems of lavender from various parts of a health parent plant, cuttings taken from the center or middle of plant will allow for extra air flow within the parent plant.
2) Gently strip the bottom half of leaves from the stem using a top to bottom pulling motion.

3) Dip striped stem into a rooting hormone to better ensure that the cutting will produce strong roots. Shake off excess powder.

4) Use a dried stem or skewer that has a slightly larger diameter to poke holes into dampened potting soil. Preparing holes before placing hormone dipped stems prevents delicate stems from breaking and loss of hormone powder.

5) Place prepared stems into prepared soil gently.

6) Optional: Placing a baggie over cutting can create a humid greenhouse effect that will give the cuttings a more suitable and consistent environment. If not using a covering over cuttings simply keep soil damp; try to keep lavender leaves dry to inhibit mold growth.