The joy of a drive in the country on a beautiful spring day
© Becky Linhardt 2012
The Facebook invitation arrived at my friends’ house while I was visiting in Columbus. “Somerset Herbs invites you to join us for Coffee in the Greenhouse on Wednesdays during May. We’ll have the coffee ready. Plan to arrive around 10-10:30 AM.” Since they love a good road trip out into the country, needed flowers for the front flower beds, and we knew that the weather forecast indicated that it was going to be a lovely Wednesday, we decided to go.
Somerset Herbs is a regular vendor at the seasonal Farmers Market at Columbus’ downtown North Market. My friends had met one of the owners, Margaret and over the years they have looked for her on Saturdays to see what she had brought to market. We figured that going out in the country to the greenhouse would give us a larger selection. We were not wrong.
Taking I-70 East we arrived at the turn off to OH 13. We were running early so at my request we headed north to Dawes Arboretum to visit the Japanese Garden there – so lovely and serene that time slipped away as I photographed the lake and arched bridges (watch for a post soon). Back on the road we headed south on OH 13 towards Somerset and New Lexington through rolling farmland plowed and ready for spring planting.
Before you reach Somerset, a Tourist Attractions sign on the right lists Somerset Herbs – 1 mile and points west onto a narrow country road. It is probably just a little less than 1 mile. After a stand of trees you will see a faded wooden sign on the left that indicates the dirt driveway that leads to the greenhouse.
Although we had arrived a bit later than expected, we were warmly welcomed by Margaret, a group of her friends, and customers seated around an umbrella table set up inside toward the back of the greenhouse. The coffee was good, the conversation better, and then there was the ambience. From our seated position at the table, the trays of colorful flowers, multiple plantings of lettuce ready to pick for market on Saturday, and the greens of the herb plants for sale wrapped around us at eye-level. Ahhhhhh…. The cares of the world just seemed to drift away on the soft breeze that passed through.
Eventually we wandered around the greenhouse and tempted by the colorful annuals, healthy herbs, or by unique plants we made a selection of the plants that would go into flower beds that day and some that I choose to take back to Cincinnati. Margaret enjoys having visitors. Stop by anytime to see where your food grows, and be tempted to plant a few herbs for your own kitchen.
We had a bit more sight-seeing to do on the way back to Columbus. From the hilltop greenhouse you can see over to a large white Round Barn on the hilltop to the west. Margaret gave us directions so that we could see it better as headed back to I-70. Though it did not photograph well at close range, it is well-maintained, impressive, and one of only a few Round Barns left in Ohio. What a beautiful morning drive and destination!
Somerset Herbs: 8720 Twp. Rd. 36 NW, Somerset, OH
740-743-3010 or www.somersetherbs.com