Monday, September 14, 2015

2015 Western Trip – Day 41 – Meeting Blogger Buddy Diane

One of my big goals for this trip was to meet up with some blogger buddies and in this case a fellow West Virginian and WVU grad who was there at the same time as me but we didn’t know one another. 

Diana from “Voice In The Garden” lives a pretty drive from McMinnville down the Willamette Valley and she and husband, Pete, graciously invited us to come by for lunch and a tour of her gardens – which I really wanted to see.

As has been the case so far with bloggers I’ve met, Diana and Pete were special people who invited us into their beautiful hilltop home and treated us like old friends.  We began the visit with lunch which was made mostly from ingredients from their veggie garden.  We had cucumbers several ways, gazpacho, salmon cakes, zucchini casserole, kale, and Caprese salad.

We ate in the attached gazebo with a great view of the valley and hills to the west, even on a misty day.

While I’ve always been impressed with the shots Diana posts of their gardens on her blog, I was not prepared for the magnitude of what they have done with their six acre hill top property over the 22 years they have lived there.  I only took a few shots, but I encourage you to visit Diane’s blog for more shots at different times of the year - the gardens are amazing.

By growing and preserving most of their own veggies and raising chickens for eggs, they are able to live pretty self-sustained in their hilltop piece of heaven.  As you may recall West Virginia calls itself Almost Heaven and I call our place Almost heaven South so I can now say I’ve been to Almost Heaven West.

Thanks for a special visit Diana and Pete and for the goodies you sent home with us – ate some pear and strawberries while typing this.

Trivia - We'd seen these groves of trees with smooth bare ground under them and finally discovered what they were - the Willamette valley grows almost all of the USA's hazelnut crop and 10% of the worlds.  They also grow most of the countries commercial blackberries with a favorite being the Oregon developed Marion Berry.

The ground is kept smooth and bare so the hazelnuts can be swept up with a special machine after they fall - the trees are sometimes shaken to aid in the falling process.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


9/2/15 event date


  1. New friends, great meal, nice people and pretty gardens - right up your alley. It should be Almost Heaven West.

  2. What a wonderful day meeting fellow bloggers and enjoying an awesome meal together.

  3. How exciting. I know Dale and I enjoyed our visit with Pete and Diane a few years ago. First of all, they are surrounded by the most beautiful trees and landscapes and views around. And secondly, they are absolutely the greatest people. Miss them, but we will meet them again.

  4. Beautiful gardens and that lunch looks fab! So nice that ya'll got together with Diane and her hubby.

  5. Larry, You have to hold the record for meeting up with your blogger buddies! Nice looking lunch...and healthy too! Beautiful gardens but way too much work for this old retired couple. We'd rather travel! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  6. I can't believe the soil doesn't just blow away without ground cover. It seems like it would dry out much more, too - at least, that's my experience in my little corner of the world: ground cover holds moisture. Looks like you had another wonderful visit.

  7. Day 41! Can you believe it? I just got caught up your your last several posts. You have posted some wonderful sights, Larry. How nice to meet with blogging friends! They look like kind and wonderful people.

  8. Well, if I had known I was going to have my picture taken and published on the www, I would have dressed up. LOL

    Larry, we are still smiling about your visit. So wonderful to finally meet you and Bev and Pat. Your time here was short but sweet. And that pie you made from the apples_ beautiful. Wish we had given you more! Still processing.

    So much fun. Thank you, for coming all this way to be with Pete and me. Signing out, Almost Heaven West :)

  9. Wow! I've never seen her blog but I'll be checking it out today. What a beautiful property they have! The lunch they served looked amazing too. I am glad you were able to meet at least one of us NW bloggers!


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