Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chilly Spring Greetings from Bishop Hill

Daffodils are just beginning to bloom in town
The Edwards River burst its banks north and west of BH last week
Like in so many other places, flooding here keeps us humble. Any warm days this season have been few and far between. It's hard to find the April blossoms that usually signal spring in Bishop Hill. 
Folks often ask me to report what’s new in town. Happily, I have some places to recommend that will offer that burst of color and the warmth with which Mother Nature has been so stingy lately.

Make plans to include these stops in your next visit; 
they will bring a smile to your face - 
no matter the weather!

Recently I stopped to see my favorite local grower, Ryan Werkheiser at Nature’s Creations, for a bit of spring inspiration. I found his greenhouses bursting with plants rich in texture and color.
Ryan at work in the greenhouse

Ryan is now opened daily until June 9th and offers an outstanding selection of specialty annuals, perennials, vegetables, and succulents as well as yard decor. Don't miss the Garden Party May 4th and 5th. His greenhouses are located just a few miles north and east of Bishop Hill. They are situated on the family farm at the end of a short country lane bounded by fields in every direction. It's bliss for me to peruse his barnyard full of playful animals. 

I left with my purchase of eggs in every size, shape, and color for special egg-carving  projects. I'll return for tomatoes and fancy leaved geraniums. 
Call for hours: 309-932-3834
See you there!

 There is a splash of whimsy in the walkway 
leading to the door of Bishop Hill's  
Outsider Gallery at 409 North Erickson Street. 
First time visitors expecting a sedate slice of "county" are most pleasantly surprised with what they find here. Instead of the usual, this tiny treasure tucked away on the north east side of the village offers colorful, provocative artwork and sophisticated goods befitting a fashionable world market. It's a feast for the eyes anytime of year - but especially after the drizzle of a grey spring day. 
Outsider features the work of Marsha and Steve Carleson. 
Treat yourself to something different; 
plan to stop in at this hip hideaway!

And, while on the north side of the Hill...
be sure to check out our newest business in town:
Hantverk Galleri at 403 North Bishop Hill Street.
You'll find spring behind this new cheerful blue and gold facade.

Within a few short months of her arrival in town, owner Lou Hanson has transformed this long-vacant building into a state-of-the-art workshop and Galleri brimming with her own handmade pottery.  From elegant cake stands, floral plates and serving dishes, to custom pieces and collections inspired by beloved animals (Newfoundland Dog Pottery) this place has something for every visitor – even a selection of Bishop Hill souvenir mugs! The space was carefully planned to include a classroom and bakery. Be sure to sign up to be notified of upcoming sales, classes, and events. I can hardly wait for the first batch of promised gluten-free baked goods to come from the Hantverk ovens. Yum.