Yesterday, Jill and I made our annual spring pilgrimage to Monches Farm in Wisconsin. Every time we go there, we find something new to delight us. Yesterday, we were able to find lovage, a celery tasting plant that I had seen at Blackberry Farm. While its leaves are perfect to spice up a salad, it is the stems that are the prize. Hollow inside and tasting of celery, they are perfect straws for sipping Bloody Marys in the summer. Hopefully, they will be ready by the 4th of July! Monches Farms perennials grow better than most, I think because they over-winter them in the ground. To purchase them, you dig the pot and plant from it's resting place in the ground, a technique that I have never seen before. They sell old fashioned scented geraniums- chocolate mint, rose, lemon scents- that I love to use in flower arrangements. They emit a scent that is delightfully intoxicating in the house. One of the most amazing plants is the heart shaped vine that covers the side of the entrance to the store. Every year it grows back and continues to get bigger. Iron structures are placed through out the property and planted with vines that entirely cover the roofs, creating little places to rest in the shade during the hot summer months. A pond filled with lily pads gurgles softly near one of these structures. Beautiful statuary is placed through out the gardens, along with gorgeous cement benches. So Jill and I filled the car with our selected plants, tucking them in among the antiques that we had collected along the way. Somehow we know exactly how much to purchase and not leave an inch of space in the car! This is a fun day trip and I highly recommend it for anyone living near Milwaukee. Monches Farm is located north west of Milwaukee and it about an hour and a half drive from the northern suburbs of Chicago.