Last Sunday, we went for an afternoon drive. A Sunday drive. I’ve heard this was once a thing. Back when Sunday activities were devoted only to church services and resting for the week ahead, the family packed up the Ford and set off for a pleasant drive through the countryside. Not a road trip. Not an errand. There was no particular agenda other than to spend time together enjoying what the day would bring. In our crazy, busy lives, I think we should bring back the Sunday Drive. It should be an official thing again.
Like Sunday pot roast. That should be a thing again, too.
I’ve been thinking about what makes a good Sunday drive. A specific destination isn’t a requirement. But good music on the radio and plenty of warm sunshine adds to the pleasure. And maybe there’s food. A stop at a roadside diner or a picnic lunch? Okay so maybe this idyllic plan isn’t realistic for every weekend, but once a month? Definitely!
Our recent Sunday drive included a visit to Chotkowski Gardens, which is an incredible peony farm. With over 800 herbaceous varieties and 200 tree varieties, Henry Chotkowski’s farm is bursting with peak-season peony blooms. (Herbaceous means the plants have non-woody stems that die back at the end of the growing season. Tree means, well, more like a shrub.)
Pink. Red. White. Yellow. Apricot. Lavender. A three-acre field of perfume.
Typically, Chotkowski sells peonies in the spring. Customers walk through the gardens, choose a peony to buy (how on earth, I’m not sure) and pick up rootstock later in the fall for planting. Unfortunately for us, this year his peonies aren’t for sale. For reasons I’m not completely clear on, he’s taking the year off… Waaah! He promised me that he will be selling again next year.
Boy, there’s nothing like being unable to buy one, that reallyreallyreally makes me want one… availability/desirability…there may be something to that.
These pictures do NOT do justice to the up close and personal blooms.
This red beauty (below) was one of my favorites.
This gorgeous yellow peony looks like tissue paper.
I honestly thought I would remember the names of these peonies. Ha.
The truck in the picture below is the perfect reason to go on a Sunday Drive. You never know what treasures you will find along the way. Treasures within treasures.
Peonies in the background…
If you live in Northwest Arkansas and are looking for the perfect Sunday drive, Chotkowski Gardens is open from 1:00 to 5:00 each afternoon during season (beginning of April through end of May). Even though you can’t buy this year, it’s worth the short drive from Fayetteville for the simple pleasure of strolling through and admiring the beauty.
And guess what? Mother’s Day is 3 days away! Chotkowski Gardens hosts a Mother’s Day Open House annually which includes displays of cut flowers, a bit of peony history and more. This year’s event is Sunday, May 10, 1:00 – 4:00. Read more about this year’s event HERE.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
Groovin’, The Young Rascals