When my friend Jackie said she was taking me to “The Wetlands,” I thought I was going to see a swampy area of the Shenandoah. (I’m a nature gal, so that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, mind you.) Instead, I was thrilled when we ended up at Wetlands Trading Company, a big pink building on Orkney Grade that you can’t miss as you drive to Basye.
We were greeted upon arrival by Jim Kerins, who was excited to see Jackie’s son, and it was nice to meet a business owner who knows his customers and cares about their lives, not just their wallets. Jim took the time to walk us around, and he helped Jackie’s son feed the koi gaping at us from the pond. (Some of the koi are 13 years old, and they have since bred some little koi clones.)
I picked up a metal ladybug sculpture for $25 to add to the garden. I don’t have a great deal of “fixtures” in the gardens, but I like the idea of a little surprise greeting you. My sister’s nickname is “bug,” so it’s a good tradition in my family to add a ladybug to the yard.
When we ventured inside (past lots of cute ironwork that I’m taking Tim to see next weekend), I was met by lots of fair-trade arts and crafts, as well as unique items that Jim purchases on his travels. We were also greeted by Sandy Benoit, who brought out toys for the little one, pointed out some objects she knew Jackie would love, and helped a teenager find the noisiest “toy” in the place. I loved the unique items, including carved wooden salad spoons, cheese plates, and animals; tinwork decorations; banana husk Santas, and beautiful weathervanes. I especially loved the reproduction architectural elements. I picked up a quart jar of local raw honey (hard to beat at $18) and a little concrete frog for my frog shelf (a long story for another day).
To top it all all, Wetlands installs ponds and landscaping! They have some lovely flagstones that I think will look lovely on our planned patio. I look forward to our next visit, and I know I’ll bring along friends who visit. Karen and Glenys would love the place! If you’re in the area on a weekend, I hope you’ll stop in, too, and find a little treasure for yourself or for a gift.*** This personal blog is comprised solely of the opinions, views, projects, and travels of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She is lucky enough to have loving family and friends whom she drags along with her on her adventures and whom she puts to work on her little farm. She uses this blog to help promote living in the mountains of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.**