Halloween at the Mansion

Happy Halloween from Nicolin Mansion

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Crofut Winery Grape Stomp

While watching Jordan’s local Heimatfest Parade Saturday morning from Nicolin Mansion’s front porch, I turn to our innsitter, Cindy Nevins, and make an offer: you clean the room that’s checking in this afternoon while I finish my computer work and we’ll go on a Nicolin Mansion Fieldtrip to Crofut Winery for the annual Grape Stomp. Deal! So we…

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Summer Celebration – Art, Bikes, Kites and Pork

A small town in summer packed with fun! That was this Saturday in Jordan, Minnesota. The summer celebration featured not one, not two, but four great events – the Jordan Art Festival, the Jordan Valley Bike Tour, Minnesota Kite Society Fly, and Jaycee’s Pork in the Park. Plus Sunday after second day of the art…

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Vegetable Gardening in the Shade

I missed the large terraced raised 13-bed garden Kevin built for me at our previous house. Last year I was so excited when Kevin built a new raised bed vegetable garden for me. We chose the sunniest place in our courtyard, and I hoped there would be enough sun during the course of the day….

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Welcome to my Fairy Garden

The beautiful bird cage terrarium planter sitting on the front porch has been begging to showcase something outstanding – and now it has a Fairy Garden! A Fairies-Eye View The Wishing You Blessings Fairy, a WeeFolk creation from our local artist Maureen Carlson, looks like she is basking in her glorious new home. Her garden…

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Innkeepers Travelogue: Excelsior

We always get asked: “What got us into innkeeping?” Well, it was falling in love with Bed & Breakfasts as we celebrated our wedding and subsequent anniversaries. This year innkeeper Catherine Dwyer of the Bird House Inn in Excelsior invited us to spend our anniversary. What a fabulous retreat!

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Courtyard Blossoms: September

The flowers in the courtyard continue to provide color even into the fall. They have done so well this year, but I can’t say that about my experimental vegetable garden in mostly shade.

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Courtyard Blossoms: August

The Hosta take center stage this time of year, with over 350 plants throughout the courtyard, they are a living invitation to the garden.

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Courtyard Blossoms: July

The courtyard blooms continue to come early – some varieties of Hosta are already blooming! And so are the Sedum; I didn’t even capture a photo of the purple sedum.

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Recipes from the Garden: Pesto

Our first bounty of the season is the herbs – Basil and Cilantro. Our first natural response was Pesto. Friday night are pizza nights around here for the innkeepers, and in summer that means grilled pizza. So our plan was Pesto instead of pizza sauce, and it was a great success! It works equally well using Cilantro instead of Basil (think chorizo, chipotle pepper, etc.). So here is our pesto recipe experience.

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