An INNside View!
Seasons and Seasonings at Blue Mountain B&B:
With summer almost in full swing, it’s fun to think back on the various seasons and what each one brings to Montana and to Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast. I never tire of the beautiful seasonal changes that western Montana offers to residents and visitors alike. Sometimes the changes are quite subtle, which has been the case this year with our transition from spring to summer. Luckily, summer has crept upon us with a refreshing coolness. The mountains and valleys are still green, the peaks are capped in white and the wildflowers are particularly lovely. The rain has definitely been welcome and we hope it will continue from time to time in the next months so that the fire season doesn’t hit with such a bang.
*At the Inn:
Here at Blue Mountain B&B, the changing seasons bring delightful new views as well as new specialties to the table. During the gardening months, fresh varieties of fruits and vegetables abound. We take great care in preserving the bounty that the summer brings so that guests are able to enjoy fresh flavors throughout the winter months as well. Some of our jam and jelly specialties include home made huckleberry-raspberry, apricot and red current. Both of our sets of parents live on Blue Mountain as well and between the bunch of us we are able to grow a lot of the fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables ourselves.
*Locally grown products:
If we can’t grow something at the B&B, then we often turn to Missoula’s Good Food Store and the local Clark Fork and Missoula Farmer’s Markets. We especially love the fruit from Forbidden Fruit Orchard, the huckleberries which some of the Hmong families pick and the Dixon Melons.
As guests, you can enjoy both a Saturday morning market and and evening market during the warmer months of the year with vendors selling all kinds of things from produce and cheese to jewelry. When the weather turns cold, Missoula takes it’s wares inside where people can enjoy a winter market on the weekends. If you are interested in finding huckleberry or other Montana products, we have a lot to offer in our little Wood Ducks and More Country Store. If you are looking for Montana made products in town, we recommend the following stores: Brown Bear Resources and Mother Moose.
*A Room with a view:
Views from every room at the inn celebrate the changing of the seasons as each day brings a little something different than the next. Even when the valley is fogged in, one has the sensation of being in a high mountain castle. The views from our dining and living room areas are like a living picture frame, ever changing and beautiful. During late spring, summer and early fall, the sound of the water fall accompanies views of the valley and the smell of a fresh, gourmet breakfast.
For me, winter brings the most wonderful feast for the eyes of any season. There is nothing more beautiful than a soft dusting of snow covering the garden walls while the pond is bathed in the moon’s lovely light. Then again, “summer’s snow” is just as spectacular when the lovely Syringa bushes blanket the hillsides in late June. Their white, fragrant petals attract Swallowtail butterflies and for a couple of weeks, the hills truly smell heavenly. June is truly a wonderful month to make a reservation specifically for The Syringa Suite, our room named after this fragrant flower. The Syringa Suite has a private deck that adjoins the hillside, offering spectacular views of this flowering shrub as well as the water fall and koi pond below.
If you want to grow your own Syringa from some transplants, Blackfoot Native Plants Nursery and this link will help you get started!
*Deer hardy plantings and local nurseries:
Maintaining the house and grounds offer both Brady and me a change of scenery every single day. The winter months involve quite a lot of driveway plowing which is one of Brady’s (and the dogs’) favorite activities. He also loves any work that involves a mile-high view and a ladder. At least it makes cleaning out the rain gutters and putting up new outdoor blinds interesting. When our Godson or other family friends help out, it’s always fun to see how work starts to unfold into play! Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of sweat and “blood” that goes into creating new flower beds, pulling weeds and doing other odd jobs. This year, in particular, we have re-done a lot of our flower beds and are trying to find deer hardy alternatives to some of the more tasty plants. The work always seems worthwhile and truly enjoyable, especially when we treat ourselves afterward. After a big day of work, we sometimes splurge by taking a couple of swings on the hammock, dipping our feet in the pond or enjoying some huckleberry iced tea- things usually reserved for our guests.
Missoula has quite a few local nurseries that are really helpful when trying to find plants that are compatible with climate needs and personal tastes. When looking for annuals, Caras, Earth and Wood, Marchies and Ibey are always helpful. Most of our perennials, along with our hanging pots, come from Benson’s Farms and Pink Grizzly which are part of the fun River Road Neighborhood.
While the summer involves planting and the winter plowing, spring and fall both involve a lot of ponderosa pine needle raking- one of my favorite activities. It’s something that always calls for a hot dog roast if the weather cooperates and fire season is nowhere near. If you’ve ever burned pine needles, it is actually quite mesmerizing. The needles glow a beautiful red and then gradually disintegrate into nothingness. The best part is that wonderful forest smell that allows me to “go camping” in my very own back yard!
*Plan your Montana get-away:
No matter when you come to Blue Mountain Bed & Breakfast you are in for a treat. Every season offers its own spectacular kind of beauty which both energizes and calms the mind, body and soul. Whether you come for the winter skiing, a hike through the endless spring flowers, a summer float down a river, or an autumn ghost town tour, you will find beauty and fun wherever you go. You are always welcome to call us for additional details (1-406-251-4457) or visit the Area Page on our website for a listing of Missoula events and activities. There is nothing we enjoy more than helping people plan the perfect Missoula, Montana get-away no matter what time of year it may be! You are welcome to follow us on Facebook where we post recipes as well as upcoming history, cultural and community events. Come join us one way or another for a one of a kind Blue Mountain experience!