Life as I know It

My photo
San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring is in the Soil (and air)

Oh, it is amazing how energized I become in the spring. It is nearly dark, but I can't stop gardening. So much going on and I don't want to miss a thing.
This afternoon Jeff and I put up a beautiful 8 foot tall tepee in the middle of the garden. I am going to grow 'Painted Lady' runner beans and tiny pumpkins all over the framework. I will love sitting in there and watching the birds, and I know that my grands will love it too.

So much enjoyment out of just a few dollars worth of supplies and a mound of seeds I saved from our porch garden beside the sea in Maine.

Spring blessings,



Joanne Sewall said...

Sharon, I love the teepee. I have done smaller teepees in the garden but not in the yard. This year we will. The granddaughters and I will sit inside and sip tea. Thanks for the inspiration.
Joanne Sewall, Abbie's grandma from the rose hip talk at Pemaquid Beach.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Oh Joanne, I could NEVER forget you or Abbie your beautiful grand. What a great joy to meet you both last summer at Pemaquid. Sarah always speaks so fondly of you. Isn't Sara great?

I wanted the tepee to be right smack in the middle of things. This should work. They're already loving it.

Happy spring to you and your girls,


Jen said...

I love that idea. I also plan on trying a sunflower house for my children this year.

chercroce said...

I too love your tepee! I had planned to do one instead of a Sunflower House this year...However, the grandchildren loved the Sunflower House SO Much that planting both sounds like the Best idea! I look forward to seeing yours as it grows!

I am looking forward to reading your new book! You have so many wonderful ideas!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Chercroce, I am battling slugs!! They arrived unannounced and uninvited. I've never had them before so I am thinking they came in on some new strawberry plants. They chewed and slimed most of my 'Painted Lady' runner beans. I'm not planting them in paper cups and when they get a bit bigger I'll slit the bottom of the cup and tuck them into the soil.

Thanks for your sweet words,

Sharon (oh, 'Painted Lady' runner beans can be purchased from Renee's Garden, one of my favorite seed suppliers.

Paula said...

I just love your teepee garden and all your child friendly gardening ideas!
I have grown painted lady runner beans in the past and they are so intresting. I will have to try this bean and mini pumpkin garden for my nephew.
We are growing a three sisters garden for the first time this year.
I have been gardening into the night by the light of the solar garden lights this past week, I wish the spring planting days were longer then they are.

Candice said...

I just discovered your book "sunflower Houses" and went right out and made a tepee with my kids! I am so excited to try out more of your ideas too. I shared my tepee and your books on my blog:
Blessings, and keep up the inspiring work!

Nicole said...

Oh my goodness - new to your blog and love the teepee. I'm a new gardener who just purchased your book Trowel and Error and now I am a gushing fan. (just reviewed it on my blog) My little veggie plot is much safer now thanks to your sage advice. I have mini teepees in my tiny little box but those giant ones are making me envy the children who will sit inside!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Nicole and "Isl.and Insider"

Thank you for your kind words!

I've been lax on the blog front because of finishing my new book. I am breathlessly close to finishing the introduction and then will go full steam ahead on the illustrations. Next week a photo editor, photographer, and assistant will arrive to do a photo shoot for the book too. Exciting.

All blessings to you,


Blessed With Four said...

Dear Miss Sharon,

I am a beginner blogger and a new fan of yours since my purchase of your book "A Blessing of Toads" which I bought for myself for Mother's Day. I have just begun the book and read the first story and I can tell already that I am going to enjoy the whole book - you are such a talented writer and illustrator and I just wanted to tell you thanks so much (in advance) for the knowledge that I am going to learn about gardening from this terrific book so THANKS!

P.S. I ordered off of Amazon since I did not know I could order directly but next time I will order right from you :o)

Your new "friend" and loyal fan!!!

Blessedwith Four

chercroce said...

Sharon, I hope that you have won your battle with the slugs! Having neglected to check the box for follow-up comments I did not see your response to my last comment! It is Beautiful here, in New England...Although I am a bit behind in planting,(my plans keep "growing"!) it is a pleasure to spend a bit of each day gardening! Will you be spending time in Maine this year?

I hope that your photo shoot went well! I look forward to the pleasure of reading and enjoying your illustrations in your new book!

Unknown said...

I am late getting my teepee planted this year, but was just up looking at the bare frames, trying to get inspired. I came in, found your blog and I am ready to go!! Think I'll move the teepee to a new spot; it is quite close to eucalyptus trees, and I've heard the oil from the leaves deters growth. True?
Thanks for your inspiration- best on the new book!
Carla in San Diego
(wrote to you about simple pond ideas and iceplant woes last year)

abbiegrace said...

I have a question for you! So glad to know that you're a blogger.

We love, love, love Roots, Shoots, Buckets, & Boots. The children and I worked diligently this year preparing our plot of land for our sunflower house. We planted the seeds about three weeks ago. It's been so fun to see the shoots come up at the right intervals, with the little opening for the door! Exciting.

Yesterday when we went to check on the plants, we were sad to see that all of the sunflower plants had been be-headed! The plants are still there but the tops have been chewed clean off. I presume a rabbit found our house and had a feast.

We're going to put a low wire fence around our plot to keep out rabbits...but my question is, are the sunflower plants doomed now?? The root systems should be fine...there are still several inches of green and even some leaves on most of the plants. It's just that the tops are gone. Does that mean the plants won't ever flower??

(Sorry for the terribly long comment!)

thanks so much for your WONDERFUL book. I'm going to blog about it soon and tell all my mommy friends how much I love this book.


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear AbbieGrace, ooops, everybody LOVES sunflowers, not only the rabbits, but also chipmunks and squirrels. Sometimes in Maine I would see a squirrel run up a developing stalk and then CHOMP. So for awhile try a floating row cover, which is simply a lightweight woven material that doesn't exclude light. Or a small fence would work too. Some Amish farmers once told me that they sprinkle flour on theirs, but I've used baby powder in the same way.

If you have leaves the sunflower isn't doomed and MAY send off a side bloom. It is possible. I'd leave the mature ones in and add more.

Good luck to you, Sharon

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear Readers, I am sitting in a hotel room in Moab, Utah writing this. We are on our way to Grand Rapids, Michigan for my keynote address to the wonderful Herb Society of America Educational Symposium.

The last few weeks have been wild. Finishing the chapters to my new book and also hosting a crew of photographers, editor, family, and my four grandchildren for the book. From what I've seen of the photos it is going to be beautiful. They were all taken in my garden, home, and studio with a few shots of my Granddaughter's birthday party and bubble blowing and nature projects at our local park.

I promise to post pictures soon!

All simple pleasures to you,