Life as I know It

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

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Gardening in My Nightgown...Again

My winter is my summer.

In Maine, where we live part of every year, my "garden" is perched on a bluff a few feet from the sea. I garden everyday, but only on my porch and in a series of windowboxes. The rest of my "garden" is Mother Nature's creation–blueberries, bayberries, lady slipper orchids, and a parade of wonderful wildflowers.

Here in California, I am outdoors in my nightgown every warm morning as the sun peeks over the Santa Lucia mountains.

I thought this was the last handful of tomatoes, but found another dozen hiding among the nasturtium leaves

Although it is January, I can still harvest edible flowers, tomatoes, citrus, the last of the figs and pineapple guavas (the mockingbirds are fighting me on that home front), strawberries, lettuces, Kafir lime leaves, and my beloved herbs.

Big terra cotta pots hold nearly a dozen varieties of citrus

My old drying rack holds an ever changing array of edibles

After the blooms dry, I transfer them into clear glass containers. These lovely flowers are used to top cakes, puddings, and salads. Rose petals are mixed with lavender and black tea for my special floral-tea blend.

I'm sharing some of our sunshine with YOU, wherever you are!

P.S. On February the 6th PLEASE join my pal Susan Branch and many of her friends (including me) at "Branches," the farm stand on Lopez Drive in Arroyo Grande. Antiques, great food (fantastic cupcakes by our own Miss Amy O'Kane), a flea market, crafts, books and products by Sue Branch (she will have times set aside for personal signing). Sue is a GREAT hostess, and according to blogger Pamkittymorning, "the farmstand gathering will be a blast!" I'll be signing all my books too, including my new one, Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars.


debra said...

Hi Sharon, I have a big smile on my face as I picture you gardening in your nightgown. How much fun is that? Oh, I think I need to add that to my ever-growing list of "reasons to love living in California"~
I also love Windowsill Winter and the antidote to boredom.
You're so inspiring! Debra

Mozart's Girl said...

Hi Sharon, what a gorgeous warm post - THANK YOU! It's so special to read about the lovely, soft winter you're having when we're in the icy grip of an unusually cold & snowy british January! Keeps me going to see the golden glow from your pictures. I'm a friend of Sue & Joe too - did we meet at her surprise birthday? Anyway, won't make the farmstand but WISH I could & will rely on you for details & photos! xox Rachel

Dawn said...

Oh Sharon, you have just filled this cold, snowy morning with California sunshine and roses! Thank you. And I love your old drying rack, GENIUS.
I can't tell you how much I would love to come join the fun at Branches in February. I already told Sue that my husband may be out in LA for work around that time and that I am hoping I can tag along and then make my way up to Arroyo Grande. We'll's unlikely, but who knows! If I do come, I know I'll be taking an extra empty suitcase. :)
Thanks again for the fragrance of citrus and warm tender morning air

klk said...

I am surrounded by snowbanks this morning and really relished the sight of green and the promise of flowers to come. Thanks for the pictures.

Unknown said...

Sharon, I LOVE your drying rack! Did someone make this for you? It is very unusual and decorative.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Bobbi, I've had my drying rack since about 1977. It was custom made for me by a friend and all the shelves slide out for easy loading and unloading. I love it and use it for everything from citrus peels to seeds and flowers.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Debra Prinzing, writer extraordinaire, is the lovely Debra who posted earlier. She is the author of Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways a Clarkson Potter Book.

Whether you're dreaming of building a shed, or building one as you read this, your life and creative ideas will increase tenfold after reading her book.

You can visit Debra's blog, which I list in my blog roll under "Shed Style."


Courtney at SL's No Ennui said...

What a beautiful drying rack! I love it. We are trying to learn the art of gardening, canning, pruning, drying, cooking.... all of it!

THANK YOU for your rosemary suggestions! I hope I can save it. I have such a black thumb. I'll keep you posted on its progress!

Beverlydru said...

Oh my goodness, I'm already loving your blog! I'm so happy we've met- thanks for stopping by. I can't wait to teach my baby granddaughter the love of flowers and gardens and beautiful things as she grows. I think I need to buy "Grandma's Bag Tricks"!!
All the Best,

Marcie said...

I love all the color and sunshine, Sharon! Thank you for sharing this here. My vistas are peaceful and white right now, but my garden loving soul is color starved! I'm glad I can catch a glimpse of your beautiful flowers through your blog.

rebecca Sweet said...

Ahhh...gardening in one's nightgown! I've certainly been there! Though, to my neighbors' horror, I don't have a pretty nightgown, but mis-matched crummy flannels...(my poor, poor husband). But hey - what's a girl supposed to do when the 'perfect gardening moment' has you in it's grip? There's nothing better than to shirk all morning responsibilities and just go out to putter around in the garden - no matter what you're wearing! Beautiful post, Sharon!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sharon,
It's too cold to garden wearing a nightgown or jeans here in Michigan. It's cold and snowy.

Thank you for the sunshine. The days are getting longer but we need more light.

I love the illustration on the cover of the old gardening book. It's bright yellow like the lovely pansies on your drying rack.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh, I could use some of that Calif. weather right about now. Thank-you for coming by and your oh so nice comments! I think gardening in your nightgown is just the way to go! Cindy

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Thanks for sharing your sunshine, Sharon, but we actually had some today and maybe more tomorrow and the next day. At least warmer temperatures are coming, I hope! Winter has been very cold here. Hope all goes well with your book signing.

Mozart's Girl said...

Hi again, Sharon...just wanted to send a hug from England (even snowier than before...) and say thanks you so much for your sweet commments & for adding me to your blog roll, it means a lot to me. Sue seems so far away & I miss her very much, so it's lovely to have you & Kary as well to visualise, imagine your gardens, hear about the weather...and I'm there with you all! Sorry we missed you in Maine, of course I do remember you now at the party but it was a bit of a blur-SO exciting! Love to you xox Rachel (& Alice, curled in her basket, snoring gently...x)

Morwenna Hill said...

Absolutely wonderful post Sharon, I feel as if I am with you walking around your garden and using the amazing drying racks. Thank you for bringing a dose of sunshine into my life.

You have won an award! Please take a peek at my latest post to find out all about it

Morwenna xoxo

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Some people have to rub it in and show real veggies and flowers and shades of green as the rest of us get all excited that the temperature reached 35 today. :)

If I were near California, I would be there in a heartbeat!

Comfrey Cottages said...

love that book and that drying rack sharon! beautiful warm post:) i NEED a drying rack like that!lol now i have racks of things sitting on top of cabinets etc all about the house :) you are such an inspiration:) big herbal and honey hugs to you

Aunt Jenny said...

I always get homesick for the central coast when I read your blog. Tomatoes in January! I miss THAT for sure. And planting my sweet peas in January too!! And growing fun things all year. I do love it here in Utah and never plan to move away but I have learned more about seasonal things since moving here. Growing up in Arroyo grande spoils you for other places in that respect!
I wish I were coming to town in time to go to the Susan Branch thing...sounds perfect! YOu have fun! And I agree with all the others...that drying rack is awesome!

Nan said...

Oh, do I wish I could be there. Gosh, you know her so well, she is 'Sue!' I hope you'll post pictures.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Ah, California, the land of the reigning sun.~~Dee

La Table De Nana said...

I often garden in PJ's:) Not now except indoors..Your drying rack is so wonderful! You have the best of both worlds! Maine and California~

PamKittyMorning said...

I can't wait to see you there. I feel like I found a part of my past that I loved and somehow let slip away. Thanks for jogging my memory!

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

I wish I could be in the area for that party. It sounds like so much fun.

viagra online said...

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