Life as I know It

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What a Crazy Way to Earn a Living!

"Sharon, we HAVE TO GO NOW," Jeff said. We had a thousand mile drive ahead of us, but my plants needed some TLC, and I wasn't about to leave 'til I knew they were tended. Unusually warm spring days had spurred everything into new and exuberant growth. I had to finish my hand watering and wanted to top my containers with fresh worm castings.

An hour and a half later, we finished chores, packed props into the car for my television appearance, and Jeff handed me my "Girls," a "worm hotel" filled with red worms and some sliced potatoes to keep them happy. I tucked their black out fabric around them, settled them at my feet, and we took off.

Our first stop was the newly revitalized San Francisco Flower & Garden Show. I loved seeing what is new and what is old at the show, but I really loved connecting to my friends in garden design, architecture, growing, writing, blogging, and photography. Rebecca Sweet, YOU were one of the highlights for me.

This chicken tractor was beautiful and I have succumbed to total lust for the darned thing. I want one, but honestly, we have every inch of our yard planted, and there isn't a space left big enough to accommodate this wonderful contraption. Yes, there were chickens roosting inside. They'd been out during the day, but despite the bright lights and noise, they retired at their normal bedtime.

I loved the display gardens and find it hard to believe that designers can transport an entire world of a garden indoors.

The gorgeous succulent designs offered by Trish Ottens  were show-stoppers. I particularly liked the whimsical "Medusa" sculpture and the "wall tapestries."

Next year I intend to spend a couple of days at the Flower & Garden Show. Great speakers were featured this year. Imagine, for the price of admission you could tune into seed guru Renee Shepherd, California landscaping author Nan Sterman, succulent author Debra Lee Baldwin, edible landscaping queen Ros Creasey, Jean Ann Van Krevelen, Jeff Wyckoff, and so many more stellar gardeners and writers.

The day after the reception Jeff and I headed to Towne Center Books in beautiful Pleasanton, California. My talk and book signing were interactive and so much fun. I love having children in the audience. Judy Wheeler baked two of the cookie recipes from Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars. She told us that she hadn't believe the four ingredient cookies would work, but they DID, and I was vindicated. (Judy microwaved the bird nest cookies and didn't include the coconut).

More posting from the road when we have a few minutes to stop and work.

All joys to you. I LOVE your comments, your e-mails, and well wishes. I've made some great friends and so look forward to meeting all of you as I journey back and forth across the country. We're in the works for a fabulous workshop in Falmouth, Massachusetts, at historic Highfield Hall on June 24. I've already heard from two of my favorite bloggers who will not only post about the workshop, but also attend. Hurrah. For the $15.00 price of admission, attendees receive my new book, a wonderful "Celebrations" hand out I created and illustrated, and so much more.

Keep writing. I need your valued input,


P.S. The "Girls" are fine, but they were reluctant participants on television. I wonder what the hotel people thought when we trekked through the lobby with a "worm hotel" in our arms?

P.P.S. To check my upcoming appearances, click here. (It takes a while to download).

To see what's going on n my garden, visit Lowe's Garden Grow Along blog.


The cottage by the Cranelake said...

We really only have one or two garden shows over here and I´ll miss them both this year I´m afraid. Mostly I´m going there to meet old friends though :-)

I really liked that chicken tractor! I would like to have chickens, but I feel I have to little time for them. But it sure is practical!

I can imagine it was fun having children around when talking and signing books. One never knows what can happen when children are around :-) :-)

So the "girls" didn´t want to appere on tv :-) Well those cameras can be frightning :-)

Have a great day now!

Dawn said...

So much fun! Thanks for the tour. Gotta love those blue socks you had on! ;-)
We spent our vacation last fall in Falmouth, and loved it. We stayed at Inn On The Sound, and the inn keepers, Jan and Howard, were amazing. If you're there in the evening, be sure to eat dinner at The Glass Onion!!! SOOOO delicious.
Wish I was joining the fun!
I've been enjoying the first wild edibles and watching as everything grows greener by the day.
Love, Dawn

Erin | Bygone Living said...

Looks like a great time! I love your "worm hotel" :) What a great career you have!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Oh, what fun Sharon! You do have a neat job, what a wonderful garden show too! I still plan on going when you get to Wisconsin, can't wait!
Have a safe trip too,

Terra said...

How cute to travel with worms. That is a new one for me, and would make a nice book title, "Traveling with worms" or "Have worms, will travel".
Did you say a 1,000 mile drive? Will someone water your plants?
The chicken tractor is fabulous!

Beth said...

Dear Sharon,

Tell me more about the Falmouth isn't too far. I was happy to hear about your girls, having read about them in Sunflower Houses. I seem to have some girls in my compost. They seem smaller and redder than regular earthworms. This year when I was collecting my compost for starting the vegetable garden, I found several huge worm balls, each a writhing, wiggling little mass of sticky worms all clumped together in a ball the size of a softball. It was so strange, disgusting, and fascinating all at once! love, Beth

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi everyone,

I'll send out or post more information on Falmouth as soon as I get more updates.

Dawn, thanks for the helpful hint about where to dine.
Beth, if you're not far from Falmouth I'd be thrilled for you to attend. It is limited to 50 people.

More later, we went through snow, snow, and more snow on our travels through Oregon today.

Onward and upward,


Aunt Jenny said...

Loved seeing your pics as always. Your garden boots are sure cute!! Can't say I am ever quite so stylish in the garden. And how fun to take worms on vacation. I love that. You are awesome! I sure enjoyed my visit here today and look forward to reading and seeing photos from your trip..what fun!
Have a wonderful week!

Lori ann said...

Oh how i love road trips! and to travel to the S.F. flower and garden show, how fantastic. so many talented people and wonderful ideas. I could see how you'd love the chicken tractor. What an invention.

Your book signing looked charming with all the children!

Safe Travels Dear Sharon and Jeff (and worm girls)!

xo lori

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon~~

So I take it you were able to successfully "smuggle" the girls across state lines! LOL

Would you believe I completely forgot about your appearance on AMNW? Thankfully KATU has it on their website. I Googled "KATU TV Portland" and voila. Then clicked on AMNW, then "Fun with Grandma" on Monday's date. After viewing, I closed it before grabbing the link. If you haven't yet, it would be fun to have it somewhere on your blog. It was really enjoyable. Lots of laughter and inspiration. It looks like you had a great time with Dave.

I'm going to have to buy a stethoscope. And I was sure Dave was lifting a LIVE snake from your paper bag.

I hope you're well rested from your trip. It sounds like you won't be home for long.

Hugs, Grace

Mozart's Girl said...

Dearest Sharon, how wonderful to be riding along with you on this trip and sharing your adventures! I love garden shows...I'm just planning the new additions to our own garden at the moment, it's such fun! Although it's still cold & drizzly here, we've had some balmy days that show us what's to come! I was hoeing yesterday & saw plenty of your girls' English cousins...busy making the soil rich & dark for my planting. However, Mr Robin was watching my every move with his beady little eye so I fear for some of them! Looking forward to hearing more, have a great safe trip xoxox Rachel

marcia said...

Hi Sharon ~
It's fun hearing the details and seeing pics of your trip! Precious picture of all the children.

I LOVE LOVE the vertical garden.. *wall tapestry* It's one of the many things on my "to do" list.

I'm excited to to see you in Falmouth!

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

P.S. Love to the *girls* hehe

JeanAnnVK said...

Sharon, I am sorry I missed meeting you at SFGS! I look forward to our paths crossing...

Jean Ann

Zuzana said...

Sounds like a fun road trip with lost of interesting stops and all concerning plants, flowers and gardening. What could be more lovely?
I hope you will have a wonderful Easter,

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I cannot begin to tell you how I felt when I read that you had once owned Heart's Ease in Cambria California! I think my heart stopped. So many times my husband (that I lost in 1997) would drive me to Cambria..and we would brouse that little shop. One of the dearest parts was the back yard with the labeled herbs etc...and the birds gathered so thick in the tree's eating their bells of honey seed. It is one of my fondest memories of my time with Patrick and our travels up the coast. I have photo's of him on the beach..and on my patio is still the old birdhouse I bought from the shop on one of our visits. It has a little slanty red roof and I have repaired it a hundred times and will NOT throw it away. It hangs there today over my old wine barrel with the old red pump.

I know I am going on and on..but I am just so excited to see you had commented on my blog and to find out who you were! This is such an honor...
I am having trouble concentrating I am in such a rush to go explore your blog! :)
Please DO come back and visit some time when you can!

rebecca Sweet said...

Sharon - one of the highlights of the show for me was walking around the gardens with you and Jeff. I thought for SURE you'd end up with one of the chicken tractors before you left ...I see you're better at controlling those impulse purchases than I am!!

Unknown said...

Hi Sharon!
Love the garden show and that adorable chicken tractor!I must show that to my hubby! ( as if he needs another thing on his list) :)
So nice of you to keep in touch while you're on the road.
I'm so happy we will have a chance to meet in Cape Cod in June!

Dandelion Wishes to you!
p.s.I've posted your Falmouth date on my blog!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Would love to see you in person some day. :)

Best wishes on your Pilgrim's Inn. I saw a picture on an interview you had done.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

I finally got over here to visit, and, look, you've gone on a trip. Happy trails to you and Jeff. Glad you got to see so many of our friends at the San Fran show. It is a grand way to make a living.~~Dee

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I wish you were coming to the Seattle area, I would definitely bring my girls. I know Molbak's nursery in Woodinville always has your books out on display...
The garden show looks like it was great. I'd love to have room for chickens too.

Nan said...

I've bought seeds from Renee! Didn't recognize the other names, though. Happy traveling!

Anonymous said...

What an inspirational much to see and read..I hjope one day I can have you sign my book too!
Ronelle xx

Storybook Woods said...

Oh I love the San Francisco garden show, I remember taking a wonderful class about lavender. I still cannot find the lime green lavender he had. I am so glad you got to go. Clarice

Unknown said...

I missed this post, Sharon, but I'm glad your trip has been fun and productive. I'm sure all the plants will be fine when you get home again (you may be home by now, time slips by).
A happy Easter to you and yours, from me here on the foggy, windy chilly East Coast of Canada...

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Leaving again this week for a trip to Minnesota, but check back as I will try to do a quick posting before we leave.

Why Minnesota now? I accepted a wonderful position from my friends at Land's End. I'll do a reach out to one of their schools (three classes of 4th graders) who have planted seeds and will write creative poetry and prose about their experiences.

Then on Saturday I am doing a television appearance and a signing and planting at one of the Land's End stores.

If you live in Minnesota please check out my "Upcoming Appearances" on my web site and drop in for a visit.

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

...loved seeing the photos of your trip...looks wonderful...

wish you would have known about the bunny would have been fun for charlie to see the kids too....and ella would have LOVED it...

we can not let this go again next year..i won't...i'll remember...

sending easter love to you, my friend,

Chickens in the Basement said...

Wow! Thanks for stopping by my blog. What an interesting person you are! I wouldn't mind traveling with worms as long as I get to go somewhere new!


JuicyFig said...

Hello! and thank you for you lovely comment - and by som strange coincidence after reading it, I went to a 'car boot' sale, and came away with a spinning wheel!

I studied horticulture some years ago, and usd to love going to the Gardeners World Live at Birmingham UK, but as with all things there are far too many temptations and my 'space' is full!

Happy Easter


MulchMaid said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog, Sharon.

How lucky you were to be able to attend the SFGS! We have a fabulous show in Seattle in early March, but I can never get enough good new plant and garden ideas, and would have loved to see this one.

Happy travels, and even happier homecoming!

bunny, The Paris House said...

What a lovely road trip, especially with plants and gardens being part of joyful! We enjoyed a lovely Easter day in our garden, now I think I will pull one of your books off my shelf and sit down with a cup of tea and look through it and relax.
Happy Easter