Life as I know It

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

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fill With Love and Laughter

Our dear friends in Maine and all our out of town friends always fill our cottage with love and laughter. Fox Drink Ledges is a home and hard to leave, but I know I will be there in just a few months.

Now I am at home in San Luis and trying to work in the garden, write, take time for my family, and prepare for our trip tomorrow to Madison, Wisconsin, which is one of my all time favorite towns.

This morning from 6 to 7 host Joy Cardin, Wisconsin Public Radio, welcomed me to her program. We took calls from listeners and answered their question. One caller said that she has planted a memory garden in honor of beloved family members. Each person is represented by his or her favorite flower. Every time she looks at her memory garden she is reminded of people who are dear to her heart. I likened it to a patchwork quilt, pieced with fragments of colorful memories and love.

The garden here is exploding with life. Fat pink crepe-papery crabapple blossoms sway above a bed of blue penstemon, native speckled pink clarkias, rockets of yellow columbine, and a mat of 20 varieties of thyme (from Mountain Valley Growers).

Last night I planted two tall terra cotta pots with corn, strawberry popcorn, zinnias, moonbeam coreopsis, and butterscotch wallflowers. Along the edges of the pots, I tucked in painted lady runner beans, which will form a cascading curtain of leaves, and salmon and white blooms. These pots will shine from late May through September.

Off to pack and get ready for Madison. Remember, fill with love and laughter!

I check my blog entries every day and although I am on the road and can't answer everyone, I do treasure and appreciate your words, memories, and good wishes.


Check out Lowe's for the words of 8 passionate (and opinionated) American gardeners.


jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi sharon...have a wonderful trip to madison. i have never been there and now am wondering what it is like. have fun! joycce

Marcie said...

Enjoy Madison! I look forward to your next update!

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Enjoy your trip. You gave me an idea with your pots. Especially since my little garden was under water 3 days ago :)

Kathryn Zbrzezny said...

I love the idea of a Memory Garden! Enjoy your travels! ♥

marcia said...

Always fun to hear what's going on in your busy life!
Your flowers are beautiful.
Love the idea of a memory garden.

yes!! love and laughter!

happy day!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

*Fill with love and laughter.*

Thank you Sharon for that sweet bit of advice. No matter where we are, or where we live, we can fill our spaces with love and laughter.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Leigh @ Toasted said...

An inspirational post-reminding me of what's important. Ta.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Yah Madison!
One of my favorite towns too Sharon! Oh, I need to get up early and listen to our public radio. Your gardens are just beautiful, love what you have done.

Kay's flowers said...

Love the post! So nice to hear all your doing.


azplantlady said...

I do love trees especially that have been planted in memory of those who are not longer with us. I do hope you have a great trip to Madison :-)

Donna said...

Hi Sharon - my goodness you lead a busy and exciting life! I was just reading back through your blog and it is just fascinating. Your gardens are so beautiful and I love your collection of heart rocks... Donna

Erin | Bygone Living said...

What a beautiful garden you have! Have a good time in Madison! ♥

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon~~ Safe travels, dear friend.

I love your garden photos and your terra cotta pots are to die for, perched there on your terrace with your other interesting plantings. Such talent! And such delicious sunshine and blue sky to enhance it all.

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

It´s still down to 21F at night here so nothing much happens in my garden. It´s no use planting any pots either. But finally the trees are getting new leafs :-)

Those crab apple flowers are fantastic! I have a small tree I sown myself that is supposed to have double flowers like that, but the climate seemes to be to hard for it here, it gets damaged every winter so it has never flowered here.

What a nice idea to have a memory garden like that. Perhaps many of us have it but in another way. we can remember special people by the flowers we´ve gotten from them once upon a time. Those flowers in my garden goes under the names from those I´ve gotten them from :-)
Have a great day now!

Zuzana said...

Your garden is lovely, look at all those colours.;) One can feel the warmth and the shine of the sun from your images.;)
Have a lovely trip,

Courtney at SL's No Ennui said...

I love the memory garden idea!

Storybook Woods said...

You busy girl, you hardly have time to enjoy your beautiful home (both of them) have fun xoxox Clarice

Kristina said...

I just discovered your blog and can't wait to read the archives! I love the idea of planting a garden in memory of loved ones. What a beautiful thing to do. I hope you have a wonderful trip!


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I really love that quote! Love and laughter sure do make a house a home.
I just love your container plantings! You've given me a great idea with what to do with some extra Moonbeam coreopsis and and empty blue pot!
Have a great trip!

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Aah, Sharon how lovely of you to visit me, I am so glad you are a fan of Perch Hill, Sarah Raven's garden. wait til you see this year's installment! I will get to it soon!
Hope your travels aren't too tiring and you are meeting lots of wonderful people?
Have a brilliant weekend,
Sarah x

Stephanie said...

You have so inspired me in my work as a mother, preschool teacher and a caretaker of my garden. I hope you get a chance to enjoy Madison's farmer's market around the capitol building. I lived there for 8 years(now live in Maine)and the market was my favorite place to be on a Saturday morn.

suzanne said...

Good Evening Sharon

The memory flower garden for family memebers caught my eye . I would love to create one of those. When I visit blogs mentioning all these lovely places, I just want to come visit America..I have enjoyed seeing your flower garden too...A happy Spring to you and your family.

Warm regards

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I gardened until our friend picked us up and drove us to the airport yesterday. She wandered the garden and was really appreciative. I didn't want to leave!

Mechanical malfunctions, time glitches etc. got us into Madison at about 9 ish. We rented a car and then tried to find a place to eat dinner. Finally collapsed into bed, but then had to rise at 4:30, which was 2:30 California time, to do a CBS television show at 6:20. We shot the segment outside, on the cooooool Wisconsin patio. The rain began falling and luckily we made it back into the studio before getting soaked.

I worked with about 50 VERY talented 3rd graders today. We created poetry about gardens and nature and each child courageously read his/her poem to the class.

I hope it clears tomorrow for our Lands' End event, which is always fun.

Raining and cold in Madison.



Sharon Lovejoy said...


Hi, I will be working tomorrow morning and won't get to visit it, but I would LOVE to. Going to Farmer's Markets is my passion (one of them).

I love our Market Boat in Maine, did you see my story about it in PPP? Lynn Karlin did the photos.

Love the Maine Farmer's Markets.

Thanks for the visit.


Mr Brown Thumb said...

Make sure to post pics of your scarlet runner beans. Those blooms are some of my faves.

Anonymous said...

I have recently read Trowel and Error and Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots. I have to tell you that I love both of them.
I'm fairly new to gardening and am having so much fun with my kids trying new things. Your books have given us so many ideas that we are anxious to try out!

And we all love the fun illustrations that make reading your books a joy. I've picked up other books at the library and they can be so stuffy and technical. Thank you for being genuine and approachable with your gardening style and books. It makes learning to garden so much more pleasant and fun when the pressure is off. Thanks for encouraging me to explore and try new things.

I'm glad I found your blog and will be back to visit again.

The Unusual Farmchick said...

Oh Sharon, memory gardens are truly a great wonder. I do not bunch all mine into one spot. I spread them out. The pink cabbage roses by the front stoop for my beloved Foster Mom, Calendula for a dear missed friend mingled in with my veggies & as "green roofs" to the underground toad houses....The list goes on.
I so look forward to seeing you in June& to get my own special copy of your book to share- ya know I just HAVE to get your hancock in it. :) Makes it a book with memories to share with any future grand children...
Have a safe trip!

Anonymous said...

Hello Sharon,
I am sorry the black flies chewed on you too! They are hideous...have a good trip - I love your gardens in CA and always enjoy your photos.

Lori ann said...

Dear Sharon,

I wonder if you are back from Wisconsin yet?, to your beloved garden. Oh I am so envious of it! you continue to be an inspiration with everything you do. Those are some very lucky children you were working with!

I can't believe i found the red sea glass either, i am still in shock over it, what an amazing morning!


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear Lori Ann,

This is to give you advance warning that there are MANY plants in our Southern California gardens that are poisonous to our animals.

I recently visited a friend whose cat had an undiagnosed, but potentially deadly condition. I saw the cat shredding and eating a leaf of our common Calla Lily and Callas are deadly poisonous. Many other garden plants can potentially harm our pets too. Don't let Owen get close to tomato or potato plants, oleander, nightshades, and so many others. Just google poisonous garden plants and you'll get a long list.

Also, surround plants with a cage of aviary wire that is tied closed with wire. Aviary wire is too tough and thick for animals, but chicken wire is dangerous and can be chewed and pups can get body parts caught in the wire.

Good luck with little Owen. He is gorgeous. What a lucky little guy he is to have YOU and all the wonderful adventures you'll share with him.



Lori ann said...

Okay Sharon!thank you. I forwarded this to my husband so we'll both know just what to do!

safe travels, i love Denver!

lori ♥

Beth said...

Happy Mother's Day! love, Beth

From the Kitchen said...

Sharon: Thanks so much for stopping by and introducing yourself. I'm quite anxious to explore your blog and find out about your book tour. I'm an avid reader, do book talks, write a little and serve on the Board of Trustees at the library. Please visit often!

I've signed on as a "follower" to your blog as well.


jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi sharon....if you get a chance you really should go to PEI! we took the kids there when braedon and i first got into "anne". we loved it there. we stayed in a kight house which was totally cool. i was thrilled to get the dvd's for Mother's Day! joyce