Life as I know It

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

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lavender Dreaming at Los Poblanos and a Dose of Dee

The gate clicked shut, the key turned, and we headed toward Maine. Although we won't arrive at our cottage for at least 5 weeks, I still felt that child-like whisper of butterfly wings inside me. True excitement.

In Albuquerque, we finally got a chance to slow down at the wonderful Los Poblanos Inn and Organic Agriculture Center (and YOU have to visit there) and lavender farm–the old Santa Fe style casa designed by famed 20th century architect John Gaw Meem. I wanted to move right in. I could picture myself gardening in the courtyard, tending huge containers of plants, and cutting bunches of lavender from the broad fields.

The new farm shop is wonderful. I think it is housed in an old creamery building. The ag center sponsors jam making, cooking, herbal, and other workshops. The manager told me that he hopes to have noted author Deborah Madison teach some cooking classes there. Hey, I'm game for that. I once attended a great workshop-cooking class taught by Deborah at Fairview Gardens in Goleta, California.

I couldn't resist buying three of the hanging tin bluebirds. I'll dangle them from the beams in my California studio.

Chickies and mama hen under the wheelbarrow

Yesterday, I did a short segment on KFOR (NBC) television in Oklahoma City and then drove to the rambling log home of beloved blogger and gardener Dee Nash (Red Dirt Ramblings).

The "girls" finally meet. See the flock of hens over Dee's shoulder?

A TRUE GARDENER! Hurrah! We loved visiting with her and her family– Bill her willing-worker husband and their son and two of their three daughters. We shared a meal together around the big family dining table, then we wandered the gardens, smelled roses, talked about great nurseries, plantsmen and women, writing, families, you name it.

Dee's perennial gardens. Their lake is down at the bottom of the hill.

Dee and Bill (and some helpers) constructed her new potager. Some of the bricks are from another project. Bill made the fountain (maybe Dee will share HOW)

Wandering, picking, laughing, and sharing. I felt right at home.

Dee is one of the garden bloggers for Lowe's Garden Grow Along and I always read both her personal blog and her Lowe's blog. She shares a lifetime passion for gardening as well as the wildlife her gardens host.

Tonight I'll be doing a talk and book signing at Best of Books in Edmond, Oklahoma, then tomorrow onward to Kansas and to the farm of our dear friends Jack and Jane Hogue in Odebolt, Iowa. They own Prairie Pedlar, which has been featured in many national magazines, and their gardens are magnificent. I am going to give a talk and have a book signing there on Saturday, and then Des Moines television on Sunday. With my next post, I'll share some photos of their fabulous gardens–I know you'll love them and be amazed at the paradise they've created in the middle of a Jolly Time Popcorn field.

Sending love and thanks to all of you,


P.S. Please check in at my Lowe's blog and leave one of your valued comments. No matter where you live in the USA you'll find great garden insights from 8 passionate gardeners.


Storybook Woods said...

How beautiful NM is. You are busy, busy. I hope you are enjoying it all xoxoxo Clarice

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Clarice dear,

We JUST posted this and whammo-your comment. Thank you. The computer is going to nap for the rest of this busy day.

Sending love,


Terra said...

I enjoyed this bit of rambling along with you. The places you show here sound fabulous, especially Dee's garden. Does she really have a lake?

Erin | Bygone Living said...

You lead such an eventful, interesting life! I so enjoy reading all of your posts ♥

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi this is the way to travel from coast to coast. what fun! have a safe trip! i don't think kary will be taking any courses or such unless they are dog friendly!!!! she is having too much fun with lil' teddy. i am so happy for her!!!!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Terra,

YES! Dee owns to the middle of a lovely, little lake. Wow, I'd love that.

Joyce, I think you're right about Kary, she is in LOVE and not about to leave her dear puppy. I didn't even get to meet him yet.

Erin, you're an amazing blogger. I can't keep up with you.

Off to explore Guthrie, Oklahoma now. Dee said it is full of great antique stores, but our car is STUFFED to the roof with things already. I can barely fit in the front seat, and my knees touch the dashboard. Five weeks of traveling discomfort!


Marcie said...

How wonderful! I'm green with envy, of both of you, for getting to meet the other. lol! I know it must have been a wonderful gathering. It sounds perfect!

Dawn said...

Garden Adventures!!!

You and Dee have such magnificent, detailed, breath-taking gardens. So impressive! And a real joy to look at. I am sure they are even more beautiful in person, when you can hear the chickens clucking, birds singing, water trickling, breeze blwing. But blog pics are a wonderful substitute!

Sue twittered from the island, she's settling in. And soon you'll be in Maine...woohooooo!


Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Sharon dear, you beat me to the punch. I can't tell you what a dream it was to finally meet you. I'm off to do my own post on our lovely visit. Such a wonderful time. The kids asked lots more questions about you and Jeff, and I pulled down your books for them to look at once again. Much love.~~Dee

Vee said...

You and Dee could be sisters you look so much alike! What a beautiful garden she has. Simply amazing. Enjoy your long, winding journey to Maine. :D

Janna Leadbetter said...

You had me at lavender, my favorite!

Sharon, it all sounds so wonderful. I hope you have a fabulous time!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

What a wonderful post Sharon! I loved seeing those gorgeous gardens and that Inn in New Mexico, wow! You get to see so many amazing things along your journeys! See ya soon!

rebecca Sweet said...

Ahh...two of my favorite garden writers strolling the gardens together. I have no doubt you both had a very memorable day together. Thanks for the tour!

Pam/Digging said...

I just came from Dee's blog, and it's nice to have your perspective on the visit. Dee is a wonderful person, gardener, and blogger. I had the pleasure of seeing her garden in person two summers ago--what a treat!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon~~ You are one busy gal. Your visit with fellow blogger Dee sounds lovely and from the looks of your photos, her gardens are to die for.... I would have been equally wooed by those cute tin bluebirds. I hope you'll take a photo of them when they're hanging in their new digs.

Safe travels.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Everyone reading this should take a look at Pam's blog. The screech owl photo is wonderful and her writings and ideas are great too.


Zuzana said...

Lovely pictures.;) I love that perennial garden as perennials are my favorites.;)

Thea said...

Sharon, I visited Santa Fe last June - and it was magnificent because last year Colorado and NM had so much rain. After celebrating my daddy's 90th birthday in Denver, I and my sisters took him on a road trip to a place he hadn't yet got to visit. Yes, dad and his three daughters. He loves all the attention. Santa Fe is a lovely place to visit - i sure wish i knew about this lavendar farm - it's right up my alley! We also went to ghost ranch (OKeefe territory.) Oh, I loved those mountains she painted. Not sure of your circuitous route east, but will you be in the Washington DC area? I live in Arlington, VA (7 miles as the crow flies from the White House). It would be a thrill and a half to meet you at a signing! In any event, have an exciting journey! t

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Thea dear,

This does seem like a circuitous route, but I have to fulfill my obligation to my publisher to promote a book he put so much money and effort into. Workman does a GREAT job and I appreciate their interest and integrity in a world of publishing that can be so heartless.

I too would LOVE to meet you in person. They had mentioned tacking another week onto this tour, but honestly, I just can't do it. I am worn out and want to be in Maine. D.C. was mentioned, along with Philadelphia, and NYC.

I have a friend in D.C. who does a regular radio program called "Man About Town." Do you know Robert? He has a voice like silk. Robert has a wonderful home in Maine too and I enjoy my time with him.

Los Poblanos is worth a visit. You are so lucky that you had such an adventure with your Dad and sisters. Also, if you asked me the one place in the US that Jeff and I would suggest for a fabulous experience, well, it would have to be Acoma Pueblo, which is 55 miles west of Albuquerque.

Sending tired love from the road. Heading to Kansas and Iowa now.


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

It sounds like you have so many fun adventures and get to meet so many interesting people along the way. Dee's garden is really pretty and nice to see more of it than I had before. I'm sure you really enjoyed visiting with her.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

As a true Lavender Dreamer...I feel like I should have been there with you! Enjoyed your post! ♥

debra said...

I have a big grin on my face. Sharon and Dee = two of my favorite writers and women's women.
I bet you two had the BEST of times together with your families.
love to you both.

Beth said...

I love your friend's garden and especially envy her the potager! We have a plot at the community garden near our neighborhood. We have had one there for a few years, and love it. This year I hope to take advantage of the social benefits a bit more. Sometimes the group gets together for talks and potlucks. It has bees, a shared garden for the big plants, like squashes, which won't fit in the little plots, sculpture, a picnic table under a shelter, a bulletin board for notices, flowers, fruit trees and shrubs, a children's garden, and compost. They just added twenty new plots last week! We see these community gardens popping up all over our city..isn't that great!!? love, Beth

Unknown said...

How wonderful you were able to " connect" in person with a fellow friend and blogger Dee from Red Dirt Ramglings. I just read her Wonderful! Great things happen when kidred spirits cross paths!

Dandelion Wishes,

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Debra, Beth, and Deborah,

Thanks for your kind words. YES, Dee's garden is wonderful and YES, to Deb, who knows both of us. Debra is an award winning author of many books and her work is read in GARDEN DESIGN and many other magazines. She is a great friend to both Dee and me.

Beth, I am thrilled that they're adding even more community garden plots in your area. They are so needed.

Deborah Jean, we'll soon meet in person! So glad you'll be at my Falmouth event.

Sending love to all from Topeka, Kansas.


P.S. We photographed the great OKLAHOMA GARDENING gardens yesterday and will include it in my new post next Sunday or Monday after we photograph the gardens at Prairie Pedlar. You'll LOVE their green roof.

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

Sharon, you have such wonderful loyal readers as do I. We are indeed blessed to have such good friends like Pam and Debra.

Thank you to everyone who said my gardens are beautiful. My heart is filled to overflowing.

I know you're exhausted, and I hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly so you can quicky see your little island.~~Dee

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Sharon you really are wonderful, you have such an amazingly hectic schedule and yet to manage to write and update us on all the lovely places you visit and leave gorgeous comments for peeps like me!
Me and Magpie want to say a great big thank you for your lovely Birthday wishes, you are lovely.

Sarah x

please excuse the dreadful English I am very tired and brain is creaking from lack of use!

suzanne said...

Dear Sharon

Thank you so much for this lovely post. I always pop in here to get my little bit of peace..I love following your travels and hope to oneday do this with my dear husband too.

Seeing those dear little Chicks have just reminded me that I have a ton more planting to do. My dear Chickens lavender and Daisy both got out early this morning and ate all my newly planted lettuce, cabbages and broccoli. With it being Winter now, the vegetables are growing so slowly too. I feed these old dears so well too...I suppose the grass is always greener on the otherside of the fence~

A very happy day to you Sharon
Warm regards

Sharon Lovejoy said...

I always love to read your comments and visit your "homes" on line.

This morning I visited Suzanne. You must too. Her home and life are amazing. Please drop in and leave her a comment.