Life as I know It

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

Monday, March 4, 2013

Spring in My Step

The pineapple sage is keeping the hummingbirds and my family happy.

The hummers love this native Columbine too.

Pitcher sage, Lepichinia, has a wonderful demeanor. See how she bows her head demurely?

Yes, it's true, I've got a real spring in my step nowadays. The garden is perking up, the fruit trees are flowering, we've topped all the beds,  planted,  and are getting ready to do a major re-vamp in our beneficial insect and bird garden. I love the sweet promise of all the new life and changes.

My 'Bonanza' peach tree, which is only four feet tall, is living up to her name.

Freesias spill from the borders onto the pathways.

Sorry to have been away so long. Life has gotten in the way. I know it happens to you too, because I read that in your postings. 

We've had a big party in honor of one of my grandsons, we traveled to Seattle for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, and I've been working like a fiend on a book project. 

Gathering research books from our library. What would I do without libraries and librarians? Please be sure to zip into my next blog posting for an exciting life change for me and an opportunity for YOU to win a new book. 

Although I promised NOT to garden in my robes anymore (I keep ruining them), I stepped outside and couldn't help myself. Now I look at the gorgeous artichokes with a sweet melancholy. The gophers took them!

My curious Scrub Jay friend watches in the hopes that I'll unearth some goodies.

We're able to harvest so many fruits every day...

...and edible flowers and herbs for homemade yogurt cheese...

...and for fresh fruit salads.

We flew out of California to speak at the fabulous Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. This is the view from our room at the Hilton. Most of the time it was overcast, but the one time I didn't have my camera handy, it cleared up and we could see snow-covered mountains and boats.

I gave two talks in two days. The best part was meeting old friends, making new ones, and finally meeting Sweet Pea, The Littlest Gardener, and Catherine Kokoris from A Gardener in Progress blog.

Made an appearance on the upcoming

...with host Holly Hamilton.

Perused the show, but darn it, so many photos didn't turn out.  I did love this little phone-booth-sized garden shed. I recently read that gardeners are constructing these sheds very inexpensively by building them from three regular doors and one French door (for all sides). Plop on a roof, add a floor, and you've got a sweet little shed.

Loved all the tiny bulbs. I promised myself to plant a zillion of them this year. I'll order from Brent and Becky's Bulbs and Old House Gardens.

Love the checkered Fritillaries.

Loved the huge balls of succulents, which were in the Butchart Gardens booth. This is hanging from a beam. I think this would be fairly easy to do.

Loved the simple play area. I really like using tree rounds for tables and stools. I did this in the Heart's Ease gardens sunflower house and the children adored them.

No trees involved, but this IS a tree house. I could envision my grands clambering up the ladder and hiding out up there.

Loved the interior of this garden shed, which was built by Little Mansions (

Speaking of little. I liked these little plant markers made out of twigs. They look like mini trellises. I'm trying to make some, but will use some old copper markers for the sign.

Ok, so I bounced all over this posting, but that is life...isn't it?

Jeff did the random number generator to choose the winner of Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman's new garden-cookboook, The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook. The lucky winner is Ernestine Lawson, One Woman's Journey, of My Journey To Mindfulness blog. Since Ernestine is also a member of my Grimy Hands Girls' Club, she will find some special packets of seed tucked into her book. Plant and enjoy!


p.s. If you leave a comment and sign it "Anonymous," please start your with "Sharon, ...." I'm getting too many spammed comments automatically generated. 


Julie Marie said...

Hello dear cousin Sharon... lots of news from you today!... I can't believe how beautiful your gardens are already!... ours are still covered in snow, although I did see a couple of little violets peeking through today... sorry the gophers got your artichokes!... your fruit salad looks delish!... yum!... and how sweet is the Littlest Gardener?... "Sweet Pea" is a perfect name for her!... I am in love with those teensie garden sheds... I want Jack to build me one now... congrats to Ernestine on her win!... thanks for sharing so much joy today... I am curious about your life change coming up?... can't wait to hear more!... much love to you, xoxo Julie Marie

Melody said...

Hard to wrap my mind around you harvesting oranges now! ha ha If it makes you feel any better, I feed all our animals and clean a horse stall in the wee dark hours of morning in my bathrobe...ssshhh, it will be our little secret! :))) Thanks for the cyber visit to the see the flowers!

Kay's flowers said...

What an absolute delight and joy to finally meet you face to face. I was so thrilled! And you are so gracious and warm and I would have loved to have a couple of hours with you to have a nice long chat. If I ever make it down that way could I pop in to see you? I'll write again soon.

Much love and blessings,

Thea said...

Oh, your weather looks delightful. They're predicting snow on Wednesday here in DC area! I look the peek into your garden days - food, fans, frittelerias, flowering fruits and your friendly little birds. love it! someday I am coming to visit you! xo t

Kay's flowers said...

HI Sharon,

What a delight it was to finally meet you face to face. You are as warm and wonderful as your blog and books. I only wish we had had more time to chat. I hope your book deal is coming together well. I can't wait to read it. I hope to make it down there to California one of these days and would love to come and see your garden.

Lots of love,

Vee said...

Oh no! Those rotten gophers.

Must say that everything else in the garden looks so beautifully healthy.

Oh I'm sorry about the robes being ruined from gardening being does make sense to garden that way, though. Wake, breakfast, garden, bathe, dress for the day. Yup, perfect sense.

Will be back to see what you're up to next...always something!

Vee said...

Oh no! Those rotten gophers.

Must say that everything else in the garden looks so beautifully healthy.

Oh I'm sorry about the robes being ruined from gardening being does make sense to garden that way, though. Wake, breakfast, garden, bathe, dress for the day. Yup, perfect sense.

Will be back to see what you're up to next...always something!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

All of the delicious fruit is wonderful to have at this time of year. I live in Florida so we are blessed with citrus here, too. It's fun to hear from you and find out what you've been doing. You lead such an interesting life...and all with a spring in your step! Enjoy your week!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

How nice that you have such a long (never ending?) gardening season! I love knowing that other gardeners are out in robes, I'm in my pj's often.
It was so fun to meet you in person! You are so sweet and I felt like I could've easily visited for a long time. Your husband is so nice too. Nikki has her bird book on her night stand and loves knowing that she met the person who wrote and drew all the pictures in it.

Pondside said...

I had such a lovely time at the Garden Show in Seattle - so very sorry not to have been able to make it to hear your talk, but I did pick up another one of your books - autographed copy! You and I took some of the same photos - I loved the little twig markers and took photos of the little sheds from all angles, hoping to inspire the building of one here.

taylorsoutback said...

So good to see your Springy post - I think gardening in one's robe would be quite nice - just strolling along the beds and taking in the morning freshness.

Freesias - what a wonderful fragrance and my future DIL has decided to have some included in her wedding bouquet.
Sounds like exciting news afoot for you. Looking forward to future postings:o)

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

What a lovely newsy post, which I thoroughly enjoyed this chilly morning. Your life is full and happy and that's a blessing.

It was wonderful seeing Catherine, and her two gardening sidekicks with you at the show. I was happy to hear that Ernestine won the cookbook too. I follow both Catherine's and Ernestine's blogs.

Loved seeing the photo of you in your robe in the gardens.

I am enjoying my book Garden to Vase.

Your gardens always inspire me to work more in mine. Thank you.

Have a lovely week ~ FlowerLady

Patti said...

It's still a bit to early for gardening here in PA, but at the end of the month we can plant peas, spinach and other cool weather crops. Love that big ball of succulents and seeing your gardens. Congrats to Ernestine!

Comfrey Cottages said...

Oh I do get garden lust viewing your photos, while still having snow on the ground here! lol! Oh Sharon, I love you! You don't know how many times I end up in my gardens in my robe, or some other disreputable get up, also! :) Mmmmm that yogurt looks yummy as does the fruit salad :) big hugs and much love, Leslie xx

Susan J Tweit said...

Hello Sharon,

I just popped over for a dose of spring and to delight in whatever your garden doings are. Congratulations especially on the gardenTV appearance! Do you know when it's scheduled? What a treat it is to see your garden and the NW garden show through your eyes.

I thought of you when I wrote this rant on lawns for Native Plant & Wildlife Garden last night:
Be well!

Vee said...

Visited last evening and left a comment, which didn't fly. It's been one of those weeks with gremlins about.

Love so many of these ideas and photos. I especially love the photo of you gardening in your robe. (Don't you have a gardening robe you can toss on? ☺)

My grands woefully tell me every time I see them that no birds have visited the birdfeeder, though it does look cute on the kitchen window above the sink. We think that there are too many cats about.

Now I'm off to watch the segment...

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I love looking at your pictures. We are under a Winter Storm Warning, the snow and sleet just started falling with the promise of heavy snow and high winds a little later today.

However, it is March. Spring is not far off although planting season is not until May for most of the garden (Mother's Day is always given for the safe date).

I don't go out in my housecoat but I do have a pair of old stretch pants and a ratty sweater that I pull on for outside work. I think they would even scare away the gophers. ;)

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Catherine (A Gardener in Progress),

Nikki was the most beautiful flower at the show!

Lucky you, lucky her,


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear Kay,

We did it! We met in person and YES, we probably could've gabbed all day.

Loved meeting your friends too.

Sending green garden wishes,


Nellie said...

You have been the "busy little bee," Sharon.

I'm so envious of your harvest of fruits. We have been having pouring rain all day, and have the prospect of it turning to snow at some point! It will be mid-summer before we are able to enjoy our own fruit from our garden.

Take care!


Lorrie said...

Love this chatty post. You've been busy, buzzing here and there. How wonderful to be harvesting fruit from your garden now.

myfrenchkitchen said...

Ma chere sharon..I am amazed at how beautiful your garden is at this time of year..your artichokes and sage, both of which I love! How fortunate you are to live in Ca where you can be dlighted by your gafden for the biggest part of the year.
Here in France I am starting the spring garden..the bulbs are pushing, the trees are starting, and I am ready to plant and weed and dig and sow! Good to find inspiration here!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Your garden makes me swoon Sharon!
What a gorgeous place!
I love the bathrobe pic.
My Mom used to nurse babies while she weeded with her toes...Ha!
We lived in a very rural area.
Hugs friend,

Anonymous said...

Sharon, your gardens are truly beautiful. Thank you for always sharing through the seasons. Love you in your's most comfortable working attire. Your cheese looks so pretty. I know you enjoyed! Would have loved to join you. Looking forward to your surprise announcment.
~Jane in NV

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

My goodness, you stay so busy my dear. Whenever do you find time to write and draw those fabulous books? Spring is such a busy time isn't it? The best thing about the Northwest Flower and Garden Show was everything! I loved seeing you most of all.~~Dee

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Ditto dear Dee.

Wasn't it great?

I wish we were neighbors.



Anonymous said...

what a treat for my winter weary eyes, this post took me on a beautiful adventure for sure.Your garden is amazing, you sound very busy and busy is a good thing, I will look forward to your next post, I love your jacket you wore for the television interview, the jewel like colors are beautiful with your hair color, take care and best wishes from the snowy north!

suzanne said...

Sharon ~ Happy Happy Spring to you

I can just imagine how you are looking forward to your Spring garden. Always a treat, always a gift ...

Lots of love to you

Terra said...

Spring is putting a spring in my steps too, and your peach tree is a darling performer already. You said kind words about librarians and hey, that's my career so that made me smile. You have been busy traveling and cooking and garden planning, I can see.

Lili said...

Love getting a glimpse of your garden and oh my what a yummy harvest! Enjoyed seeing all the fun ideas you showed us in your travels too. You have me dreaming of Spring! xo

Abbey Crafton said...

I now have orange envy. Here in the eastern US, those orange trees just dont happen:( What a blessing to delight in garden savvy weather most everyday. Yours is lovely!

Nelson said...

I just love Bonanza peach tree for the fact that it can really test your patience. While large trees begin bearing fruit in the first year, these miniature versions usually take three years to produce.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi Nelson,

Well, it took the Bonanza peach just one year, but I got only ONE fruit the first year.

Now it is 4 1/2 feet tall and had over 100 blooms. Came at a cold time and not a lot of bees out, but still setting a couple of dozen fruits.

Thanks for the visit!


Anonymous said...

Sharon I love your blogs and and you!!! Have a great gardening year.

AngieTink said...

Greetings Dear Sharon Oh My I Love Your Blog! The Newest Video is Glorious! & I Can Not Wait to See Your "Sunflower~Courtyard" I Will Be Twirling into Your Sunflower Extravaganza! Wishing You a Weekend Filled with Magic & Love & Laughter! Congratz On Your New Book too! a Bit of Pixie~Dust for You My Dear! xoxo Poof! ✻✿✿¸.*✻

Quantic said...

I'm live in California USA.
I very like your Bonanza Peach tree.
I would like to buy some seeds from you.
My email is: