Life as I know It

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

Friday, May 16, 2014

House of Boughs, Walls of Leaves, A Carpet of Wildflowers

Who won the big drawing for the Serenity Health and Home Decor outdoor fire pit?
Stay tuned and read to the end of the posting!

Dear Friends,

Maybe it is belated spring fever, but right now all I can think of is that I want to simplify my life. I want to live in a house of boughs with leafy walls and a soft carpet of wildflowers and herbs. At night, glowworms and fireflies will light my home. By day, the shifting shadows of sunshine will warm it and birdsong will be my music. And cleaning it? A heather broom, a watering can, and some helpful worms. What could be better?

I am thinking of you out there...all of you who are dealing with wildfires, "firenadoes" (a new word to describe a tornado-like whirling fire in California), flooding, intense heat, and tornadoes. This is a tough time throughout our land, and we need to draw together and help each other.


Today I am taking a load of good things to our local Hospice Store. Sure, they're good enough to sell, but I want to gift them to someone deserving, someone who may not have the income to treat himself/herself to something besides groceries and gasoline.

These sweet cups, saucers, and creamer are headed for Hospice today.

Cleaning out cupboards and chests feels GOOD. I urge you to paw through your goodies and share them with others.


All the artichokes on my healthy plants burned up in the heat. This was the last harvest.

Last week Jeff and I hosted a wonderful garden walk/talk with a group of California Native Plant Society Members. Thank heavens it was last week because this week has been a disaster. Heat of up to 105 and plants reduced to what look like piles of ashes. EVEN THE NATIVE PLANTS. Nothing survives such an extended drought and high, high heat. Jeff and I take short showers and cart buckets of water out to my potted herbs. That's all we can do to maintain.

The gate and arbor Jeff built for me. Peephole is an antique found in a vintage shop.

Before the crowds and the heat.

The last of the chokes. Note that all the beds have been heavily mulched with an under-layer of compost and worms.

Under the grape arbor for some drinks, conversation, and questions.

I love real dig-in-the-soil-and-wreck-your-fingernails gardeners.

Here is a short video I made of my little garden the day before the garden walk. I hope you enjoy it.

And now...DRUM ROLL. The random number generator chose as the winner of the drawing for the fabulous fire pit, donated by Serenity Health and Home Decor, is Sharon Calvert from Alabama's Gulf coast. (Sharon, e-mail us your shipping address.)

You'll love having this in your garden. My family likes to sit around ours, toast marshmallows, and tell creepy stories. The creepier the better.

All joys to you!



Anonymous said...

stay safe, my friend! btw, are you two going to eat all those artichokes? they sure do look good! we've had an all night hard rain and my iris are all bent over. tsk. but the rain brought a coolness that is refreshing. silver linings and all that! thea

Blondie's Journal said...

Oh, Sharon. This weather is crazy. We had snow flurries predicted here in Chicago today. They didn't come but it threw me for a loop. I brought my hanging baskets in and as I've been busy, I haven't gotten to planting anything else, including my veggies.

How exciting to have a garden tour at your place! I'm sure everyone enjoyed it. And congratulations to the lucky gal that won the fire pit! We have one here but it's mostly to keep warm on our rather cool nights!


Unknown said...

Hello Dear Sharon!
Oh, how I've missed you...! I'm so happy I stopped by today to see your lovely garden with the added bonus of seeing it live with your beautiful narration..:) Thank you for this! Please never tire of gardening... Yours is so inspiring...:) much love,
Deb and Boz ( and the teens )

Julie Marie said...

Hello dear cousin... I get so excited when I see a post from you pop up!... how nice of you to donate all of those wonderful treasures to Hospice... I too have been trying to simplify my life and took my SUV full of donations to St. Olaf's Center of Hope recently... it felt so good knowing like you said that maybe someone who might not be able to afford much would get some nice things... love your garden tour and listening to your beautiful soft voice in your video... your pot of Lobelia is so pretty and so are your Columbines... my Columbines are just now starting to bloom as well... I am one of those gardeners with no fingernails!... I buy cute flowery garden gloves but never even put them on... love love love the feel of the warm, moist soil on my fingers... when you posted about your layer of compost and worms, I am reminded that you call the worms "the girls"!... hope your day hosting the plant society was wonderful, what a treat for all of them!... sending much love... xoxo... Julie Marie

Julie Marie said...

Oooh, and a big congratulations to your winner Sharon in Alabama!... xoxo

Gert said...

Wonderful post! Congratulations to your winner!


It's Just Dottie said...

I am so envious of your artichokes...

Bernideen said...

This was so fun to see. I can't comprehend that heat as it snowed all day last Sunday here for Mother's Day and into Monday. I covered my foxgloves with boxes covered with black garbage bags and they survived! Your garden is very inspiring and lovely that it was on the tour! It should be!

Lorrie said...

It's so early in the season to have that heat and drought. I think of the fires and hope for rain, lots of it.
Thanks for the little garden tour.

Hindsfeet said...

hey Sharon....why is the owl chained to the stick? : ( or, not chained, but tied?

AnaGF said...

I am so sorry to hear about what the heat wave has done to your garden! But I am sure it will recover, at least the native plants. Here in northeast Portugal we have very hot summers (reaching up to 108 sometimes!) and they always do. But I confess I haven't yet got used to seeing the garden go through what I call "the yellow phase"... Right now temperatures are in the 80-81 range, and it still looks green - I have some pictures in my blog if you want to take a peek - but it won't take long until it starts changing colour.
Take care,

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I hope you get some drought relief soon! Your gardens still look lovely in spite of heat and drought.

Congrats to your winner.

Have a wonderful weekend dear Sharon ~ FlowerLady

Pom Pom said...

I'd like to live simply, like a fairy in the earth. The only drawback? Bugs.
Your garden is LOVELY! When do you head for Maine?

n/a said...

Color me stupefied!! I am SO excited to be the lucky winner of your giveaway, and just messaged you by email! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I really hope your lovely garden hasn't been damaged too traumatically. Your video clip is most enjoyable, and your voice is so soothing and pleasant. Thank you for the private tour!

Sharon in Alabama

Vee said...

Sharon, it doesn't feel at all like a little tiny garden. It is more like a garden of many rooms with a lot of delights to explore. I'm sorry that you folks are in such a dry season and I hope that there might be some gentle rains.

Your espalier apple tree is so cool. Did you train it or did you buy it already growing that way? Yes, I confess that I am a wee bit jealous, especially of the fruit and veggies that you grow. (Not so much of the critters with the exception of small birds and butterflies.)

I was absolutely shocked to read in some real estate article that homeowners are asked to remove gardens if they have more than a few. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Seems that most people would find the task of maintaining the gardens too much of a task. Well let them take them out!

Caught the merest glimpse of you in your pretty pink nightgown. Was it pink?

Come home to Maine when it gets too hot!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi "Hindsfeet,"

The owl is blind in one eye and can't live on its own now, but does visit folks/children and teaches them what raptors do for our world.

It can fly just a short distance and is wearing what are called jesses, sort of like a leash.


Hindsfeet said...

oh! thanks for telling me, Sharon, I didn't understand, he looked sad and I'd never seen that he's a happy little guy?

Cathy said...

Lovely garden! I really enjoyed our walk through your garden. I've always wanted a real door into a garden space--reminds me of the Secret Garden.

Terra said...

I love that owl; predators of all kinds are favorites of mine.
Your garden is a lush sanctuary; perhaps, as you suggest, not so lush at the moment. We are in a water predicament too, also in California.

kj said...

Be still my heart, those artichokes--my favorite one course meal ever.

The drought must be discouraging for you and for the garden. I hope rain falls upon you to the tune of your favorite happy song :-)

We are staying put this summer short of two weeks in Ptown. That means my yard and garden here will get well deserved attention. That's good xo


Sonia said...

I enjoyed your garden video so much. We visited SLO while we were staying in Avila last month. What a beautiful city you live in and your garden is just so peaceful and pretty! The weather was perfect and we loved eating downtown at the Splash Cafe. The blue trim on your home reminds me of the inn we admired in SLO next door to the cafe. BTW...your artichokes are amazing!

Miss Bloomers

Vicki Boster said...

Dearest Sharon-- it is a wonderful feeling to do things that simplify our lives-- I need to do more of that I am afraid. Like you-- I'd rather share my things than try to sell them.

Your garden is truly glorious- what a beautiful day you had for your walk:)
I think I could spend the day in the shade of your garden-- and be so so happy!

Some day--- I want to walk in your gardens--

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Vicki Boster,

Well, after spending five hours outside weeding and deadheading, digging and planting, I am wondering about simplifying my life. How simple is it to work till you drop? It is rewarding, it is exciting, but everywhere I look there is more to be done.

I don't know how most people keep up with their lives, especially folks with little ones to care for.

Good luck to you all!

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

All looks beautiful
even with the weather
you describe.
This one had to simplify
and you will know
when more has to be done.
Blessings to you
from the edge of he woods...

deb said...

your garden is absolutely gorgeous Sharon! what a treat to open it up for a garden tour.
enjoyed reading about your "simplify" thoughts & donations. all ours go to our local animal shelter. they do such wonderful work & we found our first black lab Bentley through them some 15 years ago.
congratulations to the lucky winner of your giveaway.


Hi Sharon, Wow, sorry about that heatwave. Your poor plants. I hope it's a thing of the past now. Your garden gathering looks fun. I wish I could have been one of the participants. I enjoyed your video though. Nice of you to share your cups and saucers. I'm sure someone is going to be very appreciative.
Have a great weekend.

Farm Girl said...

We hit 110 today, all I can think of are my poor plants. I love your video of your garden walk.
Our artichokes burned up too.
It has been a challenge this year.

Guillaume said...

Gosh I LOVE this barn owl.

kj said...

my new mantra: wait to worry

i just wrote a post about it. which is how i feel when i see your garden and hammock and i am reminded you and i are two babes who know to have fun…


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi friends,

Well, the artichokes are cut to the ground and I miss their lofty presence. Our record heat can't compare to the tornadoes, hail, and wildfires that others are suffering. My heart goes out to everyone.

To KJ, yes, let's wait for the worry and swing for a few hours in a hammock.

Love to all.