Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Lavender Day

I shared with you about our local Lavender Hollow Farm here last year. My BFF Nikki and I host a Lavender Lunch there for our quilt group, the Busy Bees, every year in June. We have a wonderful lunch, take in the beauty of the scenery, and, of course, shop. We had our third annual luncheon yesterday.

Hundreds of dried lavender bunches hang in the gift shop.

Lavender Butter Cookies!!!

Fields of flowers.

Alice, the owner, has an incredible garden of hollyhocks. She was so kind as to let Nikki and I help ourselves to some dried seeds.

It's all the little touches that make it so special.

In years past we have eaten outside. This year we were lucky enough to be able to eat inside. What a beautiful home!!! Nikki and I always do something special for the girls. This year we made lavender place mats. They also received little gift bags with lavender fabric, lavender linen spray and a pair of lavender garden gloves. All tied up with a little lavender bow and a bee! All throughout the year we are on the look out for lavender items.

The Busy Bees left to right: Miss Jean, Joey, Nikki, Cindy, Nanci, Wanett, Rose, and Marian.

After lunch we drove over the hill to Livermore to one of our favorite quilt shops. Can you say hot? I couldn't take a picture of it, but the thermometer on my car registered 108 degrees at one time. We had planned on visiting one of my favorite nurseries also, but we were all just to hot to go.

Sounds like a field trip for another day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Blog Hop

Some wonderful designers have come up with a Blog Hop. Terry of Atkinson Designs tells all about it here. I've already gone over to the first stop and the project is the cutest!

Projects and prizes! This is going to be seriously fun!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Good Book

Ever since I was a child I have loved to read. I grew up in the mid west and spent a good deal of my summers up in the neighbor's apple tree reading my Nancy Drew books. My favorite outings were when Mom would take me into town and drop me off at the library. I would spend the morning sitting on the floor reading The Boxcar Children.

Before I retired, I would spend my lunch hour at the local Denny's with a cup of coffee, a small salad and a good book. I could tune out all the chatter and get away from the stress of work. I still read a lot. My favorite past time now, after a busy morning, is to sit in my garden in the afternoon with either a cup of tea or a glass of iced tea, depending on the weather, and my current book. The birds are chirping, the leaves are whispering and Maggie keeps me company. Aahhh! Sweet bliss!

So my question to you is: What book is on your night stand right now?

Mr. Bunny and I are always looking for a good book to read.

*Thimbleanna has asked me what's on my night stand to read. Right now I'm reading the third book in the Chesapeake Shores series, Harbor Lights by Sherryl Woods. I love her books and also Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs and Robyn Carr.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summer Rain

It's a special treat when we get a summer rain.....

In Miss Jean's Garden!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Growing Pots!

First of all, I'd like to thank Sweet Becky for the post she did of pictures of my garden. That was so thoughtful of her. The remarks have been overwhelming and very humbling. I don't think I'm so much of a great gardener as much as I just love my yard to look nice. Seriously folks, anyone can do this. All it takes is a little O.C.D. and a bottle of Motrin and you're off!

Many of you have asked about my "pot tree". (No, I'm not growing pot! Tee Hee!!!) I can't take credit for inventing this little beauty. I first saw it in a gardening magazine a few years back. Then I found one all made up at our wonderful little local nursery last year. I had planned on making it then but never got around to it. I had to find just the perfect spot in the yard for it so when I did this spring I gathered up all the materials and had at it. Of course that doesn't mean I didn't hit a few snags. It just wasn't coming together so I had to literally dust myself off and run to the nursery to look at their sample again and get some more advise. After that it was a piece of cake.

Directions from the magazine can be found here and here. I followed the directions pretty well with the following exceptions.

A. I didn't set my pots on newspapers. I first ran the re-bar into the ground and then surrounded it with bricks for the pots to set on. That would assure good drainage and an even base.

B. The size of my pots graduate from large to small, bottom to top. My pot sizes are (approximately):
Bottom: Standard clay pot 15"tall x 18" wide
Next: Standard clay pot 12"tall x 14" wide
Next: Azalea pot (squatty ones) 8" tall x 13" wide
Next: Azalea pot 7" tall x 12" wide
Top: Azalea pot 6 " tall x 9" wide

**Note: These sizes are approximate as it was difficult to measure them while they were planted. It would have been much more logical for me to record the measurements before I made it. I had no idea so many people would be asking about them. I could have done a nice little "How To" post. Bad Blogger! Bad Blogger!

C. After you get the re-bar into the ground, put the large pot on for the base and fill with dirt. The next step in critical. The next pot is not "balanced" on the rim of the base pot. It's partially buried at an angle. If you don't do this the whole thing just won't work. After the second pot is buried, thread the next pot on and angle it by balancing it on the rim of the pot below it. Use the pictures for your guide. After you have threaded each pot, add soil before putting the next pot on. You should have a little bit of the rod sticking out of the top when you are done threading the pots on. When you are all finished, you can plant it.

Please refer to the pictures and directions I linked and you should have no problems whatsoever. I promise! Keep in mind that because you are using clay pots and they are exposed you will need to water more often. Even the plants that take full sun need attention daily. Now that I have made one, I have ideas for others. How about one planted with all herbs or one planted with succulents? Endless!

Here's another idea. If you have a drip system you can hook your pots to it. Simply secure a drip line up the re-bar and add emitters on each pot as you are making it. I, however, do not have a drip system because my dog ate it but that's another story......

Thanks again for all of your kind words. If you ever need help, just email me. If you are near my little town in central California you could drop in for some sweet tea and a personal lesson.

Have a lovely weekend and Happy Gardening!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Duck, Duck, Goose

This past spring we took a trip to the bay area for dinner. On our way home we stopped in the town where our children were born. There is a man-made lake that is the home to ducks and geese. We took our children there when they were just toddlers. So since we had the boys, we stoped by to say hello to our feathered friends and feed them like we did with their mother.

Samuel and Redmond had the best time.

This is our daughter who was just in diapers when she started visiting and feeding the ducks and geese.

"Where's mine?"


Friday, June 5, 2009

Half Moon Bay

What does any self respecting inland valley person do when the temperatures hit +100 degrees for days in a row. You head for the coast. That's exactly what Sweety and I did a few weekends ago. One of our favorite jaunts is to head to Half Moon Bay. It's a quaint little coastal town not tooooo terribly far away. We always stop and have fish and chips on the dock. Delish!

We stopped in Livermore to get gas and ran into this bad boy! Duke is his name, big old pussy cat is his game. Magnificent!

It was a beautiful, clear day. The temperature was around 78 degrees. Perfect!!!

This was Maggie's first long car trip and she did just fine. After she threw up in the car, that is. Luckily I had taken plenty of towels, blankets, carpet shampoo, etc.. After the initial up-chuck, she was just fine. "Mommy, you did not just tell everyone what I did!"

We ran into some lovely visitors from England when we stopped at McDonald's for a "pit stop". I almost told them not to eat there because there was wonderful fish and chips just down the bay. Then I thought, maybe they have had enough of fish and chips in England and would prefer a Quarter Pounder! The gentleman especially loved Maggie and kept saying, "She's a cheeky little puppy!" Love it!

"Maggie. What is that on the dock in the distance? I don't think it's a log. Why it's a seal, Maggie!"

"I see it Mommy! What's a seal?"

"Somebody get me a boat!"

"I think maybe I could swim over."

These are crab pots. You can purchase fresh caught crab right off the fisherman's boats.

Maggie had wonderful day.


Something you don't see every day! Sweety loves to eat abalone but it's getting scarce and very expensive.

We plan on another trip to the coast in the near future. Just 20 minutes up the coast is a restaurant that was featured on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.
Have a lovely weekend!