This blog is now devoted to gardening with native plants with a focus on those species native to the east coast of the United States. With an MS in Agricultural Science from the University of Delaware and my love of native plants, I hope to help folks see the beauty and necessity of using native plants in your garden instead of exotic plants. Did you know that our native song birds and native insects are disappearing as our local environments continue to change?
Whew! Well, Franklin and Esther just left and we had a wonderful time with them! They are great people and we enjoyed every moment of the shoot today! We are very tired and I will update this post tomorrow! I have a lot to "show and tell" about the last week, including our fun trip to Myrtle Beach for my hubby's high school reunion! More tomorrow...... Where did Saturday go??? I must be losing days with all the craziness going on around here! We are in the middle of an old-fashioned Nor'easter and the leaves are beginning to change color and it is very wet out there! I am trying to get pictures of the leaves changing on the trees and shrubs around my house for Judy Condon so I can send her pictures of my gardens, but I am having trouble getting out there with all of the rain! LOL! The preparations for the newly named 'Nightmare Forest' are underway and I now have a garage that has black paint and fluorescent spray paint on the walls! Most evenings we have a group of young guys, including our grandsons, who are getting ready for the 'Nightmare Forest' production under the direction of my son and my nephew. So far, there are nine live characters, including my brother and sister-in-law!, who are learning their parts and getting their costumes together for the ultimate dress rehearsal some time in the week before Halloween. There have even been requests from the neighborhood that they 'perform' the 'Nightmare Forest' on Mischief Night! They are going to be bringing in the Halloween props from the backyard sheds today (yes, I said sheds!) So, our family room will be filled
with plastic storage containers and large props for the next couple of weeks. Here is a picture of a poor rat that got left behind in the backyard! The whole family comes over on Halloween and watches the fun from the comfort of our greatroom which faces the backyard and most of the fun that night, but this year we were told that they will be blacking out the windows 'because it's hard to scare people if they see you in the windows drinking coffee and eating snacks while you are watching the production' - direct quote! LOL! We all have a great time and usually don't give away much candy since most of the kids just love coming through the production and usually don't wait around or ask for candy! We were also in Myrtle Beach, SC last weekend for my hubby's high school reunion. The funny thing is - he didn't go to school in Myrtle Beach or even South Carolina! He went to school in Belgium at the SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) High School. A wonderful woman named Linda Wilkerson gathers all of them together once every two years in Myrtle Beach. Classes '67-'79 are included in this wonderful reunion where they can see each other and talk over old times as military 'brats' who were there so their fathers and mothers could fulfill their duties as military personnel. Listening to these great people talk with each other over the course of the weekend, you begin the realize why they need to come together every few years. Those of us who were lucky enough to go to school in our hometowns don't realize the sacrifices that even the children of our military must perform. Anyway, it was a great weekend and we will be back again in 2011. If anyone out there who reads my blog knows of anyone who went to SHAPE during those years - please have them contact me and I can put them in contact with Linda so they can also come to the reunions! We were also very fortunate to be in South Carolina during their sweet potato (or sweet tater as they are known in West Virginia!) harvest and I was able to bring home several LARGE bags of wonderful fresh-picked sweet potatoes for friends and family! - Do you know the difference between sweet potatoes and yams? Look for my next blog! - We had a great time in South Carolina and were sorry to leave! On our way home, we passed some cotton fields about the time that they would be harvesting the cotton. It was interesting seeing fields and fields of cotton plants ready to be picked! So...we get home and I find out that Esther and Franklin will be here on Friday and not Saturday!!! We spent the rest of the week (we got home Monday night!) getting the house ready for the photo shoot! Friday morning arrives and we finally get to meet Franklin and Esther! They are fantastic! It was a very tiring day but also a day filled with laughter and knowledge! I had no idea of the time and effort it takes to do this type of shoot! The staging and lighting and the perfection necessary to get the 'right shot' was amazing. They shot most of my home and were surprised at how quickly they were able to get the shots they needed. When Franklin first walked into the house and looked around, he told Esther that she wouldn't need too many extra props as I had a lot of things already here that they could use. It was so funny! We had donuts and coffee to start the day and as you can see by the picture even my Wanda the Witch got tired and had to lay down! We had lights in the kitchen and greatroom and living room most of the day and it made our Maya a little nervous so we went for a
walk to my daughter's house where there wouldn't be any flashing lights or strange sounds and smells for her to worry about. If anyone knows rotties, they know that they can easily get obsessed with lights and especially flashing lights, so a trip out of the house was a good idea! I cannot tell you how much fun we had and how glad we were to meet Franklin and Esther! Almost as soon as they walked in the house, they felt like old friends and we loved having a chance to get the know them! I am thrilled with the opportunity to be in a national magazine, but even more thrilled to have met them! Thanks, Franklin and Esther... don't be strangers!!! Last thing! I was supposed to have an October update last Friday but was a little busy! LOL! So... the update will be the week before Halloween - exact date to be announced - I will update the website and I promise to get on the ball and announce the door prize and the extra boost that the email list will get! So, if you are not already on the list (and you are if you have bought from me or emailed me) then send me your email before the end of the month! We are heading to Salem, MA on Friday and I hope to find some more goodies for the sale! Talk to you soon!!
Things have changed quite a bit in the last two years since I last posted a blog here at Winterberry Farm Primitives. My oldest grandson is now in college and my daughter is finishing her RN in her new home up in New York City. I have had four fantastic years as an antiques dealer and have met some wonderful people. Now it is time to get back to blogging about what I love - antiques and native plants! My blogs on antiques will be companions to my monthly shop updates and my gardening blogs will try to follow the seasons, so here we go! I am a wife to a great hubby, mother of two wonderful people (both of which served their country - AF & Army) & grandmother of three great teenagers. I am also a plant scientist with a masters in science. I developed a vegetative propagation method for Spigelia marilandica as my undergraduate project & worked with three species of trillium, for my masters thesis. That said - after several years in the ag/biotech field, I find myself drawn back to my first love of antiques & gardening.