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?
Hi everyone! I have been chastised by a very good friend who reads my blog that I need to get writing again and stop taking so much time in between postings! I hear ya, Joyce and I am going to be a posting fool for the next couple of weeks! I have been shopping at yard sales, tag sales, and flea markets trying to find items for my November Update that will be one night during the week before Thanksgiving (I will firm up the date by next week)! I hope to have things that you will want to decorate your home with or give as Christmas gifts to your friends, family and yourself. I especially wanted to show you the wonderful pinecone Santa that will be the November door prize! He is pictured here above and at the right and is a wonderful Santa from the 1980's. I have two other pinecone Santas that will be offered for sale in the November Update; they are also from the mid-80's and are wonderful examples of local folk art. The Santa for the door prize sits on a stump and is carries a little duck and some bells in one hand. He also carries a bag of goodies slung over his back and it it filled with toys for the little ones. He has lost a foot over the years but I am in the process of creating a new foot for him from clay and he will be ready to go to his new home this month. The pinecone Santas that I am offering in the November Update are reproductions that were made using the instructions from the
Godey Lady's Book from the late 1800's. The resulting pieces are wonderful and full of Christmas charm. The two pinecone Santas offered for sale are very different from each other and represent two interpretations of the Godey's pinecone Santa. The first Santa is very primitive and plain. He is slightly slanted to the left but stands sturdily on his own feet. He has the look of an older, more simple fella and does not carry a bag over his shoulder. He looks like he would very much at home in a primitive cabin or farmhouse peeking out of a cupboard or shelf surrounded by antiques and fresh decorations. His face is pensive and sweet with a few wrinkles on his forehead. He wears a headdress of sphagnum moss and twigs with some
more sphagnum moss across his chest tied with twine, twigs and a little bell. He has great character and charm. The second pinecone Santa offered for sale in the November Update is a Woodsman Santa with his fur hat, black boots, and his little fishing buddy. This Santa is large and sturdy with lots of toys in his pack; including a little mouse, a white polar bear, a kitty, and other wonderful things. He carries his own fishing pole, a basket with berries and a tree slung over his back. In one hand he carries two fish carved from bone while in his other hand he carries his little fishing buddy. This little creature is made from mussel shells and pipe cleaners with a felt hat and a stick for a fishing pole.
He sits on a big sea shell and has a wonderful expression on his face. Santa sports a big gray bread, a great expression and realistic wrinkles on his face. Sphagnum moss is attached to his chest and around the tops of his boots. The pictures do not do any of these Santas justice, their great warmth and character cannot be captured in a picture (at least not by me!). All three came from the minds and hearts of two wonderful artists and the care they took to make these great Santas can be seen in their expressions and the little extras that are part of each Santa. As I said at the beginning of this blog, I have been out scouring the countryside for things to put in the November Update and I will share just a couple of those finds. I was at a tag sale and came across this great old grater that was handmade and hand punched! You can see at the bottom of the grater where the maker was either getting tired or just misjudged his rows and the rows begin to veer off to one side. I love old graters and I have several that I keep in an old open cupboard in the kitchen. I just stuck this grater in with the rest and I love the look! It is a flat grater so it can hang on the wall or the side of a cupboard; it can rest in a wreath or sit on a cupboard with a candle behind it. It is a large grater and definitely has a presence! With its off center punches and the circular decoration around the entire piece it will look great in your home for Christmas! One other find that I want to share with you are two little signed German metal sheep from the turn of the 19th century and could have been part of a putz or a child's toy set. They are wonderful and even though they have been well-loved, they are great little guys who would look wonderful at Christmas time or any time of the year. I have also found some great old boxes in red paint, some great vintage Christmas items and lots of other goodies for you. I will again open the sale to the people on the email list the day before the sale goes 'public' so you will get the first look and first chance to buy! Please, send me your email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the day of the update to get in on the first 'peek' at the items for sale. Also, remember that for every item that you buy from the website before the November Update - you will receive an extra 'slip' in the hat for that purchase. So, if you purchase one item - then you will have a total of two 'slips' in the hat for the door prize! Two items purchased and you will have three 'slips' in the hat, and so on. Some more news - The Nightmare Forest was a bit of a bust thanks to all of the rain that we had that night!!! I didn't get a chance to take any pictures because we were running around trying to save as much as the 'scary' house as we could since the entire backyard (the majority of the haunt was to be in the backyard) was basically under water!!!! I spent most of the night either trying to keep all of the 'fog' from the fog machines out of the house or making sure that the trick or treaters didn't accidentally end up in my living room since they were to travel from my garage through the front foyer and out through the front door to the makeshift haunted house on the front porch! I did, however, get pics of the two 'directors' of the Nightmare Forest on their way to a costume party the night before Halloween. My son was a gangster(?) and my nephew was a pirate. The pirate hat that my nephew is wearing is one that he got when he went to Disney World with us last year. It is actually a Jack Sparrow hat and he was quite proud of the results! They are some wild and crazy guys! Also, last but definitely not least, we will be gearing up for the 2010 Philadelphia Flower Show in the next few months. This is the largest, oldest and longest running indoor flower show in the country. If you live nearby or love gardening and flowers, you must try to come to the show next spring. It is the first week of March 2010 and we have been displaying at the Flower Show for the past several years and love every anxious ridden, crazy minute of it! I will be posting pictures of past entries that we have had and I will start a 'blog diary' as we start preparing for next year, so keep reading!!! Well, that all for now!!! Back tomorrow - I promise - with a blog about the wonderful sweet potato!!!
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.