Monday, May 31, 2010

Have You Caught the Plague?

Have you preordered your copy of "The Bucolic Plague" by Josh Kilmer-Purcell?  If not, you'll be able to pick up a copy at your local bookstore starting tomorrow, June 1.

This book is a 'must have' for your summer reading list. 

Critics are already raving about the oft times humorous, and touching recollections of how Josh and his partner Brent Ridge stumbled upon the magnificent Beekman mansion and farm, during an apple picking jaunt in upstate New York.  My own review of the book can be found here

Book tour information has not yet been released, but if you would like your copy of "The Bucolic Plague" signed, visit the Beekman 1802 website for information on how to get your book personally signed.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vacation Dreams

David and I have spent the last week in the beautiful village of Sharon Springs, New York, at the Beekman mansion and farm.  It has been a glorious week.  I feel so fortunate to be able to visit this magical, wonderful place and feel completely at home with great friends. 

It has been a week of celebrations.  First, the new Beekman 1802 Mercantile opened, with lots of wonderful customers and Josh signing books on the front steps.  Next, it was the world premiere of "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" at the Sharon Springs High School.  I met so many great people and felt such joy when the entire audience stood up to give Josh, Brent, Farmer John, Polkaspot, and the goats a standing ovation.   A village that is brimming with pride, and it's well deserved. 

Monday, I celebrated my birthday.  Imagine waking up in the beautiful Beekman mansion, having your morning coffee, and strolling through the garden as the first step in celebrating your own special holiday.  It was the best.  That evening, Brent, Jackie, Dave, (Josh's parents) and David gathered for a lobster dinner to 'toast' my day.  We shared so many laughs that night..  The only thing missing was Josh, who unfortunately had to be in the city.  He was definitely with us in spirit.  

The celebration continued last night as we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the Sharon Tavern, one of Josh and Brent's favorite local restaurants.  Incredible food, so many laughs, and a bit of spilled spaghetti sauce (long story). 

Our week wasn't all about relaxation and celebrations.  We worked a great deal here on the farm.  David and Dave constructed shelves and workbenches in the cellar at the Beekman, Jackie and I worked in the garden together, and I was able to assist Brent at the new store from time to time.  Oh! Let's not forget the 20,000 sunflowers that were planted before 9 a.m. this morning!   While some may not understand why someone would work on the farm on their vacation, I can't think of a better way to spend the end of May.  It's a beautiful time of year to be a "farmer."  The best part is knowing that our friends appreciate it. 

The week was filled with lasting memories.  I'm forever grateful to my friends, and to my 'extended' family for a blessed week.  Words truly cannot express my gratitude.

Goodbye, Beekman.  We'll see you again in the fall.

New Martha Stewart Grocery Items

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Unveils New Martha Stewart™ Grocery Store Offerings with Niman Ranch, Hain Celestial Group and Hain Pure Protein

Grocers nationwide now have the opportunity to create a unique shopping experience in their aisles for Martha Stewart's 37 million loyal fans with a variety of all-natural Martha Stewart-branded products to be offered across multiple departments within stores. This new program will include sustainably raised, antibiotic-free meats produced by Niman Ranch and Hain Pure Protein, as well as a line of all-natural baking mixes with The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., adding to an existing line -- Martha Stewart Clean™ environmentally safe, home cleaning solutions with Hain Celestial. The product lines are expected to be distributed in supermarkets, mass-market retailers and warehouse clubs nationwide.

This assortment of Martha Stewart-branded products was unveiled at the Food Marketing Institute's annual trade show May 10 and was enthusiastically received by mainstream and niche retailers in attendance. This concept incorporates a uniform Martha Stewart-branded look across all product categories, linking them together for shoppers. This will provide an ease of shopping for enthusiastic Martha Stewart consumers looking for convenient, quality products they can trust. The Martha Stewart gourmet natural meat case offers more than 35 different items to be merchandised as one comprehensive Martha Stewart destination.

The company already offers the Martha Stewart Clean™ line of environmentally safe home cleaning solutions in a broad range of national and regional grocery stores across the country, including Publix, A&P, Giant Eagle, Shop Rite, Fairway and more. The products are also available at The Home Depot.

The new Martha Stewart™ line of all-natural meats provides a variety of gourmet options for conscientious consumers. Niman Ranch, the largest network of U.S. family farmers and ranchers, and an industry leader in humane and sustainable livestock practices, will provide the meats to create easy-to-prepare meal solutions. All Martha Stewart™ products are made from meats that are antibiotic-free, 100 percent vegetarian-fed and contain no added growth hormones, as well as being gluten-free.

The selection of products includes ham steak, bratwurst, spicy chorizo, applewood-smoked bacon, fresh marinated pork chops and roasts, smoked pork shanks, braised beef short ribs, hot dogs, and a variety of chicken and pork sausages, as well as holiday hams and turkeys. Hain Pure Protein, a leading supplier of natural, vegetarian-fed, antibiotic-free poultry products, will supply the turkey, which it produces under the Plainville Farms® brand.

Many of the meats are fully cooked for fast heating, and the packaging features Martha Stewart recipes for main and side dishes to accompany the product.

Stop and Shop will begin testing this destination beginning in August. Additional retail tests and launches will follow this fall.

"Niman Ranch is thrilled by the opportunity that the Martha Stewart brand name will provide to our farmers. We hope that this partnership will continue to educate consumers about traditional farming practices, the humane treatment of animals and environmentally responsible agriculture, allowing Niman Ranch to continue to grow the number of independent family farmers within our network," said Jeff Swain, CEO of Niman Ranch.

"Hain Pure Protein's mission of providing pure, antibiotic-free and sustainably raised poultry is even further enhanced by this partnership with Martha Stewart, whose name is synonymous with good food. We are delighted to be able to expand our offerings through this partnership, which is positive for our family farmers and our entire Plainville Farms® team -- not to mention the consumers who will now have access to our all-natural, antibiotic-free turkey," said Joseph A. DePippo, president, sales & marketing, Hain Pure Protein Corporation.

Martha Stewart's new line of cake, cookie and brownie mixes provides exceptional depth of flavor from pure, all-natural ingredients, including the highest-quality chocolate and vanilla beans. The products are competitively priced, filling the gap between conventional mixes at $1.99 and super-premium mixes at $8.99. The product line includes mixes for chocolate cake, vanilla cake, fudge brownies, sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. Additional recipes for variations and frosting are provided on every package.
This article originally appeared in Gourmet Retailer, May 2010.

Martha Stewart Pets Rolls Out in June

PetSmart stores and is getting ready to release the new line of pet products from Martha Stewart. 

The Martha Stewart Pets line will include feeding accessories, collars, leashes, harnesses, grooming supplies, beds, and toys. 

PetSmart expects the line to be on the store shelves in June.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Must Read: The Bucolic Plague - Josh Kilmer Purcell

Imagine, for just a moment, the last conversation you had with your best friend. More than likely it was intimate, I would bet there was laughter, & moments so serious your eyes would well up with tears. Am I close?

When you read “The Bucolic Plague,” the latest book from Josh Kilmer-Purcell, you will feel like you’re having a conversation with your best friend.

The story takes readers through the incredible journey of Josh and his partner Brent Ridge, as a weekend jaunt picking apples in upstate New York turns into developing a new lifestyle brand, Beekman 1802, based on a 205 year old mansion, the farm, and goats. Lots of goats.

We learn of the many challenges both Josh and Brent faced creating a new business at a time when the economy was crumbling around them (and the rest of us) and how balancing ‘city life’ with ‘farm life’ can prove to be almost impossible at times.

The conversational style of this book showcases JKP’s ability to ‘paint’ with words. Whether it’s describing something as seen from the back porch of the Beekman mansion, or describing the intensity of emotion at a particular moment in time, Josh masterfully crafts a canvas in our minds of what that moment was, and what it was like.

There are plenty of “Martha Moments” throughout the book that are honest and humorous. From the first time Josh and Martha met, to attending Martha’s annual Peony Party at her farm in Bedford, I was laughing hysterically. I’m not sure I’ll be able to look at a peony in the same way, ever again. As Josh describes his first meeting with Martha, I couldn’t help but laugh at loud. The first time I met Martha, I remember the same type of nervousness:

Given Martha’s reputation as a stern taskmaster, I was a little nervous about standing around doing nothing while she cooked.

“Can I help with anything?” I asked.

“Yes, thank you,” Martha replied in her adopted Connecticut clipped enunciation. “Would you cut up that celery for the salad?”

I stared at the stalks of celery lying perfectly and crisply prone on the counter before me. I was frozen with fear as the questions started a pileup in my mind.

How big? Diced? Chopped? Do I string it first? Didn’t I see her string celery on a Thanksgiving special once? Do I cut straight across? On an angle? Which angle?! Forty-five degrees? Twenty degrees? A slight but decorative slant? Isn’t this a paring knife? Don’t I need a chef’s knife? Can celery be pared? Is this a cutting board or a platter? What if this is the meat cutting board (which must be washed with a light bleach solution – Martha Stewart Living, January 1992) and not the vegetable one (which should be rubbed with a cut lemon to deodorize a lingering onion smell – November 1996)? Is the proper way to slit one’s wrist across the veins or along the veins? Can I die without getting any bloodstains on Martha’s spotless kitchen floor? I closed my eyes and went for broke.”
“The Bucolic Plague” is a relaxing summertime read. With the new Planet Green series, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” debuting on June 16th, this book is a great precursor to the start of the series. The official release date is June 1 and can currently be pre-ordered at your favorite on line book seller. To pre-order, go to

On a five-star scale, this book gets 10 stars. I loved it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Beekman 1802 Mercantile Opens for Business

The residents and visitors to Sharon Springs, NY can now purchase Beekman goat milk soap, cheese, beautifully handcrafted linens, and more at the new Beekman 1802 Mercantile, located on Main Street.

The grand opening, which coincided with the world premiere screening of the new television show, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” was held Saturday, May 22. In addition, Josh Kilmer-Purcell was on the front porch signing copies of his soon to be released book, “The Bucolic Plague” which hits bookstores on June 1.

The entryway into the store is styled with a segment of fencing straight from the Beekman Farm. A signature black and white oversized banner acts as a piece of artwork in the space to set the tone for your visit.

The store is very simple in its layout and design. A focal point is the “Year in the Country” wall that features all soaps for the 12 months of the year plus the unscented soap that started it all. Shoppers can buy the traditional 2 bar bags for each month or they can purchase the 12 month collection packaged in a beautiful wooden box with a tin lid.

Cheese lovers will not be disappointed! Beekman Blaack, the first line of artisanal cheese, is available for sale. In addition, a new item, exclusive to the store and not available on-line, is the Blaak Onion Jam. This jam is a perfect with a piece of Blaak cheese, or used as part of a recipe for chicken, fish, or vegetables. Not to worry, the Blaak Onion Jam will be available on line later this year. 

The entire line of beautiful handmade linens is available in the store. From the softest baby blanket, to elegant napkins, the line is of exceptional beauty.

Also included are other in-store exclusives such as hand woven rugs and pillows of varying sizes and designs.

A beautiful old sideboard serves as the checkout area for the store.

The store stayed very busy throughout the day. Customers were thrilled to have the opportunity to see the product line in person and have a chance to talk with Brent and Josh. Brent was behind the sales counter for the entire day, ringing sales, posing for pictures with fans, and generally just having a great time!

Josh signed many books. Customers and guests were excited about the new release and to learn the story of how Josh and Brent came to buy the Beekman and turn it into Beekman 1802. "The Bucolic Plague" goes on sale nationally June 1. 

Inside of the store, Josh signed one of the flyers announcing the new show.  The entire day was filled with good wishes for Brent and Josh for a successful new television show and a successful new store front in Sharon Springs. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Vacation Time

As I walked through the gardens yesterday, I noticed that the unusually warm weather and above average rainfall has prompted all the roses and peonies to bud and begin bursting at the seams.  It will be a matter of hours now before the buds open and the gardens will be awash with color once again. 

Unfortunately, I'm going to miss this first bloom. 

We've packed our bags, and we're heading east; back to Sharon Springs to see dear friends.  While I will miss the first roses and peonies of my own garden, I can't think of a better way to celebrate my 51st year of existence on this earth than with Josh, Brent, Jackie, Dave, my Dave, and the village of Sharon Springs. Anyone care to join us for cocktails at the American Hotel?

This weekend is the 'world premiere' of "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" which I will be documenting for an upcoming blog post.  Josh will also be signing copies of his new book "The Bucolic Plague" at the new Beekman 1802 Mercantile in the heart of the village.  No worries.. I'll make sure you get a sneak peek of the book signing and the store.  Also, look for my review of the book this weekend.  I just finished reading it and I'm still trying to find the right words to share.  In short, it's amazing. 

Brent has informed me that there are 20,000 sunflower seeds to sow this year.  You may recall, last year we did about half that amount.  He has our list of 'chores' ready.. you don't go to the Beekman without taking part in the process! If I complain with a sore back, it will be all his fault. 

Seeing Reality for Myself: The Fabulous Beekman Boys

The early morning fog was lifting, giving way to the warming sun as we approached the Beekman. Turning into the gravel drive, the familiar sights of the red barn, the rolling fields, and the heirloom garden were before me. After hours of driving, I was anxious to stretch my legs. I stood next to the car for a moment to visually take in as much of the 60-acre farm as I possibly could. The trees off in the distance were in the beginning stages of changing color, the sound of the goats could be heard in the barn, and the stately Beekman mansion stood proudly as it had for over 200 years. My partner David joined me in our moment of quiet in the driveway. “It’s good to be back,” I said. It’s going to be a great weekend.”

This was the weekend of the first annual Harvest Festival in Sharon Springs.

Brent warmly welcomed us as we walked up the steps to the porch. He was looking rather dapper in his suit (with muck boots, mind you), which actually struck me as odd, since it was early morning. As we were talking, the back door opened, and Josh approached, also wearing a suit. I suddenly felt quite under-dressed standing there in my jeans and sweatshirt! Being a curious sort, I had to ask, “ummm.. Do you guys always wear a suit at nine in the morning?” Brent laughed and explained that they had been busy that morning filming.

The filming was for the new Planet Green series “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” which debuts nationally on June 16th. As we chatted on the porch, I learned the crew would be there for the entire weekend filming the garden party, harvest festival, and harvest feast at the American Hotel. The film crew all weekend? Suddenly, it didn’t feel like this was going to be a relaxing weekend!

I have to admit, when Josh and Brent first shared the news of their upcoming television series, I had some reservations. I’m not a big fan of ‘reality’ television, and had twisted images in my mind of Brent and Josh in a “John and Kate plus 8 (goats)” situation. Yikes! That could be scary! Nonetheless, they had my 100% support for this new venture. We were introduced to the crew (very nice people) and did our best to stay out of their way while they worked. I wasn’t always successful in staying out of the way! I’m sure they had to do a retake or two, thanks to my forgetfulness! There was an instance when barged through the back door to find Brent, Josh, lights, cameras, and the crew in the kitchen. The looks on their faces said it all; I had interrupted the filming. It was at that point I did the walk backwards, out the door, apologizing all the way thing! Kitchen conversations… take two!

Watching the filming throughout the weekend was very interesting. They filmed everything! I never realized the number of people it took to shoot for a series. There were lighting people, sound people, camera people, various production staff and producers calling the shots on what scenes to film next.

In the months that followed our Harvest Festival visit, I was still challenged with thoughts of how the hours of footage would be edited and presented as a series. I still had those “John and Kate” visions. Those fears were set aside just last week when I had the opportunity to view the first two episodes. If first impressions are truly lasting impressions, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys” will intrigue viewers and keep them coming back week after week.

I found the show very revealing since I can relate to the personalities of both Brent and Josh. I share a similar ‘drive’ with Brent. I like things to be perfect. I can hang a picture on a wall and adjust it for an hour until I know it’s hanging absolutely straight from every angle. I can ‘style’ our hall bathroom before guests arrive, adjusting soaps in a soap dish, or folding and refolding towels until everything is just so. Even with my OCD moments, I also can also relate to Josh and his desire to relax, enjoy life without a list of things to do, and to take part in those activities that bring joy, happiness, and perhaps a bit of self therapy. Rarely do the two sides see eye to eye and it’s no different with these two guys.

The Fabulous Beekman Boys takes viewers on a journey into the shared life of Josh and Brent; a life dealing with the dreams and differences, while trying to make an impact in the lives of others through their ever growing website and business, Beekman The Beekman philosophy, to live a simple and self- sustainable life, is loosely woven into each episode.

Viewers will enjoy getting to know Sharon Springs and many of the eccentric people who call the village home. Doug and Garth, owners of the American Hotel are the supportive ‘best friends’ in Sharon Springs and will have you thinking they could easily be your best friends too. They are genuinely warm and friendly and as Brent mentions in one episode, helped pave the way for them to have their lives in Sharon Springs.

With a good mix of humor and drama (no gay men are exempt from drama), The Fabulous Beekman Boys will surely entertain you and inspire you to live out your own dreams just as these fabulous farmers are in the process of doing.

While you might have fully expected a friend’s review to be positive, I do have a suggestion: I’d like to see more of the philosophy behind Beekman woven into the program. After all, it is what Beekman 1802 is all about. We’ll see what future episodes will bring; I’m already anxious to see more. This, coming from a person who doesn’t like reality television.

By the way. the real star of this show? Polkaspot, the diva llama. She’ll steal your heart.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Martha Stewart Living Garden Tools Available in the U.S.!

A new line of  Martha Stewart Living gardening tools, first available only at the Home Depot - Canada are now available in the States!

The initial release was limited to Canadian stores and  Canadian website only, but are now available in the US through The Home Depot website.  The tools are NOT available in store.

Ranging in price from 5.99 - 15.99, the tools feature soft grip handles with the signature teal color accents.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Plastic Nursery Pots

How many of you out there have collected a few of the plastic nursery pots during your years of gardening?
Instead of disposing of them, help your local greenhouse be a bit more 'green' by returning the pots (clean and sanitized of course) so they can be used again.  This is a great way to keep all the black plastic from filling up a landfill and it will reduce the cost for your local grower.  If their costs are lower, you can hope they would pass those savings on to you, the consumer. 

Before you pitch an ugly plastic pot, think twice; and remember we all have a responsibility to live a little greener!

A New Shrub

Who doesn't love plant shopping on a beautiful Saturday afternoon?

Today, I picked up a new shrub, the "American Cranberry Bush" (viburnum trilobum) 

This beauty is a spring blooming shrub and produces small cranberry like berries at the end of the season.  Hardy to -50 degrees, the shrub can eventually grow to 5-6' tall and span an equal distance. 

This full sun loving beauty has a wonderfully rounded growing habit and makes a wonderful statement in any garden. 

I love garden shopping Saturdays!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday's Sandwich - Turkey Artichoke Panini

Tuesday's are busy days around our house, so we usually look for something quick and easy to have for dinner.  Tonight, it was one of our favorite sandwiches:  The Turkey Artichoke Panini. 

A close 'second' to the Turkey Artichoke available at Panera Bread, this grilled sandwich is sure to be a favorite. What's even better, one sandwich serving is only 133 calories! 

The recipe below makes one large sandwich (serves 4) that can be cut into four individual pieces.  One piece is more than enough!


1 loaf pesto focaccia bread
8oz freshly sliced turkey
4 oz spinach artichoke spread
2 oz asiago cheese
1 small red onion thinly sliced
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 tomato sliced
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Preheat the paninni grill to medium temperature.  In a medium sauce pan, saute sliced red onion in olive oil until transparent.  Add balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper. 

2.  Slice the loaf of focaccia half and halve each half of the loaf.  Layer the asiago cheese, onions, turkey, tomatoes and spinach artichoke spread onto one half of the focaccia bread. Close the face of the panini with the top half of the focaccia bread. 

3.  Add the panini to the preheated grill and press lightly.  For a thinner sandwich apply more pressure to the sandwich press while grilling.  Grill for 5-7 minutes on each side or until the cheese begins to melt. 

Serve this sandwich hot from the grill with your favorite soup, or your favorite chips.  

June Living - Get Ready for Summer!

When the June issue of Martha Stewart Living arrives, you know that summer is right around the corner. 

Grilling season is finally here, and the editors of Living provide six foolproof updates on summer griilling favorites that are sure to be recipes for every outdoor weekend.  Invite your friends, fire up the grill and throw the easiest kind of party. 

There are plenty of no-fuss smart strategies to make every get-together a breeze, starting with sunny, clever and crafty ways to decorate the table for any cocktail party, alfresco dinner or perfect picnic. 

Take a tip from the French:  when fruits are in season, bake them into tarts.  The June issue features eight gorgeous desserts that are easy to make and delicious.  Try a sour cherry clafoutis or roasted apple tartlets.  You will love them, as will your family and guests!

Martha invites you over for someo bocce, badminton, croquet or horeshoes.  Not sure how to play?  Martha gives you the rules, regulations, and a lot of ideas for outdoor fun with family and friends. 

There are plenty of tips from Martha, perfect summer "Good Things," and a lot of "Great Finds" from the editors.  Have a lazy pre-summer weekend planned?  Take some time with this issue and get ready for the season ahead.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Summer Holiday Decorating

In 2000, Martha Stewart featured the use of small parade flags, patriotic colored pull downs, red, white & blue garlands and buntings to decorate for Memorial Day and Independence Day.  The decorating ideas were featured on her daily Martha Stewart Living television show and were popular items in the Martha by Mail catalog and Martha Stewart Catalog for Living. 

Flash forward 10 years and Martha re-introduces us to the patriotic decorating technique with a new line of Summer Holiday decorations now available through Martha Stewart for Grandin Road. 

My new Grandin Road catalog arrived in the mail today and as I was flipping through, I saw the beautiful four page spread featuring the flags, bunting, garlands and more.  Something looked familiar.. it was one of the images used in the catalog.  I knew I saw it somewhere before and indeed, I was correct.. I went through my stack of Martha by Mail catalogs that I've saved over the years and the same image appeared on the cover of the summer, 2004 Catalog for Living (upper left corner of the above photo). 

At quite reasonable prices, you can show your patriotic spirit with a variety of swags, flags, buntings and garlands.  Also available are patriotic metal beverage tubs.  The tubs are a perfect way to keep beverages on ice during your summer entertaining. 

All of the summer decorating items from Martha Stewart for Grandin Road are proudly made in America by Annin and Company - the oldest and largest flag manufacturer in the United States. 

If you're looking for a little patriotic flair for your summer holidays, check out the entire collection from Martha Stewart on the Grandin Road website.  View the website HERE >>

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Remembering the Boxcar Children

When I was very young, there was a book that I couldn’t put down; The Boxcar Children. Nearly 50 years later, I still remember that book as if it was yesterday. Who knew one book would stick with me for so very long?

The Boxcar Children is a literary franchise originally created and written by American writer and first grade school teacher Gertrude Chandler Warner.

Originally published in 1924 by Rand McNally and reissued in 1942, the novel “The Boxcar Children” tells the story of four orphaned children, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny, who run away and create a home for themselves in an abandoned boxcar in the forest. The story follows the four children as they make the boxcar their home while facing many challenges. It’s a heartwarming story as the children are eventually united with their Grandfather who gives them a new life full of adventure.

The franchise grew from that first book to now over 100 titles aimed at readers in grades 2-6.

I was always taken by the simple, black and white cut illustrations throughout the book. I remember looking at the illustrations over and over again, often replicating them during art class or creating my own just doodling on a piece of paper.

The Boxcar Children series is still available. I encourage all parents, or grandparents of age appropriate children to share these wonderful books. I’m sure your children will love them as much as I did.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Garden Update

Here in our area, April was the second warmest on record.  We had several 80 degree days, and numerous 70 degree days which prompted the gardens to grow much faster than usual. 

The month of May brings our "frost free" date (a couple weeks away), and it's a month of amazing growth.  Here's a look at some of the garden residents this afternoon:

This beautiful HUGE Hosta is one of my favorites.  The bright colored leaves just 'pop' in the shade garden.  (once the leaves all come out on the trees, it will be shady!)

Wild violets find their way into some of the silliest places.  Here they've popped up in the garden path.

The large woodland ferns are growing so fast you can almost see it happening before your eyes!

A beautiful, stray Columbine plant shows off it's spectacular beauty. 

The Hydrangea bushes are growing rapidly as well.  I'm hoping we do not get a frost.. I'll have to cover these precious plants if one is predicted.  The bushes are going to be huge this year!  My secret:  Plantone all natural fertilizer.

The lillies are growing almost as fast as the ferns!  Last year, these plants gave me so many vases of beautiful flowers.

Feeling vintage?  Hollyhocks are perfect for that old vintage feel!

Another Hosta going strong!

Small violas, lush and beautiful. 

I wasn't sure if this Astilbe would survive the winter, but it did and it's looking great!

The Delphinium is loving all the warm weather!  I can't wait to see the beautiful blue spikes of flowers!

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do! 

Raspberry vines are growing strong next to an old metal storage shed.  These things multiply like crazy! I think there will be more jelly in my future!

A small bed of Iris getting ready to bloom.

The Trumpet Vines are leafing out.  Soon they'll be growing all over the place!

Another big Hosta.  Can you tell I like Hosta?

The Lady's Mantle continues to grow. 

A few of the Iris that are blooming.  These are closer to the house.

Another gorgeous Columbine.  The color is a deep, deep maroon.  I let it self seed every year.