Traveling Armchairs

While armchair travelers dream of going places, traveling armchairs dream of staying put.      ♥ Anne Tyler

 OMG Girlfriends, 2,300 comments, this definitely wins the award for most exciting Giveaway so far!  Aren’t you amazed?  Who knew!?   Most of the time we hum along so quietly, like a big happy quilting bee or something, and then suddenly, this! I like it!!  I just wish I had 2,300 of these special little books — you all deserve one!  I don’t even want to set Vanna* in motion — ‘no winner’ means everyone is still a winner!

I have exciting news: our girlfriend Georgie contacted the Gift Shop at Hill Top Farm to see if she could order a copy of the special edition book to be sent to her, and GUESS WHAT?  She Twittered to tell me — they’re all sold out!  I was really surprised, they had lots of  them only a month ago when we were there and now they’re all gone!

WHEW, we came so close to missing it!  Not really, I don’t think missing it was ever part of the plan!  What it means is that our little book here is the very last of them, ever in the world, that still has no real home.

So I think it’s only fair, because so many people are on vacation at this time of year; I’m going to let the contest go on a bit longer; I don’t want anyone to miss their chance!  There’s only this one last book; it’s not going to happen again.  And this way everyone stays book-winners for a little bit longer . . . I told Vanna*, take off the sparkly white dress, get back into your jeans, go to the beach or something, it’ll be a couple more days. 

This is how I feel when I read your comments (both to me and to each other), that you want me to “stay” — what a nice compliment that is, thank you all so much! I hope you feel the same way when you read my blog!

As for the “mystery rose” on Beatrix Potter’s house, you guys came up with some great ideas as to what it could be — I’ve been checking them out on Google.  The old rose called Zephirine Drohin seems to match all the characteristics I could see in the roses on Beatrix Potter’s house.  It’s a tall climber, will do well in partial shade, smells wonderful, do you think it’s too pink to be it?  There were a couple of others you suggested that I thought looked great too.  Albertine is gorgeous, I’m not sure if it will do OK in the shade, but it’s beautiful , and Caroline Testout was another.  I wasn’t sure the cabbage rose Centifolia would grow tall enough.  I also found this chart of David Austin roses that bloom well in partial shade . . . See what you think. I think I can’t go wrong with any of them! Loved your input.  I know exactly where to come from now on when I have a question about something!

  I also love the Fairy roses we have bordering our garden, they grow so well, are now climbing up the rhododendron planted next to them making a very interesting wild-looking thing in our garden.  But I think the flower is a bit too small for the spot I have in mind.

Here are some special roses I’ve had good luck with; a glorious peach one called “Just Joey” and the prolific yellow one called “Julia Child.”  These are the ones that send me to the moon . . .  both of them bloom and bloom, and are deeply scented.  Put your nose in there and stay awhile!  The gorgeous white one is “Iceberg.”  But none of these is a climber.

Here’s the arbor Joe’s been working on since we got home, with sweet “New Dawn” climbing roses on it.  This photo was taken a while back; both the arbor and the rose need help right now!   The trees in our garden have gotten bigger, and although we’ve thinned them, this rose hasn’t been getting the full sun it prefers  . . . so once Joe finishes and repaints the arbor, I’m thinking the Beatrix Potter rose, if I can find it, not requiring so much sun, may look wonderful here.  And keep us immersed in the memories!  (BTW, a movie I just thought of, if you haven’t seen Mrs. Miniver, you would love it, especially the parts about the “Mrs. Miniver Rose,” and when she buys the hat–I don’t own a lot of movies, but I do own this one!).

And here’s what we plan to do with the arbor as soon as its finished!  Ahhh, yes, this “traveling armchair” is very happy to be home!  I am back working at my watercolor/book-writing schedule: up early, before the birds, while it’s still quiet, painting for the Diary, feeling like we (me and kitties) have the whole island/world to ourselves; then Joe and I include beach-glass-hunting on our walk out to the water; there’s sun tea and checking out girlfriends gardens in the afternoon; walking downtown at night with Joe, for ice cream or a movie (we saw the oddly interesting and very original Moonrise Kingdom last night — fun link!  Maybe better than the movie!); I can’t tell you how much I love being in my own home sweet home where I can play house to my heart’s content! (And don’t think this is some sort of unnatural perfect world here, there’s plenty of laundry, dentist appointments, and weeds in the garden to balance everything out!  Life is normal around here!)

  But I don’t mind, it all fits into the general scheme of “playing house.”

And the Book! I’m having a wonderful creative time putting it together. I think you are going to love it.  Even better than the blog!  At least, that’s my plan. 

OK Girlfriends, if you haven’t left a comment yet for the Last-One-in-the-Whole-World darling Beatrix Potter Book (scroll to the post just below this one if you have no idea what I’m talking about!), here’s your chance; just a couple more days and we’ll announce the lucky winner.  And don’t worry, you can leave as many comments as you want, either in the first post, or this one — Vanna* (so talented) knows to only count one comment per person — and I always love to hear from you!   Soon I’ll show you how England was decorated while we were there.  So festive!  Happy day girls and boys! Stay! XOXO

PS. fyi . . .* Vanna White is what we named the Random Number Generator for the blog.  But we just call her Vanna.  And here’s my theme for the day . . .

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739 Responses to Traveling Armchairs

  1. Carol Saugstad says:

    I love your work. I’ve been a fan for years and bought most of your books. Reading your blog has become the highlight of my day. I’m thanking God for the gift of people like you who make the world a much nicer place! Please keep it going. 🙂

  2. Elaine Serblowski says:

    Hi Susan,
    I was so relieved to hear that Petey was sitting on your couch keeping an eye on Jack. I thought he had gone AWOL because I spotted a picture of him in a magazine called Harrowsmith Country Life, published in Canada. He was hanging out with some old friends, a well loved Teddy bear and an antique doll. He was quite the rogue and ever so charming. Perhaps the one I saw is Petey’s Canadian cousin. The magazine was a December 2004 issue and unfortunately it is no longer being published. Love your blog. Happy hugs to you and Joe and the kitties.

    • sbranch says:

      My eyes widen, has Petey escaped? But no; yes, that had to be a relative!

    • Jessica says:

      Susan, I am not sure how to leave comment, Fingers crossed, I did this right 🙂 I wanted to let you know how much your blog “Feeds My Soul”. I look forward to all of your post. Sometimes when you haven’t posted soon enough, I let out a sigh, then check again about a hour later. I loved following you around England, and still reread your post and look at your pictures. (I love the sheep and the old homes) At the end of this coming week I will no longer have internet, I will be able to read your blog when I go to my local library, we are moving to an area that doesn’t internet, (can you belive it a place without intrnet, gasp, I can’t ge over it) So for all you have given me Blog, Books, Trips, and ALL, Thank-YOU!

      • sbranch says:

        Gasp! Yes, that’s a bit scary . . . I can say that after being on this trip with internet being such a sketchy thing! Thank goodness for the library! Best of luck in your move!

      • Jessica, I asked my husband if it were possible to get Internet via a satellite. This is his response:

        Yes and no. They need something that will receive the 3G or 4G signal. Most computers do not have that capability, however you can use most smart phones as a internet hub when thy connect to 3G or 4G.

        Hope that helps.

  3. Pam says:

    How exciting, waiting to hear who the winner is 🙂 Your roses are beautiful Susan. We rescued two roses from a garden centre a couple of years ago, they were looking a bit the worse for wear and were being sold off. They have flowered this year for the first time. Haven’t a clue what variety they are but we thought they deserved to have a home.

  4. Ann Y. (Adamstown, PA) says:

    Oh, I am so glad I did not miss “Vanna” ! Have been away to Charleston and Savannah ( such beautiful homes, gardens, and amazing food !) and did not see any of your blog for a week. Catching up as fast as I can when I am not doing laundry and trying to keep my newly planted shrubs alive in this heat. I love Mrs. Miniver and her rose…just planted a climber called “Joseph’s Coat”…kind of orange and yellow and red mix. It has not climbed much yet, but the flowers we do get are beautiful. Also…love the little sign on your china closet about two fond hearts making the yoke light….SO true. Life is really great when you share it with someone you love. Thanks again so much for your blog and all your thoughts, ideas, dreams, travels, etc. !!!

    • sbranch says:

      Welcome home Ann! Thank you!

    • Linda from Lancaster, Co PA says:

      Ann, I don’t live far from you. Ever go to Shupp’s Grove? I love to see what treasure I might find there.

    • Paulie says:

      Hi Ann in Pa…..
      I am very much north of you……I planted this same bush over ten years ago. It is such a dynamic bush – truly named well because each rose is a different color than each of the others on the same bush. Mine has only climbed abut four feet in all of this time but it may well be because we are so far north. Enjoy that Rose bush. It is such a miracle to watch and to have.

      • Diane Harris says:

        HA! I bought Joseph’s Coat this year and waiting for next years blooms! It must be distributed well in PA!

  5. I love reading your blogs. I look foward to reading it. When you travel, I feel as if I have gone on the trip with you. Thanks for sharing. Would love the book.
    Have a wonderful rest of the summer. Our schools start back in about 4 weeks and I even though I am excited to get back to a normal routine ( I teach 1st grade) I will miss my time at home. I am such a home body!
    Kathleen K.

  6. Martha Ellen says:

    So happy to be home myself after being gone only a week. I can’t imagine being gone from home as long as you have. I can imagine you are enjoying all the simple things that make being home glorious.
    Your roses are quite beautiful Susan. Here in Va it has been sooooo hot that the roses are taking a break to recover. I enjoy so much all that you write about. It feels like visiting with a friend when I read your blog. Thank you!
    “I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.” – Eleonor Roosevelt xoxo ♥

  7. Karen R says:

    OOH! Peter Rabbit is calling me! Would so love to have the very special edition. Please count me in. I was wondering if perhaps the rose is a Cecil Bruner Rose. A beautiful climber with small beautifully formed pink roses. My favorite since childhood. Mom’s favorite too, She would be 108 but sadly passed away many years ago. Pink roses always make me think of her. Karen R.

    • Gayle says:

      Mlle Cecille Brunner is a polyantha – the Sweetheart Rose. The blooms look like tiny hybrid tea blooms. It is available as a climber, and is incredibly prolific. It’s a very pale pink with a lovely scent. I’m pretty sure the rose in the picture is not Cecille Brunner.

  8. Sheila Brazzell says:

    Love the painting of Jack on top the books. He looks very dashing with his “mustache”.
    Sheila from South Carolina

  9. Cheryl Ferguson says:

    Thanks so much for extending the deadline on “Vanna’s” drawing. It is so lovely to hope (“the thing with feathers – That perches on the soul “). With a drawing for girlfriends, we know the little book will have a happy home whoever gets picked.

  10. I have been enjoying your blog for a while, but especially the trip to England. The rose arbor is so beautiful, I can see why you are happy to be back home!

  11. Ellen says:

    Your delightful blog always brightens my day. Thank you for sharing your little corner of the world with us!

  12. Travel is wonderful and so is home! Perhaps this is asking a lot >wry smile< but are you going to offer the England Diary autographed?
    Yes, your blog is wonderfully lovely; a respite of calm, peace and grace in a, sometimes, hectic day. sigh. I love it here and I live at Thistle Cove Farm; one of the Very Most Beautiful Places on Earth!

  13. Karen Saunders says:

    Well really….the book is ‘one’ of 151 of 1000. Ewe and all. tsss

  14. My heart leaped when I saw (Susan Branch blog) in my e-mails today! I am so glad to have our new modem and can pull up my e-mails whenever I want without going to our local grocer for free wifi! Although it is very nice of them to have it! It was much appreciated last week! I can’t believe the little book is all sold out! I bet some of your fellow readers bought them out! Do you think they will do a reprint? I hope so! But then, hey! I could be a winner! Lol!
    Susan, you and Joe and kitties are sure living a fairy tale life on Martha’s Vineyard! And who better then you to be living it! You are well deserving of your paradise!
    Tweet Tweet!
    Can’t wait for the diary!

    • sbranch says:

      No that’s the glory of this little book. They only printed a thousand, and that’s all there will ever be!

  15. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! Your roses in the white basket are beautiful!!! Just beautiful!!!! The hanging tea cups with the purple roses are soooooooo prettty!!! And your pretty dish with the tiny bird is so cute !!!! Your china cabinet is adorable !!!! Just wanted to tell you this morning after the sun came out, I was gazing out of my daughter’s bedroom window (she is still under-the-weather) and to my amazement, there was a bright yellow finch sitting upon my lavendar plant, snacking on the tiny old/dried blossoms……the female was on the opposite side of the lavendar plant…….what a precious site!!!!! I am so glad that I did not trim down all of those old blossoms that the bees were very busy working on these past several weeks. Soooooooo, lesson learned that Mother Nature has her secrets on helping out even the smallest of creatures to have a good meal!!!!
    You never know what you willl see in your very own flower garden!!! I love, love, love your climbing roses on the arbor………….how I only dream of having one!!!!! Thank you Susan for all of your beautiful and inspiring summer photos of your grounds…….Martha’s Vineyard is so dreamy!!!!!

  16. That picture of your roses in the basket is a show stopper! I parked my eyes there for a bit! They are gorgeous. Did you get the mug you painted yet? I can’t wait to see it!

  17. Barb * Ludlow, MA* says:

    Hello Susan,

    Oh …….so love your basket of Roses! Such beautiful colors. Your “arbor” is gorgeous! My husband just finished building a huge trellis for my morning glories, took him three Sundays but its finished. Its a one of a kind as he has that creative ability with wood to just design which leaves me in awe. Then I had a surprise as (Mrs. Cardinal) decided to check out the trellis and there she was when I opened the door to go out back, sitting there singing quietly and it was just one of the moments when the birds are just so close like that. While Mr. Cardinal was flitting about in the wild rasberries out back, having a hearty bite to eat.
    Plus I had another nice surprise as I picked up brochures, flyers, newspapers while out on our Saturday ride yesterday. Sitting down last evening to read the *Country Register*…….there was a great big advertisement from you on page 10 and its beautiful……so surprised. I will be saving that article and adding it to my Susan Branch Scrapbook!

    I hope you were lucky to find some new beach glass…..and glad your settled in back at home. Happy Sunday…. Hugs & Smiles Barb

  18. Marian McKeehan says:

    I have to agree with Linda Pintarell–it’s good to have you back! I enjoyed every word and picture from your trip to England, but I love hearing about your life at home. Thanks for bringing enjoyment to my life.

  19. Cyndi in NC says:

    Ha. I love your theme for the day. I try not to live by it but there are days it works for me. *L* I’ll be interested to see what rose you decide on as I’ll be looking for something soon for my garden arbor when it’s done. The mystery roses are just the look I want. The blog was wonderful but I can’t wait for the book. I waited everyday to see the fun things you were doing in England and I miss it, especially the lambs. But I have goats outside of town and they are cute too so I guess I’ll be ok. Also I think I need to drive out to the beach and look for sea glass myself. See if I can work that out between loads of laundry! I love to be in my home also, and the good comes with the not so fun but that’s ok cause it’s mine! *L* Take care all.

  20. Oh good.. we get to dream a little longer that the little book is ours. 🙂 Wow that’s a nice large number of followers. I can live with not winning the Potter book, altho I would love to win it, but I sure cant live~ well I could but do I wanna? :)~ without getting one of your English Diary’s you are painting now~ So please be sure to order enough printed up for ALL of us. 🙂

  21. Jacquelyn Wirthlin - Bainbridge Island, WA says:

    Also glad you are home . Your roses are too beautiful! I can almost smell them! Years ago I was on the Rose Test Panel at Jackson & Perkins rose growers. What great fun that was. Just like being in on a big secret … lol. Roses grow so well in the Spring and Fall in Southern Nevada … just not in the Summertime…
    Love your Arbor. Hubby built me an arched one several years ago that is beautiful. A perfect place for our “Traveling Armchairs”. Thanks for another fun post.

  22. Nancy S, Valley Forge, PA says:

    I just love visiting your blog…it’s a tiny little vacation in the midst of my everyday life! Your roses are just gorgeous! We have some “knockout” rosebushes in our garden that we just love!

  23. Charlotte says:

    Your site is always to delightful whenever I visit. After some time, I was so glad I did today to enjoy all your recent postings. I love everything about your visit to England. Both my husby and myself have long left behind cousins there, I’m sure. A book to grace those I’ve kept of my grown-up children’s would be a welcome addition to the basket that so willingly holds them. Thank you for being you. God bless you with His grace, peace & joy found in knowing Jesus!

  24. Marilyn says:

    Just Joey is one of my all time favorites and in my rose garden along with Iceberg. Just love the roses.

  25. Cyndi in NC says:

    Ok I give up, the blog doesn’t like me. This is the third time I’ve posted and waiting for moderation then it’s gone. Boo that. *sigh* Oh well…love your blog anyway.

    • Cyndi in NC says:

      Geeze, now it shows up! Ok I give up. *LOL* Just that kind of day I guess.

      • sbranch says:

        Oh, that might be me. I went to do some things and while I was gone, a hundred comments came in and I’ve been going through them while playing with Jack!

        • Cyndi in NC says:

          It probaby was hanging around the neither regions of the www and decided to land after I looked for it. *LOL* Who knows. Can’t say I blame you for playing with Jack, he missed alot of play time for his young life while you were gone. *L* Give him a hug for me.

          • Cyndi in NC says:

            Also, someone else mentioned the Blairii No. 2 rose, I think the Blairii No. 1 might also be a contender for those on Beatrix Potter’s house. They both can be seen here:


            and there’s a link to Blairii No. 2 towards the bottom of the page. They are both beautiful!

          • sbranch says:

            Those look like it too, I’m going to go to my nursery and just see if they have any of these I can see in person!

    • sbranch says:

      Hm. Well, let’s see how it goes this time! Sorry, this blog has a little bit of attitude!

  26. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan, I love all these roses, one of my favorite flowers…smile… What an amazing ‘give.away’ no wonder you are having a record number of people commenting…smile! And to think how unique this book is! I do think God had a hand in the fact that you were there at just the right time…and were inspired to buy “two”…one for you and one for a very lucky girlfriend!!

    So glad you are home enjoying life as you know it, with wonderful memories to make you smile!!


  27. karen says:

    How can I not enter for something so charmingly wonderful. I just hope Vanna is nice to me when she selects. By the way, I am loving my pen pals. All six of them. Having a ball getting to know them all, writing and sharing. Thanks for helping us find each other.

  28. Toni says:

    Thank You sooo much for the lovely trip – can’t wait to try England myself! And those beautiful roses are certainly something to write home about!

  29. Sheryl Lenhart says:

    My beautiful ‘tiger-Siamese’ kitty is named Beatrix Rosebud. I tell everyone that it’s Beatrix with an ‘X’ just like Beatrix Potter! Thank you for the Blessing of YOU, Susan! You give such joy to this like-minded cottage heart! Sheryl

  30. This is interesting. I clicked on the Fairy Roses link you posted to see the fairy roses and the whole top row was MY Fairy roses in OUR yard, Pictures I took a few years ago, climbing over the Arbor my husband built for them. They are much fuller now with Pink lemon-aid honey suckle now on the fence behind them. But I am shocked to see them. I wonder if everyone can see them and how they got there. They say Cris Marlow under them. Am I only seeing them? I was going to mention that I have them in our yard and you would just swoon if you saw how pretty they looked.

  31. Sharon - Ohio says:

    So glad I didn’t miss the “Vanna” event. Have been to Corova and Va. Beach for a week and haven’t seen your blog. Love the roses, they are beautiful. The Arbor looks charming, what a nice place to have dinner with friends. We have cancelled summer here due to hot weather and no rain, what a dried up mess. Love your blog XOXO Sharon from Ohio

    • sbranch says:

      Smart, just cancel it! 🙂

    • Kathy from Heafed to the Fell, Brevard, NC says:

      Autumn is my favorite season anyway, Sharon, and then comes Christmas and New Years—what fun!!! Have you ever been to the Circleville Pumpkin Show? Can any of the UK girlfriends tell me if you ever call autumn “fall” across the pond or is it just us? I love the word “autumn”. Four daughters named after the seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter sounds perfect to me! xoxo

      • pat addison says:

        oooh i just love the autumn, my favorite season of all. sounds like the big pumpkin festival at Half Moon Bay, near San Francisco, CA. there they have a weigh in for the giant pumpkins, have a pumpkin parade, and the pumpkin fields are full of beautiful pumpkins waiting to go home with a family for Halloween and to be made into a Jack O’ Lantern. they have the whole town decorated in pumpkins, and pumpkin goodies and items for sale everywhere, its alot of fun. so hello from the west coast pumpkin festival…hugs…… 🙂

  32. Linda P. BA. CA says:

    I know how you feel about being home. Last year I was taking care of my mom and was gone just 18 days – but when I came home I could have just hugged my house, I was so happy to be home. Can hardly wait for your England Diary. How long will we have to wait?

  33. Sarah Lutz says:

    Your trip was such a gift to all of your girlfriends. I have turned at least ten friends on to enjoying being a girlfriend of yours and they all thank me over and over for introducing your blog to them. Eight of us got together for our “luncheon group” that meets every other month and has been ongoing for 23 years now, well I need to tell you that the topic of our conversation at lunch last month was your great trip and how much we enjoyed tagging along. What a treat to include all of us. Thank you for your generosity

  34. Carol from Connecticut says:

    Dear Susan,
    I’m so glad you featured the Zephirine Drohin climbing rose. Your link said that it blooms all summer long. The bloom looks very much like your picture, but, you are the only one who was standing very close to the plant in England and can really decide if it’s a match. Would you mind describing the scent for me? This looks like a rose I would love to have in my garden. I also love the Pink Fairy Rose. I’ve had it repeat bloom all summer and even into the first frost. Amazing. The arbor is a wonderful design. What lovely gatherings you will have there. I don’t know if this interests you or not but I just installed a ‘wet area’ ceiling fan in a similar structure in my yard. The fan will move the air and make it very difficult for mosquitoes to enter the moving air and chomp on you and your guests! That way you can avoid using chemicals to repel insects at night. Affection, Carol

    • sbranch says:

      That’s a wonderful idea, a fan in the garden — I’m not sure our arbor is high enough but I will definitely run this by Joe!

      • Carol from Connecticut says:

        Even a floor fan on an extension cord from the house would keep the bugs away and would keep you and your guests cool, even though you’re a real cool lady already!

        • sbranch says:

          I asked Joe and he says we can put a ceiling fan over the table . . . now we only have to think about the candles!

  35. Susan R in Southern California says:

    So glad your home and i had a wonderful time in England with you……………….where are we going next? Thanx for sharing such a wonderful adventure.


  36. Thelma Peterson says:

    Glad you are home and enjoying your home on Martha’s Vineyard. We too have been picking up sea glass today. We are on the beach near your other home on the Central Coast of California, Cambria. Isn’t England the most wonderful place to visit. Next time try to spend some time in Cornwall. They have the most wonderful gardens of every kind and darling fishing villages.

  37. Barbara Aker says:


    Enjoy your time at home. What a lovely place, Martha’s Vineyard!


  38. Lezlee says:

    Oh yes -” Mrs. Miniver” and the sequel, “The Miniver Story” – loved them both!

    “Hope and Glory” is another wonderful movie also. The cottage on the river the family moves to – the grandparent’s place – to escape war torn London is HEAVENLY.

    A grateful thank you Susan – for sharing your trip with us all. I appreciate it so!

  39. The Handmaiden says:

    Oh, I loved your basket of roses! I am sure I could smell them and they will be so lovely in your home! I am always torn when cutting them, so much pleasure seeing them outside, but the vision and fragrance inside pure joy again and again.
    So much fun to visit with Peter Rabbit and his friends again through you…they decorated my 4 children’s nursery 30 plus years ago!

  40. Sheila in the mountains of western NC says:

    Susan, your roses are spectacular! Thank you for sharing them. I’m crossing fingers and toes that “Vanna” picks my post for the Beatrix Potter treasure.

  41. Star Johnson says:

    Hi Susan,
    This is my third attempt to contact you on this special drawing. Your staff finally got me here. I love your blog and read it as soon as it comes. It is like having tea with a really good friend. I have two other friends reading it now.
    I have been a fan of yours for probably 25 + yrs. I met you and Joe at a book signing in La Mirada. It was a publisher. I spoke with both of you and got your books and autographs. I have also been a Potter fan for about 40 yrs. I have been to her home but didn’t know or realize her married home was so close.
    I have most of her little books and alot of her figurines. I would so love to have the drawing prize to go with my collection of hers and yours. 🙂
    I feel like I was on the trip with you and it was so clever of you to do that.
    Continue to keep us posted on your up coming publications. I have a tradition of getting your wall calendar every year for both myself and my daughter in law.
    She really enjoys your work as well. I can’t tell you how much I love Jack. I have a black and white kitty also. His name is Spot. He looks just like the cat in the commercial on tv with the vaccum cleaner that runs by itself. Thank you for all the joy you bring to your fans and others.
    Best regards in all your endevors,
    Star Johnson

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Star, that wasn’t my staff, that was me! So happy to see you here, thank you for all your recollections! I appreciate hearing from you! xoxo

  42. Ritchie Saunders -- Pacific Palisades, CA says:

    Dear Susan,

    We have been traveling too but have loved your writing especially Jane Austen and all your descriptions!! Hope you will perhaps write a book as you experienced such unique places that I would love to visit! If not will copy each day you wrote to us.
    You are so lucky to come home to a unique area and jump back into a place you obviously love and cherish. We are in Avila Beach CA for a wonderful Wine Auction held every year to benefit various charities on the Central Coast.
    Hopefully they made over 1M to donate and we did our part!!! Foggy mornings but lovely mild sunny afternoons and we sipped wines from various wineries plus bites of yummy appetizers from various restaurants in Avila Beach, Pismo Beach, San Luis Obispo! Some of your favorite places when you come visit! We are all so lucky~~~ Cheers ……Ritchie Saunders

    • sbranch says:

      Making me a little homesick! Love all the places you mentioned! I’ll be out there as soon as I finish writing that book you asked about … a Diary of this trip to England. Looking forward to driving up 101 to Big Sur!

  43. Julie McCrary says:

    Dear Susan, I have loved ‘traveling’ vicariously through your blog. I think that you went to most of might top dreams of where to go in England:) I look forward to hearing more about it!!

  44. mymosk says:

    Since you were so kind to extend the contest deadline I just had to drop you a note to tell you how much joy you gave me when I “went” on your trip to England. Someday I would love to take those long meandering walks through the countyrside as you did. Just lovely!

  45. Lucy says:

    Dear Susan,
    We can’t wait for the England Diary! But I’m wondering too, about your wonderful fabric that you gave us a hint about a few months ago and the Breckfast book. Are they on the back burner until the Diary comes out? No pressure, we just love you and we can’t get enough! BTW, the roses are exquisite! Thank you to everyone with names and suggestions for climbers and others!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, they’re a bit on the back burner although both are all ready to go, just will have to wait until I finish this!

  46. Karen V (Connecticut) says:

    Hi Susan, I couldn’t believe that you mentioned the Zephirine rose in your blog…years ago, I was visiting one of my students at her home and they had an arbor with the most fragrant roses climbing upon it…and they were thornless! It was in shady/sunny spot, so I asked what they were and jotted the name down, stuck it in my gardening journal and forgot about it until now! It was the Zephirine, who could forget a name like that! I don’t remember them to be as violet-y as your photo from Hilltop, but the fragrance was unbelievable and no thorns as a bonus. We lost some trees recently, so I am hoping to finally grow some roses with my newly found sunshine, good luck finding just the right rose so that you can have a little “Hilltop” at the Vineyard!

    • sbranch says:

      Were they a dark rose color, do you remember?

      • Karen V (Connecticut) says:

        I don’t remember them as being a dark color, more a light violet/pink, lots and lots of blooms growing happily in a suburban backyard. Could there be different varieties of the Zephirine or is it just one specific rose? Hmmmm…..sorry I’m not more help!

  47. Joanie B from San Diego says:

    We have several of the Iceberg Roses, love them, they aren’t named that for nothing! When the bush is blooming it looks like an iceberg! And the fragrance is heavenly. We have paired the Icebergs with Double Delights which are a cream rose with dark reddish pinkish highlights. Each Double Delight is unique in its coloring and the fragrance unbelievable. So fun to talk roses and enjoy each others garden bounty. Treasures abound on this blog, so glad I am checking in regularly for inspiration and bliss.

  48. Gumbo Lily says:

    I enjoyed looking at all the roses you posted as possibilities for the Beatrix Potter rose. I still couldn’t decide, but it was fun looking at them and wondering over them. I like the David Austin roses.

    Your arbor roses are very lovely too. I only grow a few shrub roses due to the harsh conditions where I live. I’m glad for what I can grow though. It’s amazing how many “tough” roses are out there now.

    “Stay” is a very good thing to do. I will.


  49. Kate says:

    My mother raised what we just called “Old fashioned roses.” They smelled so good and grew along the fence by the garden. I wish I could find some just like them. By the way, your roses are gorgeous. How do you keep their foliage so green and nice? All the leaves fell off our roses this year.

    • sbranch says:

      I make my own compost, maybe that helps! Roses are choosy about where they live, but you can almost always find one that will fit your climate — ones that do best in very hot weather, or cooler, or shade . . . etc.

    • Lynn McMahon says:

      HI Kate~
      Roses also like fish emulsion ( or hydrolyzed fish ) fertilizer and banana peels.
      My roses also started dropping leaves due to yellow spot last year. ( I like to use only organic things to fetilize and treat in my veggie & flower garden.)
      I was shocked to learn that even organic treatments can kill bees! So with that said I just let the roses ” run natures course” and they are doing okay this year considering our heat wave. Experts also recommend digging up diseased plants and getting rid of them ( not in a compost pile) as black spot is very contagious~ I just couldn’t bear to dig them up so I didn’t. You can also look for varieties that do well in your area. Hope that helps you~ sorry for being so long winded!

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        I meant Black spot! Yellow leaves with black spots!

        • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

          Thanks for the the tip Lynn. I wish I could have met you when I was home in May/June.

          • Lynn McMahon says:

            :)! ~You were here before the heat & humidity got bad~
            May was beautiful here! Where exactly is/was home?
            Have a great day!!

      • sbranch says:

        I have a friend that considers roses to be an “annual” and replaces them every couple of years! That way she never worries about disease . . . she only has a couple of bushes, so I suppose that’s not too bad of an idea!

        • Lynn McMahon says:

          That’s a good way to think about them too:)!

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            Hi Lynn,
            The homestead (really) is in Jackson, and I went to West Bend West HS.

          • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

            Lynn, my mother-in-law lives in Burlington. I am blessed to have found a guy from back home, so we go home together. LOL That cheese, sausage and German/Swedish bakery messed up my diet last fall!!!

          • Lynn McMahon says:

            I am very familiar with Burlington~ I took my driving test there~ if you can drive there you can drive anywhere!! My aunt & uncle live in Jackson! What a small world!!
            Bet you miss all the great food here too! Some of the best!!
            Nice to chat with you!

  50. Cynthia Linck says:

    my girls and I are loving every moment of your trip and the stories you have yet to share. thank you for taking us along.

  51. Sara Finally in Georgia!!! says:

    Holy smokes that is a lot of girlfriends!!!!! More to prove a job VERY well done 🙂

    I love all of those roses! I think I may check a few of them out for the new yard!!!

  52. Georgie says:

    While thunder is rumbling and lightening flashing with much needed rain falling, I’ve been settled in with roses, loving every word and every picture! It’s wonderful to be safe inside sitting in a cozy soft chair dreaming of projects while a gentle much needed summer storm is swirling outside. There is such a wealth of knowledge here with all of the girlfriends. Vanna is in good company 🙂 I’m sure she is enjoying the change to kick off the high heels, put on her (designer) jeans and just be one of the gang for a few more days!

    Susan! This is soooo exciting. I wonder if Beatrix Potter every dreamed during a summer rain that her books would have such a far reaching effect in to the hearts of so many girlfriends 🙂

    Good Luck Everyone!
    Georgie in NJ

  53. Lynda Fox says:

    I have collected your books for several years and thoroughly enjoy them. ( I made your cantalope soup for guestd last night.. they loved it!) I just recently discovered your website and blog..It is so nice to be retired and have time to explore. If “Vanna” so chooses my lucky number.. I can just envision myself curled up with my 2 1/2 year old triplet grandchildren reading and creating wonderful memories.. ahh.. Life is sweet!!

  54. Pat Aho says:

    Beatrix Potter was the focal point of the tea table at my daughter’s baby shower. Now we have a darling little grandson as cute as anything Beatrix ever drew. I would love to add this book to my collection.

  55. Debbie Sowards says:

    Hi Susan,
    Love love love our blog and the sweet little book! Ahh, the simple pleasures…

  56. Debbie Sowards says:

    The best part about reading your blog is feeling like I have been on the trip with you! Thank you for taking all of us along with you-part of the world that I have “been” to because of you. I know your babies are glad you are back though.

  57. Oh the roses! I do love them 🙂 I’m definitely going to try to find that one too and plant it here at Ingleside. I’m sure LMM would love that.

    I have my rose in bloom, a burgundy one. It’s been 16 years since it bloomed and it finally did the other day, I was THIRILLED! 🙂

    Rilla’s Little Rose Garden has all 3 roses blooming this year. She’s so tickled with that. One little rose just began today. We didn’t think it would, but it was a delicious surprise to find it this morning 🙂

    Have a great night, susan,
    denise of ingleside, PEI

    • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

      Someday I will get to PEI and it may be on a sailboat!!! Do you think this hot weather worked its way north and helped your rose bloom. I would love to see a burgundy rose.

      • Hi Margot, Not sure if you’ll see this message. I didn’t notice the reply until I was cleaning out my bookmarks and happened to see this link to click.
        My rose bloomed and bloomed and bloomed! It was so pretty. I posted pictures on my facebook. If you have it, we can friend each other so you can see them.
        Rilla’s little rose garden bloomed too, and still is! It’s beautiful! Last year her deeper pink rose was still blooming in November <3
        Let me know if you and your sail boat make it here 🙂
        You can email me, Margot, to make sure I see your message..
        Denise of Ingleside

  58. Deb says:

    Roses look beautiful…. !

  59. Barbara Weaver says:

    Oh, Susan! I have so especially been enjoying your blog because I was in Kent just before you arrived. It was such fun reading what you wrote about places that I had also visited. I too love England! I would love to win Beatrix’ book, but with so many names it would be a miracle. But then miracles DO happen, don’t they?

  60. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful trip to England with me. I enjoyed the adventure!

  61. Debbyjo says:

    I love your wonderful blog. I was so excited to see the beautiful arbor that you are building. My husband has been going to build an arbor in our back yard but when I saw yours -that is exactly what I had in my mind and now I can show him! I have been enchanted by your books ever since they first came out and have bought every one of them but I din’t know about your wonderful blog until recently. I have a lot to catch up on. Thank you so much for taking us on your magical trip to England and I thank you so much for giving us a place to escape and to dream and for reminding us of what is good,pure, lovely and beautiful. God Bless You!

  62. Wendy Louise says:

    I can’t tell you what a wonderful weekend my husband and I have just had. We are so like you and Joe, walks, hunting for heart stones on the beach, bike rides, sailing, playing with the dogs, gardening, playing house, and making our home a place we always want to be. But we do love wandering with a purpose, exploring this big beautiful world, even in our own back yard. We are relishing the “Grace” that has been placed apon us and we are choosing to “Dance” ! Thank you for your support by being the most wonderful, adorable YOU ! This blog today has made our weekend even more beautiful ! All our best to you and Joe and kitties. XXOOXX

  63. Rebecca L. says:

    I’m not at all an experienced gardener, I bought a couple of Knock Out roses because they are supposed to be easy to grow–good for a beginner gardener. We shall see.

    I also saw Moonrise Kingdom yesterday. What an oddball movie, I liked it.

    Have a lovely week.

    Rebecca (Riverside, Ca)

  64. Raenada says:

    Love reading your blog, and looking at your amazing pictures :).. So inspiring!!!

  65. Raenada says:

    Love Beatrice Potter! I could almost smell the roses on the vine…

  66. Kerry S. from San Pedro, CA says:

    As to the roses – the David Austin climbers that flourish in partial shade look like the best for the arbor location! Such wonderful roses – maybe a bright pink!!
    Have fun deciding! 😉

  67. Irene S. says:

    I have a Zephrine Drouhin rose and it is a unique, strong shade of almost florescent pink — very fragrant and almost thornless. The rose at Hilltop does not look strong enough a pink.

    • sbranch says:

      That was my feeling about it…darn, I thought I had it. Still very pretty, but not it. Thank you Irene, that’s exactly what I was wondering!

  68. Lorraine Nylund says:

    ‘Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home ! You seem rested and content in your latest blog Susan ! Welcome home !

  69. Kay Swanson says:

    Susan, as always, I loved reading your blog. Thank you for sharing…two items especially caught my attention: 1) the Fairy rose…we used to have them in our garden and I remember how dainty and pretty they were 2) the plaque/plate that was shown hanging on a shelf that reads “When two fond hearts as one unite, the yoke is easy and the burden light”…our daughter gave that to my husband and me on our anniversary many, many years ago…she was very young at the time and it remains a priceless gift!

  70. mel cunningham says:

    thank you for bringing us back a prize to dream of!

  71. Chris H says:

    Hi Susan,
    As a huge fan of Beatrix Potter and her little books, it would be a great joy to win one. I’m not holding my breath though, as apart from my husband, I’ve never won anything in my life. 🙂
    Just heard that our cancelled trip to England which was supposed to be the same time as you were there, will now definitely be happening next year….same time….. late April, early May. It will be a much more informed trip for us than it would have been originally as having been there already via ‘that’ suitcase, I’ll be a tour guide ‘par excellence’!!!

    • sbranch says:

      And you’ll have the Diary and a map too! Lots of time to be excited about it! I’m happy for you!

  72. Linda says:

    After looking at all the rose photos the one I kept going back to was the Madame Caroline Testout as looking like the Potter rose. Have you tried to find out the age of the roses–if they are old enough to be in her garden? They really do resemble in shape the Austen roses and that is the most notable feature of this rose—the tight round shape and tightly packed petals–that rules out most of the other “contenders” and the Albertine is too peachy…….this rose is almost a violet color–very pinkish blue. Hope this mystery gets solved. Have you thought of contacting some big botanical garden place there in the East? I am anxiously awaiting your email to inform me of my win!! (haha).!!

  73. Marie says:

    East, West, home is best. Just like you, I find my husband and myself getting settled back into our four walls after having travelled across to Canada for my eldest daughter’s nuptials just last week. Oh, it was a beautiful time, filled with lots of sunshine and very warm temps. We returned to rain, rain . . . and even more rain! But we are home and home is where I love to be most of all. I can’t wait to see your finished book! I am sure it will be as delightful as always! I’ve been working on mine as well, although I am sure it is not near as wonderful as yours will be. xxoo

  74. Peggy A. says:

    My friend and I call your blog “Blips of Bliss” and that is what they are when we read them in the middle of a stressful day. I visited Hilltop Farm for my first wedding anniversary, and in 5 more years, my husband and I plan to return for our 40th. I can hardly wait, and your trip journal has really brought my thoughts to how wonderful it will be. Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to your book as well.

  75. Eszter says:

    Hi Susan, this is the first time I leave a comment on your blog, which I regularly read. The truth is, I am almost always speechless about your entries. 😀 Whatever, I love Jane Austen and Beatrix Potter, I am hopelessly in love with England, even though I live in Hungary. I love to cook, to knit, to sew, etc. And now, guess whose blog I have fallen in love with…

  76. Kirsten Wichert from So. California says:

    I’m so excited about your England trip book! I can hardly wait. But, I’ll try to be ladylike and have patience! I’ve been needing a new book from you for quite awhile. I know all the others are anxiously waiting also. You should tell the printer to make MANY!!! because it looks like thousands want it!!!! I forwarded your blog to so many people so they would not miss your trip. Everyone of them let me know how they loved your blog. I wasn’t surprized. <3

  77. jane townsend says:

    On a wet cool monday morning in England its lovely to read about life on your beautiful island (yes I have been several years ago – sadly it was in a wet April !) I really enjoyed your blog from England and cannot wait to read your book.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, April is not our best month . . . we like to hold on to winter usually through April! Come back in September!

  78. Cheryl says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you so much for your beautiful blog and charming books…….all where you express the lovely spirit you are. Thank you for sharing your life and talent with us all. Cheers from Cheryl

  79. ann says:

    ha finally someone else who likes to “play house”!

  80. Susie says:

    Dear Susan,
    I loved reading your blog and following your sweet adventure. It was great to go to England with you, seeing the cottages and lambs. Looking forward to your new book.

  81. judy says:

    Hi Susan,
    I am so glad Vanna went to the beach because life has been busy here in Connecticut this summer ! I finally have a few minutes to get on the computer.

    I have two stories for you, the first is about beach glass. When I lost a dear girlfriend this spring, I was talking to a childhood friend about the grief in losing such a special friend. She told me to watch for signs of her. She had been an interior designer, antique dealer, artist, painter, and even designed her entire house, SO creative. Within days, I was walking on the beach (I am blessed to have it across the street- because I am so grateful, I pick up trash there every day, whatever the tide brought in or people left behind.) Anyway, as I walked, I saw a piece of beach glass ( which I collect) When I picked it up I could not believe it, It had one entire word on it. DESIGN. I knew it was a sign from my girlfriend in Heaven. As I said in her memorial service in May, I now knew that her spirit was alive and around me still.

    My second story for you is a lamb story. We used to live in Oregon. My neighbor decided to get lambs for the field between our houses. ( How lucky was I !) Anyway, one was black, the other, white. The white one had been bred. When the baby was born, I told my neighbor that I wish they would breed the black one so that they would each have a baby. He felt that three was enough. I began to pray for the black one to have a baby. The power of prayer- I came home one day and could see a tiny black speck in the field. I ran out there and my neighbor was in shock. He said that it must have been already pregnant when he bought it. He scooped it up ( only hours old ) and put it in my arms. I looked down at that tiny face and my heart melted. How precious is a newborn lamb ! Needless to say, I loved all your lamb stories from England.

    I have never had lamb since that day, even though when I was little I would ask for it for my birthday dinner, along with mint jelly and my mothers beautiful pink and white birthday cake.

    Susan, I cannot thank you enough for all the time you took to share your trip with all of us. It has been such a blessing. I have to say though , I am happy you are safely back at home with your precious kitties. “There is no place like home.” I guess I feel so strongly about that because my dad named me after Judy Garland ! Thanks again, Judy xo

    • sbranch says:

      YOU have the power Girlfriend!!! Please make some more beautiful wishes! 🙂 It is seriously time for some world peace! And rain!

  82. Shannon Stevenson says:

    Hello Susan! Your blog, your Willards, your garden, your books, your marvelous trip to the UK, your beautiful art … thank you! You brighten my day time after time, and I really need that because I’m living in Malaysia and finding it really hard to be here – lonely and ridiculously hot mostly. But I’m here with my sweetie, and while here I definitely appreciate what you do to bring me ‘home’ and make me smile. Thank you for everything!

    • sbranch says:

      Loneliness is one of the worst things, I’ve had it and I know. Sending love, you will always find friends here!

    • Dawn from Minnesota says:

      Hi Shannon….all the way from Minnesota…to Susan….to YoU!!!
      I have never been to Malaysia. My husband has been there and yes….
      HOT!!! And lots of tree monkey’s! Is that true? Or has he been pulling
      my leg??? Also, one of my daughter’s favorite restaurants here in
      the cities is called Peninsula…..Malaysian food! I wonder if they have
      one of your favorites? 🙂 XoxDawn

  83. Jackie P says:

    There is no place like home! After a wonderful vacation on the mid-coast of Maine (ah!), it was good to get back to my blooming garden: delphiniums and roses in full bloom. Now my very-pale-yellow day lilies are blooming and just a few delphiniums are remaining (until their second flush). The delphs are dark purple and look striking next to the lilies. I enjoy reading other’s comments here almost as much as your blog . . . we are such a diverse group. I have linked to some of the other readers and found out more about them and their stories. WoW! You have attracted the best of the best!
    P.S. It rained here in NH last night, a very welcomed event.

  84. Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

    I am so glad you are home…I have missed your posts from the island!

  85. Lynn D says:

    The prettiest part of a rose to me is the smell. You might checK Heritage Roses in St Paul, Oregon. They ship all over. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. And thanks for extending this special giveaway. This book needs a home.

  86. Melina says:

    Interesting that you and I both saw Moonlight Kingdom this week. I had such mixed feelings about it until I realized it was not just written from the perspective of a 12 year old boy, but also as if it had been directed from the same perspective. That’s how they look at the world!

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhhh, well, that makes such good sense! I love that explanation! The love story was the best, the way it was all mixed up with childhood. I remember that! Boys and dolls at the same time!

  87. Terri from Swansboro, NC says:

    Oh how I wish I could smell those roses in the basket! They are gorgeous! And if they smell as good as they look, oh MY! LOL!! What are the measurements for the arbor? I was thinking of putting one in my backyard… how enchanting it looks in the evening dusk with lights, candles, food and the very best part… friends… most I have seen so far are too small but yours looks big enough for tables and people to fit and have a fabulous time! LOL!! Smiles!!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m not sure of the measurements, but a picnic table fits under it, with the benches and enough room for people to walk around to sit down. Hope that helps!

      • Terri from Swansboro, NC says:

        Really? A picnic table, wow, that really is a good size and it looks so good with all the sparking going on and the roses too! Tell Joe he did an awesome job! Thanks for details! LOL!! That always helps doesn’t it? Smiles!

        • sbranch says:

          Oh yes!!

          • Terri from Swansboro, NC says:

            Just had to comment on all the posts! I don’t know what your world was like before you started a blog but I imagine it has grown by leaps and bounds since then! love the blog and I am so glad you started it! Big hugs and Smiles!!

          • sbranch says:

            My world was busy, but not this busy! Not this connected or fun either, love the blog and all the people here!

  88. It’s so nice to see your (or anyone’s!) garden looking so green and full of blooms! We’re apparently in the middle of a drought here in IL, near St. Louis, and everyone’s grass is BROWN. I water our garden daily and I’m so grateful that I’m beginning to get a few tomatoes!

    I recently returned from England as well and now I find myself wondering why the people in our country don’t have the beautiful climbing roses over OUR doorways? Or maybe they do in some areas and I just don’t know it(?). I would love that! Of course, if I had roses around the front door my kids would most likely only use the back door, running and screaming from all of the bees!

  89. Gail says:

    You live my dream life. Thank you.

    I’d love to be gifted the little book so please include my comment in your draw.

  90. Carrie says:

    Anticipation, it is nearly as fun as the actual event. I’ve always thought planning my trips to England were nearly as fun as the trip itself. Same with Christmas or any other fun thing coming down the pike. Love that we have a few more days of it!

    • sbranch says:

      I feel the same way, who wants it to be over!!! Maybe I should announce the winner as a Christmas present?!! 🙂

  91. Vickie G says:

    A beautiful way to start any day – reading Susan’s blog and getting lost for a while in beauty.

  92. Judi says:

    Thank you for extending the Beatrix Potter book deadline… somehow I missed the original post! (must be the heat) Also, absolutely love your basket of roses… I had a lovely rose garden when we lived in Ohio… not so much here in SW Florida… however, my orchids are “the bomb”! Have a wonderful week.

  93. You are so nice! Your words are like a warm hug, how do you do that??
    My husband and I are looking for just the right little retirement home (we are early 50s, not retired yet, but planning!) and your garden pictures have convinced me that I will have a rose garden in that new house. Oh, and a kitchen garden. 🙂 I’m on the central coast of California…I think I remember you writing somewhere (here on the blog?) that you grew amazing roses in SLO (I’m one county over, Santa Barbara County) so I’m dreaming of my own big bouquets of fragrance and beauty someday. I already entered the giveaway and am excited for whoever the lucky winner is! Have a wonderful day puttering around your home! Blessings ~ Lina

  94. Debby says:

    I, too, love Mark Twain. Since I was a teenager over 40 years ago.
    “Of all God’s creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” Mark Twain

    James Herriot is a recent love. I discovered him about four years ago and introduced him to my mother. She fell for him too.

  95. Jeannine from SC says:

    Your rose basket floored me! Can you possibly have all of these gorgeous roses in your yard? It is like a painting . . . now situated nicely in the center of my desktop!

    • sbranch says:

      That’s my California garden, I was gathering the roses to put in vases to take to the store I used to have out there. It was a very cute store!

      • Jeannine from SC says:

        Now I understand . . . great weather, good soil, etc. Wish I could have seen your store, sounds just wonderful. Kind of the type of stores I just love browsing in, given the time.

        • sbranch says:

          It’s probably the most creative thing I ever did … so fun. Love to redecorate and in a store it never ends!

  96. Cindy says:

    I am so glad you and Joe are home! I loved the trip to England, but I just feel so cozy and safe when you are back home, house keeping. You have inspired me to start a rose garden, something I have always wanted, and now I going to have!

  97. Elizabeth says:

    We travel to the UK in September and are still trying to finalize our itinerary. I loved what you said about Jane Austen’s home and hope to include a visit when we are there. We hope to see some new places and return to some favorites (Bath being one).
    Thanks for writing about your adventures.

  98. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    I too am glad you are home and getting to play house again. I loved the trip but it is comforting to see your pictures of your home and garden. Your roses are just beautiful. I am drinking in all the beauty of your yard and garden since it is so sad and dry here. Have you seen the movie “Sarah, Plain & Tall”? During their drought Jacob sent Sarah and the children to Maine. My husband said this past weekend he was going to send me to your house!! So get the Peter Rabbit room ready 🙂 xoxo

  99. I am a new reader of your blog! LOVE it! Your arbor will be beautiful with all those lovely roses! Oh my!

    Recently I saw the movie, Miss Potter, and loved it! Miss Potter is a rare, sweet, beautiful, inspiring love story with beautiful photography…tells the story of Beatrix Potter.

  100. Janet Bangs says:

    Dear Susan, I have been a fan for years and years – have all your books. Re-read them often. Have given them as gifts, shared, love them. Just returned from a radiation treatment and needed a ‘happy fix’ so I immediately went to your blog. Thank you for keeping us happy and thinking creative, loving thoughts. You are a treasure.


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