Best Gardening Tip EVER, from the Heart of the Home! MUSICA. (a little garden music, think: swaying happy dandelions: )

I’ve always liked dandelions.  I like the wishes you can make on them before blowing all the seeds into the wind.  The yellow flowers are pretty and perky — they make our lawn look like a wildflower meadow.  Wild dandelion greens and flowers, unsprayed of course, are a delicious nutritious addition to salads too.

But everything in moderation, and “wild” is the operative word.  Seems like we get more and more of them every year.  Sooner or later, those charming yellow flowers form a puff ball made up of  a zillion seeds that are dispersed, with no help from me, in the slightest breeze.  What you see in this photo is just one small part of what we are facing now!  The feathery part of the puff acts like a parachute which gently guides the seeds to the ground (heaven forbid one should crash-land) and the next year, you get MORE.  I like SOME yellow flowers in my garden, but I’m not crazy about having a lawn made up of dandelion greens with their eighty foot roots as-thick-as-carrots you can never get out.  I actually have all the dandelions I ever want.  I’ve gone out to try to collect the little furry heads before they can disperse, a terribly nasty job that I would not wish on anyone, plus it doesn’t work.  Yesterday, talking to Joe, in a moment of Morning Science, brilliance occurred!  I had to show you!  But suddenly I’m thinking that maybe everyone isn’t familiar with Morning Science, so before I tell you his brilliant idea, for those who don’t know, here’s how I described Morning Science in my AUTUMN book:

So now you know.  We are obviously not scientists, but we do like to ask questions, we’re always trying (weakly) to figure things out.  So the question of what to do with the field of dandelions came up.  And this time Joe outdid himself.  He said, “Get the dust buster.”

At first I laughed, the dust buster?  He was suggesting we vacuum the seeds right off the stems!  You can’t do that.  But then I  thought about it and went and got the dust buster.  See the stem of the dandelion leaning into it?  It wants to go in there!  I just put the tip of the vacuum next to it, and it jumped in!  Once I actually did three flowers at once!  Rather interesting don’t you think?

Voila!  I mean Voi-friggin’-LA!  Can you believe that?   De-nuded, in one fell swoop. So I went and did the entire area.

We went from this . . .

to this!  I missed a bit here and there, a few weren’t quite ready to let go, but see all the little stems?  That, plus more, took me about 10 minutes of extremely satisfying vacuuming.  Then we mowed, everything smelled like heaven, and the stems all disappeared.  Yes, we will still have plenty of dandelion leaves for our salads, but next year’s crop just got wiped out by the two geniuses and Morning Science!  Well, one genius and the other person that hangs around with him.♥  

So, there you go, garden hint of the day — I bet you never heard that one before! 🙂

Every day now something else blooms here in my Martha’s Vineyard garden.  The tulips are still going strong, and now the clematis is blooming on the picket-fence garden.  I love this plant, it’s taken a long time to get established here, but I think we finally made it.

Isn’t it romantic?  Clematis is a vine that comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.  This one is Clematis Montana, var. rubens ‘Pink Perfection.”  They like their feet (roots and bottom of plant) in the shade, and their heads in the sun.

I have to go soon.  I have a meeting at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore here on Main Street — a famous little independent bookstore here on the island —  the same store where I had my very first book signing all those years ago.  I’m going to meet with the owner and show her our book! (Excited! What shall I wear?) Kellee has printed it all out for me now, and although the pages are only printed on one side and not bound, everything is there, it looks beautiful and it gives me something good for show and tell.  But I have a quick question for you before I go:

See this?  My girlfriend sells these bracelets and the little hand-blown Venetian glass beads that go on them.  I had never seen one before but she tells me they are very popular and that many people collect the beads, which come in a huge number of colors and designs.  They collect them the same way they collect charms, when they travel, or have a life event, like a new grandchild or a graduation.  She says it’s the “new charm bracelet.”  (This is the only charm bracelet I’ve ever had … so far!)

The beads come in a sweet little box, all with different quotes — I think they would make a lovely gift.  Here’s the bead she will be selling this summer for Vineyard Haven, our town on the island. Her website is not up yet, but when it is, if you like this bead, I’ll let you know where you can get it.

They can be manufactured with any words on the side.  She thinks I should have a bead made that says Love and Kisses on one side, and Susan Branch on the other.  Or something like that.  Or all hearts.

But since I never saw them before, it’s hard for me to understand if anyone would want them?  Do you have a bracelet like this?  The beads sell for around $30, so I figured out, for a bracelet like this

It would cost around $350 for all the beads including the bracelet itself.  Of course you would gather the beads one at a time, so it wouldn’t be all at once (unless someone wanted to do it that way), you’d just get them at special times.  I really think they’re gorgeous.  And the beads aren’t all in blue — there are other colors — my girlfriend has all blue because hers are all Martha’s Vineyard beads, and with the ocean all around, the roses and green fields and trees, you can see it all reflected here.  So, my question is, have you seen them before?  Are they your cup of tea or not?  Am I the last person on the block to know about them?

So, off I go, but I will leave you with one last lovely picture … this wild-looking parrot tulip.  I was talking to my dad on the phone yesterday.  We were talking about you, and the beautiful comments you left on the Mother’s Day post (like all the others, by the way).  He was saying how NICE it is to go into the comments and read them, that when he is done, he feels like all’s right with the world.  I feel exactly the same way.  Each of the comments is meaningful, but when you put them all together, they’re even more powerful, it’s the accumulation of the love, and the connection to things that really matter.  I just wanted to say thank you for making my blog such a loving, funny, thoughtful, heartfelt place to be. You are the perfect example of what’s right with the world.

Hopelessly devoted to you, bye for now, xoxo, me

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762 Responses to GARDEN TIP OF A GENIUS

  1. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    I think the glass beads are really pretty, MUCH prettier than the silver Pandora-style, but would be interested in earrings or a pendant [rather than a bracelet]. If there is a Susan Branch bead, I’d like to see “Heart of the Home” with your little signature hearts on it – just because that’s YOUR “brand.” :>)

    PS – you should make a little video of the “dustbuster-dandelion” procedure for YouTube!

    • sbranch says:

      I think I could probably make number one with that one, doubt if anyone else would do such a thing! 🙂

  2. Jeanne Hedin says:

    I can see it now . . . a wave of dandelions blooming across the country as spring arrives . . . followed by a brigade of folks with dust busters in hand! 🙂 Wonderful (and hilarious) idea! I will never look at a dandelion the same way again. Also love the beautiful beads and packaging, tho my current choice is a more traditional charm bracelet with additions for each grandchild and special family event. Loved this post! 🙂

  3. Jan says:

    Dandelions can be a wonderful thing when paired with granddaughters in pictures. My daughter emailed me pictures of my granddaughters in a field of green and yellow – beautiful! She also sent a close-up picture of the oldest with a large yellow moustache. (She said they smelled like goldfish crackers). Loved your idea though when gone to seed. Wouldn’t work for me though because we have a very large yard. The beads sound like a good idea, and Yes! – one designed by you would be Great! Have also thought about your jewelry charms on a chain, offered in your store; and wondered if they could be added to my charm bracelet I already have? Enjoy the weekend! Planning on planting my garden.

  4. ArlineLA says:

    “I’m Dustbusting Dandelions” sounds like the title of a country western song!

    Also reminds me that we used to hold a dandelion under a friends chin. The idea was if the yellow was reflected under your chin, you like butter! Not sure where that one came from.

    Love the beads and have looked longingly at them at various craft fairs. Perhaps your friend will join you at the Remnants of the Past show in CA this Fall? We could meet both of you! I just booked our room in Pismo for that weekend and marked my SB calendar. See you there!

    Arline in Burbank

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, of course, I should tell my brother — he writes great country songs (that no one’s ever heard of but us) such as “It’s so lonely in the saddle since my horse died.” Funniest song in the world. I thought that flower game came from buttercups. But probably anything yellow! See you in SLO Town in November Arline!

      • Jack says:

        And my butt scrapes on the ground now, when I do ride!

        Oh it seems so far to town , with lizards all around,
        And rattlesnakes all chasinn’ my poor backside!

        • sbranch says:

          I keep trying to get him to do a little youtube recording of his songs so I can play them!

  5. Vida Howard says:

    Oh how I laughed and laughed when I thought of of you two out sucking up dandelions! We had a similar episode in our backyard a couple of years ago with Japanese Beetles. I was washing dishes and looked out the back window to see my husband Rick sucking them off the bushes with the ShopVac. It made sense and at the same time seemed hilarious!
    Have a beautiful spring and your flowers are Beautiful!

    • sbranch says:

      I wouldn’t want to empty it, but that’s a great idea too!

    • I never thought about Japanese Beetles. Great idea. We use a small vacuum to suck up the stink bugs in our house because otherwise if you squash them they stink. My husband, thankfully, is the one to empty the vacuum.

  6. Julie H from Michigan says:

    Yes Susan, you are one of the last persons I know that are not familiar with these beads and bracelets. HA! And yes….I would be interested in one that you designed. I would buy one for my special girlfriends as well. Your garden looks lovely. I always look forward to pictures of your garden and all the beautiful flowers. Sucking up those dandelion weeds seems like a pretty good idea. Thanks for sharing it. Have a great day!

  7. Bev says:

    I love the idea for the bracelets. I have my Italian charm bracelets that friends have added to for years. Oh My! My DH and I have the same science discussions when on our wallks. We are so laughing about the dust buster and dandelions. Thank you Joe for such a great idea! Even though we live in the country we will be chuckling on the inside when wielding the dust buster and are spotted by someone. OMG, “What is that person doing?”
    Thank you for always sharing your inspirations, beautiful artwork and laughter.

  8. Vida Howard says:

    Oh and I love the beads! We own a glass shop so anything glass catches my eye!
    I collect the Brighton beads so if they fit the bracelets I have for that, I would love to have a Susan Bead.

  9. oh my goodness! yes! i would buy one of your beads for my bracelet! my best friend gave me my bracelet with a “best friend” bead on it for my birthday 4 years ago in september 2009. i have the perfect design for your glass bead too…a white, or even better yet, an aqua blue bead with your little red hearts (Heart of the Home) randomly spaced all over it…just the way you paint them in your artwork! i would love love love it! and the fact that it would be personalized with your name on one side and love and kisses on the other is perfection!

  10. i guess i should have read some of the other posts…my idea wasn’t so original, but it is your signature style, so of course i wouldn’t be the only one to think of the hearts for your bead…tee hee hee… 🙂

  11. Nancy M says:

    The beads are very pretty!!! I’ve never seen them before. At first, it does seem alot to think how much they are per bead, but then that would be the fun of collecting them over time. I’ll be interested in finding out more and it would be great if she could have some special for you and your friends. 🙂

  12. Elaine in Missouri says:

    Love the mental picture of you in the yard with your dustbuster! Love the bracelet with the Martha’s Vineyard charm. I have a couple of the bracelets. Here they are sometimes called ‘My Story’ bracelet. You fill it with beads that tell about you. Sometimes they are called ‘troll’ beads. I would also love to have a bead that would have your name on it. Please send out the info on getting the beads from the island. Looking forward to the jewelry!

  13. Georgie Bonsanto says:

    Susan… Part 2 to my post

    As to the Beads… New Thought… since you must pre order a certain number of beads

    A Limited Edition of A Fine Romance bead… to CELEBRATE your new Book. I will sign up TODAY! LOL! XOXO

    THEN… to last for ALWAYS… a “Girlfriends are Forever” Bead or a “With Love From the Heart of Home”

    Whew! That sould cover ALL the bases!

    Yardville, NJ

  14. Michele says:

    Absolutely delighted (and giggling) over Joe’s genius idea! My hubby and I have “Afternoons-After-Work Science” during dog walks on the gravel bike path by the river- how fun to learn that this “hunger for learning and motivation to keep seeing the world around us” now has a name. You’re such a kindred spirit. Thank you for your blog– I always look forward to each and every post. Hugs from a small town girl east of Seattle, WA 🙂

  15. Nellie says:

    Happy Friday afternoon, Susan! Are your week-end plans well-underway?

    I have a bracelet which I really love, probably of the Pandora style, yet I find I do not wear it often, mainly because I usually have my hands in something that I don’t want to put the bracelet into. Does that make sense? The beads are complete on it, and there are two charms hanging from it. I don’t think it is the kind of bracelet that could take the addition of any other beads, so I would have to start from the beginning with another. I do love the Martha’s Vineyard one, and of course – ANYTHING with your design would be a “must have!”

    Who was it that decided that dandelions are weeds, anyway? They are much sturdier than most of the other things that bloom in the spring, and they add that nice touch of yellow to the landscape.:-) Someone once wondered why the dandelion wasn’t considered the Easter flower as it was definitely not fragile like the Easter lily.:-) Never before have I heard of vacuuming up those heads, though. Very inventive solution to that problem. Hopefully it will inhibit their reappearance.

    I send wishes for a marvelous week-end ahead, Susan.

    xo Nellie

  16. Joy Pence from Ohio says:

    Good morning Susan. Yes, I got a bracelet from my daughter for my birthday, and she has 2 of them. The original one was from a company called Pandora and yes, they can be expensive to collect. Now that they are becoming more popular you can get the beads at a lot of different stores. Kay Jewelers, our Wal-Mart even has a version, Kohl’s has a line of them. I just got one for my Hannah who is graduating tonight. It is a graduation cap with a small diamond in it!
    One more thing. About morning science….did you see the English Country Living several months ago that talked about the starlings and their murmuration? I looked it up why they to that. The logic behind this spectacular behaviour is simple: survival. Starlings are tasty morsels for peregrines, merlins and sparrowhawks. The answer is to seek safety in numbers, gathering in flocks and with every bird trying to avoid the edge where adept predators can sometimes snatch a victim. So there you go! Hugs. 🙂

  17. Amanda says:

    I like the dust-buster idea! I have another gardening tip, collected off of a local gardening tv show. On a hot, sunny day, pour straight white vinegar onto weeds. The weeds suck it up like it’s water, and it kills them. This is great for dandelions, or grass in sidewalk cracks. The next day I go and dig them up, and I know if I left some roots down there they won’t grow back again. You do have to be careful not to pour the vinegar near plants you don’t want to kill, like flowers, as they will suck up the vinegar too. I smell a little pickle-y when I’m done, but white vinegar is so cheap, kills all the weeds, and is good for the environment!

    • sbranch says:

      Love it! Thank you Amanda — we have a rock driveway out back, with all kinds of cracks in it!

  18. Terry K. says:

    The beads would be great. They should be able to fit either the Pandora bracelet or the Troll bracelet. I have always used charms to help remember where I have traveled to. For my 40th birthday, my husband found two additional charms bracelets that matched mine and had them combined to make a necklace. It gave me more room to continue adding charms! I just love it!

  19. MoeWest says:

    Great gardening tip! I will go out on the lawn with my dustbuster and the neighbors will think I’m crazy, but we know better! I haven’t heard of Venetian glass beads before, but they are very pretty. Btw, your clematis looks gorgeous.

  20. Mindy says:

    Yes…I love those beads/charms. The brand Pandora is popular for those charms bracelets. I have a Pandora bracelet and necklace that I can exchange the beads out. Pandora stores also sell special beads for cities as well. I got an Eskimo charm that they only sell in Alaska, a dice charm they only sell in Las Vegas, etc.

  21. ginger says:

    I was quietly reading along and minding my own business, when you posted the picture of the forget-me-not bead. I got all misty and sentimental. My little girl angel and I have a bond over those little flowers. I journal with little watercolor paintings in a moleskin like your science lesson now. Thanks for another lovely post.

  22. Gail Buss says:

    Hi Susan, Happy Friday! Just like your very first response today, I too had the flat Italian bracelet and each little flat charm they put on it was something that pertained to me (which I picked out or someone bought me). On mine I have (everything is small) an American flag, Mom, a teacup, a sand-dollar, a palm tree, bunco, a St. Patty’s Day hate, a red hat and a heart. I never started the Pandora or Brighten beads but my dtr-in-law and her mom did. The Brighten beads go from $7 to $100 depending on what you pick. Actually, I thought now they were on the way out. I must say though I do think the Martha’s Vineyard one you showed with the flowers was very pretty and I can see where if you had one that said Heart of the Home and Susan Branch that would be something people would want to collect. Well I have to run now…………going to a dinner party. Hugs, Gail Buss XX

  23. Clever you on the dandelion seed clean up. The other day one of our 12 week old chickens spied one of those puff balls, as I call them, all ready to go flying and ran up to it to eat it and POOF it was gone. It was so funny to watch its reaction..what happened?? lol. Fun post. Also a couple days ago we got a call from someone who has sheep out by us asking us if we wanted three Ewes and their babies. He had promised us some a few months ago and never came thru. I ran out to open the gate pronto and he and his three border collies, come herding in three mamas with three of the cutest 2 week old lambs, all different.. to spend a few weeks with us in our field. Color me Happy. 🙂 I thought of you.. I am leading the English life right now and loving it. 🙂

  24. Connie M D says:

    I think this is the perfect time for all of us who love you, to thank your Mom & Dad for giving you to us. XO Connie

    • sbranch says:

      Like in Yankee Doodle Dandy, my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, and I thank you. xo

  25. Asha says:

    Hi Susan! The dustbuster idea is a riot! I wish mine was big enough to vacuum the thousands (literally) of pine cones I have in my yard. I will be raking them up until I’m 100 years old! 🙂 And speaking of bracelets, when my dear husband and I were on the Vineyard last September, he bought me a blue glass bead that resembles waves and the Edgartown Lighthouse charm for my bracelet from a famous Vineyard jewelry store to celebrate our anniversary and as a memory of our trip! You will sell tons if you do a Susan Branch bead or charm or both. I will be the first to pre-order.
    So please consider it! I would be honored to have one of your charms/beads on my bracelet. Once again, a wonderful SB blog! Love ya! oxoxox

  26. Hi Susan!

    Loved this brilliant idea!! You’re the official “Weed Whisperer!”

    Have a “Dandy” weekend!
    Hugs, Bunny XO

  27. Janet says:

    In a heartbeat!!! I would love these beads. Especially those from Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. My whole house is a “beach cottage” of family-style antiques, nautical collections from childhood and gleanings from travel. These are just the PRETTIEST things I’ve seen. A leeeetle on the expensive side, but I’d find a way!

  28. Carrie says:

    Will try this again. I saw your Twitter feed yesterday asking your Twitter friends which would be the best charm to issue, A Fine Romance or GFF. Given the tremendous pre-order sales of A.F.R., it would seem all those who purchased the book may be inclined to also purchase a charm of the same ilk. To offer it when the enthusiasm for this new book is at fever pitch seems like it may prove to be a great seller. Also, A.F.R. is completely unique to Susan Branch. No Pandora charm like it-there is a best friends forever charm, however. GFF could be #2.

  29. Jane in Pennsylvania says:

    I have a similar bracelet (Brighton, I think), that the beads would work on. I like the wording on the sides of this bead, though. Don’t think I’ve seen that before. Yes, of course, I would want one as a Susan Branch girlfriend. The visual of you dustbusting dandelions is so funny. Did any neighbors see you, for gosh sake? 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing your picket fence garden this year. I have it set as my computer background picture at home and at work, & have gotten several complimentary comments about it at work. As for the warm comments you receive on your blog: it’s just the return of love and appreciation for the beauty that you send out every day. You do brighten up this world more than you know. xxoo

    • sbranch says:

      I didn’t see the neighbors see me, so I told myself they didn’t! Thank you so much Jane. xoxo

      • Jack says:

        Not to worry – Your picture , bent over doing your dandelions is on the front page of the Vineyard Gazette– too bad they didn’t take it from the front ……

  30. Jennie says:

    Oh, Susan- what will the husband say when I tell him we need a dust buster for our garden? 😉
    This garden tip may just go down in ‘change my life’ history! Along with my other favorite- salt and vinegar on a hot day kills the weeds in paths and sidewalks like THAT! *snap* I keep a costco supply of vinegar and salt in the garage at all times . . . now a dustbuster will have to move in as well!

  31. Susan (Grayslake, IL) says:

    A little delayed in writing on the blog … have been on vacation to the Outer Banks (NC) 🙂 and unable to do much with my emails. I want you to know that I have been collecting different beads and charms for this type of bracelet and would love to add a Susan Branch inspired bead to my collection. Please let us know when they will be available 🙂
    Oh and to share … my daughter gave me your book, “Mom, Tell Me Your Story” for Mother’s Day. It was a special gift … I love the guided journal.
    Have a wonderful spring weekend (love the pictures).

  32. Georgie says:

    Susan! I think my 2 responses got lost 🙁 Not a problem!I may have typed in my wrong email…

    What a fabulous FUN giggly post… and GENIUS idea! I was using my iPhone in the car and giggling. Joe was driving and asked me what I was reading. When I told him he was laughing too. (How did I ever exist without that little wonder… Lately it’s been my connection to the outside world.) Yes… a You Tube is in order! It will rank up there with your flour sifting!

    YES to your beads!!! I slept on the 2 choices “A Fine Romance” and “Girlfriends Forever” My vote… Limited Edition of A Fine Romance available by pre order just in time for your book tour (that way you could see if you meet the minimum… which I don’t think will be a problem at all). Just like your Christmas Ornaments… a LE! Make them all in the same color special for your book! Then a standard selection would be Girlfriends Forever or Heart of the Home… since those 2 will last FOREVER! Sign me up!

    Much xoxo to you! Enjoy your outing this weekend!
    Yardville NJ

    P.S. Dad is doing great and getting stronger each day. We are hoping he will be home soon 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      The only thing lost was me! Sorry, I am really late approving comments, but I’m here now, and won’t go anywhere until they are all up! Sorry! Such good news about your dad Georgie!!! And thank you for all the good thoughts on the beads!

  33. Barbara Thomas (Lodi,CA) says:

    In the past I collected Troll Beads, enough to make four different bracelets. It can become addicting if you love bracelets! I haven’t worked in five years and I rarely wear them now. They are in the jewelry box in bags to try to keep the tarnish at bay for when the whim strikes me to wear one! I love the fact that these can have a message or name on the side! If you start selling them with hearts and flowers inside I may have to start another!

    Barbara 🙂

    • Tawni urrutia says:

      Hi Barbara! I live in Lodi too!!! Great to see another Lodi girlfriend in the SB “neighborhood”!

  34. Barb from Ohio says:

    Love the MUSICA from Midnight In Paris, it’s one of my favorite movies. I’ve always liked dandelions….until the white fuzz appears and the stems always seem to grow faster than the grass surrounding them. I laughed out loud at Joe’s solution with the dust buster, though. The bracelets are lovely and I do think you should design a bead. Have a great weekend!

  35. Hi Susan and all, What a fun blog this is! I am roaring, dust busting dandylions and picking the leaves off the trees! Did your neighbors video you vacuuming up the dandys? My grands bring me dandys when they walk up our connecting driveway, and they go into a little jar at my kitchen window. Arent’t the seed heads the most beautiful creation? So perfect! I remember showing my son when he was 2 how to blow the seeds and watch them float through the air. Am I the only neglected one to never have known about making a wish on them? When my son was maybe 30 I found a clear paper weight with a perfect seed head in it, bought it for him for Christmas. It was such a special memory.
    Ok everyone, has anyone made dandelion wine? It is delicious! It takes tons of the yellow flowers but worth it! That is the best way (to me) to get them picked before going to seed! Like my mint that runs amok through my yard, I love dandelions and queen annes lace! I had never seen queen annes lace til we moved to WNC from So Cal. They are so special!
    The bracelt is beautiful!
    Hugs and blessings,

    • sbranch says:

      How great, you didn’t know about the wishes, now you have something new to put in your repertory of tricks! They truly are beautiful and another perfect way to teach children about nature.

      • Lynn McMahon says:

        ~ Hi~
        We used to take a dandelion and put it under our chin to see if we liked butter!~ If it looked yellow on the bottom we did!~

  36. Jan says:

    Speaking of dandelions – my daughter emailed me some pictures of my two granddaughters in a field of yellow (dandelions) and green(grass). One picture showed my oldest granddaughter with a large yellow moustache. What beautiful pictures. Quite an ingenious idea from you for getting rid of the ones gone to seed though. Don’t think it would work for me – we have a very large area of grass. The beads sound like a good idea, so beautiful; and one designed by you sounds like a Great idea! Have been wondering about your charms on chains, and plain charms in your store; if they could be attached to a charm bracelet? Have you or anyone tried this? I have one of the older versions of a bracelet in sterling silver. Loved your bunny rabbit and little mouse. Enjoy the weekend!

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t worry, I’ll take away one of the comments. Yes, I think there might be a way to attach them, but we are also thinking about maybe another kind of charm too.

  37. Jan says:

    Sorry for the double comment – I just intended to add something, so I guess I didn’t do it correctly.

  38. Judy Young says:

    Loved this post! I cannot believe you haven’t seen these bracelets before! My son gave me a Brighton one with a few beads for Mother’s Day in 2011 (It is gorgeous and I wear it every single day!) and my boss added a couple more beads for a Christmas gift, and I bought four more to complete the bracelet. I absolutely love it! This year (last week) he gave me a Brighton watch! What a great kid!

    By the way, your pink clematis is spectacular. Years ago I ordered a purple one from Jackson Perkins, and every year, it blooms “white”! Each year it gets bigger and better though and this year entwined with our Wisteria, it was charming.

    The “book” will be in our hands before we know it, this year is going by so fast!

    • sbranch says:

      Yesterday the first pages came from the printer, for approval of the paper I’d chosen. I was thrilled — just to see the “real” thing. Next comes the colors of ribbon I get to choose for our sewn-in bookmark. I think either dark brown or red, and lean toward the red!

      • Judy Young says:

        Definitely RED!!!! And that is advice from an English woman!!

        • sbranch says:

          I think so too! Hope they send me the “right” color of red!

          • Carrie says:

            Red pops and would be the proverbial icing on the cake!! How cute is that with the red lettering on the cover?! Brown ? no snap crackle or pop – milquetoast. But RED, well, that’s the ticket!

          • sbranch says:

            Yup. I think you’re right.

  39. Pam Fortune says:

    Hi Susan
    Just caught up with your last two blogs and your left and your right reminded me of my daughter Fleur, she has the same problem and took her driving test four times before she finally passed. I made up a rhyme just for her so she would always be able to remember, “I write with my right hand and the hand that is left over is my left.” She still uses that little strategy today.
    I loved Joe’s idea of the dust buster, I wish that I had known about that yesterday because I was weeding my garden and the seeds were blowing all over the garden ready for next year.
    I will be pleased when we have better weather here in the U.K. It is nearly what should be flaming June and the longest day and then we will be approaching autumn. I haven’t spring cleaned my summerhouse yet as the weather hasn’t been good but I did enjoy the warmth in Ibiza so I mustn’t complain.

    • sbranch says:

      It hasn’t been good? I was wishing you to have a sunny summer because last year, while we were there, it rained (beautifully) so much. It didn’t bother us because we were happy visiting and nothing could put a damper on what we were seeing, but I felt like my friends needed more sun for their gardens. Early spring, I had the impression, was nice . . . then what?

      • Pam Fortune says:

        More rain Susan and today I motored over the moors in North Yorkshire into Lancashire as I was going to order a new sewing/Embroidery and quilting machine. I had to drive through a wet mist that was very low cloud and a great deal of surface water. The poor farmers must be tearing their hair out and gnashing their teeth. I am hoping for better weather tomorrow as I want to buy some red geraniums and plant them in pots dotted around my garden. We will see!

        • sbranch says:

          I feel like I can picture the whole emerald vista, and it’s beautiful! Praying for sun!

          • Deb McDonnell says:

            I feel your pain here in London, Pam! Dreary and grey. Have had enough! We’re becoming very vitamin D deficient in the UK!

  40. Connie says:

    I purchased one of the beads from your friend’s store on Martha’s Vineyard last Fall … It was my first ever trip to the Island and that bead on my bracelet takes me back to your charming world each time I wear my bracelet! My girlfriends gave me my bracelet last January when my sweet dad, Norman, passed away. They put a couple of beads for friendship and remembrance on the bracelet so I would know they were thinking of me and so that I could keep a remembrance of my dear Dad close. I have added beads as I travel; a duck from the Peabody Motel in Memphis, a conch shell bead from our trip last Summer to Key West and the beautiful bead from Vineyard Haven. Would love to add your bead to my bracelet. Also have the Montana Rubens clematis blooming on my arbor. It is lightly vanilla-scented and just beautiful. Thanks Susan for your blog today…I look forward to each and everyone one of them and love, love the Musica you add each time!

  41. mary spring says:

    good Saturday morning !!..’ gotta say that this post about dust busting dandelions is just plain ingenious (as well as fun !! )…’only have a few dandelions in my yard but every time I look at them now I imagine they being “dust busted…how hilarious….in regards to those lovely beads, I can clearly see them being very popular…even tho I don’t wear jewelry I can see them as being such a nice gift…and I love the way they are boxed w/ Gibran’s quote…have a lovely weekend everyone and get out and enjoy this season !!..with love and take care…

  42. Asha says:

    Hi Susan! The dustbuster idea is a riot! Wish I had one big enough to vacuum up all the pine cones in my yard! I’ll be raking until I’m 100 years old! 🙂 Please, please consider designing a SB glass bead! I have three Pandora bracelets that my family has given me over the last three years. I also have two silver charm bracelets from high school days which I still wear. My dear husband bought me two charms from C.B.Stark in Edgartown when we visited the Vineyard last September. One blue glass bead that looks like waves and a silver Edgartown lighthouse. I adore these bracelets and would the 2nd in line to buy a Susan Branch bead or charm. I see someone else is already the first in line! Let me know when I can pre-order! Love your blog as usual! Hugs & kisses! Asha

    • sbranch says:

      Hmmm, we need a bigger vacuum! xoxo Asha, thank you!

      • Jack says:

        Asha – we have pine needle droppings up the kazoo here in our Pine Shadows neighborhood! The gardeners use their “blowers” to get them into a rolling entwined clump and blow them right onto a vinyl tarp they laid out for that purpose — pick up the four corners and – Voila – The needles are ready for disposal ……..:-)

  43. NANCYJO says:

    Hi Susan,
    Happy late spring and happy dustbuster day. I use mine to claen the crumbs out of my bread drawer. Joe is much more creative.

    • sbranch says:

      So far we have ants, cat food, spiders (black widows in wooden picnic tables), beetles, dandelions, bread crumbs and balloons. As Mary wrote (quoting Albert Einstein) “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

      • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

        You have Black Widows? Oh my! I thought we just had those in the south. They are so bad! We have lots and you have to be so careful!

        • sbranch says:

          We have them in California, but not here on the island thank goodness. I think the vacuum is the thing. We were always afraid to put our knees under the picnic table because we saw them hiding in the dark corners once.

          • Janet [in Rochester] says:

            I don’t know if we have Black Widows in upstate NY, but I remember my dad always gave the picnic table a good blast with the garden hose – sprayer on FULL – whenever we were going to use it. Even if the last time had been just the day before [which it often was in good weather] because spiders can build webs and establish a “base camp” so quickly. Always dried quickly and kept All Things Yucky away. :>)

  44. Maura says:

    Hi Susan,

    Those bead bracelets are fun to collect. I have a Troll bracelet that was started for me for my birthday. I have beads that have to do with a summer/beach theme. I would be interested in the beads your friend has made. Enjoy this beautiful weather.

  45. Jan says:

    Oh my goodness! I’m soo sorry. Now you have three comments from me. My very first comment WAS sent. My computer was on the blink yesterday morning so I didn’t think it got sent. Please forgive me!

    • sbranch says:

      Don’t worry, I do it too — we have gremlins that make it happen even if you don’t! 🙂

  46. Marie (Long Beach, CA) says:

    Hi Susan! Thank you for the giggle this morning with regard to dust busting dandelions… priceless! 🙂 The hand-blown Venetian beads on the bead bracelet are a work of art, absolutely beautiful! Your girlfriend is crazy talented!!! I would love to have a “Susan Branch” bead with hearts all around and the word “Girlfriends” on one side. I’ve been tempted to start this type of a charm bracelet and this might be one to make that happen. 🙂 With lots of love! -Me ♥ P.S. Please do share your girlfriends website once she has it up and running. Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ll do it Marie!

      • Jan from Northern CA says:

        Morning from Northern CA. Wonderful cool weather up here. I think that a Susan Branch bead with hearts and your name on one side and Girlfriends on the other side is a fabulous idea! I would start a bracelet also!! Please do for us. Love the dandilion idea….may have to try that one.
        Jan from Northern CA

        • sbranch says:

          Say hello to the Redwood Highway for me Jan!

          • Jan from Northern CA says:

            Alas, we train USFS firefighters….but our other team gets to do the 6 Rivers Forest….and the Redwoods. I will be with the team on the Modoc Forest….as northeast CA as you can get….Alturas/Cedarville or”Surprise Valley”. Beautiful high country. From there we head south to the Tahoe. Any news on the book tour and CA yet? Just wondering.. 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            What an interesting job you have, and in such beautiful places. Though I’m sure it’s hard work — Kellee, at my studio, her husband Brandon is as USFS firefighter, he’s always going off somewhere dangerous!

            Book tour planning is in full stride. It takes a bit to figure out the logistics of a cross-country tour, where to be and when, but when we know, we’ll get it up on the blog for sure.

  47. Jack says:

    Dandelions and extra pounds react to lawn mowers– you run the mower over the lawn ,
    Back and forth during the season , while picking those little yellow flowers — That inhibits
    NEW starts — but you still have the original plant growing there – They make a V shaped tool on a pole that enables you to remove the plant from the ground without bending over
    — you get it root and all — somewhat tedious but does the job ….and the only way to get control ….. there’s your Dandelion morning science for this Armed Services Day …..

    • sbranch says:

      Happy Armed Services Day Daddy! I wish you where here, I would give you one of those V shaped tools! 🙂

    • mary spring says:

      Aww, Jack…once again, you soooo remind me of my dear father…practicality and knowledge over magicality and whimsy..was it Einstein that said imagination is more important than knowledge ?…at any rate, dear Jack, I always love your comments as well…so smart, you are…thank you for all you and your precious family does…what a gift

      • mary spring says:

        wait a minute…it should have been said that imagination is just as important as knowledge..(in my realm of thinking anyway; thanks for hearing me…(LOL))…

      • sbranch says:

        smartest person I ever met. xoxo

  48. Jack says:

    Without using chemicals I should add….

  49. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan…what a “hoot”! Love..the thought of you dust busting all those dandelions! ha!

    Now..when you mentioned the bracelet I do have one! My granddaughters had one made for me with lots of cute beads on it! They kind of went with Red Hat theme, most charms are red & purple!! Smile..

    I hope all went well with your meeting at the bookstore, which of course I know it did!

    Have a blessed..blessed weekend!

    • sbranch says:

      It did go well, in fact woman-bonding happened, of course — it was fun. Nicest person, the “newish” owner of the bookstore, Dawn. How are you feeling these days Gert?

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

    Susan –
    I have shared your idea with husband & several friends who first pause then think it is genius!! We’re all chuckling at your ingenuity!
    Happy Armed Forces Days to your Dad and all the friends & relatives of active duty & veterans & the service members themselves! 😉

  51. Nancy D. says:

    Susan–love your blog!!! The beads your friend makes are WONDERFUL. Lots of people collect these beads, including me. Please do let us know when her website is up and running. Would love to add one or more of her beads to my collection. I have charms for all the holidays and seasons. So do some of my friends. It’s fun to change the beads and charms.

  52. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! I took a long look at your beautiful memory-filled old fashioned charm bracelet and it is soooooo pretty!!! I love the idea of drawing a diagram with numbers to explain the little story behind each charm, this is so cool! Great for the next generation to know the treasured meaning of each charm. Thank you for this idea. Next rainy day I am definately going to do this on the inside of the top lid of the little box I place mine in……the stories will live on… are so organized Susan. You truly teach us so much!!!!!!

    • sbranch says:

      It would be sad for the stories to go away since that’s what really makes the charms so very charming!

  53. maureen says:

    Susan, I would love to know if your friend sells her beads on the Cape. I’m going over in a few weeks and it would be a wonderful memento! Otherwise, I hope you share her website. I love your blog!!


    • sbranch says:

      Not yet. But with all the enthusiasm here, it’s made her even more enthusiastic — so maybe someday.

  54. Michelene Thomas says:

    Love those charm bracelets. They are very popular around where I live. They are called Pandora bracelets and some of the beads can cost $50.00 or more. Needless to say, I don’t have one. The Martha Vineyard beads are gorgeous! I like the idea of a Susan Branch bead. I would very tempted to start a charm collection. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures of your gardens.

    • sbranch says:

      I went on-line and saw beads for $90. But they would have to play Frank Sinatra to get me to buy one! And then, I guess I would have no choice.

  55. Gerianna Celi says:

    Dearest Susan,
    I absolutely love your blog! I tend to use it as my “morning happiness meditation.” What moved me so much in this post was what you wrote about your dad. Isn’t it wonderful? When you pursue your passion and express your joy, you bring US joy! When we express OUR joy, it brings your dad joy!! And THIS is how we heal what needs healing in the world! Now we just need our cable news network… 😉

    All the best,

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, good luck with the last part … but that’s why we are here, spreading the message that we already have it all thank you very much. xoxo

  56. Faith rose says:

    Susan ,Thank you for this funny and smart gardening tip!I am so excited because it looks like I am actually going to have a kitchen garden like yours, with a white fence and everything!I love gardening and I’ve always wanted a garden like yours but I didn’t think I would get it because it would cost to much.But once again I thank God for making it possible.It turns out that the fence that we wanted was only six dollars but we would have to pay shipping and handling and it would add up,but at the last moment they said that they would pay for the shipping and handling!Plus the wood that we need is on sale! Once again I thank God for blessing me!Ican’t wait to garden now!

    • sbranch says:

      I’m excited for you! You will love it for the rest of your life! Don’t use paint on it, use white stain! So important. Paint peels, white stain, stains, lasts so much longer!

  57. Lori from Maine says:

    Hi Susan! I’ve actually vacuumed my garden before! We had covered our perennial bed with our cut up Christmas tree and come Spring, the garden was full of needles. It was taking forever to get them out, so hubby came out with his shop vac and poof (oops, I sound like Angie 🙂 ) they were gone. Great idea with the dandelions, although I don’t think I’d want to be doing that in the front yard – lots of traffic and lots of “witnesses”!!
    Have a fun weekend everyone!
    (Hi Dorothy Ann!)
    xoxo from SW Hbr., ME

    • sbranch says:

      My dad and I were discussing the many uses of the vacuum this morning … he got a balloon down that was stuck to a very high ceiling in his house, just put the vacuum on the ribbons tied to it, and slurp, down it came!

  58. Jan from Michigan says:

    The glass beads are beautiful! Five years ago I went on a very “extreme” weight loss program and decided to buy a bead for every 10 lbs I lost. I ended up with 7 beads! Wouldn’t you know it, those 70 lbs weren’t really lost they found their way back! I would buy a Susan Branch bead in a heartbeat! Maybe that would motivate me to earn my other beads back 🙂 !!

  59. Deborah Norling says:

    I have seen the beads before, in magazine ads…and your friend’s seem much less expensive but just as beautiful.
    I have to comment on how sorry I am to have missed the sight of you dust busting the dandelions..I have a feeling it was rather entertaining to watch !

  60. Laurel D. says:

    Hi Susan,

    I live in Maryland, about 1/2 hour from Ocean City. Those charm bracelets (beads) are very popular here. There is a company called Pandora (check out their website) that sells them in several shops here on the Eastern Shore. I don’t own one, but know lots of people here who are crazy about them. Hope that helps.

    All the best to you!!

  61. Lynn Cooper says:

    Call me old fashioned, but I love the charms from my childhood; a tiny pair of scissors, a camera charm, a dog, some birthday memorabilia, all those cutesy-dutesy little things that remind me of years gone by.

  62. Mary Baynes/ Indiana says:

    You are soooo Funny…love your kind of Science!
    Why, Yes, I’d love to buy your Friend’s MV beads!
    I think you should have pretty Pink one to start with!
    Also you can sell them in your store?

    • sbranch says:

      I was thinking Pink — and there was this gorgeous red one I saw too, it would be very hard to choose just one! I think we can get them, but I have to find out.

  63. Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

    A couple years ago I bought a Cape Cod bracelet while we were on vacation on the Cape. I love it…it’s a thin silver band with a single gold screw ball clasp. I haven’t taken it off since I bought it. I would, however, experiment with a Susan Branch bead! Wonder how it would look threaded on my bracelet?

  64. CarolK (NJ) says:

    Hi Susan, just got back from a week in the Poconos and antiquing. What fun! I see ads in the papers all the time for those beads and braclets. They’ve been around a few years now. The brand Pandora is the front runner and most expensive of all that are out there. I even saw a craft brand just the other day in the Ribbon Factory in Stroudsburg (PA) in the ‘make your own jewelry’ section. I think they are very pretty and I like the idea of having beads representing the places one visits. I have several old charm braclets that I take out of the box and look at from time to time but never wear anymore. They’re like tiny memory joggers. Maybe I should put them in a shadow box and hang it on a wall so everyone can see them. Love your clematis. Mine are late bloomers (late-July) and if the deer would only stop nibbling on them they could continue to climb the pole out front and get on with the business of blooming. I may have to put a wire cage around them for protection. Happy Weekend to you, Joe and the kidz……

  65. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    this is to Carol Maurer….. we live off the main drag of town which is Redwood Highway 199 coming in from O’Brien, and Crescent City. you just come into town on 199 and when you are at the corner of Caves Highway .. well its actually an intersection with the Chevron gas station and across the road is the Junction Inn, on the other side going on to the Caves Highway is a place called My Place. but if you are coming in from O’Brien you go to the gas station, and turn right at the gas station, there is a lane for that and you are on Caves Highway. go on up until you see the fire station on the right side, we are the place with the fresh eggs sold sign out front on the left and just a door up from the fire station , but on the left. we have a wooden fence. now if you are coming in from Grants Pass you have to get off I-5 and take the first exit off, go al the way up the road and follow the signs to 199 turn right onto 199 and go for 26-28 miles to cave junction, then go to the last light and turn left on to Caves Highway. hope to see you, have a safe trip!!! hugs…. 🙂

  66. sondra fox says:

    Hi Girlfriends, This is my second post on this blog, but I had to let you know the fun I had this afternoon! One of the girlfriends had mentioned a movie, “The Spiral Staircase,” which I wrote down & ordered from Netflix. I watched it this afternoon, while my husband was napping. The movie was such an outstanding movie. All of the older actors that I’d come to know over the years were in the movie. So great seeing them parade their trade. Just wanted to thank the “someone” who gave me a tip on the movie.
    (Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

  67. Julie Jenkins says:

    I would love a “Heart of the Home” charm <3 I have a "regular" charm bracelet and 3 Italian charm bracelets but I've held off on the latest trend. I will, however, start a glass bead one- IF you design one!!! The balls in your court Susan!!!! Now that your book is done, I'm sure you have a few minutes free!!!!

    Patiently waiting,


  68. Gail B says:

    GREAT idea for the dandelions…although I don’t know what the neighbors would think!!!!! My son gave me a bracelet as you described and all my children and my husband have added to it for life’s special occasions….a susan branch and your friends charm would look wonderful added to it……now it is time to go tackle the weeds the old fashioned way….pull them up with the roots!! Happy Spring…..

  69. Carrie says:

    Paul McCartney in concert at Fenway July 9!

    • sbranch says:

      I heard it completely sold out in the first 5 minutes after the tickets went on sale!

      • Carrie says:

        Hmm? This website shows they are stilling selling tics…

        Just thought you might be interested in another Beatles encounter. If he were coming to CA, I think I’d try to make it happen even though it’s a bit dear.

          • Carrie says:

            It is unclear to me with the report they sold out w/in 5 mins but didn’t want you to miss out if it is something you would have considered…

            (Sir Paul), has a link that takes you to Fenway’s (the one I gave above) and there are seats selling as of 5 mins ago (just checked).


            Maybe you are not interested and if that’s the case, please disregard these follow up posts. Just didn’t want you to miss the chance if it was of interest.

            **BTW, I heard Paul was hoping to see you **again…:)

          • sbranch says:

            Yes of course he is! Thank you for the information … Today is such a glorious late spring here, we’ve been out back planting a tree, my girlfriend walked over from across the street, we did a neighborhood tour of what’s blooming, with dirty hands and tangled hair, I have such terrible spring fever, the thought of going anywhere at all seems crazy. But I’m still happy to know!

  70. Jackie says:

    The dustbuster idea is brilliant!!! I will try it and I will share the idea with my daughter, who wages a yearly war with the dandelions.

  71. Mary Lou says:

    My daughter and I just returned from our weeks stay on Marthas Vineyard and I only wonder what took me so long to get there. I loved every minute. We stayed at the Harborside Inn in Edgartown. While shopping one day, she said…let me buy you something for your Pandora bracelet for Mothers Day. She bought a ferry and the glass wave bead that another writer mentioned. If there were a Susan Branch bead I would have that, too! Everyone told me to come back in October, and I think I will.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh I’m so happy! October is wonderful here, fall leaves are gorgeous and it’s very quiet, but everything is still open. I’m so glad you liked it.

  72. Kellie Badger says:

    The dustbuster’s a neat idea. My husband goes through the yard with a lighter and torches the puffballs! We’re enjoying blooming locus trees and wisteria right now. It’s such a pleasure to sit on the porch swing in the mornings and evenings.
    Thanks for your blog, Susan, it’s so charming and lighthearted. A pleasure that I look forward to and enjoy so much. Have a great day! 🙂

  73. Hello Everyone it seems like I’ve been off of here forever. We have been so busy buying flowers and here is my sweet husband’s motto…”When we buy plants we come home and plant them”!!!! Now, I totally agree with him because it saves us from storing them in his “precious” garage and having to haul water out to keep them alive. I worked till every single flower had a new place in the garden and never mind that I thought I might have to become part of the landscape from fainting and being left behind!!!! phew So, I’m late to this party and loved the idea from Joe to use the dust buster to attack the lovely dandelions. I told Jim about it and he of course was all for it. Now, Jim is a stickler for a very well groomed yard and our neighbor is a very nice young man (very busy working) and for some reason his lawn ended up almost knee high and his dandelions weren’t just a few they looked like he planted them and they were all headed!!! YIKES….it made all the neighbors a little anxious because one strong wind and all his seeds would end up in guess who’s yard!!! So, we were away and the boy borrowed a riding lawnmower and my friend said he worked on that yard and seeds were flying everywhere and heaven only knows where they all went?? Now, time for me to tell you how my hubby cleans out the gutters at our home. When it is dry he climbs up on the roof (ugh) and takes along his “leaf blower” and goes to town and BAM the gutters are clean the roof top is spotless and the amount of work it saves is amazing!!!! The Maple Seeds are so thick this year and really clogged up the gutters and it works beautifully as long as it is dry!! It is almost time for his trek up on the roof so can we all pause for a special prayer for safety…..So, Susan you tell Joe that one and power tools must be a “man thing” JACK….because no chore is to big if it involves POWER!!! Oh just one warning….if you have a very steep roof I wouldn’t suggest using this method!!! I didn’t want to read about husbands across America falling off their roofs with leaf blowers in tow….Hope everyone is well and enjoying the great outdoors whenever they can. Blessings

    • sbranch says:

      I read to the bottom, thinking how I would hate to see Joe try and take power tools to our very steep roof — then I got to your warning. Yes, he won’t be doing that! He has stood on a ladder near low eaves, stuck the end of the blower up there, and gone to town …

      • Julia says:

        One time my dryer vent got clogged up and my son took
        the leaf blower and blew it out. It worked great. I’ll
        bet Jack is really enjoying this blog!

  74. Patty C. says:

    I have two Pandora-style bracelets and love them. They stack well with bangles too! I adore this type of “new” charm bracelets and would love to have one with your name on it! XOXO Patty

  75. Pam Black says:

    Pure Genius!!! My granddaughter is having as much fun doing that as puffing them off. How fun!! I have several “real” charm bracelets. I have one similar to this and I love it. I would love to add a Martha’s Vineyard bead and Susan Branch bead because we are girlfriends and I love to virtually visit!!
    Love you and Joe as if you were right next door.
    Pam in Texas

  76. Fabienne says:

    Dust busting dandelions – what a photo that would have been for your blog!
    We are just back from the weekend at the beach camping in our teardrop. Weather was glorious, saw 4 whales and tons of dolphins and sea lions. After the fires so close to our house/community it was spectacular to have clean air and sunshine at the shore. Love all your flowers, such beauty. Now as we walk the shore or camping trails I am announcing “It’s a science fair!” My husband will think I’m so smart – ha ha. Nature and science is all around us – you just have to open your eyes (and heart) to see it. Spouting whales! A wonder to behold. Enjoy your spring on MV, keep posting photos, love them all.

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, we had a “field day” with Morning Science on the wonderful footpaths that criss-cross the country.

  77. Terri says:

    That IS the best (and funniest!), gardening tip, Ever! Thank you for that…I’m going to go tell my husband we need to get a dustbuster for the garden. I can hardly wait to see his reaction, lol

    • Terri says:

      p.s. Every time I read your blog and the comments here, it makes me feel like ‘all is right with the world.’ <3

  78. Jody says:

    I LOVE your gardening dandenlion-seed-tip. Whodathunkit? YOU! Spring is springing up beautifully there! Thanks for sharing.

  79. Debra Gibbs says:

    Susan, I just woke up from a nap all groggy, sat down and read your post…and had a good laugh. First, I have to tell you that whenever I see the title of your new post, I always try to figure out what it’s going to be about. The gardening trick…hmmmm….sure didn’t expect vacuuming up dandelions! But then when you showed a picture of them actually jumping into it…well, I was sold. Reminded me of the time my husband came in after working on our lawn by the lake….we have lots of ducks and people who walk by all the time. He wondered if the people would think he was going overboard if he took his dust buster out and sucked up all the duck feathers down by the water. He does like things very neat, but I did tell him I thought he’d be pushing it…after all, it is nature and they fit in there. So he didn’t…….but dandelions would have to go!
    Thanks for making my day, Susan. Sure wish you were my neighbor…you’d be fun to hang out with!

  80. Janie Phillips says:

    Really brilliant! I suspect we’ll see Dandelion Busters in garden centers soon. They’ll be green and have long handles to prevent stooping.

    You’re the next-to-last person to hear of the beads, because I’m the last. I don’t know how I missed them — they’re lovely. The possibilities are endless, and I’m sure there are a lot of potential bead collecting girlfriends here.

    It seems like I blinked and spring burst forth on Martha’s Vineyard! Everything looks so pretty!

    • sbranch says:

      Yay, someone else! And I love your Garden Buster design! We’ve had a lovely spring so far .. we have a week of showers to look forward to, but we need it so I’m looking forward to it. Have a great day Janie!

  81. Sharan says:

    The bracelet is beautiful. I have a similar one that my daughter bought me. I’d love to add your friend’s beads to my bracelet. I love the colors and that you can have words added to them on the sides. Would love a Susan Branch bead! 🙂

  82. Rosanna says:

    I quite agree with your father. Reading the comments after each of your postings is just a positive, relaxing, funny little thing to do that gives you a mental boost that all is right with the world after all – 🙂
    From time to time, I share things I’ve read here with my husband – like little ‘talking points’ for our after lunch coffee on the front porch. He definitely got a good chuckle from this latest – and then admitted it was not just ‘funny’ but probably a rather good idea! You have to admit that your ‘Dustbuster Dandelions’ idea is environmentally safe (no chemicals/sprays) and appears to be effective – what more could you ask for!?

    • sbranch says:

      Really! I agree — seemed silly at first, but I got over it when I saw how well it worked.

  83. Julia says:

    O.K. I have to add my 2 cents. One time I bought a feather tick.
    I loved the fabric but wanted to get rid of the feathers but didn’t
    want the mess of them flying around. So husband came home and
    his idea was to vacuum them out with the shop van and I said, “how
    will we get them out of the shop vac?” Then he said he’d put it
    in the back of his pick-up and let them fly out. Well, I said ” I
    don’t think the neighbors would want feathers all over their yards.”
    Finally, we put it in a kiddie pool, got them wet and scooped them
    out! My husband would have loved Joe’s idea.

    • sbranch says:

      Your conversation about what to do with the feathers would have been so funny to hear! Nice job of problem solving!

  84. Annette McD says:

    The Gibran quote on the bead box was beautiful…

    Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to
    play with your hair.

    How often we forget this. I am going outside. Thank you once again for for beauty you bring into our world.

  85. Linda P in IL says:

    I haven’t read all the way through the comments so someone else may have said this..I’ve seen necklaces with just a bead or three and they are lovely. A good idea that is affordable. I would love to have your beads.

  86. Suzanne Talbot says:

    Well, I am really out of the loop Susan! Have not heard of or seen these beautiful bracelets!
    And I definitely want one. Yes, please let us know when your friend’s website is up. I would love to buy a bracelet to put the beads on, and her pretty Martha’s Vineyard bead.
    And please do design a bead from you! Now, something else to collect!

    The dustbuster idea of Joe’s was definitely genius. Would never have thought of that.

    And those Parrot tulips are gorgeous! What a wonderful garden you have, and I know more flowers are coming.
    Must be so nice to just spend the day outside in your yard!

    Happy almost summer.

    Suzanne (Carmel, CA)

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Suzanne .. I started the process of bead design this morning! So excited! Thank you — say hello to beautiful Carmel for me!

      • Suzanne Talbot says:

        Can’t wait to see the bead you design!
        And yes, I’ll say hello to Carmel. I remember you saying you lived here once.
        But Martha’s Vineyard sounds like Heaven!

  87. Judy says:

    Hi Susan,
    I also know about the beads and bracelets…. I have one and got excited when I saw the photo that you sent out about the beads. AND then I saw that there was no web site YET and will wait eagerly for one to be posted. You will be doing that, right?
    I don’t add the total cost of all the beads and charms I have on my bracelet because then I would feel like I need to get insurance on it!!

  88. Connie says:

    Hi Susan, I agree with Janet [in Rochester}. I received an email not too long ago showing a person vacuuming the front yard, she was wearing a fur coat – so there you go. You can wear something catchy/naughty (???) to vacuum your dandelions – woo whoo – you would get a lot of hits!!!!!

    My English friend Nancy just gave me a birthday present and I love it – “64 Happy, Fun, Little Inspirational Sharable Thoughts”, in the perfect little box with green ribbon inside – I am beside myself – l love it so much!!!! Last time she gave me your Sweets for the Sweet Book – just because!!!

    Take care and I hope your weather is nice – In Abilene, Texas we have hit 3 digits – yikes!

    • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Hi Connie!
      Yes we are well into SUMMER! And it is hot, windy and dry!

  89. Connie says:

    Hi Susan, I agree with Janet (in Rochester). Not too long ago I received an email showing a person vacuuming the front lawn wearing a fur coat!!! You can wear something catchy/naughty (???) and gosh all mighty you would get tons of hits!!!!

    My English friend, Nancy, gave me for my birthday, the cutest little box with 64 Joy cards in it tied with little green ribbon, by the one and only Susan Branch, – oh my, I just love it. Not too long ago, she gave me Sweets to the Sweet, she picked it up at an estate sale!

    Hope you are having nice weather, here in my part of Texas we have hit the three digits already – too hot

  90. Toni says:

    Hi Susan…oh, there are sooo MANY comments…I’ll read them later…just adding my 2 cents worth…
    I’ve seen the beads around for about 4-5 years, but they were SOOOO expensive, I just thought they were another ‘fad’ and went merrily on my way.
    I have FIVE…count them FIVE charm bracelets in our 52 years of marriage. We traveled alot for some years, so that’s where I got most of them. I thought I’d give one to each of my granddaughters….BUT…we have a NEW
    granddaughter…so now…I’m up a CREEK! I may have to do some seperating of bracelets so I have enough…HOWEVER…I have one son who is single yet….you never know if I may need MORE! love to you this beautiful spring(May)/93degree day . Geesh…we just had a hard frost last week here in NW Ohio….xoxoxo

  91. Pat Johnson of Paso Robles says:

    Well, I only wish I had read this before the gardener came! When I got to the cabin, my lawn was filled with dandelions (at various stages of growth). I had my own meadow and I thought it looked pretty good. I believe the neighbors thought otherwise! How could they! After reading about your ingenious idea (Joe), I was pleased to get the information because now I know, should I need a job, I can become a licensed “Dandolion Stripper.” Well, maybe I won’t use the word “stripper!” Of maybe that would bring me more business. I laughed and laughed when I read this technique. Thank you for opening up my mind to possibilities. My giant Lilac hedge is in full blown and it makes me smile every day. Simply love the Inland Northwest! Have been spending time at the meadow, complete with a pond & creek, watching the Canadian geese and their babies. It is so peaceful and I enjoy sitting and watching and reading my book in the quiet – no one else is around. Nature is truly amazing! I do not have a bead bracelet but think they are very pretty. Go for it! You would get people to buy it. Happy Spring! XXXXOOOO Pat from Paso AND Newport WA

  92. kathy g says:

    My Joe and I do the ‘morning science’ questions too! The dust buster idea on dandelion heads is brilliant! Our neighbors would think I’d gone coo-koo if I did that! I needed a laugh today!

  93. Wendy Louise says:

    Hey that dust buster idea really works ! You see I do get out there before they go to seed, I enjoy them for a few days, but I have that tool your Dad was talking about and I devote a few hours getting them up and out with the root and all. It works great and it is therapy for me. I fill this black plant bucket twice, put them in the woods and the wild rabbits come and eat them. I used to feed them to my horses but we don’t have them anymore. I love the dandelions too but not too many. I went out with the dust buster to get the ones that went to seed. Thank you so much for the great idea. Now my neighbors know I am truly off my rocker but I am harmless ! HaHaHa. I too am looking forward to the rain this week we need it and the inside of my house needs the attention now. The gardens need the rain and then back outside to weeding. I am getting ready to give my daughter in-law a baby shower, all pink and white. I planted all my pots with pink and white flowers, still have a few more to do. I have two weeks to go and then I start making all the food two days before. Wow, I could keep going on and on, better get to my work. Have a wonderful rainy week ! oxoxoxoxox Wendy-Lou

  94. Margaret from Arroyo Grande says:

    Dust Busting the dandelions is very inventive!!! I just run around the yard and pick the little yellow flowers before they become seeds.
    I have several blown glass bead bracelets but not that style. They are very pretty!

  95. shelley from Home says:

    Susan I would love to have a bead from Susan Branch. I have 4 bracelets filled with beads they all have a special meaning of times of my life so, what would be more appropriate than to have one from my favorite author/artist. I would be in line to buy the first one.

  96. Julie says:

    Susan – You NEED to have a charm of your design! I have had the Pandora bracelet about 8 years and especially like the Murano glass beads because they add color! I wear mine several times a week. Charms are pricey but a fun treat once in a while. Great for gifting too…several of us in the family have them. I purchase most of mine in The Village (AG)

    I had a silver charm bracelet from childhood thru time I met my husband and chain was full. Then started another silver one to remember travels from age 20 until he became my ex. Now I have a new bracelet and new memories!
    Julie – Nipomo CA

  97. an says:

    My daughter wears a “PANDORA’ bracelet in the style of your friends bracelet, in silver and 9ct gold, the beads come in many different styles including glass, very expensive, I am not a fan as there are so many cheap imitations. I do love the colours of the Marthas Vineyard glass beads and the personalised message on the side. Google “PANDORA’ to see the variety and price of the beads.

  98. Anne says:

    Love it! Dustbusting the dandelions! Joe has a very creative mind – just like his wife 🙂 I love your “Morning Science” – it’s one of my favorite parts of “Autumn”. Nothing better than walking in nature every day – it’s so calming. However, I’m watching the news right now out of Oklahoma and nature can be a beast as well – unbelievable! Thoughts and prayers to all in the tornado’s path.
    I think the glass beads are very pretty. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them before – but I like! Happy Day Susan 🙂

  99. Evelyn says:

    Those beaded beacelets and necklaces are so popular in my area and so expensive BUT you can buy all the component parts at Walmart, Michaels or AC Moore and make them yourself at a fraction of the cost. You just need a few jewelry making tools and in a half hour or less you have hand made, one of a kind jewelry. Easy!
    Dustbusting the dandelions..genius.

  100. Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

    I’ll never complain about Minnesota’s winters again following the terrible devastation and loss of lives in Oklahoma City with the tornado yesterday…not that we don’t get tornados, too….

    • sbranch says:

      Terrible, unbelievable really.

    • Janet [in Rochester] says:

      I feel the same way Pat. I usually grumble loudly and disagreeably about our Rochester/lake effect winters – but it absolutely put things back in perspective to hear about yesterday’s EF-5 tornado in Oklahoma. I’d gladly endure a foot of snow a day from November-February rather than cope with what Oklahomans face on fairly-regular basis during tornado season. God bless them all. PS – here’s a challenge to every Girlfriend who is able – to donate at least $10 to the American Red Cross. :>)

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