I thought today I’d do a post about some little luxuries you might like to think about for your garden. The dictionary says that Luxury means “extravagant living,” but that’s not the kind of luxury I’m talking about today  . . . I’m talking about the little things in life with some sweet MUSICA for you. 

picnic cloths

We can’t control what goes on in the whole wide world, but I know you know we can make life very sweet in our own small corners of it.  Spring is the perfect time of year to watch the paper for local yard sales and flea markets.  Meandering at this time of year is a wonderful thing ~ take your camera and when you see a tree or flowers you love, take a picture or get a clipping so you can ask for it at your nursery.  Lots of wonderful treasures await you for the season.  Here are some ideas for summerizing your life. . .


You can usually find really good deals on vintage tablecloths and napkins and they make your outdoor table especially welcoming.  They would also make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift! And see the tiny bird house church on the top of the bench behind the table?  Keep your eyes open for little garden items like that ~ look for things made of natural materials such as wood, straw, cotton, pottery, stone, brick and wicker.  They are the perfect materials to compliment a natural environment like your garden.

vintage tablecloth


Old handmade cloths give a feeling of romance around the house and garden . . . and here are more ideas for that . . .around-the-house-romance-1

Choose a flowering tree to plant in your yard . . . it will give you YEARS of joy.


This is the dogwood we planted three years ago . . . it gives me something to look forward to every spring . . . makes me so happy to see it blooming.

orange tree

Or, if you have the right climate, plant a tree that will provide you with sweet smelling blossoms and free food like this little orange tree.  Apples are good too, grapefruits and lemons and figs, oh my!

albizzia tree

Or a wonderful flowering tree like this albizzia (at our house in California) with pink furry flowers that grows huge, like an umbrella; it shades the house and keeps it cool all summer.

trees glorious trees

Yes, trees do take time to grow, but that time will pass anyway and you’ll be surprised at how soon you’ll get huge enjoyment from a tree, almost immediately. 🙂


And that way you’ll have a place to put the old quilt or blanket you find at the flea market, take your book and a pillow, wait for leaves to move in the wind, look at the sky and feed your soul.


Picnics are the joy of spring summer and fall . . . this is one we had with our girlfriend Rachel at a lovely spot in England called Stourhead.  See the baby geese?  It doesn’t take much to make a day you will never forget.  Almost every town in America has a beautiful place where you could go for a picnic.  Food, drink, blankie, and thou. That’s all you need. Plus a little mas MUSICA.

twinkle lights

And then there’s light.  The magic of the night.  We have the moon and the stars and lucky for some of us who get fireflies in June, but there is always room for more ~ twinkle lights around the door, over arbors, along fences, between trees and bushes . . .

twinkle lights

help make summer memories . . .night lights

You can find all styles of lights in craft stores, almost any big box store, even big drug stores.


And keep an eye out for “chandeliers” if you have a place to put one over your picnic table.

summer night

bug buckets

Even your bug buckets (buckets filled with citronella candles to keep away mosquitoes) can be cute if you look for them.  (And by the way, a quiet fan in the garden is also a great way to discourage mosquitoes, they are too weak to withstand the wind.  HA, take that!).


While you’re at those yard sales, keep your eyes open for interesting candle holders, ones where the candle goes deep so the wind can’t blow them out.

little vases

And, of course, look for tiny vases and old jars for your flowers.  See that blue one?  Joe found that in the hole he dug when he planted the Dogwood!  Buried treasure!

little vases

little vases

A tiny vase of flowers takes about a minute to put together, needs very few flowers and look how cute.

little vases

Watch for something like this bird planter for your outdoor table.

everything old

for summer drinks

I love gorgeous old pitchers too . . . so much charm, especially the colored depression glass.

vintage glasses

And drinking glasses too  . . . everything tastes better from glasses like these.


vintage dishes

Old glass makes the prettiest bar . . . You don’t have to go get all of this at once, in fact you really shouldn’t even if you could. Collecting is half the fun!

Good Housekeeping 1911-11

tea time

Little luxuries at this time of year definitely includes sun tea.

sun tea


We bought this small fountain for our porch because of the soft musical noise of the flowing water.  It was very inexpensive, there was only one of them, and I’m not sure where it came from, but keep your eye out.  They have so many of them these days and it’s such a nice thing to hear near the kitchen door.

frog prince

Of course this, to me, says it all.  It’s how I feel every day. 

hydrangea border

Now look waaaaaay over there to the right.  Under that little pile on the lawn is a large flower basket with a tall handle.  That is my BEST garden thing.  You’d be surprised at how many weeds and things that basket can hold ~ tons! ~ and it’s still easy for me to carry it. So if you get to a basket shop, look for a large flower basket . . . the kind with the scooped out bottom, the bigger the better.

bird bath

Of course a bird bath in the garden where you can see it easily is a pure source of natural joy. 


This one is at our house in California ~ we also love our bee skep and the strawberry pot . . .  see how all the natural-looking materials fit right in with Mother Nature?


yard furniture

Yard furniture is another thing we like to find at big flea markets ~ like the one at Brimfield here in MA, or the once-a-month Swap Meet in Alameda in California ~ they have such cute and different things.

rocking chairs

These rocking chairs were made even more adorable (and comfortable) with the little tie on pillows and backrests.



We found this old swing for our tree at the Ventura Swap Meet.


Over the years we’ve amassed a mish-mash of old chairs, adirondack and wicker, mix and match is always fun.

bench in the garden

And even a plain old bench is nice to have in your garden ~ it gives you a place to sit and smell the green things growing and it makes a good work table too.

To plant a seed


This old and very heavy wrought-iron table and chairs belong to my girlfriend ~ and for a true luxury, it you have a place for it, OMG, this PORCH.  What pure heaven.  I’m taking the photo from the sofa she has there . . . I would live here all summer if this was mine.  YEARS of fun, right here, don’t you think?


Near the door you go through most often?  Something that smells wonderful.  This is wisteria . . . and because of where it is, fragrance comes into the bedroom windows too.

smells so good

And this delicious smelling vine of pink jasmine, grows over both doors in California, it blooms mid-winter through spring.

rose trellis

And another thing, if you have a place for it, is a trellis.  They can be put against walls or fences or made into arbors and look especially pretty with the addition of a lovely climbing rose like this New Dawn.

Old roses quote susan branch

quilts on the line

And once you get your clothesline up, you are very likely going to need a good strong . . .

laundry basket

laundry basket.  And if you don’t already have one, I would suggest you get one of those fuzzy things to go in it, because that is a little luxury you will adore year round.  

flower border

I hope I’ve inspired you today to

go outside and play

garden diary

Keep track of your garden with a garden diary . . . write down what you plant, put in little photos so next year you will know what’s coming before it does.

long shadows

The first thing I notice in the spring are the very long shadows that come across the lawn and into my windows in the early morning. They pop up in places they never are during the winter.

flower border

early morning

They splotch sunlight in the most interesting places . . .

the before

inspirationAnd remember this?  The stories I’ve written and collected from my diaries for years — the pile of papers I showed you a couple of months ago?  I’ve been working hard putting together what I hope will be a wonderful story about my first little house here on the island, moving to Martha’s Vineyard and starting over.  Every day the book becomes a bit more pulled together, makes a little more sense, telling another story of island life.  I am over the moon with it.  I never want to be done.  I’ve never said that before either.  I will miss this one when she is gone. ♥   Writing this book has been taking me away from blogging more than normal, but it won’t last forever, I promise I’ll be back and I hope you won’t miss me at all when you see what I bring with me.

flower border

long shadows

That messy bunch of paper above has now turned into those sun-splotched pages with numbers and everything!  In a book, neatness counts!  I have you in mind with every word I write.   That’s what makes it fun.  It’s kind of like a giant blog.  Or like A FINE ROMANCE, only in Martha’s Vineyard and California instead of England.  It’s hard to tell when it will be done since I’ve never written anything like it before.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

Sail away with me Girlfriends. . .


And one more thing . . . I’ve had several people ask about the event we’re attending in New York at the end of this month called Book Expo.  It’s not open to the general public which is why I haven’t made too much of it here on the blog, but it’s truly an honor to be invited to do an author signing at the Baker & Taylor Booth . . . so, just in case you ARE going, Joe and I will be there and signing A Fine Romance on Thursday, May 29, at 2 pm ~ please come say hello!  And we’ll be seeing many more of you in Connecticut at the Gladys Taber event in June!  Lots to look forward to!  Bye for now, Joe and I are heading out on our walk, taking my own advice to go outside and play!   It’s a gorgeous day ~ 65° here right now!!! Wishing you the MOST wonderful day! XOXO

flower border

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297 Responses to LITTLE LUXURIES for SUMMER

  1. Barbara says:

    What a wonderful post. I’ve just started the fun of shopping flea markets, yard sales and antique stores and I’ve truly found some things that I love, pretty vases, small picture frames and birds nests. I put them around my house to remind me to slow down and truly smell the roses. Have a great walk.

    • sbranch says:

      Just got back. It was perfection out there. Now off to the garden to plant herbs!

      • Sweet Sue says:

        What kind of herbs do you like to plant? Do you have them just in your garden? Do you also do pots with herbs? For small patio space we have done herbs in pots some with shade others not and it has turned out quite well. So nice to snip some fresh herbs for a recipe as buying fresh herbs in the store is so expensive even though Trader Joe’s does have a nice fresh selection.
        One of the best purchases we have ever made for ourselves as well as gifts has been the purchase of rosemary in small pots. It is so fragrant. We have given them with pretty bows or ribbons tied around them as gifts as well…delightful!
        May your herbs continue to give you as much joy as they have for us!

        • sbranch says:

          I like them all, but just doing some lemon thyme and basil today. xoxo

          • Sweet Sue says:

            Lemon thyme…..that sounds heavenly.
            Just got your “Fairytale Tea” yesterday with the lavender and lemon verbena and other goodies in it….it smells so good and tastes even better 🙂 ……anything lemon…..just love it!
            I have been studying about herbs that help fight cancer and have come up with some wonderful and yummy and good for you recipes using them. Have a most wonderful time gardening! You must have a green thumb! 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            I’ve seen greener ones, but I do love the garden.

  2. Ann says:

    What a nice surprise today! It is raining right now in my little world but your post is truly inspiring. We just had our deck stained and I can’t wait to move all the chairs and table and especially my glider from Plow and Hearth back up and get to decorating it. I collect old linens and dishes like you do. The man who stained the deck told me not to put our two old benches back. Told me to go to Home Depot and get something new! Ha!! I held my tongue and told him we like old things in this house. I can’t wait for you to finish that special book you are working on. Thanks for the visit today.

  3. Marianne in Mo. says:

    Thank you for reminding me of my childhood, where a blanket under a shady tree was my every day life in summer. Whether I spent it in my aunties beautiful garden or my own back yard, it was all I wanted. I would set myself up about 10 am, with books dollies, lunch and iced tea or kool-aid and remained until dinner. (Except for a bathroom break or two!) Where we live now, we aren’t ALLOWED clotheslines, the pollen is so thick we sweep twice a day, and the garden is almost non-existent, because dear hubby wants grass not flowers. Not that there could be many anyway, too shady, and the bunnies eat whatever I plant. 🙁 SO, I love that I can come and visit in your gardens, and dream of days past. I had my fun at our old house, so now I give in to hubby…only fair, right?

    • sbranch says:

      Make a corner for you. One chair, one potted plant. xoxo

      • Sweet Sue says:

        I wholeheartedly agree! We do not have much outside space and hope someday to live in a little house with a BIG yard so we can have flowers, trees, herbs, and any plant that strikes our fancy as WE LOVE THE OUTDOORS! In the meantime we do have a little bench outside to call our own and some flowering jasmine in pots which has such a delightful smell in the evening when the breeze is just right. Indoors we have our ever changing assortment of flowers and herbs……flowers in little vases and little window sill herb pots…so cute and fragrant too! When there is a will there is a way as my grandma used to always say! Then we getaway a few times a year to Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County and Edna Valley in San Luis Obispo to really enjoy lots of countryside….visiting all our old favorite stomping grounds and being outside most of each day and then retiring for the evening in a B &B with country friendly decorating (old quilts, pillows, writing desks, watercolors on the walls, etc.) so we soak in country before returning to the suburbs of So California. Yes, it is a real tonic to the soul and spirit to spend time outdoors every chance you get and/or to bring a little outdoors indoors. So don’t be sad Marianne from MO or others in similiar situations… creative and also pray asking God to show you ways to enjoy His beautiful outdoors….after all He created everything that was ever created in nature. Blessings to All!!!

    • erica says:


      I agree with Susan! There are so many lovely plants/flowers that do well in the shade. Even in some old big old container – like a basket lined with plastic, poked with holes for drainage…..or maybe you would like a lovely ornate flower pot – you choose! My first pick for a flowering colorful plantwould be “impatiens”, also known as busy lizzie. It’s quite prolific with blooms, comes in many colors, easy care, inexpensive and rapid growing. Strictly a shade plant!!! I usually plant 3 in a pot. The plants are small when I get them from the nursery, but oh-my-gosh….in a few weeks they put on quite a little show. Check on google. It’s an annual, which means after it’s finished you can toss it (soil included) into the compost. You can plant them up yourself or buy all ready done. So fun!!!

      I know you will love to do this for yourself!!!


      • Marianne in Mo. says:

        Oh, I mislead you all I’m afraid! I do have a few things, in a bed in front and one in back, but not as much as I want! I have Iris, carefree roses (although they need to be replaced) , some shrubs and grasses. I dearly want an arbor with roses, but he has nixed that. I have potted annuals on the deck too, but it’s not the same. I used to work at a nursery years ago, and had all I wanted, then we moved to a brand new house to be near the grands. I will do all I can to make it mine too, but it isn’t as easy as my younger days! I’m seriously considering building my own harbor! I know how, just need the energy! 😉 Think a 60yr. old out of shape granny can do it? May take me all year! 😉

        • Marianne in Mo. says:


          • Susan P. says:

            Dear Marianne,

            It is Mother’s Day Weekend……I think you should make your dreams come true and make your wish known to your children…..I believe that you can make that arbor….might take awhile…. but when certain people see you putting in the time and the fun you are having…they will want to join in….just like Tom Sawyer painting the fence.
            Even if there are no flowers to grow thru it…it will be your little “Lovely Harbor” to read by and enjoy a picnic lunch at and take your grandchildren out to dream with you. I am also a grandma…but older than you and I still bike ride…not fast or far…but we can do anything we women put our minds to. Love you and ENJOY THE JOURNEY, Susan P.

        • erica says:

          Sorry if I misunderstood. You had me very impressed with building a harbor. lol. xo

        • Sweet Sue says:

          Marianne….With God All Things Are Possible…..Set yourself doable goals….do those…..and then set yourself goals a little beyond that …….and do them….soon you will be accomplishing things you never would have imagined you could do! It all lies in your attitude not the circumstances themselves. A positive can-do, never give-up kind of frame of mind along with faith in our Heavenly Father, our Abba Father, who created us and everything that was ever created and lo and behold now the glass is half full instead of half empty. Often life throws things at us that could overwhelm us and put us in a “blue funk” mood yet while we may not always be able to change the circumstances or at least not in our timing or without help from Jesus WE CAN CHANGE OUR ATTITUDE TOWARDS IT!!!! I will be praying for you dear Marianne……Oh let the sun (or Son 🙂 ) shine in face it with a grin, smilers never lose and frowners never win, Oh let the sun shine in face it with a grin, open up your heart and let the sun (Son) shine in. 🙂
          Have a blessed day girlfriends!!!

  4. Sandy says:

    Anxiously awaiting your new book. I love seeing life thru your eyes. You seem to have a different slant on things that I’m trying to acquire. I need to slow down and see the extraordinary behind the ordinary. Have a wonderful day, Susan.

    • sbranch says:

      I think that’s where all the magic is. xoxo

      • Sandy says:

        You did inspire me. Tonight my husband of 46 years (the only boy I ever dated) and I will be picnicking under the cherry tree in our back yard. Egg salad sandwiches (wrapped in wax paper) potato chips, pickles and a big ole still-warm brownie for dessert. Oh, and we always have grape Kool-Aid with our egg salad sandwiches. It’s a beautiful 88 degrees here in SC and perfect weather for a picnic. Thanks Susan.

        • sbranch says:

          He is a lucky man.

          • Sandy says:

            I want to say “Thank You” Susan for all the time and effort you put into your blog posts. Each one is like a new chapter in a book and I so look forward to each update. Your pictures and ideas draw me into your little corner of the world and expose me to places I will probably never experience otherwise. I always walk away with a smile and for that I am thankful. Have a wonderful day.

          • sbranch says:

            You too Sandy!

        • Laura Ann in Vermont says:

          Sandy, you are too cute! I love that you and your husband (46 years! Wow!) drink grape Kool-Aid with your egg salad sandwiches. I, too, married the only boy I ever dated. (We’ve only been married 28 years.) Hope you both enjoyed your picnic.

          • Sandy says:

            Yes, Laura Ann, it must be grape and we did enjoy the picnic. I’m so happy I found my soul mate the first go-round as I’m sure you are too. I told him the other day that he was the reason I was born. It made him cry. Wishing you many more happy years together.

        • erica says:

          Wow, that little picnic complete with 46 years of LOVE, sounds lovely!

  5. Patricia Wehner says:

    I absolutely cannot wait for your new book!!!! I read all of your books over and over, soaking in each detail, drawing and word! We are all so blessed that you share your life with us.
    Blessings, Patricia
    PS Going to send your website link to my friend Millie Smith (your cousin). She lives in Florida, close to her mom. They are both fabulous, life loving ladies! I think it must run in your family 🙂

  6. Oh, I am just so looking forward to the new book! Do you have even a tiny wild guess when it will be ready? I can’t wait!

    • sbranch says:

      Joe and I have been trying to figure it out, and it’s very hard to guess. I might have it done by the middle of summer, but then if I hand write it, that could take another year … so I’m trying to see what will be best with this one.

      • Shannon (Pennsylvania) says:

        We’ll all be here whenever it’s ready, whether it’s next month or next year!! You’ll know when it’s ready to make its appearance, and it will be perfect. We’re a patient bunch, and anticipation is half the fun! Hugs!

  7. LINDA JUNE says:

    Another wonderful blog! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am always so thrilled when I click on the tab I have set up just for you, and there it is–a new blog! Wonderful inspiration–it had me taking snapshots of “Susan Branch” areas of my home, blue and white and red and white transferware dishes, colored dishcloths in a wicker basket, bowls of lemons, those Susan Branch books I have collected. Ah, the true inspiration and comfort blog to start my day.

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Linda June! I love your name.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        I love your name too! My mom who would be 100 years old on June 18th if she were still alive had the name “Thelma June” which I always adored. Bless You Real Good This Day! 🙂

  8. Susan, thank you for the lovely post! I feel as though I’ve had a whole springtime these last few moments, and it’s simply refreshing! Beauty everywhere! I might add to the Jack-in-the-basket recommendation that, while I don’t have cats, I have a flock of ten free-ranging chickens who decorate the yard quite nicely and three standard donkeys who bray their greetings when they first spot me — decorations for year-’round and reasons to especially enjoy this springtime! Have a most blessed and abundant day.

    • sbranch says:

      Oh, I bet they are wonderful!

      • Jack says:

        three standard donkeys ……they can make such a production in braying their greeting and acknowledging your presense , so fun –you do have a special daily “hello” to look forward to …..makes you a lucky lady !

        • Yes, the boys are completely wonderful. I name my critters after classic tv characters; the donkeys are Otis, Virgil, and Otis from “The Andy Griffith Show.” You may remember Otis as the town “tippler”, Virgil as Barney Fife’s cousin, and Opie the sheriff’s cute little son. I still love the show. (My chickens are named after characters in the show as well, including three named after folks in “I Love Lucy.”) Always fun here on the farm! I think that clicking on my name in the post will take you to one of my blogs if you’d like to see what goes on here! Sending blessings.

  9. Karen P (Wisconsin) says:

    Oh my, dear Susan! This blog post is just a pure Springtime gift today! The musica is perfect! Images of your flowers and trees, heavenly! Your outdoor entertaining settings are gorgeous! I love your pergola! Nothing quite like relaxing on a warm day in the soft grass on a pretty quilt! I hardly recognized sweet Rachel with her darker hair! Cute pictures! You always DO give us such inspiration that we can bring into our home. THANK YOU for that! I love how we all our such kindreds in how we cherish the little joys that life brings. So excited about your book! NEVER apologize for being away from the blog when we know how feverishly you are working on your (our?) next book! We can’t see it soon enough! Warm, springtime hugs to you, girlfriend! xo…Karen

  10. denni from MN says:

    It’s wonderful to remember the little things is life and how romantic they can be with the everything you bring to us in your blog, Susan. This is my place to come and relax and enjoy all the beauty you see. Thanks for sharing it all!

  11. Vicki Panzarino says:

    Glorious day here today….went out in the garden to transplant two small clumps of phlox and just came in (4 hours later!) Totally lost myself in the gardens. What a treat to find a new and inspiring post from you. I will definitely get those old linens out and hunt up all the little vases….I love forget-me-nots, lily of the valley, late tiny daffodils and grape hyacinths together in small arrangements……I am very filled with spring after this harsh winter! Thanks for the inspiration you always bring!

  12. Beverly Brewer says:

    Oh, Susan, thank you for the sweetest post ( I think that of every post, though)! What a treat to see your ideas and precious photos one after the other, flowing for all of us to enjoy! You are truly a gift to us all!

  13. Ellen Johnson says:

    Hi Susan,
    I love all your ideas for spring. Unfortunately, when I started doing some of the things around my house, like putting doilies and embroidered tablecloths and vintage glassware out, my daughter said my house was beginning to look like a grannie’s house! Well, you can imagine how that made me feel! Old! lol!
    Anyway, I have a question, I’ve been reading through your old blogs from 2012 and saw pictures of Jack way up on that hutch in your living room. How did he get up there? He’s quite the acrobat, I imagine. And he’s such a cutie. I love his big round eyes.
    Enjoy your spring,
    Ellen from Virginia

    • sbranch says:

      I hope she doesn’t think my house looks like an old people’s house! Although, come to think of it, why wouldn’t it! 🙂 Jack can jump high buildings at a single bound.

      • Rhonda D. says:

        Your house is just perfect Susan. It oozes “cozy” and “home,” it reflects your heart and your life just the way it should. A home should be filled with cozy nooks everywhere that make us feel loved, a place we never want to leave, and your house does that perfectly. Your home shows me what a home should be and why. I sometimes think this is missing in society today. I toured a new home (a house really) a couple of years ago and I was shocked. It was very expensive and like a concrete bunker…seriously, like a concrete bunker. Not one thing, nothing about the place reflected love, peace, or welcome…it had zero atmosphere.
        Sending a little spring writing cheer along to you. We miss you, but we know it’s for a greater good (that excites me to no end…be still my heart!). I’m so looking forward to your new book. Your snapshots of summer keep me looking forward to better days ahead. At least our lawn is starting to green up, that’s a start.

        • sbranch says:

          LOL, Rhonda, “for the greater good.” Too cute. xoxo

          • Rhonda D. says:

            Yes, everything you do is for a “greater good” Susan, especially the new book you are writing now. One of these days I will write you and tell you why.

          • sbranch says:

            XOXO It’s what I try for ~ sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t!

      • erica says:

        Tis the “old soul” in some of us.

    • erica says:

      My house is simply and extension of my personality! It’s not big…nor small, it’s what I call a Goldilocks house —-just right! (for me) It’s an old rancher, but most everything in it reflects ME. Including what others would think is ‘clutter.’ It’s not perfect, and has many wrinkles due to age, but then so do I!!! Sometimes I’m in love with it all, and sometimes I think I should change. But I don’t. Because it’s ME. Girlfriend, do what YOU love. It’s all about being authentic – to YOUrself. xo


  14. chris consentino says:

    oh, my goodness!!! how very, very deeee-lightful !!!!! I had been enjoying the blog owhen you re-did your kitchen…before lunch…and, I just meant to go back there to re-enjoy it, when, much to my deeee-light…there’s this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! oh, my goodness!!!!! as I said in my last “comment”…you never, ever disappoint!!! thank you! oh! thank you!! we are presently cherishing a wonderful spring at our new (to us) home in va., having transplanted from nh last fall, and we have most of the flowering plants I remember from my childhood…..bleeding hearts, lilacs, peonies, lily-of-the-valley, roses, and, maybe even hollyhocks!!! and, dear hubby has been tilling a plot for our soon-to-be veggie garden!!! wow. we never had any of this in nh, (tooooo much “granite, I guess) and we also have cows in the fields next door, bunnies in our yard (they have to leave once veggies are planted!!!! they have wreaked havoc on tulips, etc!!) and birds we’ve never even seen before!!! and…our grandbabies only a short ride away. and…then…there’s this very sweet, happy, idea-FILLED place to enjoy!!!! soooo, again….thank you! oh! thank you….for being you, Susan Branch!!!! got to go re-read and drink in this gorgeous visit!!!!

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

    good morning/afternoon, hello girlfriends. its a bit chilly here, we have been under frost warning since last night and it expired around 9am. but its still a bit chilly, but sunny and looking to be a good day here. we have all the babies out in their “playpen” in the sunshine and they are loving it, the older peeps are now in the adult pen and driving the adults nuts, they swarm at them and its such fun to watch the older hens scatter and run to get away from “the swarm” of youngsters. our youngest rooster, ( Reuben J. Cogburn aka “Rooster Cogburn) is just beginning to learn to crow, already at such a young age. its rather funny to watch as he tries to crow, he puffs up as big as he can, flaps his little wings, stretches out his neck and lets loose with a sound only a flattened toy bugle would make, but it nearly knocks him over with all the effort. LOL!!! quite a sight to see. I already have the backyard furniture out, and the clothesline is up and I use it a lot now. I love the sun tea recipe and I have a fun tea recipe all my own: in 4 cups of boiling water place 4 bags of red zinger tea, and lemon zinger tea and let steep for about 20 minutes, remove the bags then add 4-6 cups of apple juice or cider and let chill. serve. no sugar needed and its refreshing on sunny summer day. we lost our male turkey over the weekend, o Saturday Tom tom collapsed and died from old age. we are hoping among the young turkey chicks that we have a male or 2 to keep Nippers ( our female ) happy and the rest of them as well. bet you didn’t know that turkeys mate for life, they do. nippers is moping around a bit and I am really hoping we have a male in this batch for her, if not I can get one from the hatchery or have the grange order one for me. we must keep her happy, she seems to like having all the youngsters ( young turkeys ) hanging around with her, at night they cozy up to her and sleep near her for warmth. our ducklings and goslings have found their baby pool and love that, swimming is essential to their health, it helps them to prevent sticky eye. and believe me I will keep those pools clean and clear, I never want to try to pry open a duck’s eyes that stuck shut, not with the duck fighting you and hitting you with their wings and you trying to let them know its okay and you’re there to help. not fun. so they have their pools and they are kept clean and clear. well back out to get some of the eggs, and to check on the water containers. you all have a great day today, enjoy this gorgeous weather. Happy Spring everyone. hugs… 😉

    • sbranch says:

      I was sorry about your old Tom, Pat! xoxo

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        thank you Susan, we do miss him, well I know Nippers does, she is moping around a bit, right now she is sunning herself, hopefully she will get over this.

      • Ricki says:

        Susan, I bet you could draw the cutest Rooster Cogburn straining his little neck to crow. Love her description.

      • sondra fox says:

        Oh Pat, Sorry about your Tom. Hard taking the sad times. I know you have happy memories of Tom. I’m like you. My husband said I could never live on a farm, ’cause when it came time to butcher some of the animals, I couldn’t do it. I’d keep all the animals as pets. Can’t eat lamb chops for the reason that lambs are so adorable. What a whoss, eh?(Sandy from Chihuahua Flats)

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          thank you Sondra, I’m with you I can’t kill the chickens, they all have names and once you’ve named them its hard to kill them and serve them up. my grandmother never forgave my mom for naming their turkey one year, his name was Tom and we little kids would pester grandma to let us feed Tom Turkey. well come Thanksgiving, and time for dinner we all sat at the table and when grandpa brought in Tom Turkey we kids just screamed and cried and refused to eat the turkey. poor grandma worked all morning on that bird and now she had crying kids refusing to eat their dinner. she never forgave my mom for naming that darned bird. after that she would never let us kids near the henhouse until we got older and we were told never ever to name the birds or play with them, those were meat birds for the table. she also raised rabbits and when I got a present of soft bunny mittens, I cried for days knowing where they came from. never wore them and I would not keep them, my grandma kept them at her house. so you’re not the only one!!! Ricki, I love the idea, it would make a cute cartoon picture.

          • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

            Susan how do you make a little pie for a turkey??? what would you put in it???

          • sbranch says:

            Graham cracker crust and cooked fruit?

          • Catie Cook says:

            At Farm Sanctuary in Northern California, they celebrate a “Day For The Turkeys” on Thanksgiving… it is a vegan feast for humans AND turkeys. The turkeys get pies made with cracker crust and filled with unseasoned roasted vegetables… especially squash! They LOVE it!!!

          • Pat Mofjeld of St. Paul, MN says:

            I thought “Corn Cakes” would be more appropriate… 🙂

  16. Susan ( an Ohio gal in SoCal ) says:

    Thinking about little luxuries has put a smile on my face. Thank you for such a lovely blog! And, much as I love your blog posts, I hope you’ll take the extra time that you need to write. We don’t mind, do we, Girlfriends? Now, I’m curious about who is invited to attend a Book Expo? It looks like a wonderful event!

    • sbranch says:

      All the booths are filled with book sellers~ distributers and publishers like Random House. And everyone attending is a book buyer: bookstores and gift stores and costco and places like that.

  17. Susie says:

    Hi Susan, I love all your wonderful summery things. Clothes on the line, no amount of softener can smell that sweet. Today I took a walk with my sister and we stood in front of someone’s lilac tree and just enjoyed the fragrance, it was heavenly. xoxo, Susie

    • sbranch says:

      Our lilacs have yet to bloom! So much to look forward to!

      • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

        ours are blooming, and we are sneezing!!! with the pleasure and beauty comes a little misery!!!

  18. jeannine leonard says:

    I must say that this is my favorite post. It is like looking for little pieces of heaven for our homes. I bought a homemade blanket someone made last Sat. at a church sale. Just wondering who made it and all the time they put into making something so beautiful. I love looking for all the items you have shown. One day I am going to find those beautiful pink chintz dishes you have. A treasure I wish to have. I am wishing…

    • sbranch says:

      I found them, sitting in a store in Connecticut and I think they were 175 for all of them! So we know it can be done!

      • jeannine leonard says:

        Thank you for your confidence. I feel it can be done too…

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        And I found an entire set of them (with serving pieces) sitting in a store in Prescott, AZ on sale for $130. Had been eyeing Rose Chintz for years. It can be done 🙂

  19. Kate says:

    I feel like we are kindred spirits. Everything you write about I love. I have dirt under my fingernails from planting flowers and the joy they give me, oh, my. It’s the little luxuries that are the best. I’ll take a flower before a diamond any day. I can’t wait to read your new book when you finish it. It sounds amazing.

  20. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    Love this post Susan. The shadows on the wall next to the mantel and cupboard seem kind of mystical to me. And the pile of paper on that cupboard is so tantalizing – anticipation looms large. And I can almost smell those pale blue Irises – Mmmmmm. My Mom always had Irises in her garden. Such lovely things. Thanks for the treats.

  21. Pat Triska says:

    I have found some wonderful treasures at garage sales, estate sales, GoodWill and resale shops. I love wandering through them looking for something good. My best treasure find was an antique bunny teapot. It looks wonderful among my depression glass cups and saucers. Yes, I too love spring. A time of new beginnings and the smells in the air from the trees and bushes that are blooming. I can’t wait for the lilac and the Lilies of the Valley. I’m going outside. Enjoy your day.

  22. erica says:

    Hi Susan!

    Brilliant suggestions! Thank you!

    I’m on the same page as you, with ALL of it! While I don’t have your lovely yard or home….I can make my own little corner of the world as pretty as I can!! Of course my path to manifesting the beauty, is seeking out the treasures either within my own home or finding something at a yard sale, thrift store etc. Oh….and using a little of my imagination and suggestions from YOU!! xox


    • sbranch says:

      Maybe I should go around and take more photos of the “not so pretty” parts of my garden, because believe me they are there. But I’m just more drawn to the pretty ones! I should show you the compost heap with the orange Christmas tree on top. That would put everything back into context! 🙂

      • erica says:

        LOL. Yes, I’m sure they are there…the not so pretty ones. I have them too. Many. Love the visual of the orange tree!! I’m sure it protected many wild birds….:)

  23. Ginger says:

    You lead a charmed and blessed life. Have a lovely day. Thanks for sharing the lovely ideas and images.

  24. Susan P. says:

    Susan, Your blogs just get better and more joyful!!!! Brought back so many memories with my grandmothers quilts and some of mine and my sisters. Now remember “girlfriends” that read this I come from a family of we are a little crazy but truly love each other….thus a funny but lovely memory. My sister and I were doing a fund raiser tea and we had to decorate 3 tables. We need a blue tablecloth to set off her dishes….well 2 days before the tea our oldest sister sent me a BLUE QUILT for me to give to our dad who at the time was in an assisted living home…BUT IT WAS THE RIGHT SIZE AND THE RIGHT COLOR… WE decided to use it for the tea…we took pictures of how perfect it was and how beautiful it was. On Sunday after the tea…took the quilt to my dad who loved it and sent my sister some wonderful pictures and a BIG THANK YOU FOR THE QUILT….. My dad loved that quilt and when he passed away he was buried with it….I am sure it was from all the love and fun from the tea and all the hard work of making that quilt, that he felt, that made him happy and cozy and warm. (I’m sorry, I am laughing so hard right now I have tears coming down my face….part because I am thinking of my dad…. but also I can just imagine the look on my sister’s face) Thank you again, Susan, for giving joy and laughter and memories to my day. Love, Susan P.

  25. Carol C says:

    We are having the most perfect spring weather here in TN and I’ve been out planting, weeding and mulching (with and hour off to go read to a darling class of 2nd graders!) The doors and windows are wide open and summer curtains and bedding are out. SC strawberries are in so tomorrow I’ll be making jam! We’re going hiking in the Smokies on Fri. Life is just so grand. Thank you for the wonderful blog reminding us to enjoy all the blessings and joys of life. I read once that Tasha Tudor noted on the wall by her back door when she made the first iced tea of summer. I love that!!!

  26. Cindy Tuning says:

    Such gardening inspiration you have given us. I could spend every waking moment out in my garden this time of year which is why I get all my Spring cleaning done early. This way,I feel nothing gets neglected. Sadly, more than half of my many roses didn’t make it through our wicked winter this year. Absolutely no sign of life on all my Abraham Darby roses which are my favorite. I’m giving it another week before I give up on them and order replacements. Gardens are always evolving but the English roses are the backbone of my beds so starting over isn’t really the best option. Are you missing your California garden? So many more options with that longer growing season. A lemon tree would be great but so not possible in Western NY.

    • sbranch says:

      My girlfriend says that around here roses are annuals! It’s not quite that bad, but sometimes I wonder. I love the tender delicate springtimes we have here and so I willingly give up my 6 months of sweetpea growing season in California. There’s always something good about somewhere else!

      • Cindy Tuning says:

        The last few winters have been so mild that I didn’t worry so much about heavy mulching for protection but then this winter it all kind of hit the fan! Trouble is..the night we got back from the trip a garden club in the area called and asked if they could have their June meeting with a Tea and Luncheon at my house. It was on our city’s Historic House Tour last summer and they heard about the garden. This is my dream come true! I always wanted to have a Tea Room so if this goes well it could be the start of my next next future. I told her I hoped they won’t be disappointed because after this winter there was a lot of loss. She assured me that we are all in the same boat this year. I’m very excited about it!!

  27. Christine from Covina says:

    Welcome Spring!!! Thanks for all the inspiration for the Spring and Summer!! I always look forward to your blog and the joy I get from the pictures and writing!

    • Christine from Covina says:

      PS We have a beautiful Jacaranda blooming its beautiful periwinkle blue!!!

  28. Kathy Fletcher says:

    Hello- and thank you for such a nice blog today. i just wanted to put my vote in- for the new book to be hand written like A Fine Romance is….i LOVE the entire book- it is like a good friend to carry around and share with……….i know it would take alot longer to get out in print-but oh it would be so much more special….although all your books are special- but the hand written one- that is REALLY special….
    love your books- blog-art-everything………..and love seeing what is going on up on the island.

    love and hugs from Kentucky……have a wonderful day!!

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks for the input Kathy! Love knowing how everyone feels about it. I think – and hope – the book itself will tell me what it wants. Houses do that and books are sort of like houses.

  29. Such lovely ideas and so many require so little to achieve. Thanks again for the inspirations.

  30. Cynthia Avalos says:

    “I don’t want to marry Mr. Moray. I want to BE Mr. Moray. (from the PBS show, The Paradise). Well, I want to BE Susan Branch. Just kidding Susan. I would love the life you have however! I will be happy just being me.

  31. Mary Cunningham says:

    Happy Sweet ,warm weather Susan! We are enjoying the 80’s here in central Indiana….you should get them soon! Traveled through the country back roads to “sparkle” a home near a lake we used to live on… down,sweet fragrance of honeysuckle and lilac in bloom,Il Volo blasting on the CD player,such romance from those young men (just boys)….heaven…..I just love spring and all it holds…..thank you for the wonderful ideas to “spring” our surroundings! Love it! Mary “Barefoot Sparkler”

  32. jamie hopkins says:

    I’m at work reading this on lunch and i want to go home even more now and play outside! I love reading your blog. It makes me feel like i can go home and cook and make anything instead of having to go shopping and buy everything! Thank you so much for that!!

  33. Elly says:

    Hi Susan!
    Reading this post makes me want to get right outside and work in the garden! Too bad it has been raining and it’s too wet to be outside. Maybe tomorrow will be better! Your “new” book for us, sounds simply wonderful! Sounds like “walking down memory lane” will be taking you a while. But I am sure it will all be worth the wait for us! Happy Wednesday!

  34. Barb says:

    You make me smile, Susan!

  35. Cyndee Randall says:

    This post made me smile right up to near then end. Then I burst out laughing. Spring has finally arrived in Northern Maine. The forsythia is in bloom and there are signs of life everywhere in the garden. I have spend several days raking and unearthing everything. Almost like Christmas. I found a sweet well-loved ice cream parlor chair in a junque shop (Not quite junk~ not really antique) It will live somewhere in the garden. I have my mother’s old woven ash laundry basket. It has an old blanket in it and I happen to have two of those furry things that love to nap there. (It make me laugh right out loud when you wrote that!) Looking forward to your next book. I think basil should be a perfume!

  36. Grace says:

    A few weeks ago, I reread your May 6, 2013 “Healthy Kick” blog, which motivated me to get back in the habit of starting each day with a morning walk. It’s lovely to see horses in the fields, hawks overhead and to say hello to neighbors working in their gardens. I liked the blog’s healthy eating and exercise tips. Your archives are a wonderful resource. Today’s blog is great. I love going to church and garden club plant sales this time of year. I am looking forward to the Gladys Taber event in June. Happy May!

  37. Another wonderful blog from you, Susan! Made my day! I love how cozy you make everything and it all appears to be effortless on your part. I love all of your mixed linens and glass wear – makes we want to dig thru every closet and drawer to see what I can possibly find and put together. I always fear that someone would wonder aloud why I don’t use things that match – LOL. As always, thank you for sharing yourself with us.
    PS Can not wait for your new book!

  38. LYNN says:

    You are blogging a little less but we are appreciating your blog entries even more! Isn’t that the way it goes? Can’t wait for the next book!

  39. sylvia Faye says:

    Susan I finally have your book … ‘A Fine Romance’… it is everything I thought it would be (except the size) and I have already finished reading it…I delighted with each turn of the page and was sad to be finished and now I only hope I can be able to buy your new one when it is finished…especially if it is handwritten and painted like the English trip. For the size of the book mentioned above…for some reason I thought it was going to be wider and flatter … just looked that way to me from the pictures…I am thrilled with it and told my daughter who ordered it for me as I do not order on line and she knows how. I paid for it though. When I just recently told her it finally came…she said she was happy that I loved the book as it cost almost as much to ship it as the price of the book. That hurt so will have to consider the shipping cost next time….
    Love this post as it makes one wish to commence doing many of things suggested; however we just returned from picking our last resting place and the cost of a burial plot and the cost of the funeral expenses have almost quadrulpled so most of our extra money will have to go in that direction for the next year (sigh) but it is necessary to have this arranged NOW/sooner rather than later. Bless you for the sunshine of your heart put in a post for all of us girlfriends who are inspired by your thoughfulness.

  40. jean says:

    I so love you! Thank you for reminding us of all the details that make memorable and magical.

  41. Deb says:

    We are having a gloomy day today so it warms my heart and soul to read today’s blog. I am putting the finishing touches on my projects from the past 8 months at our house “in town” (population 8,000) so I can move to my lake house (6 miles north) soon. The real ME comes out in the simplicity of lake house living.
    Thank you for the nice break.

  42. Harriett says:

    What a wonderful post! I thought I smelled spring; now I smell summer. I especially loved the glass sugar bowl votive ~ I have the same one (and the creamer) from my Mom. I want to eat at all the tables, snuggle in the quilts, swing on the porch, rock in the chairs, gaze at the garden, and, of course, smell the roses.

  43. jean says:

    forgot to insert “life” —sigh

  44. Carolyn says:

    Dear Susan,
    Thank you the lovely post. There are so many, many things in it that I love. Summer nights, twinkle lights, fireflies, sun tea, and just everything. Like you, I love sun-splotched rooms. And I like the term sun-splotched, too. Thanks again for taking the time to share this happiness with us. You are too, too sweet!!!

  45. CarolK says:

    Thank you, thank you thank you for all the garden and decorating tips. Your blog gets me all fired up to go dig in the dirt and believe you me there are days I need a LOT of kindling to get me going. I think the girlfriends would still treasure your new book if it were typeset but you still included your wonderful watercolors and vintage black and whites in there. I know I would….NJ hugs Kiddo…

  46. Susan Sherrer says:


    I thoroughly enjoyed this blog post — thank you! Would you mind sharing where you got that Cottage Gardens (catalog?) that is in your gardening diary photo?

  47. Gert~Iowa says:

    Oh Susan…I want to go out & play right now! But, the temperature is 92! Summer in Spring? I guess so… I’m sitting in the air conditioning, I use to love the heat, where we’d spread out a blanket under a tree, sit or lay down and enjoy the sites or the clouds or the stars…depending the time of the day! Your blog posts are always a welcome sight! I spend the reading time lost in another world! Those images of your clothes lines, always put me back in time and are so soothing! Your little square bottle that Joe found is so cool! I love bottles and jars! When we go to the Senior Center I always look in the gift shop! I found some homemade vintage aprons! What sweet memories of my Mother and Grandmother wearing them! They were a birthday gift for my recently married granddaughter! So often families donate dishes, embroidriged table clothes etc. So this is also an untapped shopping spot!!

    Thank you for today’s gift!!

  48. nonnie says:

    Susan, you’ve given me inspiration for an afternoon bridal shower I’m hosting in mid June . .thank you!

  49. Ramona Horta-Riedeman says:

    Dear Susan – lovely blog. I have always collected things of old for my kitchen, cupboards and hutch(es). Some things you showed reminded me of my own things, my grandmother’s metal lawn chair that rocks, her “china” hutch that’s more sentimental than costly, all the little dishes, cups, vases, salt & pepper shakers, glasses, etc., I’ve always wanted a set of those different colored glasses like they have at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, or so I thought. Now I’m thinking I will just go to garage sales looking for different, individual colored glasses to set out instead and make my own “Madonna Inn inspired different colored glassware”! 🙂 Thank you for the inspiration on that! I also, cannot seem to “collect” enough of it! Ramona – from sunny California Central Valley – Atwater 🙂

  50. charlotte says:

    I must have an old fashioned soul. I love all those things you talk about. If I could sit and look at them forever, that would be heaven. Thank you for the wonder of spring and the promise of summer.

  51. Randi Bault says:

    Hellooo Susan!
    Thought I’d tell you about my latest project. I just bought a glass house at Ikea. It’s like a medium sized fish aquarium, with hinges to open the roof. I’m putting my collection of tiny fairies in the tiny forest I’m making inside of it. I found a little gazebo and bridge and stepping stones and teeny weenie arbor with a gate door. It’s sooo ka-ute! I know you believe in fairies and magic like me. This is really a fun thing and easy to do for a cute display indoors or out. Just be on the lookout for the “tiny things” in your scouring of thrift stores and yard sales….So much fun. And as always; love you and love your blog <3. Petty pet-pets to Jack and Girl Kitty. Your Friend, Randi —-<—<–@

    • sbranch says:

      You are going to wish you could make yourself small and get in there and walk over that bridge!

  52. I love this post! My childhood best friend had twin albizzia trees in her front yard and we used to always play with the fluffy pink blooms!

  53. Candice says:

    I think this is my favorite blog post ever. May I move in with you and Joe? Oh, and my sister Alice too. Oh, and our kitties Lily and Violet. It’s too darn hot to go outside in the Arizona desert and we live in a condo with nowhere to hang twinkle lights. We have a courtyard but we cannot figure out how to hang lights from the stucco walls surrounding us. Seeing your twinkle lights makes me pea green with envy!

  54. Norine Molnar says:

    We are indeed all kindred spirits here! I read some of the posts and they were just like what I was going to write! I, too, would really love your chintz dishes. Just adorable. This was a lovely post. I also love it when you give little ideas and show some of them. I didn’t expect this today, but I sure am glad you wrote it. Thanks for taking the time and sharing, Sue!

  55. Eileen says:

    Last year I planted dill in my garden and discovered small odd-looking caterpillers eating it…..I did some research online and found out they would soon be black swallowtail butterflies——how great is that—Plant some dill everyone!
    PS—-I am so looking forward to your new book. I wish I had it in my hands right this minute.

  56. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Evening ~ Awaitng 75-80 degrees tomorrow! ~ I can’t wait to get outside and get busy in the yard and garden~ the Baltimore orioles and rose breasted grosbeaks are back!~
    I love estates salesand flea markets ~ hubby and I go every weekend ~ I always find something I can’t live without ~ l also buy ~junk~ for making my ~ junk~tiques ~ thanks for a great post ~ I love ~ little luxuries! ~
    Enjoy the nice weather ~ let’s hope it lasts!

  57. Cyndi in NC says:

    What a beautiful blog this was today. Not that I don’t enjoy others you’ve done but I really like this one. I’m a vintage glass collector and love looking at your glass. I love the pitcher and ice bucket in the bar set up. There is so much to comment on, flowers and linen and your beautiful home! bI’ll end this by telling you how much I love the laundry basket!!! Always great to see your sweetie Jack! Hugs.

  58. Diane says:

    I love this blog! I have been given pure inspiration and a new zest for creating because of this wonderful website! I grew up surrounded by natural talent in my family…painting, drawing, singing…but I did not. ( I always wanted to do everything my brothers did!) I always struggled in those areas, wanting to try but afraid. I wonder if anyone else has felt the same? I have been reading this blog for over a year now, and I have decided that it isnt too late to begin, so I just bought some pencils and paper to begin drawing. Just for fun. Not to be the best or for any other reason. I also began collecting glass and crystal this last year….how totally fun fun fun! My husband and I love to garden and we love the picket fence idea around a small garden in the back yard. Today’s blog is very inspirational again….thank you! xoxoxo

    • Diane says:

      One last thing I forgot to say: I cannot wait for your new book!!! Take your time and write it out if it makes you happier….I love your handwriting! But if not, I dont mind buying it sooner than later. It is going to be amazing to share your adventures with you again. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      It’s probably in your blood Diane, I’m so glad you’re trying. It’s never too late!

  59. Hi Susan,
    This was a favorite for me. I love vintage and dogwood trees. We are in a terrible drought here in Northern Ca, so gardening is just keeping all my trees, the pomegranate grove and shrubs alive. do you remember a blog post with all sorts of live farm animals and some whimsical animal pics and your cat in a bathtub to the song”It’s Only a Paper Moon”? My grandson loves that post and I had it flagged in email, but lost it when my computer was upgraded. and now I have to go pick David Austin roses for my old bottles:)

  60. Susan, Love your blog first and foremost. I have so many of the same treasures as you. The vintage cloths, quilts old linen towels, I just love those. I have some of the Hazel dell china , only a few pieces, I would love to send them to you. Just let me know and they are yours. I believe that is what the second set of dishes with the yellow pitcher is called? Mary

  61. Pat Johnson from Paso Robles, CA says:

    Once again you have given us all something to really think about. In our busy lives we all tend to step away from the things that bring us happiness & joy. And certainly the great outdoors, where the sun shines & the air is fresh & new, helps us carry on. There is way too much bad stuff happening in the world and we are so in need of your input – I think you are the Fairy Princess of Good Tidings & Blessings. When I haven’t considered the happy things around me, I get very grumpy. It is at that point, I must stop myself & consider “What in the world is wrong with me????” Lately the computer & electronics are going against me and I try to stop long enough to remember what it was like without those demons. We actually called & talked to each other and hugged each other (in times of need). And then we ran next door and yelled with joy when something fabulous happened in our life. Sharing news was great because it was so personal. I miss those times. Don’t get me wrong – I love your blog because it adds good things in my life. And I love to read what others write because they come from other parts of the country and different lives. Sometimes I am not sure what I want to write – sometimes I simply take what you have shared and hold on to it for myself – but the choices are there and I love it. It helps me grow and bloom! I am so looking forward to another book about your first house. And I know it will hurt a little to see it come to an end and journey off to others when you have finished. You are so special and have many special stories to share with all of us. Thank you, Susan. You are the greatest!! XXXXOOOO

  62. Helen says:

    I love the linens and the glassware. I have some wonderful red and white check clothes that I bring on picnics. I also bring doilies to my office to make it feel like home. My daughter came by a few weeks ago and that made her so happy. She is going to do the same thing. Thank you again for sharing and inspiring!

  63. Anne in Maine says:

    What a BEAUTIFUL post Susan! Such great ideas. I just came inside from cleaning my gardens. It is just sooo good for the soul after the long winter. Along with the daffodils (we’re a bit behind here in Maine) and everything else coming to life, getting outside and working in the garden makes you feel soooo alive. I also enjoyed a concert from the little peepers chirping around my pond. No one puts on a show like Mother Nature! I too have a fuzzy thing. You are ABSOLUTELY right. He brings us joy all winter long. PLUS he lays on my side of the bed every night and warms it up for me. You can’t beat that!

  64. WA Judy says:

    What a beautiful and inspiring post! I spent the weekend in California with my sister and we went to the Alameda Antique Fair. I bought a tablecloth and a white bird vase that looks just like yours! I love them.

  65. Suzanne says:

    Oh my, I can hardly wait to read your new book and you have certainly inspired me to get my spring on!! And I wonder if you can even imagine how your words and spirit touch the lives of your readers…

  66. Cecelia says:

    Hey Sue Sue,
    I just got home and have just finished reading your blog. I feel so peaceful. What a great way to end a great day. Thanks for all your inspiration.

  67. Candice OHIO says:

    I just now have been checking my emails this evening since hubby and I were gone all afternoon. Hubby had a winter accident, slipped on ice at work and tore 2 tendons in his rotator cuff in his right shoulder and also tore his bicep. He had major surgery in March six weeks ago and has had 8 visits for physical therapy so far. It will be 6 months to a year before he will have full use of his right arm. He is slowly improving, patience is the name of the game! So upon finding your newest blog in my email was uplifting for me! Lovely sunny warm day here today 81 degrees! My lilacs are just starting to open and I love to bury my nose in them! Ahhh the scent! One of my favorites!
    You certainly have a magical talent to make everything so fresh and charming!
    Puts me in the right frame of mind to gussie up the house for Spring! Thank you so much!! Hugs!!

  68. Mary A. Brown says:

    Oh, Susan, thanks for the springtime blog and I love Rosemary Clooney’s singing (so glad her nephew finally found the woman of his dreams). Spring here in the Central Valley of California has been underway for quite some time. But I agree with you that everyone should have one of those fuzzy things for their laundry baskets! I have 5!! They are my quality inspectors. If it’s not worthy enough to lay in it, it shouldn’t be folded and used. Sun tea is a staple here. I’m going to try Pat’s version this year. Sounds yummy!

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, if they don’t like it, get it out of the house! They know good quality when they see it! 🙂

  69. Georgeann from Texas says:

    Love your ideas! Although the wait will be hard I am willing to tough it out
    if you decide to handwrite your book! That would make it extra personal.
    As for all the spring flowers my husband’s daughter was telling me how the
    deer were eating all the flowers she has planted. I suggested a few artificial
    flowers like she used the summer of our bad drought here in Texas. And it is
    beginning to look like another very dry summer again.

    • sbranch says:

      We had a man here at the end of our street, who just passed away actually, at a very old age. He had a pretty house with one of the most beautiful magnolias I’ve ever seen. The last few years, as he was getting on, we noticed that the window boxes and the flowers around the door weren’t real. The only reason we noticed is because some of them would have been “out of season” — for instance there really are no blooming geraniums outside here in April. I thought it showed lots of joie de vivre, those flowers, I loved it.

      • mari1017 says:

        This reminds me of when I worked retail, and my neighbors would come into the store and buy silk flowers. They were wonderful gardeners, and I couldn’t understand what they were doing with silk flowers. I learned their secret that when you live by the ocean and face south, a good silk geranium (or two or three) mixed in keeps the garden looking spectacular even in the heat and sun 🙂 I was shocked, but when I tried it, everyone thought I had the magic touch! 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          I always thought it might be nice to tie roses onto my once-a-year blooming climbers . . . but haven’t done it yet!

  70. Jeanne Hedin says:

    This post was like unwrapping a present! It was just one delightful thing after the other. 🙂 As we whirl and twirl through our busy days, it’s so refreshing to have some quiet moments with you to calm hearts and minds and appreciate the wonder and blessings all around us. Thank you!

  71. Judy says:

    BRAVO for another beautiful blog, dear Susan. Thank you for all you share with us, all the little bits of artistic and creative thoughts that permeate your writing, illustrations, and photographs is truly a feast for the eyes, and the spirit!

  72. Mary Ann says:

    Oh I just love this post Susan. Full of the promise of summer and the anticipation of a bright Spring. I am beginning to try and journal more, little things I have read and like, tuck in a picture or two from magazines or a sweet card someone sent. And even a bad sketch or two! Someday I hope my daughters and granddaughters will take a few moments to look through them and find my love of family, friends and home waiting for them there too.
    Thanks for sharing it all with us!

  73. Oh Susan, all of these little luxuries just make my heart sing! It’s such fun to “visit” your home and garden. Kindred spirits find so much JOY in all of the little touches that make Spring and Summer extra sweet! We are drawn to them and notice each and every special touch whenever we come here to visit. I think this will be the summer that we have our first clothesline! I’ve been trying to choose the perfect spot in our yard. The warm weather arrived this afternoon, with a little thundershower. So, it’s time to brew the first pitcher of sun tea of the season! Thank you so much, Susan, for the perfect post! It’s one I will enjoy again… and again… and again!
    Heartfelt hugs,

  74. Cindy says:

    I love today’s blog! Being outside is a luxury! I worked in a craft shop in the basement of the student center. I missed trees, snow, rain, Spring, and Fall! But you helped me enjoy those seasons with your blog, books, and Willard. Since my retirement a few weeks ago I have spent almost every moment I can outside. My garden is a brand-new world! I didn’t realize a lot of the things I do are ideas you’ve written in the past. Thank you for the inspiration and the Joy you give my heart.

  75. Linda says:

    Meanwhile in Idaho, it turned cold again but not too bad –high 69……but it has been a rather blustery couple days! I have delayed buying any plants other than 1 boxwood shrub until the danger of frost has passed as it has been down in the low 30’s some nights. I took your advice from last year and did some pruning to give my lilac bush more sun and it has paid off……I now have lots of buds getting ready to bloom! Thanks! Mother Nature is so amazing…….a branch from my maple tree grew underneath a tall growing branch of my snowballs and has supported it up so the blooms are aloft over the top of the fence. I like to fill my flower beds with old things like rake ends, metal wheels, tractor steering wheels, any old garden implement……..I use alot of them to support young plants and to keep the dog from walking on my new flowers. Old enamelware filled with hen and chickens are also cute among the perennials!
    Wonderful post as always…… a breath of fresh air. Thanks from Linda from Idaho where the weather is starting to get warmer! PS A warning to your younger readers…..don’t put old quilts in the washer or dryer like I did when I was younger with my Grandmother’s quilts and ruined them…they are in shreds.

  76. Kathie says:

    We, too, love those vintage and antique table things….linens and glass and china. I’ve inherited a lot of them including dozens of doilies. We used “Stiffy” on one group of doilies and made lovely little bowls that hold potpourri. We gave them as Christmas gifts a few years ago. The holes in the crochet help distribute the potpourri scent. We’re busy planting and our temps, all the way across the country from you, are very similar. Have fun and more fun with spring. We are doing our best to enjoy it between being stiff from too little gardening in the winter time. But it’s a lovely time of the year. Lilacs in bloom everywhere right now. Ta-ta and thank you for the long, luxurious post.

  77. Debs OBrien says:

    Dreaming of warmer days ahead ~~ whispers of summer and long, hot days searching for a spot of shade until it is time for a Pimms on the lawn, savouring the gentle warmth of a summer’s evening at twilight. Just yesterday I was the lucky winner of a wonderful book on outdoor living and how to create the perfect space, and now this today ~~ spoiled for choice. Two days ago, my washing line was billowing breezily, beautifully filled with vintage linens getting their annual spring clean after spending the winter months tucked up in boxes. All is ready, now all that is needed is the weather!

    Waving from ATP from a rather dreary and damp day in Wales that has been somewhat brightened by this post ~~ Debs xoxo 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I imagine that it is beautiful where you are Debs xo

      • Debs OBrien says:

        Oh, indeed it is beautiful, so beautiful it sometimes makes me cry with joy. I know I sometimes moan about the wind and rain, but I wouldn’t swap it for any other corner of the world. I love where I live!

  78. Charlene H. from So. Calif. (S.F.Valley) says:

    The first photo of your folded linens made me pause, smile, and think of well-worn, well-lived, and well-loved things and times in our lives…kept fresh and clean in our memory closet. This post is a sweet diversion from a weeks-long computer project. Thank you for reminding me to get away from the keyboard and get outside. The jacaranda trees in our neighborhood are providing a soft lavender carpet for my walks and a beautiful edging along a blue sky filled with fluffy clouds. It’s a beautiful day.
    Bravo on your book progress, Susan! Well-done!!! It is inspiring to read how you are enjoying the creative progress of your new book. Though not so creative, my own progress on this computer project is sweet. Thank you for “a pause that refreshes” my outlook and appreciation of what I am able to accomplish. Sending sweet thoughts eastward to you and your household. ♥♥♥

  79. AngieTink says:

    ✶*¨`*.✫Good~Morning Sweet Sue!….LOVE…This Blog! 🙂 Puts A Smile on Me Pumpkin Face & Joy in Me Soul! 🙂 Yesterday Our Temps Got To 83! & There Was A Balmy Breeze So Herbster & I Packed A Picnic & The Sun Tan Lotion & Icy Cold Drinks & Went Poolside! We Soaked Up The Sunshine & Breathed in The Magic Of Spring Turning into Summer! Delightful Indeed! Wishing You & Joe & The Kitties & All The Girlfriends A Dazzling Day! Yay! 🙂 xoxo Poof! P.S. I’m Sooooooooooo Excited About Your New Book & So Happy You Wake Excited Each Day! 🙂 ✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*.✫

  80. Jackie P says:

    Yes, yes, yes. Old linens, china, glassware, gardens, quilts blowing in the wind, kitties (and doggies!) — aren’t we all so fortunate that we can gleen pleasure from the simple things that offer comfort and joy? Am so looking forward to your next book. Have a wonderful day!

  81. Nadine says:

    One of your best posts ever (of all the wonderful posts)! So heavenly to be able to just slip into flip-flops and GO out into the GREEN. I had begun to think we’d never see another sprig of green after the long winter, but God worked His miracle yet again. Thank you for all the photos of your beautiful old things. Continue to enjoy writing your book; isn’t creating the most satisfying occupation?

    My sister and I are all signed up for the Reunion next month in Danbury–can’t wait to see you there!

  82. Terry says:

    I love my Susan Branch medication…all things soothing! I also think your handwriting is the heart and soul of your book and sincerely hope it will be so with your new work….which I’m not about to miss out on!

  83. Kelly from eastern PA says:

    Good morning, Susan!
    What a wonderful, sunny post to wake up to on this rainy morning here in PA! So many bright and beautiful things to look forward to for summer. I especially love the photos of porches and all things that go with them, including those “spring steel” porch chairs. My parents still have two of those on their porch; the best way to wile away an afternoon as a kid was to sit in one of those chairs and read! Currently, we have to do with a patio out back, but a porch is truly something special! Enjoy your writing and the rest of your summer prep! Can’t wait to read your next book! Kelly from eastern PA

  84. Dinahsoar says:

    Can I come live with you? No? Okay. It looks WONDERFUL and you did make me want to go outside. My desire to find a house (we currently live in a rented condo) is stronger than ever. I love decorating, inside and outside. This stroll down memory lane (the vintage style things) with the music takes me back, to the time when mamma was still alive and I was a little girl ignorant of the big scary world, where every day was bliss. But it is a wonderful life if we choose it to be, and I do, so there, take that life–you may get me down but you won’t keep me down. Oh Susan–I am looking forward to your new book. Can’t wait to hear the story of moving to the Island. It’s going to be a gem….from the hills of TN

  85. Bobbie P says:

    Reading your blog this morning is like a sweet breath of fresh air and the world is a little lighter and brighter. Thank you!! I shall get busy getting my old linens out and refreshed and look for some more as well. Love the glasses, pitchers and table arrangements. Love all things out door!!! 🙂
    Tomorrow morning, myself and 4 girlfriends are going to Linda’s house for a gathering plant and flower starts brunch. Wear old clothes, bring tools and take home a start of anything from her garden. Yogurt, fruit and granola will be served. We will have fun, looking forward to our time. Another fun idea for enjoying the beautiful weather and spring.
    Looking forward to the new book!! I just order, The Heart of the Home and for a Mother’s Day gift, The Summer Book!! Enjoying your sweet book and spreading a little sweetness around.
    Have a happy day!!!!

  86. mari1017 says:

    As if Spring weren’t beautiful enough to make one cry with joy, your post did! ♥♥♥ Now that we have spent the last three months getting settled in a new town home here in central Virginia, we are so enjoying the blooming of a gorgeous Spring – and seeing how we can bring that beauty into our little backyard 🙂 I’m skating a little behind the play with planting pots, but that will come in the next few days as we will be having temps in the high 80’s, but nice cool mornings on the patio and yard which face north and slightly east. We have lots of birds at the bath and feeder we put up – our little patch of green 🙂
    Thank you for such a wonderful post and reminder of the joys of all things Spring – my mom will be celebrating her first Mother’s Day down here, and I’m trying to make it special for her – you’ve given me some good ideas .
    Can’t wait for your next book – sounds wonderful! While I don’t go too far these days now that Mom is living here with me, I travel with you in your posts and pix and books. Have a blast in NY! Enjoy your day!!! 🙂
    p.s. “The Cat in the Window”, edited by Callie Smith Grant, is a small paperback filled with real stories of cats and their owners and how they “found” each other. It’s a joy to read! I’d have this book in every shelter and every vet office lol ♥♥♥ just thought I’d share as I so enjoy seeing Jack’s latest antics! so many kitties need good homes!

  87. Shanna says:

    Hi Susan,

    I wait in great anticipation for your new book. Whether it is hand written, or printed, I am sure we will all love it either way, much as we love your blog and books which are in two different forms.

    The weather here in Northern Cal has been quite changeable–cold, windy, rainy, then upper 80’s, then down again to low 70’s. Spring is a fickle but exciting season.

  88. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    This post is a call to gratitude, and to living in the sweetness of the season. It is a sort of meditation. You have a gift for inspiring that sort of happiness! Anyone can feel like a gardener, even if it’s just setting out pots of flowers! When my 6 year old granddaughter visits from AZ next month, we will go to the nursery out in the country so she can choose flowers for us to plant together. She still talks about doing that last summer, and the ice cream cone from the farm stand that is near the nursery. 😉 We did some of the planting in the rain, which she loved. I like knowing she will carry the sweetness of those kinds of memories with her through her life, even after I’m gone.

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

    good morning Susan and good morning girlfriends, a cloudy, windy and wet day here but we need the rain so no complaints, or as the minister down the road said ” pray for rain, but don’t complain about the mud.” well he forgot the muck so I have some leeway on that, like our chicken yard is a muck hole right now, lots of muck and the hens are worm hunting. the younger ones are scampering everywhere and enjoying the yard, they don’t seem to mind the muck and wet. the ducks are swimming, along with the ducklings and goslings, and Nippers is doing better today, she is leading the little turkeys around, I think they think she is mama. which is good, may take her mind off Tom for now. the cats are all curled up on the floor by the woodstove enjoying the fire and the younger peeps are in for the day, too chilly for them to go outside and enjoy the playpen. we’re getting ready to plant some plants this weekend, hopefully the frost is past now well we do know that there is a frost warning for Sunday morning, after that it looks good for planting the veggie plants in the gardens. and hopefully HRH will put in a taller fence to keep the deer out, last year he swore just yelling at them to stay out of the garden would do the trick, yeah right…. they snuck back at night and had a munchy party. they ate everything and nothing got started. so much for hollering at them and the deer are back this year, so here we go again. plus have to get the old antique cars ready and polished for the Memorial day Parade in Grants Pass, we drive it every year. and this year its a bear festival, local artists create colorful and artistic renditions of bears and their cubs, name them and they are displayed on the street corners from Memorial day to Labor Day then they are auctioned off to the highest bidder(s) and the money goes to the local charities. this year we have 80 bears on display and they are soooooo adorable and some are sooooo funny to look at. wish you all could be here to see them. off to feed the flock, have a great day. hugs…… 😉

  90. Rose Dwight says:

    Thirteen years ago we moved into a high rise – 12th floor – so no garden up here. Makes me love your post so much with all the flowering trees. Yesterday my husband and I went for a drive and all the flowering trees & tulips took our breath away. Your post always cheers me up. Our daughter died in December and we are now raising her 10 year old daughter – I so appreciate the time I can ‘get away’ and pour over your blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all your thoughts and photos with us.
    Tell me the font you use when you write your blogs, please.

    • sbranch says:

      You stop me in my tracks Rose. My heart breaks for your loss. I’m so happy you have your grandaughter and are showing her the beauty her mom won’t be able to. I think the font is comic sans. xoxo blessings to you and yours.

    • Susan P. says:

      Dear Rose, Oh your burden is a heavy one… thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. The “sunshine” here is your little grand-daughter….10 years…what a great age….though there is going to be allot of hurts and some Moments….she is blessed to have grandparents in her life.. as you and your husband are also, to have her in your life. Take care of each other. Love, Susan P.

  91. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    P.S. Just read this quote: “I have found that if you love life, life will love you right back.” So true! The same goes for kitties, and children!

  92. Patty from Michigan says:

    I may now take a moment to look at a shadow. Thanks you, Susan. Love that! It is the simple things that can give us great joy. Thank you for blessing my day with your post. It’s a beautiful 80 degree day here in Michigan! Doors and windows are open!

  93. Carilyn Wolski says:

    Hello Susan! YOU are the “Springtime” in all of us Girlfriend’s hearts (& homes) !!!! THANK YOU for the inspirations of the season…..everything Springy!!!!!

  94. Judy Dow says:

    I’m out in my screened in porch for the first time this season reading your blog! What a gift on this finally beautiful spring day. Ethel is off in grandma heaven. She had her second granddaughter in two months! Takes her to four altogether. I am so excited to take your garden journal advise. Things are coming up mad I have no idea what I planted last year. I will be more diligent about writing it down this year. I’m trying to solve my clothesline dilemma. Love the smell n sight of things out on a line. Our CCRs do not allow clothes lines! They don’t allow sheds either but we have one hidden in arborvitae. Have to find a way for the lines too. We are all anxious for the new book, but…Do not miss a minute of glorious spring and summer to get it to us. Enjoy! Anticipation is half the fun! HappySpring and happy Mothers Day to all moms! Love, Lucy

  95. JoAnne Daniels says:

    Susan — thank you for your wonderful, creative ideas to make our summers a
    pleasure. I’ve been enjoying your advise since a one-page article in the 8/3/99 Family Circle magazine titled “Words to Live By — Summer Is” by Susan Branch complete with your wonderful illustrations. I cut it out of the magazine and have since laminated it so it won’t deteriorate! Being a fan of fireflies, I particularly like “Fireflies twinkle in the dark”. The little things that make my life complete come Spring into Summer are hearing the first peepers, seeing my first hummingbird, hearing the song of the Wood Thrush for the first time in May and watching for the first fireflies to arrive in late June. I must also add to the list the diminutive Wren with the hearty song.
    As you say — it’s the little things, like noticing the change in shadows on the wall and the fact that I can now grocery shop after work and it’s still light
    when I come home!! I try to arrange my life so that I can enjoy the “Little
    Moment” and I try to share those moments with my family and friends.
    My lesson from your current blog is to carry my camera around with me more.
    Just this morning I was thinking about a Serviceberry tree we planted last year and it bloomed for the first time just a few days ago. I should have taken a picture of it then because, now, the green leaves are starting to take over…an opportunity lost. However, I also planted 3 crabapple trees so I get another chance to have a “before” picture for years later when they are much bigger. Gardens are so in-the-moment but also an exercise in patience for good things to come! Enjoy these warm Spring days and find a good yard sale!
    JoAnne from rural NW New Jersey where yards are finally turning green

  96. Jennie says:

    Hi Susan! What dreamy pictures . . . I’m looking out my window at the moment and all I see is lush greens in the garden and lots. of. rain. . . . and clouds, too. We are still in the violent pendulum of spring- bright sun and blue skies, 70 degrees one day (yesterday) and then 55 with a rain storm the next. I don’t mind too much since the privet hedge we planted recently will really benefit from all the rain, but I DO mind that it picked a day my kid’s have their three hour track meet to do it on!

  97. Danella on the Canadian West Coast says:

    Dear Susan, Another lovely post reminding us of life’s small treasures. You are one of them! Thank you for you!

  98. Dolores says:

    Always you inspire and delight! I have started keeping a daily art journal because of you and am so enjoying every minute of it. And now just the tiniest peek at your garden journal ideas has me digging though my moleskins!
    And I do miss you on the days you do not write to us…but knowing that on those days you are busy writing a new book for us fills me with excitement! I hope you never run out of delightful inspiration for new books for us!

  99. Elaine in Toronto says:

    Susan, I found your lambkin cake pan at Goodwill on Monday afternoon. There it was, all shiny and bright, snuggled in someone elses buggy. She was three people ahead of me in line and all I could think to do was to grab it and run to the parking lot yelling, “start the car, start the car”, lol. No easy feat when you use a walker (I’m waiting for hip replacement surgery). Sanity prevailed, however. Then I noticed she was putting a few items aside that she no longer wanted – her buggy was quite full. Be still my heart. Hoping against hope that she had changed her mind about the cake pan, I waited. But she must have wanted it as badly as I did. Oh, by the way, it was $1.51! I’ll keep looking. At least I behaved myself so I wasn’t banned from Goodwill, lol. You are putting your heart and soul into your new book and its going to be so wonderful.

  100. Love your pretty, sweet and inspiring post. would love to have all the pretty glasses, vases, pitchers…but alas, a small house, no extra storage anywhere, woe is me. But looking at your house and beautiful photos of all your good “stuff” makes me happy.And I do have two fuzzy things like your sweet little tux in a basket! As always your blog is cheerful, fun and delightful!

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