Sunday, January 14, 2018

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things

High on my list of 'favorite things' is time spent with my family including gardening with the grandchildren. Those of you who follow this blog have met Jon who assists me with my entries for the West End Fair, but were you aware that he has been my gardening helpmate since he could walk? That's Jon pushing the wheelbarrow, 'helping' Pappy and brother, Harry, plant a tomato. Two of my dear blogger friends write about their best loved things: Jo at Through the Keyhole in England compiles a monthly post she calls 'Raindrops on Roses', and Beth from Plant Postings in Southern Wisconsin writes an annual list with one favorite thing for each month of the year. Thank you Jo and Beth. Here are ten favorites that I picked:
1. My family
Jon making a miniature garden (top and bottom right). Picking red beets (bottom left)

Clockwise from top right: First 'Best of Show.' Jon's baking entry for the Fair. Handsome teenager

Although Jon is now a teenager, nearly 15 (where did the years go?), he assures me he will continue to help. I am truly blessed.

2. Early morning in my garden

During the growing seasons, I go outside as the sun is rising and stroll around my gardens, to see what is growing. It's the best time to harvest vegetables and pick flowers for indoor arrangements. I make note of tasks for the day. I choose a favorite seat in one of the gardens to meditate and read. I feel both tranquil and energized.

Love the garden bathed in the golden glow of the rising sun.

The swing in the Serenity Garden is a peaceful place to start the day.

3. My favorite plant

My favorite plant depends on the day and the season. Some flowers, such as the daffodils in spring, the giant allium, 'Globemaster'  that spans spring and summer, the 'Peace' rose in June, and hollihocks in mid-summer are perennial faves.  New favorites last year were foxglove 'Foxlight Plum Gold' and anemone 'Honorine Jobert.' I wonder what new love 2018 will bring.

4. Garden critters

My garden is a wildlife habitat and I welcome many critters: birds, bees, butterflies and all pollinators, of course. I'm not too fond of the black bears because I'm afraid, but I tolerate deer and other 'destructive' animals. They have to survive too. Let's not forget my best gardening buddies,  Dude the miniature horse, and Billy the goat.

5. Flower shows, country fairs, and other people's gardens

Every year I try to visit as many gardens as possible. My favorites are the cottage gardens in England. However, we have wonderful gardens in the US, too, and in 2017 I took every garden tour I could. Some of the best public gardens are in the Philadelphia area. Philadelphia is within driving distance, so H.H. and I travel there frequently. In 2017, we also went to a couple of country fairs and two amazing flower shows.

Grafton Cottage, an iconic cottage garden in England

Top: Northview Gardens, b. left: Philly Flower Show, right:White Flower Farms

6. A new garden book

I have well-over 100 gardening books in my home library. There's something special about holding a new book for the first time, anticipating the wonderful illustrations and beautiful words within. For Christmas, my son gave me A Natural History of English Gardening by Mark Laird. It is a beautiful and informative addition to my library.

7. Writing about gardening

I have written a monthly gardening column for the Pocono Record for nearly three years now. I've published a blog entry every couple of weeks for ten years. I've been writing a book forever -- I sometimes think I enjoy the process too much and just need to let go of it. This year, I promise.

My favorite writing spot

8. Learning about gardening

Being a master gardener, I am required by Penn State to take a minimum of ten hours of continuing education each year. I would do it even if it wasn't compulsory as it is definitely one of my favorite things. I love to attend conferences and gardening programs. This year I am anticipating the Garden Writers Convention in Chicago and the Penn State Master Gardeners' Conference in Pittsburg. Much of the joy is meeting with like-minded gardening friends from around the country.

Jenny Rose Carey showing how to make a roof garden

9. Garden photography

I love taking pictures even though I sometimes feel I'll never get the hang of my DSL camera. I use a Cannon Rebel. This time of year, my garden photography focuses (pardon the pun) on backyard birds. 

Tufted titmouse

10. My potting shed

Finally, I LOVE my potting shed, especially with the coldframe that was added this year. The shed is the focal point of the kitchen garden and my sanctuary. Inside I have gardening books, a rocking chair, my hedgehog and other collections, and a large potting bench, as well as tools and gardening essentials.  It's a bit crowded in there, but that's OK.

What are your favorite things?

Pamela x

I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited! 
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Happy New Year Pam, I haven't visited for a while but so enjoyed your favourite things.

    1. Good to see you, Jane. Just visited your site and that picture of English bluebells made me homesick. Happy New Year.

  2. Happy new year Pam! You are blessed with a lovely family and a beautiful garden. The Peace rose is one of my favorite plants too.

    1. Happy New Year to you, too. This is a great time to count ones blessings!

  3. We share many of our favorite things. And how satisfying to have a grandchild as a "helper." I can only envy you there.

    1. I am blessed with four wonderful grandsons, Dorothy. (No girls I'm sorry to say.) And having one who shares my love of gardening is an added blessing.

  4. Gardening and family: What could be better?! Your grandkids sure are cute. The light in the morning and the late afternoon can be so magical, so I understand your fascination with the sunrise on the garden. Thanks for the link and the mention, Pam! :)

  5. Pam, have you done a post showing the inside of the potting shed??

    1. There are some pictures at the bottom of this post:

  6. Thank you for joining in and showing us your favourite things, I share many of them. I wonder how long we've been following each other's blogs as I remember Jon as a little boy and now here he is a young man, where do the years go? It's lovely that he's still so keen to help out in the garden. I must admit that your garden photography is one of my favourite things about your blog, especially the posts about the birds which visit your garden, the wildlife and, of course, Dude and Billy.

    1. I believe its been ten years, Jo, since we started following each other's blogs. I found you through Maureen from Allotment Heaven (she no longer blogs.)I've been with Google eight years and was on the Mac platform (long gone) before that. I found a couple of comments you made here:
      You mentioned that you liked my new blog format, so I assume you visited my mac blog. It is interesting to see we were talking about birds back then, haha. Thank you for being a long-time friend. P. x

    2. Wow, I knew it had been some time but I didn't realise it was ten years, how time flies. It's a shame that Maureen doesn't blog any more, I always enjoyed her blog, and I noticed a comment on that old post from Bangchik, another blog I used to follow. I had to laugh at my comment, excited because I'd seen a pair of goldfinches in the garden, I can't get rid of them these days (not that I'd want to), I have flocks, and they eat me out of house and home, ha ha. Nice to see your lovely mum in the post too.

  7. Pam-I loved this post all about your favorite things. You are blessed to have such a full life with wonderful grandchildren and gardens to enjoy. I always enjoy visiting you and this post just warmed my heart. Wishing you happiness always!

  8. That's quite a rich collection of favorite things, you are a lucky woman!
    I loved all the photos and I think I need to find an excuse to get out to White Flower Farm. I forgot you were out there last summer, and it's amazing to see it looks just as perfect as the catalog photo!

  9. Lovely pictures of your grandchildren enjoying the garden, also good to see Dude and Billy again. Have a great year ahead Pam.

  10. Love to see the gardening genes in Jon!

  11. And to think you once lived near me ... now you have a dream come true living in the Poconos with grandchildren who will have treasured memories forever. What a life !

    1. Good to hear from you, Patsi. I didn't know we lived near each other. We frequently vacation near you -- usually at Cape May.

  12. Pam, I looked at Pocono Records but couldn't find your post. Can you tell me where to go ?

    1. -Go to
      -Click on the 'magnifying glass' symbol that is next to 'Log in'(top right.)
      -You will get a box that says 'Search this Site'
      -Type in my name, Pamela Hubbard, and all my articles will come up.