Shamrocks in the Fairy Garden, Green Books in the Library

St. Patrick’s Day brings out my inner child. We loved wearing green to school when we were kids and apparently I’ve never outgrown the tradition. Green is my favorite color, so finding the right thing to wear is easy-breezy.

I’m also having fun making Leprechaun mischief in the fairy garden. It’s hard to resist.

Fairy garden house under a net

Those mischievous Leprechauns have tossed a net over the fairy house

fairy garden pot of gold

A pot of gold. Is there a rainbow nearby?

fairy garden fairies on St. Patrick's day

Charming fairies enjoy the shade. They were a gift from my friend Kristi.

fairy garden st. patrick's day

Succulents tend to like dry conditions, but they sure look green after the rain.

Since joining a Facebook group for Little Free Library stewards, I’ve found myself reinvigorated. Stewards in the group have wonderful ideas, among them setting up themes for their library.

I stocked the library with red-colored books for Valentine’s Day, and offered pink and red bookmarks and stickers.

valentine's day litttle free library collage

Last week we celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday, which was a huge hit. When I returned from our weekend away, all but one book found its way into a pair of small hands. One of my neighbors stopped by to tell me that his granddaughter was jumping up and down with excitement over one of the Seuss books. That made my day.

LFL Dr. Seuss

Celebrating Dr. Seuss, born March 2nd

If you don’t know about the Little Free Library movement you can read about it on their site. We opened our LFL two years ago. It continues to receive a warm welcome from the community

This week, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and approaching s*p*r*i*n*g, all the books are green, or green themed. books about gardening, fairy gardening, herb gardening…you get the picture. Once again, stickers and green bookmarks to entice small ones to the library. It’s such good fun.

Little Free Library st. Patrick's day

Little Free Library decked out in green

I’ve been a reader my whole life. As girls we loved our trips to the local library. I came home with the maximum books allowed, devoured all of them, then headed back for more. Having a library card felt special. When my boys came along, reading was a big part of our day. Having this LFL at the curb is a great way to build community around reading and a source of daily joy.

What do you know?

The Little Free Library mission is to:

promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and build a sense of community as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.

The original goal: To build 2,510 Little Free Libraries—as many as Andrew Carnegie—and keep going.

As of January 2016, there are over 36,000 registered Little Free Library book exchanges in all 50 U.S. states and over 70 countries around the world.

Little Free Library: Take a Book, Return a Book

SummerWinds Fire Update


An electrical fire destroyed the Almaden Valley SummerWinds Nursery about a week ago.  Although firefighters were quickly on the scene, they made the unusual decision to allow the building to burn, given the number of chemical fertilizers and pesticides inside.  It was better from an environmental standpoint to avoid contaminated water runoff into a nearby creek.

SummerWinds Fire Damage

Fire-Damaged SummerWinds Nursery

Plans to Rebuild

I drove by the site yesterday on my way to a fabric store, and noticed workers outside. Once I got over the ghastly sight of the burned structure, it surprised me to see so many of the outdoor plants and pottery unharmed. I stopped by and spoke to Joey, an employee of SummerWinds, who said they are planning to rebuild, and soon. In preparation for that, they are selling the surviving plants and pottery starting this Friday, September 14th.

SummerWinds Joey

Joey C. of SummerWinds

Fire Sale

If you live in the area, and are so inclined, please stop by. You can find regular updates about the nursery, the sale and plans to rebuild by “liking” the SummerWinds San Jose Facebook Page.

SummerWinds fire damaged plants

Planted at the nursery entrance.I love the resiliency of plants.

Recent updates from SummerWinds website:

September 10, 2012 We’re having a FIRE SALE! – Save the Date! It will start this Friday, September 14th at 9am. Special rules will apply. We’ll get you more details in the next few days.

September 07, 2012 Big News! We will be having a Fire Sale to liquidate all the remaining healthy plants and products. The logistics and permits are all still being worked out. It should happen in the next 2 weeks. We’ll keep you posted! As soon as we hear more… we’ll share.

SummerWinds Plants and Pottery

SummerWinds Plants and Pottery
Fire Sale Starts Friday, 9/14


Ready to Plant: Our Trip to Almaden Valley Nursery

Doug Reviews Our Order

The planting begins!  The stars aligned this weekend and we had the time and the weather to begin filling in all the planting spaces created earlier this year when we re-did the hard-scaping in our back yard.

We placed our order with Almaden Valley Nursery, a locally owned nursery and gift shop in San Jose.  Our friend Doug is a nurseryman there.  He pulled the order earlier in  the week, then loaded it into the van with my husband’s help.  Turns out we needed to make a couple of trips, but by late Saturday afternoon, all the plants were home and lined up on the back steps.

After this morning’s Easter egg hunt and a pancake breakfast, we got to work.  Details tomorrow, along with photos of our progress.

Talking Shop

Admiring the Fruit and Dreaming of Another Fruit Cocktail Tree

Soaking up Some Vitamin D

Tucked in Among the Plants in the Van

Plants: This Makes me so Happy

Almaden Valley Nursery is located at 15800 Almaden Expressway, San Jose, California.