Sunday, March 31, 2013


The Honeybees, all nicely settled into their new home at Blooming Hill .
P.Lorenz, the Honeybee's, chauffeur and tour guide. (Also chief cook and bottle washer.)
"Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home!"  I think that's what I hear a choir of honeybees singing (along with Zippity-Do-Dahhhh), from their new hive home out in the back "forty" here at Blooming Hill.  Our new neighbors, the Honeybee's (wouldn't you like to have a last name like that?...I sure would!), finally arrived in not your typical moving van this past Wednesday, rather, via our Prius.  Peter picked up 3 pounds, that's roughly 3000 bees, from a beekeeper in southern Virginia and they all happily hummed "Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to Blooming Hill, we go" as they trundled up-state to their new home where a view of the Blue Ridge will greet them every morning.

Extending a friendly welcome to the neighborhood can sometimes be treacherous. 
Here come the gloves!
Giving the hive walls a good coating of sugar water is like giving the place a fresh coat of paint, bee-style, and calms the bees down at the same time.
Looking at their travelling compartment, you could tell they were a clubby group and, as non-aggressive as honeybees are made out to be, they really don't like you getting too close to them, as Tucker soon found out when curiosity got the better of him which led to a not-so-fine "how do you do" on his left front paw.  Thus, P.Lorenz donned his brand new bee gear in order to place the bees comfortably into their brand spankin' freshly painted and not quite so humble new bee-hive room with a view.  I guess his thinking was, if you want the Honeybee's to stick around, you should provide them with more than just a good school district.  Yes, yes, I know there is a little more to it than that, especially when all the news surrounding honeybee hive health this year, again, has not been good.  Anyway, we'd like to give them a fighting chance and plenty of peace, quiet and space so they will hopefully thrive.

The Queen's royal chariot and her loyal  guard.  She will soon make her debut, once all of the bees have  time to adjust to their new surroundings.  
It seemed as though some of this Honeybee Family just really like the deluxe travel accommodations and need a little coaxing out of their case.  It must be the room service!
Everybody all tucked  in, nice and cozy-like.  Let the welcome party begin!
In any case, the Honeybee's are here and happy for now. When we checked on them yesterday, in order to replace their sugar water, it appeared that the welcome cocktail party was still in full swing, complete with bouncers at the door, swirling around our heads, to remind us that although we may be the landlords and caterers, we are not exactly on their "A" list, just yet. However, they will be in touch, soon--just leave the drinks at the front door and go!  Thank you very much.

Providing the sugary libations.
Somebody needs to tip the delivery boy or he may stand at the door  forever!
So, here we are, the Rinek's and the Honeybee's of Blooming Hill.  It's a nice little neighborhood located out in the country with plenty of fresh air and room to raise a family.  Now, let's hope the Honeybee's appreciate that, along with Blooming Hill lavender, and we will all be happy campers.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Little Light on the Lavender, Please!

Even the dog had his doubts!
Something like a "Rubik's Cube."
Last week, while walking through the Philadelphia Flower Show, we passed a booth that, I thought, looked a little tacky, to say the least.  I wish I had taken a picture of it so you could see it for yourself but, at the same time, I would not want to hurt the booth owners feelings.  To each his own, right?

Anyway, I said to Peter, "Who in the world would want to buy one of those silly plastic things and what, in heaven's name, would you use it for."  As I was saying it, Peter, who was already making a bee-line toward the booth, couldn't resist taking a closer look as he was saying to me, "Look how cool these things are!"

By the third night, forget Rubik's Cube, it became more like that other old game puzzle called, "Instant Insanity."
Lavender light, all lit up, finally!

Well, the booth was pretty busy with people flocking all over it and buying little packages of plastic pieces that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle, which you could then use as a light in your house, on your patio or wherever you see fit.  Still not sold on this idea, I watched Peter carefully inspect these lights that came in colors of yellow, white, orange, red, blue, even colors mixed together and, lavender.  Are you catching the drift of where I'm going with this?  Yep... P. Lorenz had an idea, saw the possibilities and then, went with it.

P. Lorenz, installing his lavender lights, this past Saturday.
Crowning touches to the shop's front door.
Okay--my husband, who doesn't even like to see the garage door left open because he thinks that looks tacky was drawn in, hook, line and sinker.  He was so intrigued and struck with an idea of making a lavender flower light, he bought two packages--to my shock and amazement.  Then, he spent four nights trying to assemble these things which, actually did turn out really cool!  In fact, so cool (ya think?), that it stopped traffic on our road, a couple of times, this past weekend.  Hopefully, because they liked what they saw, now highlighting the front door of the shop and not thinking, "What are they thinking there at Blooming Hill?"

They look great.  What do you think?

Anyway, although we are not quite ready to open--that will be in April--we are beginning to look like we are ready to open soon with our lavender lights twinkling, in full bloom, here at Blooming Hill.  Stop by and see them for yourself.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


A regal crown of royal cockscomb greets Philadelphia Flower Show visitors at the entrance.
So glad to be here.
Fascinating floral-inspired fascinaters are fantastic and all the rage!
Big Ben, the shining centerpiece of the show.
Oh, who cares that it is snowing, raining, slushing and whatever else outside, right at this moment, because it is a perfectly brilliant English Spring, at least at the Philadelphia Flower Show, this week.  Lovely landscape designs, crisply coiffed standards coupled with amazing flower arrangements and a milliue of shoppers mingling in the marketplace make the Philadelphia Convention Center the place to be, if only for a few short days here in the beginning of March.

A lovely emerald green dress topiary fit for a fairy.
English Showers bring English Flowers.
Royally toasting the happy couple at a very English reception.
Formal garden beds surround a formal British wall.
A charming garden shed, somewhere in Brigadoon, I think.
The Philadelphia flower Show is a splendid way to while away the day gazing at royal crowns, spending time at a royal wedding or having tea with Alice and the Mad Hatter.  Even English raindrops seem more gentle when thought of as lightly spritzing the flora and fauna in a Cotswold garden.

This display speaks to the hipster gardener in all of us.
Tulips along with gingerbread trim highlight this cozy cottage garden.
Springtime blossoms offer layers of color and texture.
Yes. It is a well-attended, okay, crowded show to visit but soooooo worth it when you see what can be done with even the simplest of flowers and the most basic of ideas.  And, yes, seeing ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers forced into bloom weeks before they would ever even think about doing so can be a little disconcerting, but only if you stop and think about it a little too long.

Easter flowers inviting the likes of Peter Rabbit into an adventure.
I keep looking for Mr. Darcy and Lizzie to show up here.
The gateway into enchantment and whimsy.
Shall we knock on the door and see who may be home?
I'm pretty sure John, Paul, Ringo and George once stayed here.
However, at the end of the day,  walking through hedgerows, singing in the rain and entering enchanted secret gardens where only the wee fairy folk go, all while standing in the shadow of Big Ben, makes the United Kingdom BRILLIANT in Philadelphia!

Layer upon layer of flowers cascading from garden urns abound at the show.
Chatting it up with Elizabeth at the PFS.
The theme of the PFS featuring The United Kingdom from Ireland to England,

A British-inspired coldframe/greenhouse...whatever your fancy!
Croquet, anyone?...Anyone???