Saturday, March 19, 2016

We Hit The Big Time in Country Gardens Magazine!

Yep--that's our lavender.
Finally, after scores of emails, dozens of phone calls, the passage of a spring, summer, fall and winter and then one more round of the four seasons, which comes to over two years of waiting, not to mention a visit stashed in-between from a photographer and writer, we find ourselves featured in the spring issue of one of our most favorite gardening magazines, Country Gardens.  Albeit, we aren't on the front cover--page 96, actually, but--we are in there, with a 9-page color photo spread, accompanied with our abridged Blooming Hill Story.  Wow! Can I tell you how thrilled we are to be a part of this lovely, modern gardening periodical?  Yes--we are! 

So happy together.
So, rather than rehash the entire article, you might want to pick up a copy of the spring issue  of Country Gardens Magazine the next time you are in the grocery store and read about Blooming Hill Lavender Farm and Gift Shop for yourself. Better still, stop by and I'll show you a copy.  I bought just a few for myself to have on hand so, I can spare one, if you'd like.

Anyway, I've attached a few pictures, not in the magazine spread, but taken by the photographer, Rob Cardillo, when he was here, last June. So, what's next? Well, we open for our sixth season of business, here at Blooming Hill, on Friday, April 8.

The shop will be properly decked out in it's "6th Open Season Finery" and the lavenders and gardens will be greening up and freshly combed. Lavender plants, ready for sale, will come around the beginning of May. Until then, we are here and we are so very excited to be your hosts when you come to visit the farmlet.  We've doubled the size of the field and have a "lavender calendar" packed with events and happenings that we are sure you will want to be a part of. You can see them on the sidebar of this blog.

Until then, I hope you check us out in Country Gardens Magazine and enjoy the article!
I can smell it already and it's only March.  Actually, I can't, because after more than 20 years of growing lavender, I think I've become so accustomed to lavender's intoxicating scent that I can't really smell it anymore--Go figure!
Writer's note: The first two pictures on this blog entry were taken by me.  The rest of the photos are scanned from pictures taken by professional photographer, Rob Cardillo when he was here last June.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Unveiling of Upperville

"Upperville, Virginia in the Piedmont Valley", Peter's newest addition to his collection of original oil works of historic towns in Northern Virginia.  I think he does the town proud!
Displaying Upperville small.jpgDisplaying Upperville small.jpgDisplaying Upperville small.jpgIt's been a while since my husband Peter, whom I affectionately call "P.Lorenz" when he is in one of his many creative modes that include painting, designing a garden, building something, sitting around playing Scrabble on his Android phone or even yelling at the television while watching his favorite team win or lose to an opponent ("COME ON, PURDUE!"), has completed another painting of one of the historic towns we are lucky enough to live near, here in Northern Virginia.  At last, after many a Sunday afternoon coupled with after-work weekday-nights of painting a new scene spread over the last year, he has finally completed one more artistic interpretation to add to the P.Lorenz Original Oil Painting Collection of Towns and Hamlets of Northern Virginia.  This new scene is his depiction of Upperville, a Virginia town, founded in 1790 and nestled in the Piedmont Valley with a rich history.

This painting of the First Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, Illinois
was one of the first Peter did when we were first married,
back in the early 1980's, while he was still in college.
He painted it on an old bread board that once belonged to
 his (Quaker) grandmother.  It is still is one of
my favorites because we were married in that church.
Another scene that graced the walls of our tiny apartment
during married student housing days. Peter painted this on old
lath board he nailed together.
Peter is a landscape architect by education and training and I remember, as it seems a lifetime ago, living in married student housing at Purdue University where Peter started honing his skill as an artist. We looked at white-washed cinder block walls that needed something, anything really, to hide the boredom and plainness of those walls, and at the same time, would not break the bank of a newlywed couple who depended on my retail management trainee's monthly salary.  Trust me when I say it barely covered the rent and food at the time.  Peter, well let's just call him P.Lorenz for the sake of argument, started hanging his architectural projects and artwork on the walls--much better! Even me, a perennial "neat-nick", thought they nicely complimented our wedding china, brightened up the hand-me-down furniture and softened the stark white walls.

Getting back into the swing of things, in 2011, after an over 20 year painting hiatus, he painted "Beautiful Philomont, Virginia", the lovely little Western Loudoun hamlet we live in today.  Peter painted the original on an old bread board as well and then donated the painting to our son's (who is now almost 25 years old) elementary school when he was in fourth grade for a school fundraiser.  This is the one of the few originals we no longer own but the owners who bought the painting were kind enough to lend us the picture so we could take pictures of it and sell it as prints.  My sister, his brother and a couple of lucky neighbors own original work by P.Lorenz as well.
Then, the demands of graduation, job hunting, moving halfway across the country, jobs, houses, more moving, house renovations, house buildings, children and jobs (I think I said that already) turned his attentions to all of these things so, "picture painting" was wholly forgotten for many years. However, somewhere around year 21 of our marriage, Peter started painting again and rediscovered a long "on-hold" passion and outlet for his creativity.  The rest is history.

So today, we proudly unveil P.Lorenz's latest work of an historic, Northern Virginia town called "Upperville, Virginia in the Piedmont Valley" and add this to his body of other works, that include his renditions of the following Northern Virginia towns; Philomont, Bluemont, Lincoln, Purcellville, Middleburg and Leesburg.  Now, on to the next conquest--Hillsboro, Virginia--coming soon, hopefully.

Note:  For a complete viewing of Peter's artwork offered for sale as either color prints or stationary, go to 
One of my favorites by Peter a.k.a P. Lorenz, "Bountiful Purcellville, Virginia".