Wednesday, April 11, 2007

2007 Seaside Herb Society Herbal Faire

On Saturday, March 24, I set up my booth at Seaside Herb Society’s Herbal Faire. This was my second year. They have a great location: the Riverbridge Meeting House and grounds in Ormond Beach, right on the Halifax River by the Granada Street bridge.

The main features of this location are the Riverbridge House, where the ladies serve the most delicious lunch, and the stone fountain ringed with trays of herbs for sale.

I brought a white wrought iron planter stand filled with scented geraniums, but outside of that I didn’t bring herbs to sell. The rest of my booth was filled with items from my store – our handmade herbal goods, herbal gadgets as well as herb books and herbal cookbooks. And I used my new Provence theme with colorful Provence tablecloths and some of my own "Provence" items: lavender bunches tied up with Provence fabric, lavender buds in a Provence fabric bag and little jars of Suzanne's Herbes de Provence.

There was an herbalist set up outside the meeting house dispensing herbal advice.

I always liked doing herb fairs when Maggie from Maggie’s Herbs in St Augustine showed up. She always had something out of the ordinary. Recently, Maggie’s Herbs was purchased by a young woman named Dora who stayed with this tradition. I picked up some coconut scented geraniums and a variegated mugwort. [Note on coconut scented geraniums: I read an article once that talked about how scented geraniums are named for fruits, nuts, etc but often don’t really smell like their namesakes. It gave coconut geranium as an example – one of the few that really does smell like its name!]

Dora is also a potter and had several of her things at the show including this birdbath:

Holly from Herbal Creations also in St Augustine was there with her great herbal jellies and jams and herbal mixes. YUM!

One of my neighbors had herbal crafts including a delicious blood orange marmalade.

I liked this booth with cute handmade birdhouses and beautiful painted stones.

The ladies from the Tempting Tub were there again this year with their lovely body care products.

I’ve seen these hypertufa planters at several herb shows now. They’re the perfect containers for herbs – lightweight and earthy. I’m sorry I don’t have the artist’s name; I’m going to have to do better about getting names for my little blog entries here.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

2007 Spring Fever in the Garden

On March 31 and April 1, I took my herbs and a few herbal books and other goodies to the 7th Annual Spring Fever in the Garden in historic downtown Winter Garden. This garden show was put on by the Bloom N Grow Garden Society whose members could not have been more helpful and accommodating. They also attracted a good crowd, all of which meant I not only had a good show saleswise, but had fun doing the show, too. They have a website for the Spring Fever which is really spectacular.

I love a good historic downtown area and Winter Garden has a very nice one. Lots of little restaurants, including the Moon Cricket Grille across from my booth with an owner who traded me a lunch for some herbs.

The show took place, appropriately enough, on Plant Street, a brick street with

a beautiful island down the middle and places like

the Garden Theater which welcomed the show.

I was fortunate to be near one of the performers, singer Grant Livingston, who kept me entertained both days with his humorous songs.

My booth was filled mostly with herbs and I tried to bring a good selection of the favorites that everyone wants along with a few unusual things to delight those herb gardeners seeking something different. The biggest hit seemed to be the tray of nasturtiums.

I also brought a few herb books, some herbal gadgets (like herb keepers and mortars and pestles), a few of my Provence crafts and some great vintage wooden herb carriers.

Of course, no garden show would be complete without orchids

or roses and there were many other plant booths, too, although I wasn't able to get away from my booth for very long to take pictures of them all.

Being a potter myself, I was especially interested in several booths that had ceramics:

I've been designing several plant labels including some with herb names in French to coincide with my Herbes de Provence store theme. This artist had several very cute ceramic labels (some with French herb names!) although they're much different than the ones I'm planning. I even made a trade here.

This artist makes large funky brightly-colored ceramic sculptures for the garden including totem-like stakes and a working fountain.

I love this potter's great birdbaths with painted and three-dimensional flowers, turtles and frogs.

Really, the ceramic stuff was terrific and would brighten up any garden.

Also brightening up a garden would be any of the adirondak chairs that were up for (silent) auction:

including my favorite: