80 Main Street, Sutter Creek, California ~ ~ ~ Attempted Hours: Open Daily 11am-5pm, Closed Tuesdays

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Happy Anniversary!

I am happy to announce that The Antique Gardener 
is celebrating 15 years in business! 
 The shop began in a small one room shed on Pig Turd Alley in Amador City and combined my love of antiques and gardening. I started the shop as a way to have my own business and raise a family.  I never dreamed I would still love it so many years later.

It didn't take long for me to outgrow this location.  Although I loved the garden and the creek nearby, it was time to move to more visible spot.  In the fall of 2002 I moved to our second location, a large brick building on Main Street in Amador City.

The Antique Gardener continued to grow, as did our family.  Jack was born in August 2003.  He spent his days in the crib behind the counter, riding his pedal car around the shop or digging in the dirt in our small garden area out back.

In 2008 an amazing location became available at 80 Main Street in Sutter Creek. It was the perfect combination of a rambling historic home and a large outdoor space. We made the decision to move in October 2007 and spent the next six months renovating the new location.  
The Antique Gardener moved to Sutter Creek in March, 2008. 
 Just a few months later our family grew again with the birth of Emma. 

Emma in the Spring of 2009 in the garden

The gardens had been neglected for years. 
Here is five year old Jack shortly after we moved in to 80 Main.

Jack in the same spot seven years later. 
 I'm not sure which has changed more - the yard or the kid!

Jack & Emma's original fruit stand.  
Together they sold plums, blackberries, veggies, fresh flowers and lavender.  
They still set up their stand for a few days every summer.

It is hard to believe that 15 years have passed.  The shop is fuller and the garden has grown.  There are great new products in the shop that change seasonally as well as products we have carried since the beginning.  The kids have grown.  They have gone from a playpen behind the counter to working behind the counter.  So I hope you'll stop by soon to see all the changes and all the things that have stayed the same.  Most importantly, thank you to all my customers.  Without your support I would not be celebrating this milestone. 

 Much love and thanks, Aimee

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Getting back to blogging!

I had to take a little break from my blog - - ok, a long break.  The last three years have been a whirlwind....

In the fall of 2013 we were finally able to refinance the construction loan for our new home. Sounds like such a simple thing. It took us ten stressful months and we came oh so close to loosing our beautiful new home.  Just one month after that huge weight was lifted another took its place.

Three days before Thanksgiving my mom was hit by a pickup while crossing the street in a nearby town.  She actually flew onto the hood of the truck then rolled into the street when he stopped.  Her hip was crushed. She had emergency surgery and endured over a year of physical therapy. She had been a nurse for 35 years and was forced to retire because of her injuries.  As horrible as it was there were so many things to be thankful for.  She was alive.  She had no head trauma. We live on the same property so I was nearby to help with showers, meals, housekeeping and laundry.  And, I have an amazing family - my father, siblings, husband and kids were all there to lend a helping hand.  After the accident Mom's leg was almost an inch shorter. This gave her a terrible limp and increasing pain. In February, 2015 she had a second surgery - a total hip replacement. Thanks to her miraculous surgeon, physical therapy and a lot of hard work she is back on her feet.  As my daughter says, she is "Nanny no cane".

In the middle of all that my husband got a great new job as a fire fighter/dozer operator for Cal Fire. He was hired in September of 2014 and stationed in Woodlake, CA - - just miles from his hometown of Exeter, CA.  He started months of schooling.  Back to back training that lasted until June 2015. And it taught me very quickly what life is like as a single mom!  His station is almost four hours away.  He is generally gone 3-4 days a week with the longest stretch last fall lasting about three weeks.  It has been a blessing and an adjustment for our entire family.

While I was juggling two kids, a full-time job running my shop and helping out with Mom my blog disappeared from my thoughts.  Completely.  Entirely.  In January I resolved to keep it updated and do at least one post a month.  Well, here it is April and I'm finally doing it!

So, yes, The Antique Gardener is open!  Business has been amazingly good the last year and Sutter Creek is booming with several great new shops and restaurants opening.  There are also some amazing wineries that have opened tasting rooms in town.  We have survived wildfires, drought and are enjoying an economy on the rise.

Please excuse me if I'm not able to update our blog on a regular basis.  Instead check us out on Instagram or Facebook which are a little easier for me to keep up to date. The shop is really full this time of year with a good selection of plants, antiques and other treasures. So come relax in the garden or take a class.  Check out one of the many events happening in Sutter Creek in the next few months. Or, just stop in and say hello!

Happy Spring!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summertime and Plum Jelly

After an extremely busy Spring at The Antique Gardener, Summer has arrived.  Our days are filled with working in the Big Garden at home, watering at the shop and hanging out with the kids.

Dusty, Jack and Emma picked a bunch of Santa Rosa plums for me the other day. 

Santa Rosa plums are delicious.  They have a sweet/tart flavor and when they are really ripe the juice just dribbles down your chin.  Usually the birds devour them before we can get any picked.  This year we had a big crop so I think there are enough for all of us!

I had a lot of fun taking pictures of plums in our new kitchen.  In the background is a galvanized water trough...in the house!  It's a great old tub and we put a couple of old boards on top to make a unique "behind the sofa table".  Before we put the wood top on it Emma thought we should raise baby chicks in the house!

The dusty silver film on plums is called 'bloom'.  It is actually a naturally occurring wax and is produced by the fruit itself.  You can wipe the bloom off resulting in a shiny plum or eat it with the 'bloom on'. Maybe you can see the birds got to one of these!

Emma and I decided to make plum jelly.  I wasn't sure if we had enough so we headed out to pick some more.  Emma thought we needed some leaves for the pictures.  I think she was totally right!

 Before you can make plum jelly you need to make plum juice.  Emma and I cut up the plums and added a cup and half of water then brought the entire thing to a boil.

 Once it came to a boil I turned down the heat and simmered the plums for 10-15 minutes.  After a while it begins to turn a little soupy but is a beautiful pink color.  It also smells amazing!

So, after straining the above through cheesecloth I was able to squeeze out almost five cups of plum juice.  I then followed the directions in the package of SureJell to make our jelly.  Basically you add water to your strained juice until you have five and a half cups.  Add the packet of SureJell and bring to a boil.  Quickly add seven cups of sugar - make sure you have it all measured out ahead of time.  Bring to a full rolling boil for one minute - make sure you stir constantly!

As you can see, Emma thinks the finished product is pretty yummy.  One word of caution...Emma helps me with the prep but I make her stay away while the jelly is boiling.  It is so hot and not safe for kids to be around.

Once the jelly has finished boiling you quickly pour it into your prepared jars.  I top my jelly with a layer of melted paraffin wax.  It quickly seals jelly or jam and allows you to use a variety of different jars.

Here is our finished product!  The extra went into a ramekin and we enjoyed for dinner on hot biscuits.  I have to say it does taste pretty good - sweet but a little tart too.  It definitely tastes like summer!!!

Our family has decided to sell our extra garden goods at the shop this year.  The kids will be selling fresh picked plums this week.  Check our Facebook page for our "Farm Stand" updates.

Happy Summer!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Change is Good....right?

There has been a lot going on in my life the last few months. This fall we were finally able to finish building our home (after five very long years!) and moved in a few days before Christmas.

 This picture was taken just a few days ago after a wonderful little snow storm.

The view off our porch.
We all love our new home...but more on it later!

There has been a lot of changes taking place at the shop as well!  We have been doing a little work to our garden area.  The bushes along the fence were getting pretty over grown....

So we pruned them!

This darling couple, Jillian and Matt, were actually married in the yard in 2010.  They used the old doors I had in the corner as a back drop for their wedding.

Well, I am very sad to say that the darling little corner is no longer there.
We are opening up our garden to welcome new neighbors. 

Greg and Sharon Baiocchi from Baiocchi Wines in Fairplay will be opening a tasting room in the little house next door.

So, to really make some changes, Dusty brought in the backhoe.  I never thought there would be a tractor in the yard at my shop!

But once he finished (and hauled off three dumptruck loads of dirt) we have a nice level area that will become a paver patio later this month.  Guests to the tasting room will actually enter through our front gate, travel up a walkway through beautiful flower beds and end here at the tasting room.  You will be able to taste wine while relaxing on a nice shady patio.  We will also be using the patio for special events and classes.

It may not look like much right now....but soon we will have the yard looking like this again...or maybe even a little bit better.  Change is good....right!?!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mes Amis Vintage Antiques Fall Show

Join me on Saturday, September 15th for the Mes Amis Vintage Antiques Show. Located on Oak Street in downtown Roseville, California this is one of the best antique fairs in the country!  It was actually recognized as such by Romantic Homes magazine and Flea Market Style magazine!!!

I am packing lots of galvanized.  My pile includes old sap buckets, trash cans, buckets and tubs. 
I'll be bringing a giant turkey feeder too!

Lots of beautiful plants including maidenhair ferns and selaginella moss (pictured above).  I will also be bringing fall favorites like fountain grass, different varieties of coleus and a huge assortment of beautfiul chrysanthamums.

I'm packing a few topiaries too!  Fall is a great time to buy a topiary - - the weather is cooling off and you can use it throughout the holiday season.  We will have ivy, angel vine and lemon cypress topiaries...I'm hoping to bring some little olive trees too!

In addition to the plants I have lots of great antiques including a department store shoe rack, vintage glider and chair, feed sack pillows and lots of garden tools, pots and so much more!

Here are a few pictures of my space at the Spring Mes Amis show.  It was the first antique show I had done in a long time...but we had a great time!

The other vendors at the show go all out!  Sandy from The Olive and Rose organizes Mes Amis and does an incredible job.  This is her darling trailer and amazing space.

The space next to me was shared by The Red Door Antiques and Trish Everett.  AMAZING!

This is truely one of the best antique fairs you can attend.  There is a great selection and good prices.  The best part is the wonderful group of vendors.  It is really a big group of good friends!  Hope to see you there!