Tag Archive | flowers

End of the Month View: July

Since it’s not yet time for the End of the  Month View for August, I figured I’m still somewhat timely for the July View.

July is a time of deep heat and fullness. The corn towers over our heads and the tassels are showing!  There are two gigantic sunflowers reaching towards the sky. It must be the fertility of the chicken coop that stood there for so many years. 

The blue barrel holds the comfrey nettle kelp compost tea. The plants drink it up and keep on growing! The nettles are getting their second growth.  Nettle is a super compost ingredient. Each cutting gets layered into the compost heap. 

Hollyhocks abound! I counted five different colors.  Honey bees and hummingbirds visit frequently.  It gives me great joy to hear and see the bees buzzing around the blossoms.  

Zinnias are Harry’s favorite garden flower. Their vibrant colors and perky petals are a mainstay in the bouquets he brings to me.  It’s hard to be “uncheerful”  looking at zinnias..

My flower garden is in the second growth now. Daffodils and Sweet William have gone and the Painted Daisy, Crazy Daisy and Shasta Daisy are putting out their bloom stalks.  Snapdragon, cosmos, marigold and more zinnia transplants form a sweet curve in the garden entrance.

Echinacea is setting its first blossoms. I love their hardy strength and seed head. Most of all, we depend on the roots to make medicine tea for winter colds. 

It’s time to thin and trim the calendula next to the strawberries.  It will bloom again through the autumn if we get the midsummer deadheading done.  The whole row was a self seeding gift.  The calendula petals can be infused in oil and used to heal wounds and skin.  Your fingers may get sticky with calendula flower juice as you pluck them!

Fresh garden food right now includes broccoli, Costata Romenesca zucchini, Ailsa Craig onions, cucumbers, beets, chard, carrots and green beans. Often our supper is a giant pot of vegetables fresh from the garden.  The taste of vegetables unadorned in full fresh flavor is a seasonal headiness that passes so quickly. 

Preserving season is ramping up as well.  I’ve made cherry jelly from my garden buddy Andy’s cherries and a combination jam with raspberries from our daughters garden and blueberries Harry and I picked in the western Maine mountains. My hope is to have canned beans, tomatoes and carrots going into the winter. 

This week is garlic pulling week. The garlic looks beautiful!  We grow Music Pink and a braiding variety.  We used our last garlic off the braid about two weeks ago.

I’ve been away from our garden since early August. My dad lives far away on the Oregon coast. I got a call and learned that his heart has failed and may stop at any time now.  So I left the garden and flew out to sit with my dad, hold his hand and sing him songs one last time before he makes his final flight to freefall into the pure light. 

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Come share sweet flowers with me!

In the secret space of dreams, where I dreaming lay amazed…


When the secrets are all are told and petals all unfold..


When I had no dreams of mine, you dreamed of me.  Thank you, Jerry. 

Saint Francis said the journey is essential to the dream.  Joy on your journey. 


Flowers for the Court of Cannabia, set in our Green Love Renaissance

 Zowie Zinnias, pansies , petunias and hemp, hemp hooray!

Speaking of flowers…says the farmer. 

In a Vase on Monday 7.3.17

Flower songs in my vase this morning…

This land is my land, no one can stop me as I go walking the Freedom highway, this land was made for you and me.  

I carry that hope and believe we shall come together to wield the hammer of Justice, ring out the bell of freedom, and sing songs about love all over this land. 

Fourth day of July sun so hot, clouds so low, the eagles filled the sky….from sea to shining sea, 

Please say a prayer, it’s Independence Day.

Seeking beauty and turning toward joy is a choice. Red, white and blue flowers–sweet William, larkspur, Daisy, radish flower, borage flower and zinnia sitting on the old hay rake.  

Gathering the cut hay with the antique equipment was an adventure.  It was a two person job, one on the tractor, the other riding the rake.  And truely dangerous.  The rake could uncouple or hit ledge and you could end up rolling down the hill backward on a hay rake–no brakes, but the tines would slow it all down eventually.  


The overhead view balancing between the framework.  The larkspur is from early starts from saved seed.  The self sowing larkspur hasn’t flowered yet.  

As I prepare my offering for Rambling in the Garden weekly gathering of vases, I’ve been thinking how hard it is to set aside the time to be in front of a screen, when I’d rather be outside with Harry in the garden.  

The reason for the blog still motivates me.  I want to share my summer of growing flowers and food with my family and we are so far flung–scattered all about.  

With gratitude, with love, with joy.

Not Fade Away…

In a Vase on Monday 6.19.17

For this weeks vase, I have my first Zowie Zinnias, Shasta daisy, Harry’s roses, and Colorado yarrow leaves placed next to Nana’s garden cherub.  She was one of my flower garden teachers.  She taught me to put a nail in the ground next to the hydrangea so it will turn blue. She said always plant cosmos because they are easy to grow and have lovely color.


The Zowie zinnia are new to me.  They are a winter flower catalog seed dream and so far I am saying wowie zowie what a zinnia. Harry prefers a more traditional zinnia palette, but I am easily swayed by seed catalog descriptions and fancy photos.

Harry’s roses will bloom until the end of fall.  They have a heady aroma and Harry will harvest the rose hips for winter tea.

I planted the Colorado yarrow when my son was there for school.  It will have a rosy flower when it blooms.  The ferniness of the foliage appeals to me.

“I’ll give you a daisy a day dear, I’ll give you a daisy a day. I’ll love you until all the rivers run still and the four winds we know blow away.” (Jud Strunk)

It’s a daisy kind of flower power love.  Can you dig it?

The top view is taken out by Harry’s nettle patch. 


Take a flower journey over at the Rambling in the Garden blog. It is my motivation for my Monday vases. 

In a Vase on Monday 5.29.30

Lilacs have arrived! Just in time to join the only tulips of the spring and one last apple blossom. Oh the sweetness! I bury my face in the lilacs, breath deep and am infused with the heady essence. Lilacs are one of my oldest and dearest fragrance memories.


As a young child I gathered lilacs to make flower crowns to dance with my fairy folk friends in an imaginary land I would visit. 

I would sing “Let’s go dancing with the fairies wearing lilacs, pretty lilacs, lilacs in my hair.”   There was twirling and magic fairy dust involved.  It was an enchanted time for me. 

Over 50 years later, I hum that very same song to myself as I gather lilacs. If I am inspired to twirl a bit as I take in the deep lilac magic aroma, I sometimes spy in the corners of the whirl, my fairy friends calling me to place the lilacs in my hair again and join them.


The top view of my offering for In a Vase on Monday, a delightful weekly blog.  I super enjoy viewing all of the arrangements and variety. 

May Garden Tour

It’s that time of year when we wake up, head outside to the garden and keep working until the day is done.  Pacing is crucial and timing is everything.  Come on along and see what is coming up and going on in the gardens.

Harry is pleased with the spring picking of parsley. His nettle patch is incredibly verdant this time of year.  Fresh baby nettle tips are tasty this time of year.  It does sting to work with them.  I started out with gloves, but ended up bare handed before I was done preparing the nettle leaves for parsnip curry.


Nettle or Urtica dioica, a prickly sort of friend, up close in glorious green. Did you know nettle is a hollow stalked plant like catnip and hemp?  It makes a nourishing tea and Harry says it has more protein pound per pound than beef steak.  Really, Mr. Brown?


Rhubarb is just about ready for a first picking. Harry’s roses look super. He has been caring for them ever since they arrived in the garden.



Catnip abounds!  Our sweet hillcats, Purrly and Jacqui, love to roll around and nibble on the catnip.  It is a healing herb too.  Catnip tea soothes little ones when they don’t feel good and helps with tummy ache. It also has a hollow stalk stem and is a smoking herb. Folks I know have smoked it to ease out of smoking tobacco.



Another one of Nana’s garden statues. I think the child is waiting for strawberries.  My garden buddy, Andy, said they look good. I’m not sure yet.  Still,  I’m dreaming of shortcake and whipped cream.



They look like bare twigs right now, but they will become Prelude raspberries by next year.  Another addition from FEDCO trees.



Anise Hyssop Agastache foeniculum is one of my long time favorites. It makes the BEST herb ice tea I have ever had.  It has a sweet licorice flavor and doesn’t need sweetener. A fresh sprig infused in water is so refreshing.



The early lettuce has been outside facing the elements and is fully acclimatized. It’s from the FEDCO organic mix.  I haven’t yet identified the varieties yet.



The first planting of lettuce mix and scallions from under the row cover and greenhouse plastic.  I’ll keep the row cover on to protect my salad greens from flea beetle destruction!



Buttercrunch and anuenue lettuces ready for transplanting.  Greens Mix, Afina cutting celery and celeriac root are ready to go in too.



My prairie rose started with a tiny rooted cane that came up when I was weeding out around the gravestone of my great-great-great-great grandfather Moses Patrick.  I kept it in moist paper towel and plastic bag and was amazed when the first leaf came out.  Bringing it all back home…



The pansies, crazy daisies and alyssum seedlings are used to being outside now. The boxes with marigolds and zinnia still need protection at night.



The hollyhock row behind the pansies was created by digging up hollyhocks that were coming up in other places and planting them together.  I’m sure there will be renegade hollyhocks too!



Close up of the garlic patch.  Our music pink has four giant cloves.  The seed garlic came from Amy LeBlanc’s Whitewater Farm around 2005.  We almost lost it when it was all sold at the Common Ground Country Fair, but luckily our garden buddy Andy had grown out his music pink from seed I had given him.  Most of the garlic patch is braiding garlic.  I like making the braids as gifts for friends and family.



I worked at the  Scatterseed Project for Will Bonsell for a few years. This is a rutabaga variety that Andy has been saving seed from for over 10 years.  I’m hoping to grow them myself this year. (He keeps saying it’s my turn)



Tax day peas are looking super.  This planting is Green Arrow and Topps. There is hope for peas by 4th of July, indeed. We are still waiting for the second planting to emerge.



I’m pretty sure this is St. John’s Wort.  I’m giving it extra love and care just in case.  This medicinal herb makes a lovely red colored oil, that I make into salve for Harry to heal burns, bruises and scrapes of all kinds.



The mighty comfrey growing strong and green.  I found a comfrey friend from central England in this new world of garden blogging. It is a super compost tea for plants.  My method is to fill a bucket with nettle and comfrey, fill it up with water, cover and strain out when it starts to get smelly. Powerful.



Rex is ready to romp!  Patrikyia’s wheelbarrow and the tub are cleared out and reseeded with a shade mix I picked up at Reny’s There is germination and I am hopeful.  It’s under an apple tree and has partial shade, so I  planning to fill with impatiens flowers again.



Another addition from Nana’s garden statues. A saucy faced frog sitting on the shade.


The next three pictures are spring wilflowers: violets, trout flowers and a delightful trillium.


The last hurrah of my sweet petite trumpet daffy dills.


The results of spring transplants from divisions and cutting. Shasta daisies, sedem, Harry’s roses, comfrey, rhubarb, strawberries, hollyhock and sweet William.  It’s been dandelion days on The Hill, the greens of the season on our menu, along with fresh nettles.


And look who I found backing into one of the Rose pots.  This hoppy toad wanted to stay put.  I sang a little song and let toady be.


Lots to do and a short time to get it done…..

But today I am content to be a rainy day woman

End of the Month Garden View: March

It’s the last day of March on The Hill and we are expecting more snow.  The view of the main garden from the upstairs window makes me think getting peas planted by Tax Day might be pushing it.  I still have high hopes.  Peas and larkspur are planted by seed at the same time.  I love the bold blue the larkspur brings to the landscape.  I’m hoping to plant them both in mid April and again at the first week of May.

CALENDULA


Taking advantage of a south facing window. Light is at a premium right now. Every available space is filling up with seedlings and transplants. This is calendula. I love its blazing color. If I keep it picked regularly, the blooms keep coming. It will be one of the last blooming flowers in my garden. This is one of three calendula that showed up in one of Harry’s “winter surprise” pots. He will bring in a planter of soil before the ground freezes, keeps it watered and in sunlight and we see what happens! We had calendula, pansies, pigweed and clover this year. I transplanted out the calendula and will see what happens!

TRANSPLANTED PANSIES

I have about 100 seedlings from three varieties of pansies- all from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  Penny is reputed to bloom all season long.  The fairly colors are unusual for pansies–orange, yellow, blue. Majestic Giants, traditional pansies with extra large flowers and Sorbet, an early flowering variety.   Most of the seedlings will be transplanted into containers for the Green Love Renaissance garden.  I also have a few choice spots for them in the main garden too!

NEXT STOP FOR PANSIES AND ONION SEEDLINGS


It’s like saying hello to an old friend to go out on the south side of the house.  Harry and I sat outside sunning ourselves in this oasis of ground.  The cold frame may not look like much, but it works really well for the pansies and the onion seedlings.  I won’t start hardening them off out here until this next batch of snow has passed.

I’ve used this method successfully for years. What I like is being able to remove the apparatus and store the until I need it again.  This area is quite shaded when the trees leave out, but right now it is the perfect place for the seedlings that can tolerate some cold.

For materials I used plastic tubing, old tent poles, greenhouse plastic and dimensional lumber from previous projects.  The tent poles are from tents that are missing pieces.  I stretched them out and cut them apart to make “stakes” to poke in the ground.  The black tube goes over the “stakes” and I shoved it into the ground to secure it a bit.  The lumber and plant pots secure down the plastic. It’s crude, but I had a blast putting it together.  The sun was shining as I stood on my little island of soil surrounded by snow.  Sweetness.

STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER


I was lifting up a piece of wood to hold down the cold frame plastic and found new baby strawberry plants saying hello to me.  One of my plans is to pot up plants that are already growing around the yard or self seeding in the garden. This is my first challenge I think.  Wild strawberries transplant well and make excellent container plants.  There is no cost for the seed and I can keep the potted plants outside.  I wonder how they would do with attention and care?

Thanks to The Constant Gardener for the inspiration to share an end of the month photo.

“Every so often you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”