Seeing Red and Shifting Ground

Good morning, I hope all is well this lovely Thursday morning. I was up and out taking pictures in my pajamas in the garden at 4:45 am this morning, even the mosquitoes were out enjoying the morning. I would have been perfectly fine without them making their presence known, the nibbles they took out of my shoulder and hand was a bit unnecessary. Honestly….

Just a bit of an update on what’s happening in the fields….and other fronts of course!

I’m finally seeing red in my St. John’s Wort oil! It seems that when I tilt them on their sides while they were processing in the sun, maybe more of a direct hit perhaps….they seem to turn red quicker – odd really! I’ve been finding more St. John’s Wort around the property while I’ve been poking around. It seems to be popping up all over the place! Turns out there is also Chamomile around the property also, so I harvested some of that also. It certainly does have a sweet fragrance. I’m not much of a tea drinker, but I’ve had people interested in potpourri, so I thought I’d save it for that and the bath tea sachets.

St. John’s Wort Oil

I did make my first batch of Calendula slave, I’m not impressed with the smell, but it seems that everyone else is good with it. I gave some to my aunt who just recently had double knee surgery, put some on my mom where she bruised her chin, and my daughter is off and running with a tub to see how it works with her skin. I’m gathering ingredients to start lip balm-not with the Calendula, just with the bees wax and other things I picked up. So many rabbit holes to chase down….so many fun things to try!

Calendula Salve

We tried resin for the first time….that was an interesting experience. Joe was the master mixer, he did really well making sure our resin didn’t have bubbles, it certainly is stinky stuff. We had to wait until the weather reached a comfortable 70 degrees so we could work outside, that stuff certainly isn’t for inside! It was a bit breezy also, so it make it a bit challenging to sort through the dried petals of bits of flowers I saved over the spring time, many of my tulip petals were floating about the yard for the dog to chase down….oh well, maybe next year! My brother-in-law did a Mock Orange blossom that he had requested I save for him, my sister-in-law tried to do a Fuchsia bloom, but there was a bit of a situation when we tried to trim the stem to make it fit in the mold we had. I tried a mold in the shape of a jewel-my Strawflower was off center so it didn’t turn out super great…when it all comes down to it – I should have bought several dome shape molds and skipped the other shapes. The dome has more space, and is easier to pour, and it has more rigid sides – less likely to get wrinkles in it. Live and learn! I think there might be another resin day in the future, there are still coasters I want to try with color….so we shall see when we are all able to do it again – soon hopefully – before our weather turns cool again!

Yup – that’s right it is above 70 finally! We had a few days in the low 80’s this week, the gardens are loving it! My Lisianthus finally gave me a bloom, and many more on their way! They are short, about 10 inches are my longest ones, but honestly, we haven’t fertilized all that much and the weather has been cool, so what can I expect?

Lisianthus

The Zinnia’s are up and running!

Color in the Zinnia patches!

As the gardens are starting to hit their stride….I think the ground is beginning to shift here. There are a few things on the horizon that are making me lean towards not so much a flower garden next year. It’s been difficult to keep up with all of it-it’s a lot of work that begins in December and rages well into May-the weeds are horrible this year, as are the slugs. Joe and I seem to be focusing on too many different projects, maybe if we both get on the same page of just food in the garden, and utilizing the greenhouse for that sort of thing, the weeding and irrigation, things will be a bit easier. I think I can still certainly do Sweet Peas and Snap Dragons in the raised garden, it keeps it down to just that location, and easier to take care of. My roses are taking a beating this year, the Iris garden is a jungle, the patio garden looks horrible, perhaps it would be easier if one of the things were off the table.

I thought it would be nice to have the subscriptions, in many ways it is certainly very nice, but in a way it isn’t. The money is a nice perk, the fact that my flowers are moving is also super nice. The not so great part is the stress it causes me – do I have enough, is there enough color, filler, focal points, are the stems long enough? I enjoy delivering and visiting with people. It takes up a certain amount of my time also, picking the night before, then putting them together the next morning, then a chunk of time delivering. There are many different aspects of this flower farming that perhaps I’m not cut out for? It’s one thing to be able to grow, but to have the know-how of what to grow, how to market, how to move, how to manage it all is another that I’m not sure I’m cut out for. I’ve missed running, I know it’s not super great for my knees, feet or ankles, but I miss it. Certainly not as stressful as the flower biz!

Perhaps I can find someone to take on the subscribers next year that I’ve managed to collect-there might possibly be a number 12 for my list this year! I’ve got a perfect person in mind, she’s a good gardener and a hard worker that has a lot of blooms, but not so many customers. It might just work out just fine. I’m sure I’ll still have a few Zinnias, and certainly let the sunflowers do their thing if they pop back up. We will see what happens over the next several months, see where the cards land. Being flexible is all part of the game of life!

Hope all is well with you and yours! Thanks for stopping by. Take it easy, enjoy some lemonade and perhaps a sweet treat this afternoon! Many hugs.

One thought on “Seeing Red and Shifting Ground

  1. I’d advise take a deep breath, and let your thoughts rest a bit. You’ve done so well in such a short time. I fear this virus situation is adding so much to all our stress levels, and maybe it’s not the best time to make a business decision that doesn’t really need to be made yet. Maybe closing down is right, but maybe next year it would be totally satisfying. You do beautiful work. Finish out the season, and then evaluate. It won’t be time to order seeds for months…

    Liked by 1 person

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