Greetings on this lovely Sunday morning. I hope all is well with you – if you are working on a home remodel, just getting back from vacation, or have been playing in the garden – I hope it has all been productive and useful.
I haven’t been doing much production lately, I say that and Joe gets a little tilt to his head and a raised eye brow – perhaps it’s more like I’m too hard on myself and need to recognize that indeed, I’ve been busy and productive, not just chasing my tail….
My some-what non-official count is around 170 bouquets total, approximately 2,550 stems. That number includes my subscriptions and then all the extra bouquets I’ve made for my mom, her neighbor, my daughter and others. Many of my subscribers are very excited about their bouquets, oohhing & aweing, several saying that the bouquets keep getting better and better every week! It has been a lot of work, but I find myself downplaying the amount of work it takes, I’m mostly disappointed I can’t do more and wonder how other people can do so much-wrongly comparing myself to those on Instagram. I’ve always been that way – I’m less-than when comparing myself to other people. I know full well that I cannot compare apples to oranges, I know full well that the person that I should be comparing myself to is me – honestly I know this, I often build my friends up and tell them these exact things….but alas, I compare myself to others and tear myself down even though I know better. I’m working on getting better.
Back to the garden….I’ll be putting things in the roadside stand today – just a flower buffet. I purchased some blooms from a fellow gardener – because I wanted some orange Dahlia’s for two subscriptions and ended up not using all the blooms, so I will put them in the stand to re-coop some of my cost – which wasn’t much mind you, but I don’t want them to go to waste! I also have a ton of other stems that someone could probably love and enjoy for a while. I also bought some Baby’s Breath at Safeway in addition to some wax flower for an upcoming special anniversary bouquet the farmer neighbor ordered for his mom & dad’s 63rd wedding anniversary. Turns out that no-one really cares if not all of my things are grown by me – I think that perhaps possibly a majority of people do not realize that everything in the bouquets has been grown by Joe & I – that 99% of it started as a seed in my hand….kinda crazy to let that sink in. 8 months….that I’ve been tending to these seeds in some manner or another….
Mostly I’ve been beating myself up over the weeds….so many flowers that went to waste….and not enough of certain kinds of flowers to get me through the season the way that I would have preferred – but honestly, things have been just fine. Just need to take a deep breath and calm down.
I haven’t utilized nearly enough of the volunteer sunflowers, but do they really all need to be sold-or can we just sit back and enjoy them? As of right now our tallest is 13 feet 4 inches tall – being a multi-stemed one, I’m excited to climb to the top of the ladder to harvest those soon.
I’m super excited about the Asters-specifically Spider Chrysanthemums-tall, strong sturdy stems, with spiky flowers in pinks, purples and yellows! There’s approximately 8 per plant making it a definite do again, possibly more and of course more colors.
The Lisianthus is doing very well, such a strong sturdy flower, so happy they finally pulled together! If I do grow flowers next year, I think it will certainly be on the list of plugs to buy again next year. I haven’t been able to figure them out completely though-a few of them were entirely rotten and wilted right where I planted them, but their neighbors were just fine. Thank goodness it wasn’t the entire crop, I have no idea what I would have done….thankfully I don’t need to worry about it. Not all of their stems were long and usable, but I did manage to get quite a few long stems, so they’ve gone into many of the market bouquets and people are excited about them when they see them. I’m not going to lie, they are a bit disappointing because they have no fragrance….but I’ve said that before…but they are so pretty! I’ve also given some as a side bouquet to many of the subscribers, so it’s all working out just fine.
The English Lavender and Eucalyptus that I grew from seed is doing very well also, at least they were until yesterday – my greenhouse door broke and got closed, it went unnoticed for two of the hottest days. When I walked in there yesterday they both looked very unhappy. I gave them a good soaking, so hopefully it will all be okay. I seeded 18 cells, only 4 of each made it, but hey – it’s more than what I started with! Joe says we are going to bring the Eucalyptus in the house for the winter, the Lavender is strong enough to plant out soon.
My Strawflowers took a beating in our summer storm we had a few days ago, they look horrible, but I’ve been harvesting them here and there, so I’m not too heartbroken over it. They’ve been popping up in all sorts of interesting places – one of which was the green house floor—and it bloomed! Love it!
I’ve been harvesting the Sweet Pea pods also….I’m only doing one bed of those, so it’s not like I really need them, but they sold well last year, they are easy enough to pick and process and package, so I might as well. Last year’s total for just Sweet Peas seeds was $90…that’s 900 seeds!
My seeded Cosmos suffered this year, but after chatting with Joe about it, we’ve noticed that things on the South-East end of the garden tend to not do as well as those on the North-west end. We are thinking it’s probably due to the fact that A) that used to be a pig pen back in the day and B) it’s full of rocks, metal, and thistles, it’s all fine and dandy, I won’t be using those back rows next year anyhow. The volunteer Cosmos and the ones that made it into over-flow parking in the main garden are doing well. The bright lights (orange) ones have a very nice foliage on them that is useful in arrangements, they are also so pretty and whimsical that they are a joy to have around – even if they are orange!
The pumpkins are starting to arrive, with each day I find myself looking forward to putting the garden to sleep and harvesting the pumpkins for the stand! I’m sure I’ll also give some to my subscribers! Speaking of which four of them are already receiving their final bouquets! Crazy to think they’ve received 40 of the bouquets put out this year, coming to an end. I had mentioned that we could extend their subscriptions, but I’m not sure I can maintain the level they are used to – perhaps I will offer a less amount to continue since it will only be Zinnia’s and Yarrow? We’ll see!
I’ve been utilizing my refrigerator a bit more, sad to say that I should have done it much sooner, but living and learning is what it’s all about! The Asters store well in there and hold up well in vases even after being chilled for two days. The Sunflowers,Lisianthus, Glads and Dahlia’s also hold up well in there. Lesson learned one day though – don’t chill Zinnias! They are a no-go in the refrigerator….those heat lovers are just fine sitting in a bucket of water in the milk-house waiting to be used! Bells of Ireland are also fine being chilled, I wish I would have saved more of those, I sure miss them-and they love it here on my property.
My kids in Hawaii called last night-it seems like forever since we chatted! We spent an hour on the phone chatting – sharing time with the grand babies & exchanging photos! I just loved hearing my 4 year-old grand daughter-gasp and tell me how beautiful the flowers are and ask me questions and share what she likes about each picture, just melts my heart to hear her cute little voice “excuse me grandma…but what are those purple things” or “I love you grandma” and the squealing of the two year old being a “weirdo” as his sister calls him! Must be a new word for her “weirdo”!! It was great to hear my son’s voice & his girlfriend too, miss all of them greatly! They’ve been gone almost six months now-each month saying they will be home soon, but there’s no work here…and if they are all over there, at least they are together. My heartaches for them, but they will figure it all out in time.
One of my subscribers, Belinda Botzong of Refind Creations – turned into crating friend – has been scanning my flowers for two years now. Last year I purchased little zippy bags for my family with my cupcake cosmos printed on them. This year she purchased a subscription and has been scanning every bouquet she gets – so very pretty! And now I come to find out I can order fabric with my flowers on them, and create something….but what? Be sure to visit her page to check out all the fun flowers she has scanned. I’m not the only gardener that she uses, it’s so much fun to see my babies on the scanner, forever frozen in time!
Off to fill the stand my friends – I hope your Sunday goes well and you find yourself happy and healthy! Until next time, hugs to you and yours.