Not the End….Measuring Success….Giving Thanks & Reflections

Happy Saturday my friends. I hope all is well with you! It’s a bit foggy this morning, perhaps it’s also a bit of smoke from the wild fires East of the mountains, it’s difficult to tell really. It’s 48 degrees this morning, some droplets of water on the window screens – could explain my issues with my brown tips on my Zinnias perhaps? I had to snip a lot of heads on so many of them yesterday, it made me sad. But the colors & blooms coming out are still amazing!

Still looking good!

The flower fields are looking really…..what’s a good word for this….um…dead….how about used up….worn out perhaps? I thought I was doing something smart by planting another bit of Zinnia’s but….so many of them are brown….I also haven’t been super great about watering, so perhaps that’s an issue?

I do have a clump of green….of which I’m not entirely sure what they are, it makes me chuckle every time I see them – because they are not producing any stems, just short lying green leaves….I must have accidentally planted a biennial there? The only thing that didn’t come up was the Black Eyed Susan, I should drag out the seed packet and check it out. I’ve alerted Joe to the situation, he’s planning on tilling around them and keeping them in tact to see what happens next year.

Speaking of seed packets, I’ve ordered some seeds, am working on another seed order and looking over my plug order book. For someone who has said she is cutting back, my seed orders, plug wants as well as my bulb orders seems to say otherwise! I usually wait until December or so to place my orders but with this strange world being what it is, things are selling out quick, I’d hate to miss out on seeds!

Joe seems to think we can triple the farm sales again next year – the only way I see that happening is having classes here at the farm. Which I am not opposed to at all, I love visiting with people and certainly enjoy putting together a fun little experience for people. I will sell a decent amount of starts next year also…we shall see what happens.

I’m so very thankful for my subscribers, had I not had those this year, I wouldn’t have sold anything – no outlet to sell flowers – the farmers markets are closed, weddings and gatherings canceled, and everyone decided they’d put up roadside stands and be backyard growers with their free time at home. I’ve used up a lot of my bouquet sleeves and plastic sleeves – thank goodness because I had over 500 of each! I’m going to miss my subscribers, they have all been so supportive, and most of them chatty when we see each other. I’m a hugger so it was hard not to hug people on their last pick ups…and difficult not to shake hands when I met them. It will be interesting to see how that goes as time moves forward.

My box of bouquet sleeves —half empty- that Bella seems to think she needs to hold down!

The floor of the milk house is covered in stems and foliage from doing bouquets out there, I have a bin of discarded flowers, and piles of dried flowers in addition to several bouquets drying on the line I strung from the windows – from side to side – it certainly is a busy space. It is time to start to clean up the area. I cleaned up my greenhouse a bit ago, lots in there that was ready to be discarded – plants I had nursed along all summer long that just needed to go into the flower graveyard. I have lots drying in there also – mostly seed pods of all sorts of different kinds!

While I’m out in the milk house I close my eyes and remember the late February/ early March days of standing on the concrete floor in my rain gear and heavy flannel shirt, tucking in seeds in flats of dirt. It’s certainly a process that pays off eventually, but there’s parts of it that aren’t so glamours and I’m sure as I age it’s not going to get any easier. The summer nights out there have been delicious and so indulgent, playing my Pandora radio as I arrange the flowers getting lost in my own little world. I lose hours out there – it’s a bit like my craft room, it’s a time warp when I go in, I feel like no time has passed, but when I come out – it’s time to make dinner or time for bed!

I’m excited about next years seed order, things that I am used to growing, things I am much more confident in and new things that will set my arrangements up for some interesting looks. I’m really trying to focus on early flowers, strong — long stems, and reliable flowers this coming season as well as flowers that will last into the fall. I was really discouraged this year by the lack of blooms to start with, but feel confident that it will be better this coming season. I remember the confidence I had last year at this time for this year – I’ve worried, fretted and complained about this year, but in all honesty it wasn’t horrible, it was rather successful and I do try to stand with pride as I talk about it and reflect on it. It’s just difficult – because I am really hard on myself, and expect more from myself than I do anyone else. It’s not healthy, if I had physical proof of being so hard on myself I’d have bruises all over….and black eyes….I’m great at beating myself up….

Last year, at the start of the season Joe asked….”how to you measure success”… least I think it was him that asked that question…we chatted about it. I decided it wasn’t all about the money, because if I had someone show up with a wad of cash to buy my entire crop, it wouldn’t be satisfying to me….it’s about showing up, day after day, putting in the work, making connections, sharing the beauty, making people happy….standing back and looking at what I’ve accomplished over the season and being satisfied with my progress, and proud of what I’ve accomplished – that’s success. We wrote a list of goals back in December, and we accomplished those – so that’s a good measure also. I will be sure to make a list again this year! One of them last year was plant more flowers I can dry….here’s a picture of what that success looks like!

My dried flower arrangements 🥰🥰🥰

I will finalize my order for my seeds and post a list of my new exciting line-up for next year soon!

I hope you have a great weekend. Be sure to take a few moments to give yourself credit for something simple today – even it if was getting up and making your bed, or feeding the cat….it’s something on the list! Some days are like that – some days are more successful than others. Until next time, hugs to you!

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