Thriving Gardens….Messy Clay…..Growing Babies & Ambitious Travels

Happy sunny Sunday morning! Apparently I’ve been a bit busy and have had no time to update my blog, so this might be a bit full of things that you may or may not want to get caught up on – I will put headings on the topics so you can skip to the stuff that matters to you!

The Garden – the whole purpose behind this lovely blog!

It’s absolutely crazy! Those keeping up on Instagram or Facebook know all about the struggles that I’m having with keeping up with life & the garden. Thankfully I’ve found someone that has had time and energy to help with the weeding part of things. While we were away the in-laws were kind enough to water all the flowers, not just the gardens, but the patio, the trees…..it’s certainly kind of them to take on such a huge project! We are lucky to have them just across the road.

The nice thing is-the season is winding down-I’m about ready to pull out most of row 1A due to the rust in all of my snaps – but really snap dragon season is about over anyhow, my marigold beasts are cycling out, (but thanks to my succession planting I have flush two and three coming on in different stages in rows 2 & 3- who knew I would be so happy with those?), my six foot tall Sweet Annie with no blooms, a ragged looking Pride of Gibraltar and a dead Bells of Ireland can all come out. I have several Lisianthus gearing up to do their thing – but I’ve discovered missing heads on them….I thought perhaps my in-laws had snipped a few while watching the garden and I had missed them, but they don’t have any…It’s a mystery really. I did find some of the heads drooping down, possibly indicating that they just got too dry and drooped off….but the other ones the heads are missing entirely. We’ve seen deer in the yard a few days in a row, I’m wondering if they are the culprit, but wouldn’t all of them be gone? It could be some overzealous weeding perhaps….maybe they got snapped off when someone was bent over the rows weeding? In any case, I’m not happy….they take forever to grow, so finicky to get them to this point….and now I’m missing 20 or so heads of the 70 that I kept?

The China Asters are not a disappointment at all – 10-12 stems per plant in bright pinks and purples, also some lovely pale yellows and of course the apricot!

Asters

The entire garden is very happy! I was going to list everything, but while going over it in my head, everything is doing well! Unfortunately I did see some rust on some volunteer Apple of Peru that I’m absolutely loving, but honestly, those things are so huge and dare I say invasive – just one plant alone I’ve gotten over 40 useful stems off of, and you can’t even tell I’ve harvested it hardly!

I harvested heavily Thursday night & Friday morning for a wedding I was doing 15 centerpieces for. I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough (insert eye roll here, for Pete’s sake, I have enough for 5 more weddings, who am I kidding?)

Just the centerpieces

There were certain flowers that I NEEDED for the wedding so I called my florist friend and requested her to order them for me so I was sure that I had them on hand. Yes, I could have asked local growers, but these were very specific, I’ve been out of town, and had no time to be running around to different places & hope that I could find what I needed.

Interestingly enough, prices at wholesale are ridiculous! Apparently I’m not charging enough for my Bachelor Buttons – 90 cents a stem…for BB? $3.33/3.50 for a stem of white Lily’s? Thankfully I hadn’t quoted the bride-to-be on those prices so she ended up paying that price plus a service fee for me tracking them down. I’m happy with the amount I charged for them, I probably could have gotten more, but I’m not out to gouge people. Weddings are already expensive, and the only reason why I would charge more is because of the amount of stress involved-didn’t I say I wouldn’t do weddings? I probably would maybe charge 5 more dollars per centerpiece if I were to do it again-which I’m not!!

I do have another wedding at the end of this month, but I’m only supplying the flowers for it, so I’m only harvesting and putting them in buckets. I’m still trying to figure out pricing, based on the damn prices of wholesale flowers perhaps I should have charged A LOT more for the last bride, but why….just because I could?

And of course the wedding at the end of August that I’m going to do a few pieces for, I’m looking forward to putting them together, but am a bit terrified that I’m going to do a horrible job! Thankfully she is not specific on what she wants, she’s given me free range in her color pallet, we’ve been in touch a few times, so we are on the same page as far as types of flowers I will have-of course that all depends on the damn weather-a record heat wave that burned all my Lilys & killed my Bachelor Buttons….we shall see what happens.

I need to get my ornamental Kale in the ground, it looks happy. I’m trying to decide if I hoard it all to myself or if I try to sell some of it….what if they die, and I have none because I sold it?!

I’m over the moon excited about the amount of things I grew to dry, the Strawflowers didn’t disappoint this year, in addition to the white, yellow and purple statice. I somehow failed to have much blue though…super odd…!! I thought I tried Starflower last year and was disappointed I had tried the wrong thing, so this year I am happy to report that indeed-it was the correct one and they are so much fun!

I did an early harvest of really tight buds of the Strawflowers that I had stupidly put away in a closed container-with holes in it, but apparently the holes were not big enough. I pulled them out a bit worried they might have condensation in the container. Indeed, my fears were true, I put them in the greenhouse to dry out-came back a few hours later to find them all open and happy- they are such an amazing flower! So much fun!!

I have several things going to seed already – Pride of Gibraltar, Calendula, Sweet Peas, and of course the Poppies are working on making me seeds!

Definitely go smaller next year, go in a bit of a different direction – focus more on the yard and beauty as opposed to production. I received an email from Jolly Farmer….reporting my full color 200 page catalog will be mailed out soon. Oh goodness….

I received a call from a lady in NY yesterday, almost didn’t answer it….it ended up being a call for Double J Flower Ranch, she wanted to have flowers delivered to her mom today. I took the order, and will go out real quick to snag some of those last minute Snap Dragons, those beautiful Asters and put something spectacular together! She gave me a price point, that I will without a doubt be able to rise up to–thanks to the lovely weather and the thriving garden!

Clay Work

I’m enjoying my wheel class….I had my first class, then ran off on vacation to the other side of the mountains….so I didn’t have time to practice between classes, but I did manage to center and pull a semi-cylinder this week-with the instructors help of course! We also practiced trimming – which happens to be very satisfying! I finally took the plunge and ordered an inexpensive wheel off of Amazon that arrives Thursday-I signed up for practice at the studio on Monday to fill in that gap. I’m hoping to clean up the milkhouse a bit to have a clay space in there for a bit before winter arrives…then we will see where it will go from there. I’ve been waiting not so patiently for my other stuff to be kilned-but the studio is kind of on it’s own schedule, I’m happy to see that the pieces were finally in the kiln yard getting closer to being fired. While away on vacation, I did some tiles to test out the glazes I purchased from the studio and another flower wall vase-I’m being super careful not to break this one! I will need to get those into the studio to get them fired as well, but I need five more test tiles, I wanted to use my flowers to make designs so I didn’t do them while away. I’m trying to find time to take care of that…

Lily-Bean

She is surprising us everyday with her strength in her core, her spunky personality and her bright smile! She is four months now, a short little thing, gaining weight, but only 17% in her height. Apparently most babies with SMA are on the shorter side. When she is held a certain way her little feet turn purple due to poor circulation – a thing with SMA. There’s lots to be cautious of with SMA, her eating can be tricky, her legs will need braces forever, and her immune system needs a lot of protection because of the muscle fatigue in her trunk (harder to get rid of colds in the lungs due to all the work that goes along with coughing) Papa Joe and I get to babysit today, we are excited but nervous too, that’s a lot of responsibility that we are looking forward to taking on!

She fell asleep on Papa Joe

Boating & Camping – an Ambitious Endeavor

Joe and I took the boat out to Garrison Bay for the 4th of July. We visited the English Camp on San Juan three times a day for puppy outs and dog ball. Such a beautiful place-so happy we went! Two nights on the boat is sufficient for the dog and I. Joe is much more ruggedized!

The next weekend we headed out for Bonaparte Lake National Forest Campground in Tonasket four a five night stay. That was very enjoyable. Lots of swimming – two to three times a day – the lake was so refreshing, very warm thanks to the temps being in the 90’s for weeks on end! I did a bit of clay work, some day drinking, napping, and plenty of walking. We had to break camp early due to wild fires closing down our route home, making the route 11 hours instead of 7, so we opted to drive four hours to Levenworth for the night, then head home from there the next day. Even with AC driving in temps of 104 is just exhausting! It was nice to get back over on the greenside of the mountain in the cooler air. So much less oppressive!

Our campsite from our swim spot

That’s the quick and dirty version of things! Lots of pictures on Instagram and Facebook!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope your weekend was great and your upcoming week be full of fun things. Until next time–hugs!

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