Surprising Views….Failures….What If’s…Happiness & Living

Happy Saturday morning my friends. I hope all is well with you and yours.

I was up and out in the garden by 5 this morning-looking for that perfect lighting for the perfect picture

We are going on what seems like day 100 without rain, but I honestly have no idea how many days. I know I’ve had to water more so this year than the previous four that I’ve been here, and it certainly seems that I’ve watered more this year than any other year, but I’m sure there’s been other years of drought. Last year it was chillier than most years, that’s the stressful part about gardening for a living – no control over the weather! That sudden heat wave we had zapped a bunch of our fruit, flowers and new trees.

Another thing about long heat spells like we’ve had….Dahlias do not like the water from my hose – as soon as some rain from the sky appears, that’s when they take off and start to bloom. So….I’m ready whenever it happens, hopefully soon, but it doesn’t sound promising!

I was standing in the kitchen the other day, and happened to glance out the side front window….I was surprised by the view – the garden is all full of color. I am always surprised by views like that, I can be in the back of the garden working away, turn around and be greeted by a flood of color. It’s so much work, I forget to pick my head up and actually take in the view. Pictures never do it justice, but I try! That’s why I like making the calendar, put the flowers on paper to look back on the following year.

I’ve pulled all of the Snap Dragons and all of my first round of Marigold Beast, it was easy enough, so I figured why not start cleaning up a bit? I decided to dry the marigolds to give to friends, put in everlasting bouquets, make confetti out of….all that fun stuff that goes with the closing of the season.

I was looking back on the pictures of the garden, just a short seven weeks ago things were just going in and getting started. I’m proud of the lack of weeds inside the flower patches themselves, I’m frustrated with the weeds in the middle of the walkways, but the important thing is the flowers have grown and thrived-well most of them anyhow!

I was chatting with a friend and said I do not remember my failures….but I was out taking pictures this morning at 5 a.m. and was reminded of some….here they are…

Failures:

  • Weeds in the walkway and all around the garden perimeter
  • Snap Dragons-full on rust-never seen such a disgusting thing in my life….I’m not sure I will ever grow Snap Dragons again. I read that the rust was supposed to die at 80 degrees…well, let me tell you, this is the hottest summer we’ve had in history, and the rust was in full force….nothing killed that gross stuff off. I did buy chemical, but never applied it – I suppose that could go under the list of failures?
  • Short stems on some flowers (golden balls, star fever few, to name two off the top of my head)- my fault? Not sure really…
  • Lisianthus heads missing – not sure what the heck happened, deer? overzealous weeding? heard of angry cows running through?
  • Baby’s breath from a friend, was planted near things that overtook the area, I think it’s in there someplace….?
  • Larkspur, Nigella, Chocolate Lace flower – all had to be direct seeded, it’s never a good idea to direct seed here! But I did have one Nigella make it-it’s rather short, but it grew and it’s very pretty!
  • Eating the artichokes….Joe really wanted to have one, but I have no idea when to pick it and how to cook it-I will do some investigation on that today!
  • Getting my Lupine, Baptisa, Cosmos and daisies in the ground….they are all surviving, but honestly….for Pete’s Sake Jade, just get it over with and either plant them up or throw them out….
  • Dahlias–honestly….these things hate me. The plugs I bought from Jolly are AMAZING – but they are patio flowers, not long stem for market bouquets-but they have been giving color non-stop since June-expect for the white, they’ve cycled out already. But the garbage can ones, and the ones I actually spent money on are being complete Diva’s. Of course the garbage can ones were planted in a bed that can hardly grow weeds, let along amazing flowers like themselves, and the watering situation has been less than ideal due to the crappy system that’s in there. I have no idea what the other ones can possibly use for an excuse, they are in the main garden, with plenty of water but….they aren’t doing well either.

What I would do IF I were a production grower for market bouquets next year:

  • Succession plant more feverfew – I forget the name of the super cute one, but it’s the white ruffle one with the yellow center.
  • More Asters
  • More grasses maybe in succession; feather top grass, frosted explosion

My catalog from Jolly Farmer has already arrived and I received a very beautiful catalog from a bulb company I’ve never heard of in the home mail yesterday. The bulb company can keep their damn tulips, but the daffs look very nice. Sadly, they do not have any Lily’s. I’m certainly going to get more of those, they are so much fun to grow and they are so hardy! I will put some in the kitchen window garden next year.

Update on Lily-Bean—just as we suspected—she is surprising us everyday with her strength and attitude! We can only hope and pray that she continues in that direction. She is finally picked up her head, there is hope that she will crawl some day, a bit behind her peers, but maybe. There is certainty in the need for leg braces, but not sure about the torso brace yet. My daughter is hoping for not, but if that is the worse case scenario we can deal with it. I’ve been allowed to babysit twice in less than a weeks time, and am on the docket for sometime this following week. I’m having the other grands over for a sleep over next weekend.

Life is busy on the farm-non-stop family time. Making time, spending energy on special time with the people who cheer me on, making time for the people I love and appreciate, not busy trying to please people who don’t know me, who really don’t care about me. It’s rather refreshing to take a step back and really see what’s important. I’ve done a better job of that this year. I’ve done a much better job at enjoying moments, taking care of me, being more realistic about my ability to produce, and being kinder on myself. I’ve also managed to lose 11 pounds, thank goodness. My fat ass was getting too big….ugg, I hope I never weigh that much again. Of course as I age it’s bound to happen, but I will do my best to keep it in check. (here I call myself a fat ass, when I just said I was being kinder to myself….hahahha-Nobody said I was perfect!!)

Clay & Braille do not mix well (at least not yet)– my new wheel arrived this week. I’ve been trying to take my Braille test, I have managed to complete 4 sections of the 5. I have one little part left – 6 lines, backwards….of course my old boss said “Posh it’s not backwards, it’s just knowing the number of the dot to know where to put it in the cell” John….yeah it’s backwards as hell…but sure, you think what you want….whatever helps you do Braille on a slate & stylus.

I promised myself I wouldn’t open my new wheel until I finished my test….when it arrived on Thursday, Joe packed it in. I walked away from it defeated saying I couldn’t open it yet, I didn’t finish my test. Joe whips out his knife and says “good thing I’m here then” he’s a helper! So, it was opened, and it is as cheaply made as all the reviews say it is, but goodness, it was cheap to purchase also. I did happen to have 30 minutes to spare yesterday before class, so I hurried up and played for a bit before putting together a donation bouquet and heading to clay class. I did managed to throw a cylinder…not perfect by any means, but it will work for centering practice and little pots.

There is an endless amount of things to learn about clay- grog/no grog, glazes, slips, body types….I don’t need to learn it all tomorrow, and I don’t need to know everything about all of it, I just want to play. So much life to live and so little time to live it!

Go out and do some living today my friends. Thank you so much for stopping by! We have family visiting from out of town this weekend. Joe’s nephew is here for two nights, we are having more family out for dinner tonight. It will be a nice visit. We will be enjoying time in the yard with good food, laughter and hopefully some mandolin plucking by Joe and his brother! Until next time, hugs to you.

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