Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

Flower Power


“The sun is a flower, and it burns my goddamn nostrils like the scent of love, which I haven’t tasted since I put on my midnight-black blindfold. I’m just naturally romantic, I guess.

―  Jarod Kintz

The dog days of Summer are in high-gear here in the Sacramento Valley. Blazing temperatures day after sweltering day make for a discouraging time to be a gardener. At least for me that is.

Perhaps I’m just being Farmer Downer because my goal to grow more edible crops this year has turned out to be harder than I thought. Keeping up with the watering is an epic chore and while the trusty tomatoes seem to thrive in this arid heat, I haven’t had the produce windfall that I was expecting. I don’t know if it’s not enough water or  enough fish emulsion or what, but my eggplants were small and my peppers somewhat scarce. I’m learning that to  “grow enough produce to feed my family” (as was my lofty original goal) takes a lot more patient care and selfless tending then I ever realized. Just one beachy vacation, and I worry I’ll come home to find the whole thirsty garden in peril.

Nevermind! What I haven’t gained in edible harvest from my garden I have gained twice over in flower harvest. Good old flowers!! Reliable bloomers, beautiful colors and a beacon for the pollinators, the flowers in my garden have done really well this year. Many of them I grew from seed, which makes their survival and proliferation even more gratifying.  And thank goodness too; the daily sight of these flowers has served to keep my green thumb working and has inspired me to keep the garden growing, even on days when I’ve been ready to throw in the (proverbial) towel on it all.

Food farmer I may not  yet be, but I did satisfy another personal goal of growing a cutting garden this year.  As a result I have had fresh bouquets for myself and  my friends and neighbors most of the season long. Growing flowers brings a garden  to life, adds richness and whimsy to the landscape and makes a girl feel like she might be a successful gardener after all. Bouquets bring the color riot indoors and allow me to share the best part of the loveliness with others.

So this week won’t you take a little walk (via these photos, shot all  summer long) into my garden and it’s flowery bounty?  Perhaps like me, you’ll see what Ralph Waldo Emerson  meant when he said (in his poem Hamatreya):

 “the Earth laughs in flowers”

giant amaranth


pink guara, orange mimulus

sunflower bouquet

artichoke flower

sunflowers with figs, tomatoes with roses

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” 

― Claude Monet


“I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some.” 

―  Herbert Rappaport


“I have no heroes except flowers and children.” 

― Marty Rubin


                                                      (source for flowerly quotes)

8 Responses to “Flower Power”

  1. nlabedzki

    That reminds me, I’d better get the sprinkler system in order, or I will return to a very dry garden. See ya soon!

  2. Sandra Hallsted

    Flower worship is what it’s all about! Love your pictures and quotes.

    • ruchapowers

      Thanks Sister!! Now we were saying a starting a biodynamic flower farm?……

  3. nerponline

    Don’t feel too badly about failing to feed a family of five out of your garden.
    At a guess, it’s gonna take 500-1000 square feet of dedicated, fertile, well tilled ground to raise that much produce. It would be basically your entire backyard without the lawn, tree, concrete walks, kid’s pool or anything else that wasn’t growing and needing water, cultivation, compost, mulch, pest control, water and more water. It would be beautiful, hard fun….but, thank you lord for our many bountiful produce stores and farmer’s markets!

  4. oami powers

    I agree with Sandra. And regardless of your veggie yield, I know you don’t have anything to fear in the garden department: your prowess is undimmed!

  5. Fran Newcross

    Hi R! Your flowers are awesome! You have no problem with growing them. The rest will come with practice and perhaps changing location. You know: “Location, location, location!” As the years of planting pass you will acquire a following of plants that are successful and the rest you will rip out and put on the compost pile where they belong if they will not cooperate with you and your space! Not that I’m vengeful, or anything.

  6. ruchapowers

    It’s true, it’s all trial and error. And know matter what works or doesn’t it is always fun just in the trying! I do tend to be attached to the cooperative plants and a little more merciless on those that “fail to preform”.


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