“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. ”
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”…
“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)