Angel Designs

My seed orders are done.

After hogging the communal table in the office with my piles of seed catalogs, charts, magic markers, lists, previous year’s seeds in enormous baskets, half drunk cups of tea, and various botanical tomes, the last order just got mailed.

My Angelic partners here design the gardens. I happily ask them to do this design work. I don’t have to bow to their superior wisdom, but find it crazy not to. They know what kind of growing season we are going to have. If they say it is not going to be a good year for winter squash here on our hilltop and they leave winter squash out of the garden, this saves me the trouble of growing some tough and tasteless specimens. If they say broccoli is going to flourish this season and have me plant sixty plants, I get ready for broccoli served a thousand brilliant ways and for everyone in the family to groan “Not Broccoli again.” when they see what’s for supper.

The Angels’ designs bring gifts beyond these practical ones. The Angels know what spiritual lessons I need to learn and build into their garden designs opportunities for me to work on these issues. This is stuff that my ego personality likes to avoid welcomes.

Say for example, the learning lessons of last summer a.k.a. FUN WITH SLUGS. At times, I was sure our main garden was no more than a delicatessen for these slime generators. But I knew that if the Angels created this learning lesson, I actually NEEDED to learn “slug medicine”. Well, that’s what I told myself as I patrolled the gardens each night in my nightgown, clutching a flashlight and sprinkling whatever organic miracle slug cure product I was trying that particular night.

Will slug duty be my main activity once again this summer? Will I ever stop receiving strange catalogs of toxic products because I tried all these bizarre slug cures? Does anyone want my “Slug Hotels”? These are questions that may get answered this blogging season.

There is another reason it is a no brainer good idea to have the Angels design the gardens. They are involved in everything to do with Green Hope Farm Flower Essences. This means that when they plan the gardens, they design energy mandalas that will create the best possible Flower Essences.

I find it refreshing not to have my ego involved in the design process. The gardens I made before I worked with the Angels were lovely but a little tentative. Books by gardening legend Gertrude Jeckyll wilted my confidence about my own color schemes. I tried to copy her rather complicated color theories here at the farm. Her designs for expansive acres of perennial beds at great English estates were attempted on the rocky hillside of our former hayfield. Ahhh you can imagine it well, can’t you?

Blessedly, the Angels’ designs are fabulously over the top and seem more about breaking rules, than giving them even a cursory nod. Blessedly their designs make me happy not nervous! Blessedly, the Angels don’t seem to feel that being at Bleinham Castle is a necessary criteria for a beautiful garden.

Take last year’s Venus Garden which resulted in the Alignment Garden Essence. This garden contained literally hundreds of annuals my inner Gertrude thought were ugly. Yes, my ego still has it’s opinions, it just knows that it is doesn’t have a vote at the garden center. As I amassed a cache of hideously clashing annuals to plant in this garden, my ego quoted Gertrude. Fortunately, no one was listening

This garden was so stunning that even my inner Gertrude gave up the ghost. Even Red Torch Salvias have a place in my heart now. In the garden, I am a new woman.

Of course now that even my ego is ready to embrace clashing colors, the Angels’ design for this year’s Venus Garden has just three colors of Flowers: yellow, white and purple.

From year to year, the designs are ready for me to receive from the Angels after the winter solstice. Up until then, these designs remain out of reach. This actually helps me stay in better balance. The autumn is necessarily a time of inner quiet even if new seed catalogs arrive. The winter, after the solstice, is a time of receiving the garden plans and ordering the seeds. The spring begins with a bang at the vernal equinox and goes from zero to sixty in a nanosecond as I grow seedlings, plant them out, care for all the gardens, and make Flower Essences. With the first frost, I put the gardens to bed (and also myself) and begin a quieter season of too many knitting projects reflection.

This year when I sat down to draw out the garden designs, I was glad to see the geometries were not going to require too much higher math. Some of the mandalas over the years have been so complicated as to demand thousands of feet of twine and a channeling of Fibonacci. This year’s are elegant and relatively simple.

The pile of seed catalogs reflected my search for a lot of purple flowering annuals for this year’s Venus Garden. It’s going to be an enormous swirling purple star in a sea of Sweet Alyssum. Yellow and white marigolds will accentuate all the purple.

When I first got garden designs from the Angels, I couldn’t imagine that they could come up with fabulous different designs each year. The growing season would end and I would be loathe to let a beautiful garden go. Its been almost 20 years now and their designs never fail to move on to amazing new territory.

Looking forward to showing you the whole enchilada. Won’t my son Ben be delighted when he comes home from the ceramic studio tonight and I want him to teach me how to post digital photos on here RIGHT NOW!

Nahhhh, I won’t have to bug him tonight. There is nothing but a clean table where the seed catalogs were to photograph tonight!

Molly begins her Blog

Tomorrow, January 31st, is the anniversary of the day beloved Meher Baba died. He kept silent, literally not making a sound, from July 11th, 1925 until his death on this day in 1969. I don’t really begin to understand his silence. Sometimes I wonder if, as the Avatar, he was so weary of us not listening that he tried silence to see if we would listen if there were fewer words.

Each year on July 10th, the day Baba stopped talking, people interested in Meher Baba sometimes try being silent. One year, Jayn Bier, one of the precious Green Hope Farm crew, decided to be silent on Silence Day. She was bottling Flower Essences not answering the phone, so it wasn’t too awkward. I imagine Silence Day on the phone would have raised some eyebrows. In fact, Jayn loved her whole quiet day and sailed through it impeccably. That is, until her drive home. There blocking the turn onto her driveway was a big painted turtle. Without missing a beat Jayn rolled down her car window, leaned out, and yelled “What do you think you are doing?” How we have laughed that Jayn accidentally broke her silence on Silence Day to yell at a turtle!

Anyway, it seems a bit of an ironic day to start up a blog, but I am going to anyway! Yup! Here I am deciding to talk more!

Why blog?

My son Ben, who is working on our web site while also working about 600 hours a week at another job, suggested a Green Hope Farm blog a few months ago. I probably made the same face as when I first heard about e-mail. A bad one. But now I LOVE e-mail. I am a serious e-mail convert. I LOVE all the friends I have made by e-mail. It amazes me that I can have far flung friendships despite the fact I am at the farm most of the time.

So despite my “I am too good for the 21 century and its technology” reaction, Ben sewed a seed of curiosity. When an hilarious knitting book (yes, this IS possible) ended with a mention of the author’s blog, it felt like the moment to study a real live blog.

Five minutes later, I had a serious blog addiction. Thanks to this Yarn harlot blog, I now have joined Yarn harlot Stephanie Pearl-McPhee in her Knitting Olympics. As the Olympic flame is lit next month, I will start a complicated, ambitious, maybe even insane knitting project, visiting stress upon my body (something akin to the stress experienced by a Nordic combined athlete) with a similar stress felt by my family who must, of course, cheer me on in my deranged plan to knit an afghan for eleven year old William during the Olympic Games. According to Stephanie, I MUST finish this project before the Olympic flame is extinguished 10, 12, whatever, days later. Then I think they carry me to bed.

nota bene I won’t be answering e-mail, blogging or even in the office for these days in February. I will be ruining my family’s Olympic viewing pleasure.

Anyway, reading Stephanie’s blog about her life as a knitter made me feel that some Green Hope Farm friends might like to read about all the different things happening here besides the weird weather. Important stuff like what we had for lunch.

Actually, I really don’t know what is going to happen on this blog. I hope that things I learn from the Angels and Nature Spirits will get transcribed here. I hope to post pictures of the gardens as they grow, not just months later when they have become fond memories and compost. There are so many amazing things that happen here most weeks. I look forward to sharing some of the wonders and synchronicities with you as they unfold. You will probably get a lot of chances to swiftly scroll right through some passionate rants too. Think of the poor folks in the office who cannot scroll down while I am talking, but have to look interested instead!

Lucky you! You only have to read this if you feel like it.

Much Love to you all from your Blogging friend Molly