Today is Reina’s Fifth Birthday

It’s Reina’s birthday today! She is five years old! Here is what she looked like when she first became a part of our pack!
Right off the bat, she reminded us how to embrace winter.

She learned how to be a member of the pack from the best- Riley and MayMay.

At work she has always taken a hands on approach to every task.

She has always been game for hamming it up.

Sometimes quite literally.
When she comes calling, she always brings Flowers.

Flowers are also her favorite accessory.

During her lunch break, she knows how to relax

and then relax more deeply.

She never says no to a nap

or a passing snuzzle.

She knows how to entertain herself on the weekends and is very well informed especially about Hollywood gossip.
She keeps an open mind about most things including her main person’s strange fascination with the Camino.
She remains unconvinced about the necessity of ever walking across a hot dry country let alone walking across this country three times,
but she is happy to be at the end of Lizzy’s dusty journeys.


She loves a good outdoor lecture. I mean, who doesn’t?

She is patient when we treat her like a baby still.
She even plays her part in events like Lizzy and Miguel’s wedding. Only Reina could rock this hat with dignity intact.

She welcomed Miguel and then Grace to her pack with enthusiasm and always sends cards to those in her pack who are off in the world.

There is nothing she likes MORE than taking the wheel for a drive around town.

And there is nothing she likes LESS than a mouth full of quills!

Happy Birthday Reina! We love you!

Early July around the Farm

It’s been a glorious summer in the gardens so far.

Even after a perilously cold winter in which the Roses died back hard, they have been lavish in their blossoms.


Our lovely Alba Maxima Rose had a particularly terrible winter. We were all so relieved to see her come back so strong.


This season is the first time this Charles de Mills Rose has bloomed for us as we just planted in April of 2013. It is mesmerizing in its beauty.


John Davis Rose covers itself in a zillion blossoms in its position right next to the door into the office.


This is a sweet old friend named Blush Damask Rose


This is a new very lovely Rose named Goldfinch.

On Facebook, I have had a hard time not putting up a daily (if not hourly) photo of Pink Pillar Rose which is so extraordinary in the beauty of its many moods.



The Clematis have also been happy this season.


This is a new one called Clematis Guernsey Cream.


Here is Madame St Germaine Rose in amongst a very old and robust Clematis friend.


This is Clematis Nelly Moser.


Our Clematis Jackamani seems to enjoy mingling with the climbing Roses.

July is annual Poppy (papaver somnifermum) time which I love. As do the bees.



As the perennials and annuals mix together, there are always some great combinations that happen unexpectedly. It is one of my favorite things about gardening- the surprises.


Here Maltese Cross sits cheek by jowl with Bee Balm, a color combination I would never have planned but one that works surprisingly well.

It is not too much of a surprise that the Bee Balm is part of this duo. It has gone a bit nuts in the perennial beds and is EVERYWHERE. After it blooms I am going to have to move 90% of it somewhere else.

Note to Bee Balm- You are SUPPOSED to be one of MANY in a perennial bed of many Flowers not the HOG of the whole bed! Yes, I know the hummingbirds will be happy but all those other plants you overtook, not so much….


Besides making many, many Flower Essences, we have been drying plants for herbal teas. Our dream is to make an organic blend we could someday share with you all as a way for you to take your Flower Essences!

This year we are saving a little bit of a lot of different things to experiment with what things taste like when blended together. Our hope would be to settle on a recipe this season then grow what we need for you next season.


Chamomile is one of the things we are drying for the teas!

Another project has been making an Elderberry Flower syrup to add to sparkling water or wine. Katie Carpenter made our first batch which was gone in flash. With crowds clamoring for more, Sarah Porter (she who now knows a frightening amount about World Cup Soccer) and I made another batch this weekend.


Of course there is always lots of weeding, watering and mulching along with savoring the Flowers.

This weekend I mulched around the blueberries. I used a surprisingly large number of cardboard boxes for this- thank goodness we had them waiting after a long winter of saving them for just this sort of project!






Taking progress shots of this was what got me through hauling all this mulch ( Where were you Molly Sanders- Queen of mulch hauling?)


Now the blueberries are all ready for their netting!

I hope you all weathered Hurricane Arthur well, and that you are finding lovely moments with the Flowers of your world! We send much love and blessings to you all!