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!

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