Monday, July 29, 2013

Stopping things

Over a year ago, I stopped working on a blog I had been keeping for awhile.

I'm gonna start it again; I'm reading a ton these days and feeling pretty deep in the language-stuff.

But it's a trade-off (and not a one-to-one one). I'm going to say buenos noches, for now, to the Flower Scout CSA. Instead of making a dozen or more bouquets each week, I'll be making just a few, for my home and friends and for my mind, and tending to my garden a bit more.

I've felt immensely supported by those of you who've had shares over the past three months. I can't thank you enough for being psyched on the project. You made it real! It exists in the actual world and will return next summer, if fate doesn't conspire against us.

I'm still here for you if you need a bouquet for a dinner party, a gift, or for any other sweet reason. Send me an email at and give me just a few days' notice, message me on Facebook, or text or call 518.258.6507 to get at me.

Hearts hearts hearts,

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Week Behind

I got a lot of visiting in this week, logging about a million luxurious, sleepy, pop-music-filled hours in my little Ranger (now with handy ((filthy, craigslisted)) cap!)

Words cannot express the way I feel about this vehicle.

I went to Portland, Maine, where with a small pack of dear friends I laid on the beach, ate a fantastic meal in the middle of a farm field, tapped my foot to some old-time music, rode for hours on a ferry, collected rocks, slept like a rock, counseled and was counseled.

And then, as soon as I got home, I began getting ready for Flower Scout's largest job of this inaugural year: A WEDDING.


I sourced flowers from my own garden, from my friend Barbara at Native Farm Flowers, and from the Menands wholesale farmers' market. I brought 28 tiny kalanchoe seedlings and grabbed five hanging plants at a roadside stand. And I trucked it out to Livonia in the early morning, so so so thankful that the heatwave had broken.

The bride-to-be (who has since become the actual bride and now the actual wife, in the two days since this adventure) is the college-best-friend of my high school-best-friend, Jessica. Here's Jessi, below, posing as a bride-stand-in so I could get an idea of how the bridal bouquet was looking. 

Andrea is probably the calmest and most gracious about-to-wed person I could have worked with. As soon as I got there, she and her bridesmaids all picked up scissors and promptly ordered a pizza. Quickly leaves and stems were flying, tiny bouquets were filling the room, and we were all cracking up and talking in funny voices. 

She's a lover of color, which was incredibly fun and challenging for me (sometimes I think I'd make green-grey and white bouquets all day, if it were up to me) and texture, and when we called it quits I couldn't believe how much we'd done. Andrea exclaimed that all the stuff she'd been carrying around in her brain for months and months had suddenly become real - and in that moment I felt particularly blessed to be a part of this thing. I want to do it again and again, though I'm sure it's not always quite that easy. 

Jessi and I, exhausted and finished. 

I now have one wedding under my belt, people! This is serious!

P.S. When the professional photos roll out, I'll share them too. For now I'm gonna nap.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Secret Garden

My garden is secret only insofar as I've kept it private--not because it's some beautiful oasis of peace and tranquility, though it could be, but because I haven't done sh*t to it since I planted seeds and seedlings, over a month ago. I haven't weeded, or watered, or visited to whisper sweet nothings at my growing plants (predominantly dill weed). It was raining every day, the ground was too wet to work, I was busy moving and working and living, it was hot when it wasn't pouring: There were ways I legitimized my negligence.

I was also worried that I'd failed, to be honest; I'd nurtured these seedlings every day in my home, for months, and then I'd put them out in the hot, wet world and left them entirely alone. What kind of garden/farmer was I?

So I ignored the little plot, until this week.

And now I have a messy, beautiful goldmine.  

There are sweet peas in there, and sunflowers, rudbeckia, bachelors' buttons, gomphrena, stock, zinnias, summer poppies (!!!), cosmos, nigella, balloon flower, marigold, and probably 15 other things I've forgotten I planted.

Now that monsoon season has subsided, they're in need of water and weeding. Anyone want to spend an evening in the garden with me? I'll provide the rose lemonade-and-gin. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Innertube Inspiration

Back in early June I promised doses of internet-love-linkage on the regular. Word to the wise: Nothing ever happens as quickly as I promise it, so here is your second dose.

Last summer, upon the recommendation of a dear friend and my own established love for Annie Dillard (omigod read Holy the Firm it'll change your LIFE), I read The Living, Dillard's one and only novel. Ironically, The Living is pretty full of dead people, but they're surrounded, enclosed, supported by, buried in, and fighting back the very-alive wilds of Washington state's Skagit Valley, a place I'm in love with even though I've never been. 

What I didn't know, when I read the book, is that if you do a Google image search for "Skagit Valley," all you see are fields of flowers. Where once an imposing forest cast shadows on the heads of settlers and natives, preventing the growth of almost anything, now there are fields of snapdragons. And Erin Benzakein is growing them. With a fierceness. 

She's got greenhouses full of delphinium. And ranunculus. And anemone. And a crabapple-lined driveway. And a hot husband and cute kids she homeschools. Lord almighty. Her posts are beautifully written, with a delicate balance of farm info, technical arrangement-stuff, life, and gorgeous photos. And she's got this great project going, which has inspired me to create my own cross-continent project (more info soon). 

And she drives a truck a lot like mine, too. 

#whatI'mgoingtobewhenIgrowup, thankyouverymuch.