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.