7.28.2014

Lavender



Typically we harvest large quantities of lavender , dry it flat and strip the crispy stems into bowls, then store in covered pails.  Usually I have enough dried lavender to fill sachets as gifts for a whole year. 

A friend's daughter asked if we could supply her with some dried lavender for wedding centerpieces. So this year we have bundles tied and hanging from the hearth. They are drying perfectly.



And even though this year proved to be a terrible year for the quantity of lavender, (due to the harsh winter), it has been a year of gorgeous quality lavender.


I have picked enough to keep a bit, and then we left a bit for the bees. After all, when you see bees, the last thing you want to do is take away their food supply! We need to keep Earth's pollinator's healthy and multiplying!


And with the perennial/ vegetable garden just beyond the lavender patch, I know that those bees will also be worker bees in our garden, helping to supply our family with a plentiful bounty.

I DO need your help!  We are going to replant as many lavender plants as we can afford to this year.
I need to know your favorites! Your highest producers, your best lavender for scent and drying and color. But I also need to know about hardy lavender. Ours has been exceptional. Fifteen years of tremendous production. We are in zone 6B, bordering on Cape Cod. So we are coastal, and yes, we get all of those coastal storms!


Eventually we would love to have 50 thriving lavender plants. I think we will return to Cape Cod Lavender Farm, as our very old grand dames were purchased there.


Please share your thoughts and favorites!
Enjoy the week….I'm off to the garden!

7.19.2014

By My Side



In 1995 Kevin (my soon to be husband), and I traveled across the United States on a 30 day journey in a little 2 door Saturn packed to the roof.  Years later, 2 children in tow, we traveled with my in-laws on a crazy camper journey to Montana and back. 

How privileged  I was to see the wide open expanse of our own country! And while I would gratefully travel the states again in an instant, I cannot deny the constant tugging at my heartstrings to see the countries of those who came before me. My great-grandparents, (two of whom I grew up with), came from Ireland and The Azores.


I have spent MANY hours researching names and dates and people.Years ago my dad and I started at the library on microfilm, searching for our Irish ancestors.  Now I sit for endless hours on the computer, searching and hoping to find the little missing pieces of information that are undoubtedly the catalyst of  an entire puzzle.



I dream of the land of my Irish roots, its green rolling hills and farms. I often wonder of the lives my ancestors led there. Were they happy? 


Did they love the ocean like I do? Did they dream of America as they stared out over the steel blue waves?


Did they miss their homeland once they were here, or was America, before the turn of the century, just what they were looking for?

On my mom's side many of my ancestors are from The Azores in Portugal. They traveled to California in the late 1800's. They found work on farms in the San Francisco area. It is hard to find records for them, as they lived there during the Great Earthquake, AND they changed their name once they arrived. 

My husband has visited The Azores (Sao Miguel) with his dad and brothers….also the homeland of their ancestors. 


I look at the narrow streets, the villages, the farms….


I see a way of life, even now, so different from our lives.
Perhaps they were more forward-thinking than us. They have maintained the beauty of the islands, the true rustic life; yet have maintained culture and advancements as well, without spoiling the naturescape or history of these volcanic islands..


Again I wonder why they left, I wonder if they feared leaving their homeland and for many, their families. I cannot imagine leaving what we have become accustomed to. But life was different then, and I imagine leaving was a necessity for many, not a choice.



Some day I will travel to the lands of my ancestors….I will stand where they stood, I will dream where they dreamed. I will breathe in the salty air and feel the wind in my hair, and perhaps for a fleeting moment, they will be by my side.


I am participating in  Europe: Simply Irresistible 
Link Party over at

Pop by For a Visit!


Photo Credits: 
Ireland: Free Stock Photography
The Azores:  1959 Edmund Tavares, My father in law :)










7.15.2014

Time



Probably 14 years ago or so, when our son was just toddling
 around, we planted Asiatic lilies alone the stonewall. They
 have come back each year…sometimes a bit
 deer ravaged, sometimes trying to burst forth
 in early spring when a layer of winter compost lays firm 
upon them (read this as the leaves we never raked in fall:)



But this year they are extra special. Hues of muted pinks and yellows, (the oranges long ago disappeared), glow in the  summer sun as it rises up above our neighbor's roof. I try to capture the beauty, the perfect pleat in the middle of each petal, the starburst of stamens awaiting a bee or two.


Perhaps the long winter has allowed me to appreciate 
them more? Bask in their beauty a moment longer?


It is melancholy photographing in early morning when the boy who toddled nearby, interested in the auger we drilled into the ground to make homes for these lily bulbs, is dreaming in his room up above my head, feet touching the end of the bed, teenage body needing sleep….and more sleep….



I do not mourn what was…for that is always with us…not just in photographs, but tucked neatly into a mom and dad's memory. Instead, I revel in what we have in the here and now. What perplexes me, the thing that makes me over-think, is the passing of time.



Too fast the years pass, blending into a menagerie of events and memories, of joys and sorrows, of what if's and what will be….




And even that little green bucket swing hanging from the maple tree near the stonewall has become a reminder of how rapidly our time here on Earth passes. I will grasp each moment this summer and live life to its fullest; for time will NOT be my enemy.



7.02.2014

Wednesday Walk

Headed out to the garden early.
Enjoy my walk!

Endless Summer Hydrangea

Ferns

Yarrow and Phlox

Blanket Flower

Bronze Fennel

Peas



Honeysuckle


Wild Beach Roses


Hypericum of Wild St. John's Wart (Thanks to @Pulsantilla for identification)


Loving our clover and the field. 


7.01.2014

Joy

 I was SO sad as spring swept in and revealed that our snow-filled winter had just been
too much for our lavender to handle.  Some of our "grand dames" were 5 feet across, 15 years old, and particularly woody, yet gave the most glorious wash of lavender across the back of our property. One plant yielded me overflowing baskets to dry and strip. One plant gave me hundreds of stems. 


So indeed, I was sad as time progressed, and I could see the damage. ALL of the babies from last year are lost. Ten plants gone. Our older plants are pretty much patchy bits of lavender and bare woody stems. It truly was heartbreaking.


But then something wonderful happened. An early variety or 2 started to flower. And suddenly I was filled with emotion! Sure, our lavender patch looks sad and needs to be replanted, but the few little areas that are left are simply brimming with LIFE! 



My sadness has turned to PURE JOY!


Joy for what's left, for the fight they have fought. Joy for this food for my senses!



Joy that fills a mother's heart as she looks at these surrogate babies and knows that they need her.


Now I look at my lavender, not as a loss, but as a change, an evolution. 
A sign.
A lesson.

Choose Joy!


6.21.2014

One Day.

All it took was one day.


One day of not waking up at 5:12 ( I'm a rebel and sleep 'til 6:15).




One day of puttering in the house and garden….





All it took was a salty summer breeze off the ocean traveling
a couple miles down the road and into our windows.
It cleared the cobwebs from this teacher's brain and brought with it
promises of mornings at the beach, dripping ice cream cones, and freedom.


I am so privileged to have this time….time to finish what I have 
started….a dining room remodel….a rose garden….a book or two….


I hope you will join me as I get back 
into a blogging schedule….I will share my summer with you, my loyal readers.



We have soooo many bunnies this year!

Wild raspberries.

First day of summer.

And, you can also follow my Instagram shop @prince_snow_farm_stand

I am selling mostly vintage goods, and will
also announce when our real life farm stand opens for business!
(photos below from Instagram)




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...