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Making Leaf Mold

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,Close-bosom friend of the maturing sun-John Keats, "To Autumn" I'm pretty sure I haven't always loved autumn. If I'm remembering correctly, I thought of it as a precursor to winter, and I can assure you that I have never liked winter. In fact, as a child, one of my favorite books to read was The Penguin that Hated the Cold. I could empathize with Pablo the penguin's irritation with the cold and his assertion that "Cold weather...is for the birds. The other birds. Not me." At some point, though, my perspective shifted, and I'm almost certain that it started happening ...
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,Close-bosom friend of the maturing sun-John Keats, "To Autumn" I'm pretty sure I haven't always loved autumn. If I'm remembering correctly, I thought of it as a precursor to winter, and I can assure you that I have never liked winter. In fact, as a child, one of my favorite books to read was The Penguin t...

Inspiring Gardens Series: The Lost Gardens of Heligan

My mom and I love going to England and visiting as many gardens as we possibly can. We've been to Sissinghurst, Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate Court, Highgrove, Kew, Great Dixter, and many others, both large and small. We go mainly because we are obsessed with gardening and love immersing ourselves in the beauty of these magnificent places. But we are also drawn to these gardens for the inspiration they provide us. Now, sometimes that can be a bit problematic. For example, my mom's yard is tiny, but when we stroll around these iconic gardens, she decides that she needs a pond and a wall and an ornamental tree and a scu...
My mom and I love going to England and visiting as many gardens as we possibly can. We've been to Sissinghurst, Hidcote Manor, Kiftsgate Court, Highgrove, Kew, Great Dixter, and many others, both large and small. We go mainly because we are obsessed with gardening and love immersing ourselves in the beauty of these magnificent places. But we are al...

Firmly Rooted

We have inadvertently lived a nomadic life. Although my husband (whom I call Turfman…he loves lawns) had grown accustomed to moving regularly with the Army, he had left the military by the time I met him. I had no reason to believe that we would leave my hometown outside of Dayton, Ohio, but within a few months, our company moved us to Pensacola, Florida. We thought it might prove to be a place we could call home, and so it was for a few years. But when his boss told us we would have to relocate to a place we weren’t wild about, Turfman instead took a job outside of Atlanta, where I hoped we could put down so...
We have inadvertently lived a nomadic life. Although my husband (whom I call Turfman…he loves lawns) had grown accustomed to moving regularly with the Army, he had left the military by the time I met him. I had no reason to believe that we would leave my hometown outside of Dayton, Ohio, but within a few months, our company moved us to Pensacola,...

Stuffed with Peppers

I am not known for making reasonable, measured planting decisions. Take, for example, the flower farm. It came into being because I wasn't wild about cutting flowers for the house from the flower beds around the house. The reasonable solution would have been simply to create a cut flower garden. Instead, I plowed up a flower farm and started a business. The result was that I grew thousands of flowers for other people but was rarely able to keep any for myself. Flowers destined for a wedding I am aware of these tendencies toward the grandiose, and I do try to manage them, but I couldn't tell you that I'm ...
I am not known for making reasonable, measured planting decisions. Take, for example, the flower farm. It came into being because I wasn't wild about cutting flowers for the house from the flower beds around the house. The reasonable solution would have been simply to create a cut flower garden. Instead, I plowed up a flower farm and started a bus...

The Future of the Farm

It feels like an eternity since I last posted any dispatches from the farm here. It is something that has distressed me a bit because I really love to write, and I especially enjoy writing about the hours I spend with dirt on my hands. The reality of running a farm completely on my own, however, is that I haven't had time for many of the things I enjoy doing--you know, besides growing flowers. This summer has been an incredibly challenging one in the fields. In May, we had nearly two weeks of highs in the 90s, which is almost unheard of. Then the deer had what I consider an amazing progressive dinner one night i...
It feels like an eternity since I last posted any dispatches from the farm here. It is something that has distressed me a bit because I really love to write, and I especially enjoy writing about the hours I spend with dirt on my hands. The reality of running a farm completely on my own, however, is that I haven't had time for many of the things I e...

2019 Flower Memberships

I know it can be hard to think about 2019 when we still have three months left in 2018, but the truth is, a flower farmer has been prepping for the 2019 growing season for a couple of months already. I was methodically starting about 200 seeds a day in early September, and now I have thousands of seedlings that are going into the ground for their long winter nap. Part of the thinking and planning ahead requires getting a good idea of how many people I will be growing flowers for in the coming year. That helps me determine how many plants I need in production every week of the growing season, and that helps me kno...
I know it can be hard to think about 2019 when we still have three months left in 2018, but the truth is, a flower farmer has been prepping for the 2019 growing season for a couple of months already. I was methodically starting about 200 seeds a day in early September, and now I have thousands of seedlings that are going into the ground for their l...

Who I Am Growing For

I've never been a business woman before. This is my first foray into that arena. Though it is different in many ways from my career as a college professor, I have seen one significant similarity, and it has to do with the reason I am doing this work. As a professor, honestly, I did the work because one of my college professors made me feel like I was more capable than I had ever imagined. He made literature fascinating and fun, and I wanted to be like him. I wanted to make other students feel exactly as he had made me feel. So I learned all of my students' names, tried to remember what their interests were, and w...
I've never been a business woman before. This is my first foray into that arena. Though it is different in many ways from my career as a college professor, I have seen one significant similarity, and it has to do with the reason I am doing this work. As a professor, honestly, I did the work because one of my college professors made me feel like I w...

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