Flower Essences for Times of Transition

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The culture at large may celebrate New Year’s Eve as the biggest annual moment of transition and change, but for students, teachers and families of students and teachers, this time of year is the meat and potatoes of change.

With three teachers and a student in our family, this is certainly our biggest week of transition. During the summer months, my husband Jim leaves behind his sixth grade classroom to take up a vast conglomerations of activities all under the umbrella of “farm projects”. Two of our adult children, Ben and Emily are also teachers who dedicate their vacations to all things Green Hope Farm.

As of yesterday, Jim, Ben and Emily are back in the classroom. Emily has a new job as a special education teacher in Boston. Ben has returned to his life running a dormitory of fifty five teenage boys while teaching History and English. Jim is back to school with a new assignment to head up TWO sixth grade classrooms. I am not sure how this will work. Neither is he.

William is also about to depart. After packing a zillion of your Flower Essence orders, William will shortly return to the more leisurely pace of life as a college student.

My stained copy of our Green Hope Farm cookbook, ‘The Things We Cook’, has been put to use pretty much hourly the last few months. People are in and out of the kitchen round the clock snacking, cooking and settling down to epic feasts. Now in the flash, the kitchen has gone from being the hub of endless gatherings to a quiet place.

Very quiet.

I think I can hear the heaping pile of produce on the kitchen table decomposing.

So what Flower Essences did I put in the long line up of custom mixes I made for all the departing teachers and students (and their fellow teachers and student friends who also wanted custom Flower Essence mixes)?

To begin the mixes, I put New Beginnings, Anxiety, Flow Free, Golden Armor, and Grief & Loss. I lean heavily on the Animal Wellness collection for mixes. They cover a lot of ground. New Beginnings and Anxiety are perhaps self explanatory. I added the Golden Armor because it brings some wonderful data about buffering for people going from a lot of time outdoors to more congested and machine driven environments. Flow Free is another one I reach for no matter what. Among other things, it helps us all go with the flow, and that is so much the heart of navigating change and transitions. Maybe the Grief & Loss is a stretch, but I love it. And frankly, transitions are usually a bit sad as well as exciting.

Here are a few of the other Flower Essences that made their way into the mixes-

Alex Mackenzie Rose- At the heart of it, this is a Flower Essence to help us have the courage to do what we need to do. For teachers this means being in charge of a classroom. This requires gumption, and this Rose helps us have it.

Borage-This Essence is a gem of uplifting support. It helps us embrace change with enthusiasm, confidence and joy and it does so in such a personal way.

Pink Yarrow from the Cliffs of Moher- This supports us to express ourselves even when we feel vulnerable. All transitions take us into the territory of feeling vulnerable, but teachers have to stay there in front of the crowd. Each day they stand before their students sharing themselves in a most public way. This Irish Essence helps them feel rock solid support as they do so.

Grounding- This is such an important mix for times of change. It went in all the mixes. Change requires we process so much new information, and this can leave us in our heads and not in our bodies. Grounding helps with that. I also like that the Tree Flower Essences in Grounding offer support for issues like stamina and flexibility. Shifting gears requires these qualities from all of us.

As I frequently mention, I learn a lot about Flower Essences from your insights. One of the students requesting a mix for her first week at a new college, asked that I include Common Knapweed. This is another lovely Irish Flower Essence. It helps us release that niggling feeling of anxiety that we have left something essential undone or simply are not “enough.” These are feelings that students and teachers often feel, so her request felt so appropriate and illuminated this Essence for me in a new way.

And what am I sipping in my own Flower Essence water even as I type? Probably all of the above and more.

When I was in second grade I was asked to think of a song title and illustrate it for art class. I chose the song title, “I was Lonely in my Saddle when my Horse died.” It was an odd but funny choice- still, I sometimes feel just that way when the crowds depart and I am at my empty kitchen table looking at all the moldering produce.

So if your census is down like mine is, don’t forget to take care of yourself with Flower Essences too!

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And YOU will lead the way

Within the next month we hope to have the new website launched. It is going to be a thing of beauty and much easier to navigate. AND UP TO DATE!

So many features will actually work- like the search function! Oh, we can’t wait for it to be in your hands!

Typical of me, I did not understand what an enormous undertaking it would be to start completely over and rewrite all content and redesign everything. Jim is much better at understanding the amount of time something will take. While I often say to him things like, “Could you throw me up a tool shed over the weekend?”, he will respond with something like, “Yes, but it is going to take me five weeks to do it not a weekend.”

So while I imagined we would just throw together this new website in a couple of weeks, the truth is that Katie has been building it since mid April with Ben and me joining her efforts this summer.

Today is a rainy day which will make it just that much easier to stay glued to my computer as I work on filters for how you all will be able to find Flower Essences for specific concerns.

At this point I have rewritten the content from the Guide to put onto the website both as information you see immediately and as articles you can open via links.

There has been and will continue to be much discussion of where we go from here in getting you all the information you want and need for understanding Flower Essences. In truth, we are looking to you to lead us. We will want all your feedback about decisions we have made. And decisions we will make. Katie has built in a lot more feedback systems- One of them is asking you to send me questions you want me to address here. I look forward to seeing what you ask.

The one thing I am sure of about this site reboot is that Katie Carpenter and Ben Sheehan were the right team for this project. This will be a much more tactile, visually beautiful, more three dimensional and interactive site thanks to them.

I truly can’t wait for you to take possession of it. Right now, to expedite this transfer, I have more documents that need my attention. What bliss it was to pass off big chunks of information to Katie and Ben in the past couple days. Now I will tackle these last tasks to make sure the filters are as they should be. You will be able to pick a topic from a bar of choices and our Flower Essence suggestions for that topic will be there for you with all their information from photograph to I AM affirmation to description of its strengths as a Flower Essence.

But not until I finish my part in the filters.

It’s been so great to think about every Flower Essence in our collection. I feel closer than ever to all of them. Hopefully you too will feel this way soon!

A Window on my World

I knew I was in trouble when the Angels told me I needed to spend last weekend AT THE COMPUTER. Usually they are so low key about their nudges. This time they all but lit a fire under me- before gluing me to my desk chair.

Yup, the web rebuild has now become a consuming focus here, even for the Angels!

The issue is that we have the deadline of our code writer, Ben, going back to his other job as teacher in September. This leaves Katie, Ben and me burning the proverbial midnight oil.

Each morning when Ben goes to his cell-like office area to write code and have three or four cats watch him, we call it, “Ben going to the Ukraine.” This is a reference to our neighbor who shopped out the code work on his web business to some folks in Kiev.

When Katie goes out to her airy room in the upstairs of the barn we call it going to the “Room of Requirement.” We chose the name as a shout out to Harry Potter but also as a delicate way to prepare Katie that other people would be eating, sleeping and playing in the room, sometimes at the same time she is trying to work there.

Sorry about that Katie!

When I settle down at my desk, I think they call it Molly going into the strange place that is her brain. The strange and quite messy place. This is what my space looks like right now as I close shop for a few hours.

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All those things on the dock? Those are documents for each Flower Essence collection. Ben and Katie gave me a new format for rewriting each Flower Essence description that requires me to be more succinct.

No wonder this project is taking so long. I do rather get carried away with my definitions!

PS Thought I would add this sample of me trying to rein in my verbosity- For those of you as attached to my long definitions as me ( all five of you), they will still be available on the website but the shorter definitions will be front and center

NEW VERSION ( This is longer than my people want it to be- I was more successful shortening most other definitions but I wanted to share this contrast because it speaks to my present challenge )

DON’T WORRY-BEE HAPPY
The Honeybees join the Flowers to encourage our happiness

This Essence was created by the Angels and Honeybees to bring happiness and illuminate the grace of our lives. They explain, “This Essence supports an unburdening, an unraveling and a letting go of the mind ideas of worthiness, duality, rules, shoulds and judgment. It supports a return to spontaneous happiness and a state of being in which you joyously know your immutable divinity in an ocean of divinity. Yes, in every moment you are love in an ocean of divine love. There is nothing to worry about. You are safe and loved and perfection just as you are. No proof necessary. No action necessary. Being who you are, living the life divinity created just for you and enjoying this life is not just enough, it is what is meant to be.”

This Essence is a gift to you if
- Worry fills your life.
- You feel the weight of the world’s suffering is yours to heal.
- You are a person who does too much.
- You have a hard time accepting your essential goodness.
- You find yourself awash in guilt as you let go of things that are not on your path.
- You feel anxiety or guilt about struggles with forgiveness.
- The phrase “Don’t Worry- Bee Happy” pushes your buttons or calls to your heart!

OLD VERSION (wherein I go on forever per usual)

DON’T WORRY-BEE HAPPY
Is it ethical to not worry and be happy? What binds us to worry and unhappiness? Illusion or truth? Can we unravel this dynamic and find a freedom to love ourselves just the way we are, accept the world just as it is and know that happiness is a moral as well as joyful choice?

This is the arena and offering of the 2006 Venus Garden Essence. After a growing season of work and play in this garden, it was time to make the Essence. With the Flowers plucked and in the water, I lay back surrounded by Flowers humming with bees. It was the Autumn Equinox. A beautiful soft day. For many months I’d puzzled over the theme of this garden. Not once had I guessed its name: Don’t Worry- Bee Happy. The Flowers, the bees and our beloved Creator pulled back the curtain to reveal the divine order in all things. Let Go? Why Not! Let God! Of course. Don’t Worry- Bee Happy!

If the weight of the world’s suffering feels yours to heal, if you are a person who does too much or if you know your life calling but find yourself awash in guilt as you let go of things that are not on your path, this Essence may hold helpful information for you. If it is hard for you to accept your own essential goodness without a marathon of proof, if the very phrase “Don’t Worry- Be Happy” pushes your buttons or if worry is the bread and butter of your days, not happiness, this Essence may bring gifts to your weary self. It supports an unburdening, an unraveling and a letting go of the mind ideas of worthiness, duality, rules, shoulds and judgment. It supports a return to spontaneous happiness and a state of being in which you joyously know your immutable divinity in an ocean of divinity.

THE TRIO OF LOVE PREVAILS, ALIGNMENT AND DON’T WORRY
Don’t Worry- Bee Happy will be an excellent Essence to use in combination with two earlier Venus Garden Essences; Love Prevails and The Alignment Garden. Love Prevails helps us know that love is the only abiding reality. Love Prevails helps us know that we are divinity safe in the arms of divinity no matter what the surface appearance. Love Prevails helps us know that everything else but love is a passing illusion, necessary for our learning but not real. The Alignment Garden helps us know our precise work in world. It helps us align with our divinity so that we can live this purpose. It is not about mind ideas of life purpose but soul truth. It sorts this wheat from this chaff so that we are clear about what is and isn’t our life work and who we are. Don’t Worry- Bee Happy supports us to let go of that which is not our work. It helps us let go of the self-judgment and guilt that would make us feel responsible for most of the planet’s woes. It helps us to know that being who we are, living the life divinity created just for us and enjoying this life is not just enough, it is what is meant to be. The concept of judgment is left behind in an experience of grace. And happiness. Did I mention happiness? We can know happiness, at long last, as a guilt free experience.

A LONGER EXPLANATION
From winter planning to spring planting to a fall harvest, this garden rested easily and joyfully in the green arms of the farm. The Essence from this garden took seven days to make, beginning on the Autumn Equinox, a day of balance.

Once, while flipping through a compendium about Flower Essences, I noted that the author put forth his theory that I lived through the healing dynamic of each Green Hope Farm Flower Essence on my way to making the Essence. It was a funny moment because until then, I hadn’t seen this pattern that way. How I might have explained it was that I am attracted to the Flowers that hold helpful information about something I am struggling to resolve, be it an emotional tangle, a physical issue or a spiritual thirst.

For example, when I first began making Flower Essences, I was intent on resolving lung problems and the grief at the bottom of my physically weak lungs. This meant that many of the early Essences I felt called to make offer helpful information about issues of grief, the courage to speak your truth, find your path, stand fearlessly in your truth and know your right to breathe deeply and take in as much air as the next person.

This was an unconscious process. I just made Flower Essences from the Flowers that called to me. Because of the laws of attraction, these were the Flowers with the healing vibrational information I needed. My process first built a collection that would provide for such Essences as Breathe and Grief & Loss. Then, as I moved through this particular healing dynamic, other issues surfaced to be resolved. When they surfaced, helpful Flowers came into my ken. It has been a joyful and efficient way to heal.

In any case, what this author said in his book was true. I think about this truth before each growing season, because when I receive the plan for the gardens from the Angels in January, I know I am getting an overview of my learning lessons for the growing season. For example, if there are a lot of Zinnias, Borage and Calendulas in one of the gardens, I know I’ll be working on containing a dynamic of sturdy joy, courage and faith even as events in my personal life challenge my abilities to do this. In living through my lessons while the Flowers grow, I help contain the Essence being born and make it strong in the face of difficulties. Often, others here help to hold the dynamic as well, especially in the case of the Venus Garden, the highest vibrational space at the farm and the spot where many of our most helpful Essences have been created.

Sometimes, the Angels tell me the name of the Venus Garden when they give me its design plan in January. This clues me in further as to the theme of our project. During the season, I see how the Angels manifest this idea in form. I try to focus on what I am learning about this issue in my life, in and out of the garden. Usually the strands pull together after the Essence is created.

This year, I had no name for the garden, but I was given the hint that it concerned the issue of forgiveness. When in the depths of last winter the Angels offered that this year’s Venus Garden and Essence would hold a vibration related to forgiveness, I both relished the project and felt unsure that I could contain the dynamic of the Essence. I have felt so confused and humbled by various notions and expectations of forgiveness that I sometimes refer to forgiveness as the f word. I wasn’t sure I had a single idea about forgiveness that was helpful, and I certainly felt shamed by many ideas I have heard about forgiveness. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t admire other people’s experiences of forgiveness, but that my own process seemed so much messier. In my own personal family of origin drama, I felt like a pinball bouncing from one emotional response to another. Yes, there had been moments my mind defined as forgiveness, but there was a heck of a lot of other stuff going on as well. All in all, it seemed an unlikely project for me to undertake but also a hopeful one. I felt that to grow this garden was to have my limited mind ideas of forgiveness washed from me in the face of a more complicated, but ultimately more loving understanding.

The Angels gave me the design, indicated the plants to grow and got things rolling in a very matter of fact way. No hand wringing. No suggestion they doubted my capacity to contain the garden. This was very reassuring. The design for the garden was a five pointed star outlined in Yellow Marigolds. The star was filled with many purple Flowers including Heliotrope, Aster, Chinese Forget me Not, Ageratum, Alyssum and Nicotiana. The center of the star was a spiral of violet Cleome surrounding a spiral of Mehera White Marigolds. The tips of each star point also featured Mehera White Marigolds as well as White Osteospermum. The entire star was encircled in a thick band of white Sweet Alyssum.

When I planted the Alignment Garden the year before, the directions had been as precise as anything I have ever done with the Angels. Everything was orchestrated with one directional movement around the garden. If I needed a trowel three feet counter clockwise from where I was digging, I had to walk all the way around the circle to retrieve the trowel. No volunteer plants or weeds were left in the garden or allowed to grow up during the season. The focus was on alignment and with EXACTLY what was meant to be.

This Venus Garden had a different ethos. From the get go there was something relaxed, even forgiving, about the creation of the garden. As I prepared the garden for planting, I was asked to leave several rogue Flowers including a gorgeous orange annual poppy and a patch of white Love in a Mist. This would be a gorgeous garden but a quirky one too. Elizabeth planted the garden with me. It was a happy occasion of silliness, laughter and fun.

My first stumbling block of personal forgiveness came when I didn’t notice the slugs decimating half the plants in the garden. I was so focused on protecting the Red Shiso garden from the slugs that my slug patrol did not include the Venus Garden. By the time I noticed the slug damage there, many of the greenhouse transplants, especially the Mehera White Marigolds, had been completely eaten. Many plants were dead. There were gaps everywhere. I felt badly about my forgetfulness and couldn’t imagine that this garden would recover from this slugfest.

But it did, and this recovery was a gentle reminder that I am not responsible for everything, even in my own backyard. This was so much the thrust of the summer, the last year, the last six years, make that most of my life. When I get clear guidance from the divinity within me, I need to stop the second guessing myself when things go awry. In fact, I need to stop second-guessing myself no matter the quality of my guidance or what happens. I need to remember I am doing the best that I can. Doing the best I can is the best I can do.

As I planted this garden I was in my ongoing struggle with mind ideas like the notion that I was not doing enough, that a good person would not let unresolved situations and relationships go or that you work until the work is done even if that is never. The emotions? Guilt, worry, doubt, a lack of kindness to self. Frankly, even with clear guidance, such as the Angels giving me one word directions like REST, I could lose my way in my variation on humanity’s grab bag of mind rules and emotional reactions to my mind rules. The time was ripe for “Don’t Worry-Bee Happy.”

This brings me to the bees. In many languages, bees share the same word as the verb to be. In my timeless time with the bees this summer and in my skirmishes with literature about bees, I came to sense that they move in time differently than most of us, that they experience doing and being with more unity than most of us, that even as we described them as busy worker bees, it’s not so much a doing as a being with each Flower they visit.

As this summer unfolded, I found myself with the bees more and more. I asked them to be part of this Essence. They gently told me that this was really already a done deal. They already were one with the Flowers and with all of Green Hope Farm before I asked and therefore are part and parcel of all Essences here, this one included. It’s typical of all the loving parts of creation here that the bees were so gracious when I belabored the obvious. I also laughed out loud when I heard the name for this garden for the first time.

Before I finished this description, I decided to go sit with the bees to see if they wanted to say anything about Don’t Worry- Bee Happy. I went down to sit six inches from one of the hives with my notepad. I felt a bit of trepidation. The last time I sat so close, the bees were explaining about a bee sting acupuncture point called “the reveal” and when the short lecture was complete, a bee came over and stung me right on “the reveal.” Anyways, no stings today. Just this lovely bee song, all puns intended.

A BEE SONG
To our human brothers and sisters

Honey, bee
Honey, please, bee
Just bee.
The Happiness of Flowers, the Song of Flowers. We sing it.
We breathe it. We bee it. We be it.
This is our song, our hum, our buzz, our golden honey.
To bee is to be.
Not worlds apart. No difference. To bee is to be.
So Full. So Everything. So Sunshine. So Cloud bank.
So Warm. So True.
The Everything and the Nothing.
Don’t Worry, Bee Happy.
This being
Your beeing
is a Honeycomb
of
Love
No more. No Less.
Perfection
Honey, bee.

AND FINALLY THE ANGELS ON THIS ESSENCE AND THE F WORD
“It’s been helpful to Molly for her to refer to forgiveness as the f word because it has lightened her energy around this misunderstood topic. There are few words in your culture more loaded. May our words lighten your load as well.

We want you to understand the intent of this Essence. We did not call it. “Do This, That, and the Other Thing and Then “Don’t Worry, Bee Happy”. We called it “Don’t Worry- Bee Happy”, a play on Meher Baba’s exhortation.

In every moment you are love in an ocean of divine love. There is nothing to worry about. You are safe and loved and perfection just as you are. No proof necessary. No action necessary. So much of human mind ideas about forgiveness veer off into ideas of proving something through a big gesture, a dramatic moment or an avowal that all is forgiven. In truth there need be nothing done and no words spoken. This is the nature of Grace. Yes, it is Grace we speak of here. We created this Essence to help you cut through the illusions that keep you from knowing this Grace. For so many of you it is earnest notions of being impossibly good that spin you away from ever experiencing your essential goodness. The Bees and all beings of Green Hope Farm invite you to rest in this vibration of “Don’t Worry- Bee Happy” so that you feel the happy joyful truth of being you. We love you so very much. Ainsi Soit-il. So bee it.

Today is Reina’s Fifth Birthday

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It’s Reina’s birthday today! She is five years old! Here is what she looked like when she first became a part of our pack!
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Right off the bat, she reminded us how to embrace winter.

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She learned how to be a member of the pack from the best- Riley and MayMay.

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At work she has always taken a hands on approach to every task.

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She has always been game for hamming it up.

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Sometimes quite literally.
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When she comes calling, she always brings Flowers.

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Flowers are also her favorite accessory.

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During her lunch break, she knows how to relax

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and then relax more deeply.

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She never says no to a nap

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or a passing snuzzle.

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She knows how to entertain herself on the weekends and is very well informed especially about Hollywood gossip.
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She keeps an open mind about most things including her main person’s strange fascination with the Camino.
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She remains unconvinced about the necessity of ever walking across a hot dry country let alone walking across this country three times,
but she is happy to be at the end of Lizzy’s dusty journeys.

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She loves a good outdoor lecture. I mean, who doesn’t?

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She is patient when we treat her like a baby still.
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She even plays her part in events like Lizzy and Miguel’s wedding. Only Reina could rock this hat with dignity intact.

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She welcomed Miguel and then Grace to her pack with enthusiasm and always sends cards to those in her pack who are off in the world.

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There is nothing she likes MORE than taking the wheel for a drive around town.

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And there is nothing she likes LESS than a mouth full of quills!

Happy Birthday Reina! We love you!

Early July around the Farm

It’s been a glorious summer in the gardens so far.

Even after a perilously cold winter in which the Roses died back hard, they have been lavish in their blossoms.

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Our lovely Alba Maxima Rose had a particularly terrible winter. We were all so relieved to see her come back so strong.

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This season is the first time this Charles de Mills Rose has bloomed for us as we just planted in April of 2013. It is mesmerizing in its beauty.

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John Davis Rose covers itself in a zillion blossoms in its position right next to the door into the office.

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This is a sweet old friend named Blush Damask Rose

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This is a new very lovely Rose named Goldfinch.

On Facebook, I have had a hard time not putting up a daily (if not hourly) photo of Pink Pillar Rose which is so extraordinary in the beauty of its many moods.

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The Clematis have also been happy this season.

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This is a new one called Clematis Guernsey Cream.

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Here is Madame St Germaine Rose in amongst a very old and robust Clematis friend.

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This is Clematis Nelly Moser.

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Our Clematis Jackamani seems to enjoy mingling with the climbing Roses.

July is annual Poppy (papaver somnifermum) time which I love. As do the bees.

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As the perennials and annuals mix together, there are always some great combinations that happen unexpectedly. It is one of my favorite things about gardening- the surprises.

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Here Maltese Cross sits cheek by jowl with Bee Balm, a color combination I would never have planned but one that works surprisingly well.

It is not too much of a surprise that the Bee Balm is part of this duo. It has gone a bit nuts in the perennial beds and is EVERYWHERE. After it blooms I am going to have to move 90% of it somewhere else.

Note to Bee Balm- You are SUPPOSED to be one of MANY in a perennial bed of many Flowers not the HOG of the whole bed! Yes, I know the hummingbirds will be happy but all those other plants you overtook, not so much….

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Besides making many, many Flower Essences, we have been drying plants for herbal teas. Our dream is to make an organic blend we could someday share with you all as a way for you to take your Flower Essences!

This year we are saving a little bit of a lot of different things to experiment with what things taste like when blended together. Our hope would be to settle on a recipe this season then grow what we need for you next season.

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Chamomile is one of the things we are drying for the teas!

Another project has been making an Elderberry Flower syrup to add to sparkling water or wine. Katie Carpenter made our first batch which was gone in flash. With crowds clamoring for more, Sarah Porter (she who now knows a frightening amount about World Cup Soccer) and I made another batch this weekend.

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Of course there is always lots of weeding, watering and mulching along with savoring the Flowers.

This weekend I mulched around the blueberries. I used a surprisingly large number of cardboard boxes for this- thank goodness we had them waiting after a long winter of saving them for just this sort of project!

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Taking progress shots of this was what got me through hauling all this mulch ( Where were you Molly Sanders- Queen of mulch hauling?)

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Now the blueberries are all ready for their netting!

I hope you all weathered Hurricane Arthur well, and that you are finding lovely moments with the Flowers of your world! We send much love and blessings to you all!

As a community of Flowers, Angels, Nature Spirits, Dogs, Cats and even some People, Green Hope Farm can be a funny place……and I love telling you all about it!