A Good Day for Bees and Roses

This Rose, the one we call Coral Pink Rose, is beloved of the bees. It blooms with abandon and its Flower Essence gives with equal abandon. The Essence is a gift of such comfort, softening our experiences of grief, loss, and anxiety about those we love.


This Rose, Therese Bugnet, got covered by one of the Wild Roses that jumped into the Rose garden and became somewhat of a garden hog. I guess this is what you’d expect from a Rose that says about itself, ” I canna abide confinement.”

Anyways, I made a deal with this particular Wild Rose that I would honor several other of its monumental brothers on the farm, if I could yank him out of the Rose garden. This removal, done last fall, involved me and Jim, the truck in four wheel drive, a come along, every set of clippers on the farm, our blood, our sweat, and our tears. With its tenacious root system and sharp canes whipping around, it was quite a moment when it finally came out of the ground.

I have lived up to my end of the deal by keeping three other large Wild Rose specimens in the gardens, each one perched on the edge of the hayfield where they are home to a cast of a thousand birds who know they are safe from all predators, tucked into those abundantly thorned branches.

This spring, in the gap where the Wild Rose was, this Therese Bugnet sprang back into exuberant life. Today I am making a Flower Essence from her sweet soft pale magenta pink petals.

Across the garden from Therese Bugnet is another Rose that the bees are enjoying, Rosa Mundi. Here a native bee dives into this ancient but timeless beauty, ever a Flower Essence consolation when our romance with divinity feels a bit much.


Our Rosa Mundi has mingled its branches inseparably with branches of another ancient Rose, Rosa Gallica, the ancient mother of almost all modern Roses. She is also known as the Apothecary Rose, because attar or Essential oil of Rose was originally made from this Rose. As a Flower Essence she has an incredibly grounding quality and helps us know precisely who we are.

Right near the Rosa Mundi and Rosa Gallica is Agathe Incarnata Rose. Her Flower Essence gift helps us to translate the intention to be loving into being love.


Doesn’t she look like Love incarnate????

Here is another beautiful Rose that I am making into an Essence today. This is Alba Maxima, a soft, soft pink Rose that has grown into an immense towering shrub of Flowers in the perennial gardens. I look forward to sitting down with Alba Maxima and Therese Bugnet to find out what their Flower Essences are all about.
Madame Hardy Rose grows cheek by jowl with Alba Maxima. I made her into an Essence last year and the Angels asked that we put her into our Grief and Loss mix. As Madam Hardy explains, “I AM for heartache. I know you think you have heard it all before yet I offer a sweet and unique note of consolation to those who lose a lover or a most cherished friend or place. I AM consolation and comfort amidst loss.”

Here is Tuscany Rose, another ancient Rose. I have found it very hard to capture the velvety quality of her petals in a photograph. The Angels have told me that she is an important Flower Essence for the next stretch of time and that I should bring her forward to people’s attention. Her Flower Essence is about finding from the depths of ourselves the sweet refreshing restorative wisdom that ever lives within us. Tuscany Rose compares this experience to pulling a bucket of deeply refreshing and restorative cool water up from a well.

This was my last Flower Essence made today, Nepeta “Six Hill Giants”, the beautiful blue catmint that sets off so many of the Roses in the Rose garden. Here shown with the incomparable Mary Rose. The bees can’t get enough of this catmint and so the bed is a buzz when it is in blossom. Another one to sit with once the Essence is in the jars. I suspect this one is for playful rejuvenation and relaxation. At least that’s what the cats think!


And so there we are on this gorgeous June day!

June 27th. The Water Lilies are glorious. More importantly, it’s Sophie’s 20th birthday!

She is out with Emily mulching another garden right now. Hopefully, she is unaware that we are planning a Tea Party for her in the Arbor Garden this afternoon.

Deb, her mom, is famous for her Cream Teas. When they lived in Cornwall, Deb ran a tea shop at her husband’s pottery. After seeing the tea shop’s menu and tasting her cooking, I know why people came from far and wide for tea in her shop.

Fortunately, even after ten years in America, Deb hasn’t lost her ability to throw a wildly sucessful tea party.

She is in charge of all the desserts today. I made a few savory items with more than a little of my favorite ingredient in them……


No one has quite noticed this yet, but with seven rows of parsley in the Venus Garden, I am adding parsley to everything. And I mean everything.

Do you think garnishing the strawberries this way for today’s party will give me away?


Summer’s Flowering

So many beautiful Wildflowers to visit with on today’s early morning walk. Bouquet participants Vetch, Red Clover, Purple Flowering Raspberry, White Yarrow, Black Eyed Susan, Ox Eyed Daisy, and Buttercup are all beloved Flower Essence friends. How glad I am to greet them during their annual return to the meadows and hedgerows of northern New England.

Happy Summer! I’ll be making Flower Essences this morning. So many to make on days like this when so much is blooming and its so clear, bright, and sunny.


Here’s my working list for what I need to make to keep up our inventory. So it’s illegible. Believe me, its still illegible when its in focus. Between me and Deb, no one can decide whose handwriting is worse. Anyways, I can read my scrawl and if I forget to look at the list often enough or can’t decipher something, the Flowers call as I pass them in field or garden to remind me I need to make an Essence from them.

I’m off with my bowls of water. Hope you have a lovely summer weekend!

June Hoorays


William is safely done with the school year. When asked today, his first morning of summer vacation, if he wanted to help in the office or help outside, he declined both employment opportunities in order to rest up for a birthday party tonight. This resting involved hitting a soccer ball against the barn door for what felt like a small eternity.

I want to thank all of you who prayed for us and everyone at William’s school this spring. Your prayers lit up the place. We are most deeply grateful for your love and support.

Sadly, so many of you shared with me that you had been through similar situations of death threats. All of you mentioned how isolating these experiences were. We too felt very isolated by our earlier death threat experiences. This time we felt less alone, thanks to you all and your cards, emails, thoughtful encouragement, and prayers. Grateful thanks to each of you for your love and sharing.

Our hope this summer is to peacefully catch our breath. We also plan to lean on the school board so that they come up with a policy for this kind of situation that is not so half baked. Having Jim be Will’s bodyguard for the spring and also guard the other child threatened by this classmate may have given me the courage to send Will to school, but it really shouldn’t be policy.

We will continue to pray for the troubled child who threatened Will and another classmate and hope the help he is getting this summer will mean that no child or family faces this kind of situation again come fall. In the meantime, bodyguard Jim has one more day of school meetings before he too gets a well deserved summer vacation.

I hope he’ll kick the soccer ball against the barn door for a few days himself before diving into one of his summer projects.

I will insist he smell the Roses. They are sooooooo gorgeous this year


He’ll need to smell the new cut hay too.

Or better yet, run out there

and jump from bale to bale.


A time honored June tradition.

Saturday Afternoon

Saturday afternoon.

I placed the last of the necessary support twigs for the Sweet Peas in the Venus Garden.


I found homes in various gardens for those last plants that had lingered without clear purpose during the heyday of planting. They even got watered in. I picked up the piles of bindweed from the weeding Emily and I had done during the week.

Then I had some time to admire the good job the honeybees did pollinating the blueberries.
I had time to smell the Roses, which by the way are not this strange garish pink.

I had a moment to smell the Mock Orange too.


Then I moved a bench to the top of the herb garden to I could look at the view.

And watch my own Fabio, aka Jim, mow the lawn.

It was a good moment, a wonderful moment, even though it didn’t last so very long because the flies were terrible, it began to thunder, and Will needed a ride somewhere. But flies and thunder are June and a dear live child needing a ride, well that’s perfection.