Journal for Late July

Noni MorrisonJuly 18, 2005

OK last one was getting a bit long.

Beautiful morning here. I look out on my personal rose and lily garden. Silk Road is so beautiful it brings tears to the eyes in the morning sunlight. Some LO cross I got a few years back has been the star of the garden this summer. I can't remember what it is but it has small trumpets of peachy pink with orange centers. MY favorite Mother's Rose (J and P) has one last rose in this bloom cycle held high and beautiful. The English roses are regrouping for their next bloom cycle which should start in about 2 weeks.

I have invited the COmmunity Care Center to bring the Seniors out to see the garden around the 1st of Aug when I hope many more roses will be blooming. THey all get such a kick when I bring in my left over flowers on Tues! Last week we had a whole crowd of retired gardeners around us wanting to know the names of everything in the buckets. Warms my heart so much! I go on my way with a big smile on my face and think my work is appreciated even if sales have been slim.

Best sales yet this summer over this good as Father's Day.


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If you check my last entry in the journal for early July you'll see that I threatened to do my rain dance. Well, we had some friends over this weekend who camped out and we partook in some home made hops and barly. I did my rain dance around the bonfire and everyone was on the ground laughing at me. Nothing happend that night, except I got dizzy. But last night we recieved 1.4 inches of rain in a glorious thunderstorm after 4 weeks without any and a string of 9 straight days in the 90's. I was in the garage assembling our first boquets with my wife and three daughters and when it started to rain. I dropped what I was doing and went out in it. I looked at the sky and thanked my maker while getting soaked to the bone, my kids think their dad is weird.

My big florist put together kind of a recipe for a prairie boquet, so that's what we were making when the storm came. She is being so accomodating, she gave me the plastic sleeves, twist ties and raffie to tie it with. So I have no capital invested in materials. They also give me buckets galore to haul them back and forth to them. Anyway, it took us awhile to get the hang of it. By the end my wife and I were moving fairly quickly. My 3 yr. old, Rachel, would hand us the flowers we wanted out of buckets. My wife Cheryl and I would arrange them and hand them to my daughter Shelby(10). She would twist tie them and cut the ends even. Shelby would hand them to Kayla(7). She would put them in the sleeves, tie a bow of raffie around them and put them in the buckets. We made 70 last night. The buyer is going to do 70 for a couple weeks. If it is well recieved she's going to up it to 100.

I was blown away by their marketing of it. I litterally dropped off a few things that were blooming just to show her what was available and she took it and ran. They aren't going to just put it out there and hope it sells, they are having little cards printed up that say "Summer Prairie Boquet" that they will attach to them. On the back of the card it's going to say that these flowers are being locally grown for seed production to help restore the Native Tallgrass prairie. Then they are going to put them in a part of the stores where they won't be competing with all the junk from South America(those are her words), with a big 3' by 4' colored picture of them hanging above the boquets. Simply awesome!!! I hope it works and people become more educated about the natives. She said if it works well then we could do some cross marketing of seeds out of their stores in the future. I will just have to wait and see now, I sure hope it works.

So then, I go and drop off some stems to another florist and he asks me if I'm still looking for a cooler. I told him I already have one. He tells me that a strip mall land lord called him and told him that his tennant had been kicked out for not paying her bills, she was a florist. He was wondering if anybody would be interested in the cooler. I went and looked at it because it was only a few miles away. The next thing I knew, I bought another cooler. It's 9X12 with 3 display doors. The catch is, I have to take it down and get it out by Saturday, and also fork over a couple hundred bucks. I figured I couldn't go wrong at that price. Heck, I can resell it on E-bay if I don't use it. I called the guy who hooked up my cooler and I'm trading him some seed for his help diconnecting the refrigeration and taking it down with me.

Other than that, it's cut, cut, cut, weed, weed, weed.

I'll send some of the "Summer Prarie Boquet" pics to Pooch to post for me.

May you all get the weather you desire.

Steve- who wishes he could remember how to do the the same rain dance again!!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 12:12AM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Liza you should be glowing with good kharma for offering your yard and flowers to those seniors. You'll never know how much it means to them- or maybe you do. Good job on the sales too. I think summer has officially started- it hit 90 today. Whooey. Not so hot that I couldn't water, but I was unmotivated to do anything requiring much more exertion.

Steve, it sounds like you have an angel in that florist! And quite the moves on the raindance floor LOL! Whatever works! I love your prairie bouquets- remind me of my midwest roots. Here are your photos:

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 1:16AM
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pollieplumm(Liverpool, UK)


Your bouquets are so gorgeous! I would certainly buy your flowers. What beautiful colours...

I felt exhausted just reading your post: picking flowers, making bouquets, buying and installing coolers, rain dances...

I think the whole forum must feel proud of you!

Best wishes,


    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 12:13PM
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We are so very proud of what you have accomplished, Steve. We understand all the blood, sweat and tears involved in the entire process -- and the rain dances!! I love that the children are so included. How very proud they must be. Lovely Prairie Bouquets. We wish you the best in this new endeavor.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 12:37PM
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The bouquets are absolutely beautiful! Can you imagine mile after mile of those beautiful flowers??? Steve, thank you so much for your part in restoring the tall grass prairie. I think I speak for all midwesterners when I say we appreciate all your hard work!!

Of course, many settlers did go crazy crossing Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska because the grass was so tall and you saw nothing but the grass for weeks while crossing the plains. Maybe that's how to explain dancing in the rain to the girls!!!!

OH -- you have a standing invitation in eastern Iowa --no one seems to know the steps for the rain dance. One-half inch of rain since May 15th. In the 90's all week-- 100 by the weekend. We are all playing the game -- my corn looks worse than your corn!!!

Still hauling H2O!!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 2:42PM
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The bouquets are beautiful, but the bucket-o-sunflowers is smashing! I'm going to grow enough next year to make that kind of statement.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 2:56PM
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Thanks, you guys are making me blush. It was really fun having the whole family involved. The prairie seed thing is great, but it's always been me doing all the work of planting, mowing, harevesting and cleaning seed. While they all loved what I was doing because of all the neat prairie plants, they weren't involved as much. With the cuts they have been much more involved. It's much more fun for a little girl to cut a beautiful flower than to pick an old dried seed pod.


It is very nice of you to do do that for the elders, big kudo's. We drop off extra's sometimes at the care center and it always feels good to see their eyes light up when they see the flowers.

Flower farmer,

You should be proud as well, someday I hope to sell as many sunflowers as you. Thanks again for the sunflower boquet picture. You had asked me about sunflower pricing in another post. I have different prices for different shops depending on volume. My big florist will buy 800 to 1000 a week for 5 weeks during a big sale they have in August and Sept., so I give her a blanket cost of .75 a stem no matter what variety. The other shops all pay between .75 to 1.10 a stem dpending on type and volume of stems. I hope that helps, pricing is such a difficult thing because flowers are so subjective to taste and locale.

I was wrong, by the way, about where I posted my rain dance threat. It was in the post Pooch posted for me with the natives with Zinnias. My wife says she has some pictures of my dance, so I may be able to repeat it if they turn out, wee hoo!!!

My Liatris pycnostachya is starting to bloom(1/2 acre) and the Monarch butterflys are starting to show up in droves. I'll see if I can get a picture of a flock of them to post. My Benari's giant zinnias are blooming now and they look fabulous, more consisntant blooms than the California giant zinnias, also 10X the price for seed.

I am forced to take a break today as my 7 year old has a fever and needs daddy's attention since mom is off at work. Looks like I'll be making chicken soup for dinner.

Take care all,


    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 3:22PM
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spivey13(zone 4/5 IA)

Steve, I think Clink and I can chip in and cover the cost of your travel to this part of Iowa for that rain dance. I also love the fact that your kids help--I had the 6, 4 and 2 year olds helping with table vases at a restaurant this morning, and they did well. I hope I can count on them as they get older as well.

I was so sure it was going to rain when the latest "cold front" went through, and not a drop. Of course, the cold front dropped the high from 97 to 87, and now we are back in the 90's again. What a great year to start a flower farm, eh? I water for about 3-4 hours every day, and am just keeping everything alive, and barely blooming. I guess on the bright side, barring locusts, hail and flood, next year will be that much easier!

Also on the good side, I delivered 3 buckets of flowers to a florist today, and bouquets to a restaurant and a financial business. My farmer's markets have been really slow--I only move a few bouquets a week, and don't seem to be drumming up any business. A new friend and I are going to start a market on a busy county road that she lives on--"rush hour" tomorrow, and do that once a week. It's only 4 miles away, not too far at all. And, the local paper is coming out to take pictures and write a story on the flower farm tomorrow, so that may help as well.

Funny, I thought the tough part of this business venture would be the marketing, but that has proven to be easy compared to keeping the plants alive and blooming. I spoke with a 93 year old lady yesterday, and she informed me that this was the driest year since 1934. The poor farmers around here are out of luck if we don't get rain in the next week or so.

Thanks to all you flower farmers out there--I learn so much on this website, it's unbelievable.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 4:56PM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

We finally have very warm weather here! In the 90's during the day and stays above 60 at night! My zinnias and cosmos might grow after all! Bad news, I think the silt from the glacier on Mt. Hood has possibly fried my irrigation pump...of course now, when its hot! The float on the intake valve fell off and it was on the bottom of the creek for who knows how long...and we've had lots of gunk in the lines...I should know better by now (no drip for me until I can afford a nice media filter system). So, hopefully we can limp along and borrow our neighbor's pump and it won't cost too much to fix the pump...crossed fingers!

I keep forgetting to take my digital camera to the field! The flowers with Mt. Hood behind them have been quite pretty...and will ask Poochella to share, when I get them!

I've been battling slugs for the first time ever...they're making their presence known on the lilies and rudbeckia green wizard...ugh...don't like these, I'll take bugs and snakes anytime!

Now, I just need to market my cooler is full and I've resorted to turning on the air on the heat pump and putting them in the darkest part of the basement! I hope they'll be ok till Saturday! Funny thing, a local florist has her business up for sale and she said I could buy her walk-in for $1000...basically new compressor on an old, need to research these! I'd love a walk-in...but know they're expensive to more thing to think about...hard to do on little sleep! I know you all understand!!! :)

Have a great week!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 8:13PM
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Noni Morrison

STEVE, YOUR BOUQUETS MAKE MY MOUTH WATER! What a wonderful business...and it is not just the midwesterners who appreciate what you are doing to restore the prairies. The prairies are part of the heritage of all of family passed through the prairies and spent 2 or 3 generations before moving on west. It makes it easier for me to imagine my grandmothers as little girls among the prairie flowers, and my grandfather riding his horse though them.

Smitten again by the garden injury karma. Back has been out on me since Sat afternoon and of course this week my chiripractor is gone! I am getting by on losts of lie down time and ice packs and heavy duty pain meds. THings ease up about mid afternoon and I can walk around the garden then but I am so tempted to pull weeds when it is hard to even keep my balance bent over! I know that this too shall pass, but it was painful delivering flowers today.

My glads are starting to kick in! After the famine of glads last year I greet each one with glee! Willl load the stand with glad and dahlia combinations tomorrow as I bet I have many many glads by the weekend! I mAY EVEN BE SELLING THEM in growers bunches.

FLowerfarmer, I don' thave many of the flowers you would put with chocolate orange...I had not thought of blue or purple with it though so that gives me some ideas. I don't know if I am getting any zinnias this year. Sunflowers are growing but it will be awhile. Many things are slowed by our cool dry spring. I think the cream mulleins would be nice with it, as well as lion tails though I only have 4 plants of them. WIsh the lime nicotiana would speed up.I should have red crocosmia in a few weeks. SOme good achilleas in the warm tones would be nice too.My rudbekias are just starting to bloom.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 10:15PM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Steve, it looks like you and that florist have found gold mines in each other. I'm impressed by your whole cut-flower journey so far, starting a sideline of cut flowers and then having the nerve to jump in with both feet at the right time - and making the opportunity with the florists yourself. I'm way prouder of you than I am of me! - I don't have the nerve to do the things you do. Your prairie bouquets are gorgeous. No wonder the florist is going to feature them!

LizaLily, I hope your back will behave soon. I know that helpless feeling - being able to hobble around looking at things, seeing all there is to be done, but not able to do any of it. That's misery. And then there's the pain besides.

Wendy, I have a severe slug problem for the first time too. It's been perfect slug weather for months and months, and our mild winter didn't kill them off the way it should have.

I'd better get busy washing buckets for harvest tomorrow and Friday. It's lilies-and-glads time, both exploding, and both taking up lots of room in the buckets. Harvested 27 buckets last week (a new record for me) and anticipate more this week.Summer (our version of it) is here, highs in the eighties today and tomorrow, then 70's for awhile, lows 40-50, and (FINALLY!!) no significant rain forecast. I was trying to figure out how to do a no-rain dance until this week. All that rain made my plants happy, but made the weeds even happier. I wish I could have sent some to Cathy! Couldn't quite relate to the corn problem, though - we can barely grow the very fastest corn in the warmest, sunniest summers here, it doesn't like our cold nights. Probably no corn this year - it was just too wet and cold for too long. We compete with "my weeds are bigger than your weeds" this year. Even last week's market came in for a downpour, along with almost constant lightning and thunder, right above us, at two or three minutes to closing. Everybody but me got soaked instantly while breaking down their stands and loading their vehicles. I hung out under my canopy and waited. Sure enough, fifteen minutes later, the rain became very light and I broke my stand down without getting wet. And it was easy to get my van to the stand when there weren't half a dozen other vehicles in the way. I actually wasn't being wise, I was just so tired by then (on two and a half hours of sleep) that rushing around just to be out of there quickly didn't seem worth the effort.

Time to shut up, walk the dogs, and get to work -


    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 1:12PM
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rubyb(z5/6 MO)

Love the prarie bouquets! Can you i.d. some of the flowers? Is the blue/purple your liatris? And is the white wild mountain mint? My kind of bouquet!!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 1:14PM
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The blue/purple spike is Hoary Vervain(Verbena Stricta), the white is indeed Mountain mint.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 5:13PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

To what lengths do you go to sell your flowers, if you sell them at all?

From Goshawker: "my new puppy going to make her first delivery with me. Her name is Dixie and she's a 7 week old Dutch Drathaar. She's my new marketing tool, I think I might be able to sell a few more flowers because of the cuteness factor, just kidding. I'm retiring my 10 1/2 year old lab and so now the puppy has to go everywhere with me."

I would buy the whole lot of gorgeous blooms here, just to pet the puppy!
Steve, Dixie is so adorable, I've never heard of this breed before and I can't help but think she looks like a little shorn lamb, with 4 black 'hooves' with a puppy face installed atop. Never underestimate the value of a 10 1/2 year old lab! I couldn't garden without a dog, or four, overseeing the operation. Their entertainment value is without limits. Keeping them out of the garden beds is entertaining as well.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 9:56PM
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Dixie is a doll, and if she were older, she wouldn't hesitate to correct the spelling of her breed, which is Deutsch-Drahthaar. Is she a for-real VDD registered D-D? I've trained a few of them for the field, and they are wonderfully intelligent and personable dogs. She is going to run you ragged. They're one of the highest-energy dogs ever.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 6:04AM
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Steve --What an adorable puppy!!! Yea -- I'd buy flowers from you just to cuddle that sweet pup!

Cute works! Last Saturday, I had a Girl Scout troop at the farm to work on a badge. I was to give a presentation on seeds and how they grow. I start the presentation and here come my 5 12-week-old-kittens. Needless to say, I was quickly upstaged!! Oh, there is nothing cuter than 7-8 year old little girls playing with a bunch of playful kittens!!!

The girls did get down to business of picking flowers ... after we played with kittens, held chicks, petted my rooster Olie, chased the ducks and played with kittens again.. and again.. and again!

That's what my farm is all about ... flowers are important. The experience is more important! My blooms often aren't perfect .... but the view, the sounds and feel is. So a child cuts a flower wrong ... who cares, I'll plant more! If some thing gets stepped on ----fine, there are other plants. So few children get to go somewhere to run and laugh and cut flowers. After all, their gardens at home are often just for looking.

I think Steve, flowerfarmer and Spivey have it right by having their children and grandchildren in the thick of the gardening operation. You are givng your children a gift that will last a lifetime.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 8:09AM
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You are correct she's German, not Dutch. I typed that after getting home from picking her up from Iowa at 2:00 a.m. and getting up at 5:00 a.m. to cut and arrange flowers, so my spelling was off due to lack of sleep. Her father is a pure bred Drahthaar, registered, and her mother is a half Drahthaar, half German Wirehaired Pointer. Both parents are excellent field dogs and I have seen both of them work. Abby, my lab, is going to get to keep the spot in front of the fireplace warm now, after 10 1/2 years of great work and bountiful memories.


I'm trying to find homes for 2 more of our 12 week old barn kitties. Two of my florists have taken one. I'll have to consider checking with our local girlscouts, that sounds like it would be fun. By the way, you had to have gotten some rain on Wed. a.m. We got a 1/2 inch and when I checked the radar it pretty much covered Iowa. Then a bolt of lightning smoked my modem so I couldn't see if it fell apart or passed over you.

Got to go cut now everybody's in bed,


    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 11:26PM
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Steve --- I got 2/10" of an inch........ Didn't have to haul water for a day or so. I need a real good soaking rain.

Actually, I'm shocked at what is still hanging in there. My lisanthus is beautiful -- but short. Heavy dew in the morning is helping keep things alive.

I got a lovely letter from a customer that bought flowers last Friday for a wedding reception... She sent a picture of the bouquets they made...... The flowers looked great. One of these days .... I'll learn how to post pictures.

Survive this heat, everyone! 101 today in sunny Iowa!!!
Home of the Donahue Desert!


    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 9:32AM
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We got another storm on Saturday and the clouds hung around so we never reached 100 like they said it might, only 86. So after 4 weeks with no rain, a string of consecutive 90's(the most since 1988) we have now had about 4 inches of rain in the last week. Everything is growing gangbusters. Unfortunately it's been so warm at night that things are blooming too fast. Seems like there's always something to complain about, but I'll always take rain over no rain.

Today when I dropped off flowers I mentioned to my big florist that I have so much liatris blooming at once that it's only gonna last for about a week, for the liatris pycnostachya. She said if I'd be willing to sell it for .35 a stem that they would sell them in consumer bunches of five stems in a sleeve. I hesitated at first but then she said she would take 2000 a week until they are done blooming. Hopefully they last for another week. The price on that seed has really been driven down because of outsourcing it to be grown in India so I will make more on flowers than seed. Fortunately the other liatris' I grow aren't being commercially grown as of yet and I still get a decent price on the seed.

I sure hope you got some rain today out of that storm, it looked like it got you wetter than us.

Take care,


    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 11:46PM
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Steve-- I didn't get any rain yesterday but I am getting an absolutely beautiful rain right now!!! Been raining steady for almost an hour --YEA!! The ducks are going nuts! The kittens have no clue what is falling from the sky!

I will even have rain water in the irrigation tanks. Now that I've got everything set to put in the new well!!!

We have had 27 days over 90 degrees and the average is 23 for the year. Last year we had ONE! We have had less than 9" of rain so far for the year -- our normal totals so far is 21" of rainfall. I'm in that horrible dry patch --along with all of Illinois. Corn is fried -- beans might be saved by this rain.

Business has been WAY down but I'm working on a new post card to mail in the fall. Even though I have flowers -- the intense heat and all the news about the drought, is keeping people away. And I really can't sell to florists because the height is so short this year. My lisanthus is barely 15" tall and always is a good 24" by now.

You have inspired me to try some natives -- DH got me George Olson's new book on the tall grass prairie for my BD. He was autographing them at B&N. He lives only a few miles from where I grew up so I'd love to see his garden.

Enjoy the cool and the hopefully, the rain.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 2:31PM
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honeybunny442(z6 TN)

Gorgeous flowers Steve,
We are all envious! Finally getting some rain down here in the bottom of the state, the Callas are blooming well, albeit a bit short. We lived through my niece's wedding (barely!) and a week later are starting to get lots of flowers- now to sell them!
My Triumphators are starting to bloom, kind of short but HUGE blossoms, and a great scent. Thanks to everyone here for recommending them!! My Sandersonia are blooming, however, they are only about 5 inches tall, LOL. Maybe I can make bouquets for Lilliputians!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 2:48PM
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crowspice(z4B IL)

Clink, we seem to be in the same weather pattern even tho you are in Iowa and I am in north-central Illinois. While everyone has been getting nice rains, we get a meager tenth at a time. Each time we get a little drizzle, I hunt around for my shoes; by the time I find them and get out to the raingauge, it has already evaporated! But like you, on Tuesday we got a nice gentle rain which added up to about a quarter of an inch. That oughtta HELP get my newly sown sunflower seed sprouted! Despite the long absence of rain, the corn rootworm beetles abandoning the corn in favor of zinnias, two 100+ degree days (with moisture-sucking winds) last wkend, and 20+ days of unrelenting 90's, my zinnia crop just isn't too bad! Some of the best of the blooms are enroute to Chicago for a black-tie gathering of seed breeders (the Benary seedsman lives not far from me). Funny how differently your flowers can look to you depending upon whom or what you are cutting for! My customers are thrilled with big, long-lasting zinnias in brite colors. Seedsmen want steroidally HUGE blooms, long straight and sturdy stems, impeccable form, perfect color, exhibition and bragging-rights perfect! My field grown zinnias have been thru a lot - much more than those huge but wimpy greenhouse-grown things - but I was proud to send my darlings off to the Ball (literally - the gathering is at Ball Seed Co!) I was not invited; however that is okay as pantyhose gives me a headache! Another round of rain for everyone in Iowa and Illinois! Here! Here!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 1:22AM
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I agree -- I get so discouraged because one thing doesn't look great but forget how wonderful something else looks like!

My lisanthus is short but beautiful and the yarrow, strawflowers, statice, zinnias and eucalyptus look awesome. Who cares that the corncockle looks phooey!

I actually got 3/4" of an inch yesterday -- I actually have rain in the irrigation tanks. And its 55 degrees this morning. I haven't worn jeans in weeks!!!

take care

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 8:23AM
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Noni Morrison

I have the date set for the Seniors to come here for a picnic lunch. They will be here next Wed at 11:00. I am busy watering so there will still be something to show them. My lilies are great....and fragrant. Roses are so-so. Phlox are in their prime as is my patch of pink echinachea. The buddlieas are buddling, and dahlias and glads are popping daily so I think there will be plenty for them to enjoy. DH will make sure paths and the picnic spot in the woods are mowed. I get teary just thinking about this as I am doing it in memory of my dear Mother and it brings back such great memories of her as I work on tidying the beds. I have learned alot since I was home with Mom (42 years since I left home for college!) but she is the one who gave me the love for flowers...and it lasted right through for her until the very her eyes would light up when I brought her flowers and inspite of her stroke tangled language she always managed a "Beautiful!"

Moved my little ducklings outside today...all 16 of this batch are doing if they will survive to grow bigger then the kitty cats! Such fun to see the ducklings with room for the Indian runners to run! They are a month old now. We put them in a large dog carrier for the night...snug but should keep them warm enough.

Soon they will be out on slug patrol!

I didn't think it had been that dry here until I discovered my 6 yr old plum tree wilting! It must sit where the ground goes from clay to sand.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 12:08AM
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Noni Morrison

flowers are starting to sell really well! Sold a dozen today and today is only thurs (for a few more minutes). Tht means people are getting used to buying from my stand so hopefully business will stay up through the rest of the year! It is about time business picked up what with the tulip failure and then starting out in a new location.

Looking and looking over those bulb catalogs! I have Colorblends figred out unless I Cut more. How to think clearly about this? Have identified a couple of quick draining places I Can plant but how to keep the number of bulbs down to what it will support healthily? Now playing eeny-meeny-miny-mo.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 2:24AM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

About Dixie - I'm confused. Deutsche Drahthaar translates exactly to German Wire-haired. So are her parents the same breed, just one is said in English and the other in German??? An inquiring mind wants to know.

Summer is here. Highs in the 80's and 90's (98 yesterday, yee-hah!), lows in the 50's and sometimes 40's. I'm irrigating, irrigating, and irrigating. And then irrigating some more. The drawback to our comfortable no-humidity air is that everything dries out VERY fast in the heat. But I'm not exactly complaining. The annuals are exploding and giving me some good market days.

I thought I was going to have a lily lull this week, like flowerfarmer, but the outdoors Triumphators and dark red Orientals (don't remember the name at the moment) are starting to open, so there will be a few, anyway.

We escaped the heat yesterday, went up a mountain to pick huckleberries. It was MUCH cooler up at 6,000 feet, there was a gorgeous view, and we were in a huckleberry patch so big and rich, we called my sister to bring her whole family up to pick also. When we left, they were starting to wind down, but all agreed it was the best patch they'd ever seen. It got nowhere near picked out - we all just got tired eventually. Even the richest patch takes a long time to pick, and I think it would take at least a week to pick that one out. Knowing about that patch was stroke of luck. It's a big privately-owned area, not developed yet, that my husband's company is currently surveying. My husband is the boss surveyor - his field party chief tipped him off about the berries after working up there. We called to get permission from the owner, but as it turns out, he just doesn't care and anybody can pick there. It's a long way up a primitive road, so I don't think that many folks find it. It will be a great year for the bears, anyhow. And the moose and elk. One of the kids found moose poop that was full of huckleberry seeds. At least we didn't need to be concerned about bear encounters. There was plenty for everybody - no black bear is going to come near a group of humans if they can get food elsewhere, and boy oh boy, was there food elsewhere. There was food EVERYWHERE!

Oh, and goldenrod, too. Here I spent money amd grew the seeds to be sure to get plants tall enough to cut - then I go up on the mountain and there are plants identical to mine, everywhere I look. Brother. But they were very pretty in bloom, along with the Pearly Everlastings and the fireweed scattered around.

Gotta go irrigate-


    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 1:16PM
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Noni Morrison

LOved you tale of a day picking huckleberries in the high mountains! What a perfect day. We always did this in "The Mt Adams Country" when I was a kid. HAven't been there since. DAd knew all the people to check with as to thwhen the berries werer ripe. IT has been so many years since I tasted a mountain huckleberry....salivating just thinking of it. I can remmbember the smell of the buckets of berries though..Sort of a burnt sugar and rubber smell...why did they taste so good if I remember the odor that wasy!
Did you pick buckets of goldenrod to take home with you?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 3:21PM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Lizalily - my mom brought over huckleberry and raspberry cobbler last night!! Oh, if I had only had time for ice cream with it! The huckleberries were from Lost Lake, near Mt. Hood, not Mt. Adams...still great though!
I love them...and basically any berries! Did you grow up in White Salmon?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2005 at 8:26PM
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