The Angels and Elementals LOVE YOU!

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There are many different names for the Divinity in Nature. No matter what we call this intelligent force,  it holds the planet in form for us and welcomes us into greater loving partnership.

As a child, my experience of the deep goodness of Nature was a wordless one. Our conversations were of the heart.  I loved Nature and felt Nature’s love for me.  I felt safe and beloved in the woods, fields and ponds of my childhood realm.

When I first gardened as a young adult, it was again without any descriptive words for Nature beyond perhaps Mother Nature.  Much to my surprise and joy, in my late twenties I found myself hearing from plants in a way that was both a wild new adventure but strangely familiar.  FLOWERS WERE TALKING TO ME!

What can I say? I think most all of us have these experiences with Nature before we are civilized out of believing Nature has consciousness.

In these blossoming conversations with Nature, I learned there were two basic tasks that these friends were involved in.  The first task  was designing creation in all its particulars.  Those beings involved in this were the architects of all form as well as the architects of the emotional matrix we find ourselves in.  While I learned that some people call these beings Devas, I understood them to be from the Angelic kingdom and so I called these beings Angels.  I did not grow up hearing anyone talk about Angels, so for me this designation was fairly dogma free.  The description  Angels has always been a happy one for me.

I have learned over the years that this can be a loaded name for other people. These Angel friends do not care what we call them.  They are just glad to be called! I feel passionate about encouraging all of you to grow friendships with these Angel partners, but I understand that my language choices can be off putting!  Please don’t let it be!   Just as friends appreciate when we love them enough to give them nicknames, so too the beings I call Angels love it when we connect with them in any way using any nicknames!

The other primary group in Nature are those beings responsible for taking the idea of a thing and manifesting this as a form we experience as real.  This group manifests ALL form.  There are a lot of names for these beings including gnomes, elves, fairies, sylphs and undines.  None of these names reference their immense work but like nicknames, bring them close to us.

I probably picked the word Elementals to describe the Elementals for the same reason as I picked the word Angels.  The Elementals  are from the Elemental kingdom.  Sometimes I think I picked this word because the Elementals, who have a very big sense of humor about everything, enjoy the fact that typing the word Elemental is a toughie requiring focus.  I can’t begin to tell you how often I type the word wrong and  have to go back and fix it.  When I do, I always give them a little nod of appreciation. I think they like that.  It’s the pause that refreshes!

The Elementals often show themselves to us humans in the guises we have given them. People see fairies everyday! And we are lucky enough to hear many a story about this!  Thank you one and all for sharing these tales!  WE LOVE THEM!

Here at the Farm,  my eldest daughter Elizabeth saw gnomes and fairies when she was a small child.  She visited with them and knew them as her friends.  She would come in from playing in the fields to report things like, “Peter is wearing a pointed red cap and green shoes today.”  Peter is one of the resident gnomes encouraging me to write this post today!

I also remember this funny moment when I had just finished teaching a day long workshop about gardening with the Angels and Elementals here at the farm.  A participant came up to me and said, “I saw your children in an upstairs window when I arrived, all these little faces in a row, and then they were so quiet the whole day. I am impressed”  I had to tell her my children were not home!  She had seen a crew of Elementals!

All this to say, it doesn’t really matter what we call the Divinity in Nature, it’s just so vital for us all to know how very much they want and need our partnership right now.  Yes, they can keep on cleaning up the messes we make all by themselves.  Yes, they can go on creating Earth without us.  But it’s going to be so much more FUN and AMAZING as more of us work together with them to create a new Earth of greater light and harmony.

This, the Autumn Equinox, is a fabulous day to deepen your connection and friendship to the Angels and Elementals, whatever you call them.  It’s the official beginning to the growing cycle of the next year and the day in which we can give input about what we would like our template of learning to be about during the next year.

Consider taking some time to talk to the Angels and Elementals about your hopes and dreams for the coming year.  Consider asking them to help you come into deeper partnership with them.  If you think you might ask for this and then not have any experience of their friendship, remember you CAN ask for signs they are there.  And believe me, they will give you all the signs you want!

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I cannot imagine my life without my friendships with the Angels and Elementals.  How they have filled my life with humor and love!  And Green Hope Farm Flower Essences? There would be no Green Hope Farm Flower Essences without them!   My whole life here has grown out of this ever deepening partnership. AND TODAY I THANK THEM ALL FOR THIS!

In the early days before the Angels and Elementals made their presence so abundantly clear to me, I felt that it would be an enormous leap to go from living and gardening on my own to doing it in conscious partnership with Angels and Elementals.  What they showed me is that it is not an immense stretch to be working together.  It is a natural state of being.  The connection exists already!  We exist in oneness with each other.  It just requires of us that we give the connection our attention.  It’s as easy as typing ELEMENTAL!

Back to School Flower Essence suggestions & other Q & A from Recent Email

Hello dear friends. Here are a few recent questions from email with my thoughts- I have changed the emails just enough to make them anonymous.

QUESTION:  Now that we are back to school here in New York City, I wondered if you had a handful of essences for helping with the adjustment to routine, sitting and listening, getting along with peers, doing HW independently etc.. And something for parents perhaps?

ANSWER:  Here are some possibilities:

Arbor Garden– for getting along with others and also falling into a harmonious rhythm both in the classroom and also at home as roles change within the family.

Flow Free– Helps us go with the flow of a new dynamic and routine

Grounding– Offers support for getting centered and fully present in the classroom and also for buckling down to homework as well.

Our new Venus Garden Essence for this season is called Equanimity- It is ready, though we won’t officially introduce it for a few more weeks- It would be great for parents! It’s all about helping us achieve equanimity!   I also like Eyes of Mary for helping us in the overview role-

QUESTION:  I have a fair amount of experience working with the Bach remedies, however, of late I am not getting the usual intuitive guidance as to how to address or best support my 2.5 year old son with them. And a good friend suggested I try your flower essences.

I feel somewhat overwhelmed these days as I am 7 months pregnant and we recently moved and my son is about to start nursery school. So it will be his first time away from me, and we are living in a completely different sort of place. My little boy is so sweet and loving, but lately he seems just intensely defiant and making a point to do things he knows he is not suppose to do. He seems miserable at times, on a daily basis. He is also in the midst of potty training, since they do not allow diapers at his new school.

ANSWER:  That does sound like a tremendous lot of change for you all to navigate- new geography – and to be expecting a lovely new baby soon- but also having your first beloved go to school for the first time- Both lots of joyful new things but also potentially stressful!

For your young son-

Grounding– This mix has a lot of very helpful Tree Flower Essences in it which are both sheltering as well as helpful as we put new roots down- It is a very calming mix – It might be good for all of you actually- the longer I am in this work, the more I feel that changing geographical locations is extremely complicated for our electrical systems- and that it takes much work for us to grow roots again and get our electrical system working in the same way as before a move- Rosa Gallica is another that is deeply helpful for this process.

Outburst– This mix helps us find balance and a benign way to discharge overwrought feelings- It is very helpful for kids and really smooths their energy-

Amaryllis is very helpful for potty training- That is an intense expectation for a boy to be trained by 2 and a half…. I had 4 kids and only one of them made that cut off- but we have had a lot of positive feedback from so many moms that this Essence made a big difference.  I think the Grounding will be helpful too- and actually the Outburst too-

Old Blush China Rose– This one helps us embrace the new but feel safe doing so- a very sheltering and lovely Essence.

QUESTION:  I came across your site. I had a question about ordering your Beyond Lyme Essence. Is the intention of this essence that Lyme is a real physical condition and that this essence spiritually assists the person in not becoming stuck in the disease process, or is it that Lyme is an “in your head” condition with no physical pathogenic causes?  I ask because the intention with which the remedy is made impacts its effectiveness. From reading the information on your site, I’m guessing it’s the first, not the latter. But I just wanted this confirmed.

ANSWER:  We live in the thick of Lyme territory, and we know it is a real disease- It shocks me that people could offer a product for Lyme that belittled the legitimacy of this illness- Wow- I guess it must be so given you asking about this- We sell a lot of Teasel Flower Essence to those dealing with Lyme disease and much Beyond Lyme to people as well- It feels like people gravitate to one or the other of these two Essences- We work very hard to make Teasel that works with all the chakras as strengthening the chakras especially the chakra where the tick initially bit the person has proven key to supporting the disease to move out of each person’s energy system-  The Beyond Lyme was developed by the Angels and comes in at a different angle to offer profound support-

The Angels helped me write a document about Lyme and the Beyond Lyme mix- I very much hope it does not suggest to anyone that Lyme is not a terrible disease affecting many physically.

I do not know anyone around here who is not dealing with Lyme disease either with someone they love or in some way. We are very serious in our efforts to support people and animals dealing with Lyme.

QUESTION:  You come highly recommended by a friend.  Perhaps you can make suggestions for my dog, Cooper, a 9 years old mix of australian shepherd and lab.  He weighs about 60 pounds. We lost our older dog in July 2015.  He was Cooper’s best friend. Cooper has always had skin issues.  He develops scabby brown crusts on his back, tail that show raw skin when brushed off.

He has a very red belly, where he licks a lot. His ears are itchy and exude a pale yellow colored goop. He chews his front paws, where he has lost some fur, and his eyes are itchy and exude goop, and he has lost some fur around his eyes.

We fostered Cooper’s litter from the shelter and helped all the others get adopted then kept Cooper. Cooper has always been stand-offish, feels nervous around small children, and is mainly attached to my husband, who he follows around from room to room, to just be nearby.  He doesn’t like to be petted or hugged very much.  He doesn’t like the top of his head petted, since he was a tiny puppy.  When he was very small, my son would hold him on his lap and they’d fall asleep together on the couch.  Now, when we’re out of the house, Cooper will go lay on the couch. I think he’s trying to soothe himself.  He is very sweet, and has come to see what I am typing.

Do you have suggestions for helping Cooper heal and get strong?

ANSWER: I am so glad your friend recommended you connect with us for your dear Cooper- Flower Essences speak the language dogs speak. Dogs just love them and get so much useful information from them- We are so often the call of last resort, and then the Essences give the animal just the information he or she needs to turn the situation around- Flower Essences also help animals feel profoundly seen and understood.

Suggestions for Cooper- I feel he is in grief still so I would suggest our Grief & Loss mix. Sounds like he misses your son as well as his dog companion.  This mix has many Essences that help animals as well as people feel connected and in community even when those they love are not physically present.  It is a deeply uplifting mix.

I would suggest Outburst  Healthy Coat and Golden Armor to address the skin issues- These Essences will help on a lot of levels- They are deeply helpful for this kind of skin situation.  They also bring other gifts that may be helpful for Cooper. For example, the Golden Armor helps an animal that doesn’t quite feel safe in the world to feel more safe as well as better able to protect himself from whatever is at the root of his skin challenges

I feel that Cooper might benefit from Sago Palm and perhaps also Vitality.  He seems to be run down in some profound life long way. I do not feel this has anything to do with you- maybe his genetic load from his parents?

Abandonment & Abuse remains a mainstay for rescues who continue to have issues from their childhood pre-rescue life- That is another one to consider.

A Little Bit of New Hampshire Soil in a Maine Celebration

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For those of you who are not weary of me yammering on about my short career as a florist, I come round one last time to share more photos of my big adventure growing the Flowers for Emily Sheehan and Charlie Carey’s wedding on August 6th in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Emily is the third child in our family, but she was the first Sheehan to be born here at the farm.  From the start she loved Flowers, frogs and chickens.

In fact, here she is remembering this love of frogs on her wedding morning while breakfasting with Sarah, Elizabeth and Grace!

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With Flowers, Emily especially liked to pop the blossoms off the plants.  By age three she was an expert at this.  With the chickens and frogs, she was more delicate.  No chickens or frogs were ever loved to death by Emily, though with some baby chicks, it was a close call.

When Emily and Charlie got engaged in August of 2015,  I signed on to do all the Flowers.  Emily has spent a zillion hours in the gardens here and during almost all of these hours she had made the switch from Flower decapitation to weeding, watering and otherwise loving the Flowers in a productive way.  She is particularly adept at bindweed removal which makes her a hero of mine.

The Flowers and I love her.  It was the least we could do.

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So when I went to plan the gardens with the Angels this January, cut Flowers were the focus of all the gardens. By then we knew the wedding would be in August and that we would be transporting the Flowers from here to coastal Maine.

As I worked out the garden designs, got the seed orders in and began to plant the seedlings that would one day be in her bouquet, I took time to send her alarming photos of what I had planned for her.

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Emily loves Dahlias so we went for it with this family of Flowers, ordering from various random places I found online.

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We dedicated the hoop house to Dahlias and Lisianthus.  As I filled the greenhouse with seedlings then planted hundreds of baby plants out in the gardens, I tried to plant things at the right moment so they would be in bloom the first week in August.

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One day William looked at my time tables and noted a major computation error that had me thinking I had ten more days than I actually had.  After some teeth gnashing, I raced out into the dark gardens and planted Sunflowers.  I could only hope that those bloom times I had built my planting schedule around were not an exact science. Mercifully the Sunflowers and most everything else  delivered their blossoms at the right time in time in spite of my poor math skills. THANK YOU EVERY LAST ANGEL AND ELEMENTAL AT GREEN HOPE FARM!

Ironically I am married to a math teacher. Unfortunately in 38 years of marriage this talent for numbers has not rubbed off.

Some plants bloomed early and often. We especially loved the Snapdragons which we had to keep cutting so they would keep blooming.

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We had two high school gentlemen, Rex and Jay, working in the office this summer. When I began to send all the staff home with daily bouquets, they got serious brownie points with their moms.

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My only rule was that they had to return the previous day’s vase before I gave them the next bouquet.  We were seriously hoarding vases and I knew we needed at least 25 for the table arrangements.

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As I reported previously, I read a lot about conditioning cut Flowers so they would stay fresh for the maximum amount of time.  As things began to blossom, we covered every flat surface in the house with Flowers that were being tested in various temperature waters with various different floral preservatives.  We made flash cards for every Flower we were growing so we could note how our experiments had turned out end note how to preserve the Flowers the week of the wedding.

The Flowers that preferred to have their stems boiled before being put in water were our least popular Flower friends.

One adventurous evening as I sat surrounded by many, many quart jars of Flowers in hot, warm and tepid water, I grabbed what I thought was my quart jar of Flower Essence water and took a mighty glug.  And I mean mighty- as in at least a cup of water glugged down fast.

YIKES!  What a horrible taste!

I had just drunk floral conditioning water.

Silently, so as not to alarm the menfolk who already thought we were NUTS, Sarah and I went off to google if floral conditioner was a poison that necessitated vomiting or a late night trip to the poison control center.

Thank goodness, floral preservative water is nontoxic.  Apparently I could even have finished off the quart jar of the stuff.  Later we would comment frequently that my run in with floral preservative had given me stamina for the whole floral endeavour.

A few weeks before the big pick, Sarah had a friend getting married.  Sarah offered to do the Flowers for her friends much smaller wedding. This gave us a wonderful warm up for August 6th plus we were so happy to share our enormous crop of Flowers with another bride.

One thing we learned as we got the Flowers ready for this first wedding was that the 45 youtube videos, blogs and books sharing how to assemble a bouquet  that we had poured over were not helpful.  Using the technique everyone offered up, all the bouquets looked like round blobs.

In the eleventh hour before her friend’s wedding, Sarah came up with a technique to lay the bouquet Flowers flat on a table fanned out as we wanted them to appear in the bouquet.  After we were satisfied with the arrangement, floral tape was wrapped around the Flowers so that there was a clear front to the bouquet and an obvious backside that sat comfortable against the bride or bridesmaids.  This innovation made a HUGE difference and many of the bridesmaids in Emily’s wedding told us this way of arranging the Flowers was MUCH more comfortable to hold than the circular bouquets they had held in other weddings.

Here is Sarah holding up a sample of this technique. Note how I have framed the photo to cut off the top of Sarah’s head.  Yup, not paying attention to anything but the Flowers…..

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Finally, it was August and the week of the big cutting. This was my cut list (sort of- I ended up cutting more that this, but this list gives a sense of what we cut).

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Also I had our flash cards at the ready.  Am I boring you yet???? Because Sarah and I bored everyone this summer. I think we even bored the bride.

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By the end of the second day of cutting, our downstairs was completely full of Flowers.  We sent the Sheehan men to Maine to play some pre-wedding golf so we could get them out of our hair and not have to think about things like food or speaking to them about things other than Flowers.

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In the scene above we have just begun to pick. We expected the Zinnias to be astounding and they were. These were the ones set aside for the bride.

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Though it would be Lisianthus we would end up leaning on for her bouquet, especially the white ones.

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Here we are on Friday morning. Note that the Flowers fill the room in the background.  They also fill the room behind where I am standing to take this photo- And poor Sarah had to listen to me all summer asking endlessly, “Do you think we will have enough Flowers?”

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As this photo was taken, we had just made the 25 arrangements for the tables at the reception, and we are about to load them into the cars along with the loose Flowers for other arrangements, boutonnieres, corsages and bouquets. Sarah is taking (a no doubt better) photo of the room.

Sarah (the heroine of our story) ran the convoy to Maine like a military operation.  We practiced loading each vehicle with empty buckets the week before.

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The day of, Sarah stayed in the house handing off Flowers in proper loading order and Lizzy and I put them in the cars.

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After making sure everything in the house was transferred to a car, Sarah came out to make sure everything was packed in securely.

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I particularly liked the view across this group of arrangements.

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Arriving in Maine we leaned on the well rested men to transport Flowers hither and yon. This is a shot of Michael Dutcher, Jim Sheehan, Nick Lamper and Sarah flexing their Flower moving muscles.

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Sarah didn’t linger long in front of the camera as we still needed to assemble the 12 bouquets, 14 boutonnieres, 6 corsages as well as the big pieces for the outside area where the wedding took place.

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This is one of the two big pieces that the men later had to move from  the outside amphitheater where the wedding took place to the reception. Below, the men stuff these enormous and heavy planters into a car moments after the ceremony.

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No doubt this job was bringing home the truth that a wedding can’t all be golf and champagne toasts.

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Here Green Hope goddess and former staffer Catherine Boorady works with Sarah on the boutonnieres.  By the time we got to the bouquets, time was getting short and we took no pictures.

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Emily has not gotten any official wedding photos back, but I did get a few photos as we waited inside the church before our walk to the lovely spot by the sea where the wedding took place.

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Here is Grace, focused on sticking to the bride like gravy on rice.  Just a few minutes later, Grace did a fabulous job walking down the aisle as a Flower girl and sitting very quietly throughout the service.

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Here is Em coming out of the church to go across a beautiful expanse of lawn to the sea.  Moments after this was taken, a wild wind and accompanying thunderstorm rolled in and rained on all of us for a few minutes.  We all laughed, and then the sun came out.  What a magical moment!

At the reception, we admired all our Flowers and met lots of Charlie’s family.  This duo hailed from Australia. They thought we were taking their photo, but really we were just admiring one of our bouquets!

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It was a very wonderful and Flower filled event.  We are so happy to officially welcome Charlie into the Sheehan family.  He can count on lots of Flowers in his future and lots of strange job assignments too.

Fortunately Charlie loves Flowers and accompanying farm jobs.  In fact this final shot is of Emily and Charlie just as they set off on their honeymoon to northern Maine where they explored lovely gardens including Asticou.

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A Report from Cut Flower Central

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It’s been many years since I grew Flowers for the sake of bouquets as well as for the sake of making Flower Essences. But this summer with a wedding on the horizon, my preoccupation with nosegays is noticeable.

How does everyone here at the farm know that this summer I am fixated on Flowers in a different manner than usual?

The first clue is that every flat surface in the house and office has a bouquet or two or six or eight on it, as well as a vast and motley collection of smaller vessels with rogue stems of various Flowers.

An official Flower traffic jam is well underway.

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Here in this photo, the day’s collecting has begun. In the background the Sheehan men are looking “stressed” while chilling with their computers.

Pretty much every Flower not intended for a Flower Essence now gets cut, plunked in one vase or another and scrutinized for longevity of bloom.

I harvest the annual Flowers in order to keep them blooming in the fields, BUT I also need to keep track of what happens to them and their perennial sisters after they are harvested.

How fast do they wilt? Under what conditions will they be robust enough to make it from harvest to wedding festivity? What temperature water do they prefer after harvest? Do they need special conditioning like having their stems seared with a flame or bashed with a hammer? So many questions to ask. So many experiments to run.

All the Flower filled containers have sticky notes attached to them with remarks like, “8pm Tues, boiled 2” stem 2 mins w/towel wrap – tepid water ‘til am”

This is all code for my experiments in conditioning the Flowers so they will last from when I have to cut them on Thursday night/ Friday morning of the wedding weekend to when they have to strut their stuff on Saturday night.

 

In any given growing season I have a thick folder of photocopied seed orders, notations about plants started in the greenhouse, designs for each garden, an enormous list of Flowers I need to make Flower Essences from and elaborate planting schedules.

This year the folder is weighed down by several hefty documents about how to condition i.e. preserve cut Flowers after harvest.

You’d think I could keep it to one’s experts list of specifics for Flower conditioning. But no, I noticed that experts disagreed about the best way to condition many varieties of Flowers, so I have several lists. Like everything else in our age of information, there are a lot of vociferous differences of opinion about how to handle various cut Flowers (and even what constitutes a cut Flower).

For example one document suggests cutting Dahlias in the cool of the morning then placing them in 160 -180 degree water for an hour wrapped in a towel to keep the heat off the blossoms. Another document suggests putting the stems in boiling water for a few minutes then plunging them into deep cold water.

Through all my many decades in the garden, I mostly left Flowers to bloom right where they grew, then deadheaded them when they went by. This conditioning stuff is all new territory for me, so I am experimenting with all suggested methods.

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Here a small bundle of Zinnias get the quick stem boil technique before a night in lukewarm water.

Of course, I ask the Elementals for advice. They seem more relaxed about the whole thing than me and suggest I water and feed the plants per usual and the rest will take care of itself.

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Their specific message is that there will be plenty of Flowers for the 10 bridal bouquets, the 25 table arrangements, the 12 boutonnieres, the 6 corsages, and the outdoor arrangements where the wedding is happening AND that pretty much all the Flowers will be fine for the 36-48 hours between when I pick them and when they are displayed. Okay, okay. Easy for THEM to say, but none of them are the mother of the bride!

So I keep to my overly elaborate testing process. At lunch yesterday Jim moved a couple of bouquets to make room to actually use the kitchen table to eat his sandwich, and a post-it fell off one of the vases.

“Do you need this?” he asked in his mild mannered way.

DO I NEED THIS? YES I NEED THAT! IT’S MY BRAIN! AND WHICH JAR DID THAT FALL OFF?

Let’s just say, I wasn’t as mild mannered in my answer as he was in his question. The poor man slunk out of the kitchen to eat his lunch SOMEWHERE far, far away from all my experiments. Was it the toolshed or the barn or another outbuilding where he retreated? I have no idea. I was trying to figure out which experiment had been jeopardized by his careless desire to eat lunch at the kitchen table!

Really SOME people!

The Big Day

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In the early years here, there was more of a hayfield feeling to the gardens than a formal garden feeling. This really wasn’t too much of a surprise, since we built the farmhouse smack dab in the middle of  a hayfield.

The Angels and Elementals chose the spot for the farmhouse, and much as the excavator and cement man tried to move the footprint up and away from the chosen spot, circumstances conspired to leave the farmhouse just where the Angels and Elementals wanted it planted.

Receiving further guidance from the Angels and Elementals, I divided the land around the farmhouse into garden rooms and began to plant trees and shrubs to delineate these garden rooms. I bartered my weeding services at a plant nursery in exchange for these early tree and shrub purchases. I learned a lot from the nurserywoman who made this trade with me. She was a bit of an Elemental herself and had a magic way with plants. Her nursery selection was rather unusual, something I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. Now I relish that because of Mrs. Joly I have some lovely, rare specimens. And I am grateful to those brilliant Elemental networkers that brought me to Mrs. Joly’s door.

From our very first season in the gardens together, the Angels and Elementals told me that this day, the Summer Solstice was the big day. Not THEIR big day but THE big day.

The longest day meant the most light in the gardens and the most life force in the earth and plants. But why exactly did this make it the big day?

The Angels and Elementals explained that it was the day in which the partnership between the three kingdoms, Angelic, Elemental and Human and all we could BE together was celebrated.  And they noted that it wasn’t so much WHAT we created as that we created it TOGETHER that mattered.

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Midsummer’s Night’s Eve.  Until I began my life in these gardens working with the Angels and Elementals, I thought this night was a hootenanny for the fairies, and a night in which humans could cheer on the sidelines or risk ending up with a donkey’s head.  But here were my Angelic and Elemental friends tell me that this day and night wasn’t about them blowing their own horn separate from people, but instead celebrating and welcoming human community into harmonious creative endeavors with them.

Much as I didn’t believe it, the Angels and Elementals told me again and again, that the thing that mattered on this day was ALL of us.

Back in those beginning years surrounded by tiny trees and young perennials, it was a little hard for me to see that what we were doing was significant. I listened attentively and followed guidance very carefully because I wanted this partnership, but why did it matter? The most beautiful things on Earth seemed to be separate from the creations of man.  I loved my Angelic and Elemental friends and I loved Nature, but I felt they could do as well without me.

The Angels and Elementals made it clear this was not the case. They spoke of this often. The partnership was everything.

As we worked together, moments of garden wonder snowballed. The tiny broken Larch tree that six year old Ben planted in the backyard outgrew the splint that held its snapped body straight and soared unexpectedly fast and true to the sky. Vegetables and annuals that I would later learn were tricky to grow grew immense and luxurious. Everything was bigger than life.

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In this photo taken this week, Ben’s Larch tree is just to the right of the rising sun.

Somewhere on the website is another photo of a very young Elizabeth holding a head of broccoli about 2 feet in diameter. She doesn’t look very thrilled by the exuberant size of this brassica, but I was. Everything whispered and sometimes even shouted, enjoy this adventure.

Things that went wrong also were revealed as meaningful and important.  Oftentimes I was throwing too much of a hissy fit to get the significance of the challenges and defeats when they occurred.  But year after year the harvest season gave me the chance  to see that I learned as much from the garden disasters as the bumper crops.  The bumper crops were just more fun!

Regardless of what went well and what did not, I began to know for myself that the best harvest was the partnership. The working friendship with these joyful, steadfast, humorous and infinitely kind and loving partners was beyond precious. It was a constant and also an evolving deepening experience of oneness.

Thirty years in, the gardens have the mature specimens to celebrate this day and our partnership with spectacular beauty.  It is breathtaking to walk in a garden that once upon a time was just twigs in the ground.

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I went out at dawn this morning to shout out my thanks. I can never quite believe the glory of Roses on the Solstice, but as I whirled around like Maria Von Trapp ( perhaps with not quite the skirt or the voice), I remembered having the very same feeling of joy when I first walked onto this land and there was no garden at all.  There was wholeness and love, unity and wonder in both moments.

I love knowing that even when the garden was only a dream, the partnership mattered as much to the Angels and Elementals as it did to me. I love that for all of us, the Angels and Elementals welcome us deeper into partnership with them, not because of what we can accomplish together (though it is truly amazing), but because we are part of each other.  No matter where we are on this precious planet, they want to deepen our experience of oneness with each other.

And no matter the circumstance of any of our lives, coming into deeper community with the Angels and Elementals of Nature is possible.  A houseplant lovingly cared for, a tree that receives our love and kindness as we pass it in park or woods, a spontaneous Maria Von Trapp moment of gratitude, any gesture of comradeship and togetherness lifts up ALL of us and our shared  world and lights us all up like the rays of the sun on this first most radiant day of summer.

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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!