Chestnuts from Jello Mold Farm

Chestnuts from Jello Mold Farm

What a funny mix of textures there are in each chestnut seed case.  Those prickly-as-a-hedgehog seed cases protect a nut that is as smooth as marble.  I love the feel of chestnut conkers in my hands.  Jello Mold Farm has several rows of chestnut trees separating their flower beds, and I was so taken with photographing them, I thought they deserved their own post.

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Colossal chestnuts, Jello Mold Farm

Colossal chestnuts, Jello Mold Farm

My adventures in eating continued with roasted and boiled chestnuts.  This was a good year for chestnuts at Jello Mold Farm.  The nuts were bursting from their spiky green cases.

Chestnut tree, Jello Mold Farm

Chestnut tree, Jello Mold Farm

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Diane had harvested some chestnuts that were drying on her kitchen table.  She invited me to fill my pockets so that I could try roasting them at home.  I had never roasted chestnuts before, but I had tasted them one Christmas season when I bought a packet warm from an outdoor vendor.  Diane suggested boiling them as well.  So when I got home, I made two batches — roasted and boiled.  The roasted ones tasted slightly better, but they were hard to peel.  The boiled ones peeled much easier.  Chestnuts make such tasty snacks!

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Roasted chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts

Boiled chestnuts

Boiled chestnuts

Chestnuts ready to eat

Chestnuts ready to eat

Chestnuts

Chestnuts

Watercolor sketch of chestnuts

Watercolor sketch of chestnuts

Decorated envelope, letter to a friend

Decorated envelope, letter to a friend

Wildly exuberant branches, still bare

Wildly exuberant branches, still bare

I love visiting Jello Mold Farm, my favorite flower grower in the Skagit Valley.  I’ve stopped by in all seasons, but this week’s visit was the quietest by far.  The Skagit Valley’s annual tulip festival is in full swing, and the fields there are full of colorful blooms.  At Jello Mold Farm, in contrast, the flower beds are just now beginning to wake from their winter sleep.  One of my painter friends commented, “Talk about peaceful — it felt a bit like a ghost town because you could see how much work had taken place yet no one was there.  I would have thought the rapture had occurred . . .”

The greenhouses were full of plant starts and seedlings.  The flower beds were tidy.  It was as if everything was holding its breath, knowing that a few more weeks of sunshine and warm weather will bring on far too many tasks to keep up with.

Here are some photos of Jello Mold Farm in early Spring:

Bonnie displayiing the "lady in the bathtub" hidden inside a bleeding heart

Bonnie displaying the “lady in the bathtub” hidden inside a bleeding heart

Lovely, ruffled helebore

Lovely, ruffled helebore

Greenhouses open to the warmer temperatures

Greenhouses open to the warmer temperatures

Sweet peas just starting to blossom

Sweet peas just starting to blossom

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Young poppy

Young poppy

Dusty Miller

Dusty Miller

Bird in blossoms

Bird in blossoms

Old chestnut clinging to a tree

Old chestnut clinging to a tree

New leaves, chestnut tree

New leaves, chestnut tree

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A few early lilacs

A few early lilacs

 

 

Jello Mold Farm in October

October 13, 2013

Sign on van, Jello Mold Farm

Sign on van, Jello Mold Farm

Harvesting some late dahlias, Jello Mold Farm

Harvesting some late dahlias, Jello Mold Farm

Dahlias, Jello Mold Farm

On my recent trip to the Skagit Valley, I stopped in at Jello Mold Farm to see what was happening in the flower beds. Not surprisingly, they were harvesting decorative pumpkins and gourds, but their dahlias were still blooming, too (in great numbers).

Pink dahlias

Pink dahlias

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I love the fall color palette with its golden yellows and rich, jewel-like purples and reds.

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Shoo Fly, a.k.a. Nicandra physalodes

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Rudbeckia hirta ‘Chim Chiminee’

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The ‘Queen Lime’ zinnias are still some of my favorites.

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Queen lime zinnias

And I like to see what other unusual floral fixings catch my eye.

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Monkshood, aconitum sp.

The compost heaps grow large at the end of the peak growing season, an emblem of these plants’ life cycles and regeneration.

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“The earth laughs in flowers.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I must have flowers, always, and always.”
— Claude Monet

Truck in the flower fields, Jello Mold Farm

Truck in the flower fields, Jello Mold Farm

There was so much to see at Jello Mold Farm at this time of year.  It’s a busy time for flower growers.  These Skagit Valley flower fields were bursting with exuberance and beauty.  Zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers, bee balm . . . they all shout “summer!”

Zinnias

Zinnias

The blushing pink of Dahlia 'Cafe au Lait'

The blushing pink of Dahlia ‘Cafe au Lait’

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Beds of Scabiosa 'Dark Knight'

Beds of Scabiosa ‘Dark Knight’

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Scabiosa 'Fama White' contrasts nicely with the 'Dark Knight'

Scabiosa ‘Fama White’ contrasts nicely with the ‘Dark Knight’

Harvested sunflowers at the start of the trek to the warehouse

Harvested sunflowers at the start of the trek to the warehouse

Sunflower, Jello Mold Farm

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Bee balm, Monarda 'Raspberry Wine'

Bee balm, Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’

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View from the end of the row

View from the end of the row

Sneezeweed Helenium

Sneezeweed Helenium

Cutting raspberry canes for filler in bouquets

Cutting raspberry canes for filler in bouquets

Chestnuts for texture

Chestnuts for texture

Seed pods, love-in-a-mist

Seed pods, love-in-a-mist

Love-in-a-mist

Love-in-a-mist

And always, flower gardens remind me of time passing . . . for everything there is a season.

The last sweet peas

The last sweet peas

Last of the sweetpeas

And the last poppies

And the last poppies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jello mold with rabbit

Jello mold with rabbit

While I was out driving in the country north of Seattle, I stopped by Jello Mold Farm to walk in the flower fields.  The beds are still awaking from winter dormancy.  A few more warm days, and this will be a totally different landscape.  Right now, the farm holds just the promise of blooms.

Here are some photos:

Bundled twine in readiness for planting

Bundled twine in readiness for planting

Forsythia

Forsythia

Yellow against gray -- forsythia

Yellow against gray — forsythia

Pussy willow and catkin

Pussy willow and catkin

“I have a little pussy,
And her coat is silver gray;
She lives in a great wide meadow
And she never runs away.
She always is a pussy,
She’ll never be a cat
Because — she’s a pussy willow!
Now what do you think of that!
— author Unknown

Winter bed

Winter bed

Seed head

Seed head

New buds

New buds

Old seed cases

Old seed cases

Single dangling chestnut

Single dangling chestnut

Fallen chestnuts

Fallen chestnuts

Net over peony beds

Net over peony beds

Blossom

Blossom

Last season's hydrangea bed

Last season’s hydrangea bed

Dried hydrangea

Dried hydrangea

Wheelbarrows at rest

Wheelbarrows at rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in July, I posted a mini-series called “Walking the Color Wheel.”  As I walked around Seattle, I paid special attention to the colors of summer — reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, and purples.  With this post, I’ll take you around the color wheel again to share my enjoyment of the colors of autumn.

Red is the color of maple leaves.

Red globe amaranthus

Orange pumpkin

Orange-colored dahlia

Yellow hypericum

Fall foliage in yellows near Manson, WA

Hairy green chestnut burrs

Pelargonium leaves

(Occasional) blue skies

Late, fading hydrangea

Purplish hydrangea

Purple dahlia