Sneezeweed

Sneezeweed

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Mid-July Vividness

July 13, 2014

Harvesting for market, Jello Mold Farm

Harvesting for market, Jello Mold Farm

“Mid-July comes and the palette of blossoms shifts to hotter colors, as if in their vividness they were reflecting the sun.”
— Verlyn Klinkenborg, More Scenes from the Rural Life

I saw some evidence of vibrancy in the flower fields at Jello Mold Farm this past week.  The deep reds and oranges of the crocosmia, poppies, and sneezeweed glowed in their jeweled presence.  And the sunny yellow sunflowers were starting to burst into bloom.

Poppies

Poppies

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Crocosmia with hummingbird

Crocosmia with hummingbird

Sneezeweed

Sneezeweed

 

 

“How shall I live?”
—  Jeanette Winterson, Art [Objects]:  Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery

Watercolor sketch of sneezeweed

Watercolor sketch of sneezeweed

“To live for art . . . is to live a life of questioning.  And if you believe, as I do, that to live for art demands that every other part of life be moved towards one end, then the question ‘How shall I live?’ is fierce.  The choices I am making are choices that allow me to go on working at maximum output and with utmost concentration.”
—  Jeanette Winterson, Art [Objects]:  Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery

Here are the choices I am making right now:

  • To blog only when I have something that I consider of value to share.  To stop straining to fill the calendar with daily posts.  (If I strive to live a more thoughtful, artful, imaginative life, then I hope to have lots to share.)
  • To buy good running shoes and resume my long defunct practice of running around Green Lake every morning.
  • To eat smaller portions and lose 25 pounds.
  • To paint something on each of my days off work.  (It’s still a challenge to maintain any momentum even painting these three days a week, but I believe steady practice will be productive in the long run.)
  • To eat from the freezer and pantry and then restock lightly and thoughtfully.
  • To get rid of stuff.
  • To begin a year of reading about art and artists.

What choices are you making these days?

“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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing lasts forever

“Nature reminds us that we cannot hold on forever.  Only with letting go can new life come. . . . So autumn always makes me wonder what I am holding on to.  What is it that I am afraid to let go of? . . . What must be put aside so that spring can arrive?”
— John Izzo, Second Innocence:  Rediscovering Joy and Wonder

You certainly get a sense of time passing when you see the withering and decaying flowers in the flower beds at Jello Mold Farm.  A few valiant blooms stand bravely in their last days.  Come with me for a walk in the flower fields as Jello Mold Farm prepares for winter.

A few sunflowers brighten the fields.

Sunflower bed, Jello Mold Farm

Dahlia beds

I love the plum-colored and dark-toned petals of this dahlia.

Sunset-colored foliage

Red fruit

This artichoke looks like a spiked bludgeon from medieval times.

Pick up in the flower fields, Jello Mold Farm

Luminous hydrangea leaves

Pumpkin patch

Pumpkin with black & white focal effect

Spent sneezeweed bloom

Time to let go

Lingering last days of sneezeweed in bloom

“The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power.”
Northern Advocate

You can see in the many colors of the sneezeweed beds the gradual letting go, the change from summer splendor to the dimming of winter.

Sneezeweed in October

Sneezeweed in its final days of glory

Watercolor sketch of sneezeweed

And another watercolor sketch of sneezeweed