Yes, I know that it is still summer. Yes, I am still growing summer flowers. I divide my subscriptions into seasons, and August signals the end of the Summer Subscription and the beginning of the Fall Subscription. Hence, my mind is moving to fall.
When I start a new "season," I like to take a look back at the previous months and reflect on what I learned, what went well, and what could be improved for the next growing year.
I need to plant more sunflowers.
As I just planted sunflower seedlings out in the field, this is an on-going learning situation. I absolutely loved the lighter sunflowers (ProCut White Lite and White Nite) during the summer months. I definitely want to add more to the planting schedule next year.
A weekly schedule was imperative during the summer months.
July was a rough month for our family, but I was able to continue to get work done around the farm with a consistent schedule and list. Not everything on the list got done, but having a weekly schedule to follow was very helpful.
I love the summer flowers.
The zinnias, cosmos, celosia, and sunflowers bloomed in June and July and made for cheery and beautiful bouquets. Amaranth, statice, gomphrena, scabiosa, ornamental grasses, and lisianthus have been great secondary flowers in bouquets. There is something so carefree about these summer annuals. I will definitely replant these flowers next year.
Taking a family vacation was hard but so worth it.
Leaving the farm and all the work that I knew needed to happen was daunting, but it was a restorative time for our family and worth every moment.
Chickens love to eat Japanese beetles.
This is good for me as it helps us dispose of the beetles that we are able to capture in a bucket of water. The Japanese beetles feasted on rose and raspberry bushes this July. The best time to remove them from the plants was in the early morning or evening when they were asleep.
Herbs were essential ingredients in bouquets.
Oregano, basil, sage, dill, shiso, and cilantro all played roles in summer bouquets. Their fragrance and texture added interest to each bouquet.
Perennial flowers came in clutch.
Hydrangea, phlox paniculata, sea holly, ninebark, Baby Joe pyeweed, roses and more were wonderful additions to summer bouquets and arrangements.
With the heat came burnout.
I am not ashamed to say that I hit a wall in July. Similar to February when the cold, dark days start taking a toll, July's heat, humidity, pests, and weeds hit hard. I wrote about this with my newsletter subscribers. A schedule and time away helped, but it was also important to have friends surrounding me who helped in different ways and reminded me to take it easy on myself.
These are some of the observations from June and July. There were some hard things, but there were also a lot of good things. Looking back, I'm thankful for these reflections and for getting to do this everyday.