07 September 2012

Holy Moly

It has been an incredible season in the cutting garden.
With some challenges early on in the season -- soaking (well flooding) rains, cutworms, armyworms, groundhogs . . . a couple of bee swarms, the gardens have pulled out all the stops in these last three weeks.  

We've been taking lovely flower bunches to market on Saturday mornings and the harvesting of flowers for drying has begun in ernest.  With a frost possible anytime now, I'm being naively optimistic and hoping for a few more weeks.  The low tonight is forecast for 5 degree celcius.  That's really close to zero!

The honey bees appear to be sensing a change in the seasons as well and this week in particular has been a battle between them and their pollen/nectar and me.  I've been stung three times.  There are so many of them in the flower gardens that harvesting has become a painful experience.  My own fault of course.  I always (well almost always) wear pants when I'm harvesting because there are so many bees amongst the flowers.  I know they are there and yet choose not to wear my gloves so that if (and that's a pretty big for sure "if") my hands brush up against one while I'm harvesting, I will avoid being stung accidentally.  Let's just say that today, I wore gloves.  

The sunflowers are late this year.  The first crop was promptly devoured by the groundhogs.  
Their big beautiful heads are covered with pollen and I watch as my girls load up and head back to the hive with bright yellow and orange backsides.  

This year I purposefully sought out heirloom varieties of suns.  The best cutting suns tend to be pollenless.  Most heirloom varieties tend to have large heads or multi-branching stems which are not my first choice for a cut flower but chicks rule in the garden  --  it's all about the girls!  
They of course have rewarded me tenfold with beautiful, sweet, golden honey.  
I'm having some with tea as we speak. 

Cheers, to golden suns and warm early autumn days.  
Have a fantastic weekend, see you soon.   

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