Stasia's Place Of Grace


Friday, August 30, 2002

Things That Are Tough Enough

Back in July, in the middle of intense heat and during a dry spell, I received 100 daylilies I'd ordered from Bloomingfields Farm, an organic daylily and sheep farm:

    B loomingfields �Farm� is a small family farm in northwestern Connecticut, in Climate Zone 5. Right from the beginning, in 1969, Daylilies were the specialty, but there have always been other farm activities which contribute to the internal economy and long-term sustainability of the farm.

    Lee Bristol, a biologist, has always treated the farmland with special concern and respect. The crops have been grown organically since 1980.

    Among Daylily growers in America, the farm is one of only a handful committed to organic growing methods.

    Diana Bristol, an artist, combines her Daylily work with painting and kitchen gardening. She also saves a little time to spin and weave wool from her small flock of sheep.

    All five children have worked at the farm with the Daylilies in a variety of ways over the years. Many other young people too, have worked several hours a week, each helping to grow our fine flowers in tune with the rhythms of the farm.

I wanted the bulbs because we have a split-rail fence, the tall grass beneath which my husband does not like to trim. This develops into an eyesore by the end of summer. Although I appreciate native plants in the back yard, I don't think they look so wonderful from the street when compared to all our neighbors' neatly-trimmed properties. I figured that planting a bunch of bulbs which would eventually spread, and which would cover any weedy plants under the fence, was a good compromise with Jeff.

This is what they were supposed to look like:

The Roadside Daylily bulbs arrived packed in a box, which I left, unopened, on my kitchen counter for a week. When I opened it, a note said that the bulbs should be planted as soon as possible after arrival. Ooops... When I opened them, they were little and shriveled, like mummified beets that had been left in the refrigerator crisper for six months.

Jeff has a tendency to ignore his "Honeydew" list, and my command to "Plant 100 Lily Bulbs" met with either forgetfulness or sheer avoidance. It was up to me. Now, I am not the strongest person in the world, so just taking a shovel, digging a "c" in the ground with the tip of it, mashing a bulb into that cut, and then stomping on the wedge of earth to replace it is my idea of gardening. Doing this 100 times, sweat dripping off the end of my nose, was a major feat for me, and I spent the rest of the day in a cool, dark room, hoping for rain.

Little did I know that I'd picked a drought in which to plant these lilies. I tried to bring a wheelbarrow of water over to them, as they were yards away from our hose, but one trip (with more water sloshing out than making it to a single plant) was all I could even attempt. I left the wheelbarrow where it was, muttering expletives as I returned to my cool, dark room to reflect once again on my gardening folly.

"You're on your own," I said to the bulbs the next day as I looked for any signs of life, figuring that I'd just wasted the money I'd spent on them.

Several weeks went by. Still no rain. Hot, hot, hot. No sprouts, of course. I gave up hope.

Well, I am pleased to report that, almost two months later, every single one of those darned bulbs has sprouted and most are already about 8-12 inches tall! Many have even survived being clipped off by my husband who'd forgotten I'd planted them by the culverts when he was cutting the grass. I am hopeful they will bloom next year or the year after and will eventually look like this:

I am pleased to recommend Bloomingfields Farm Daylilies to other black thumb gardeners like me! Here is their guarantee:

    Our Daylilies will grow in your garden. If not, �we will send free replacements, or refund your money.

Of course I would never have taken them up on that guarantee, the faults in planting and lack of care obviously being mine, but I can see why they do provide it - these bulbs are indestructible!

Isn't it nice when things are tough enough to make it, even without nurturing or care? Isn't there some kind of magic in just sticking something in the ground, doing absolutely nothing for it, and having it thrive and reach for the sun? Just goes to show you that, at the end of the day, it isn't really about us and what we can do; we aren't always in control of everything, and sometimes we just gotta' plant something and have faith that Mother Nature will do the rest... whether with bulbs, or with our Life Path.

I hope you will bloom where you are planted today!

What I'm Up To...

  • Broke my No-More-Atorium and ordered 16 ounces of fiber, in two colors, from Grafton Fibers' sale, with the excuse that it was up to me to help the Diaks make the mortgage on their new farm. I love to help out! Two Swans will also be making the journey.

  • Still working on sleeve number one of the gray cable sweater and it is coming along very nicely. I want to rush so that when my fiber arrives I will be able to give myself permission to spin it... but I will try to take my time and be mindful of, and enjoy, the process. I have been very good at sticking to my "one project at a time" rule (wish I was as good on my diet!) and I can definitely feel a change in my perception of my productivity.

    Because of the flecked color of the yarn, the cables on the sleeves aren't quite as defined as I'd like; I do think that making this sweater in a solid Brown Sheep's NatureSpun (I think that's what I have in my stash) would be interesting. I swore no more sweaters, and having just made this in gray, it would be silly to make another in gray, too... but I really think this is going to be my favorite sweater, so you never know! Another might just work its way into my wardrobe!

  • Have been renting travel videos lately, mainly of Scandinavian countries, and am enjoying watching them with Jeff before bedtime. They are so relaxing and interesting. The segments on the history and culture and handicrafts of the various countries are giving me inspiration for my fiberarts. Last night we watched one on Finland and I so want to go on a reindeer safari in Lapland some day! Their ethnic costumes are so bright, with wonderful primary-colored trims around the necks and sleeves... great inspiration for future knits. And I love smorgasboards!

  • Am trying to focus on having some relaxing hours after so many visits to the vet last week, so many trips in to help Jeff drop off and pick up his cycle for its tune-up, so much laundry after Jeff got back home from Toronto. My days have been used up by medicating and keeping a close eye on pets, and driving to and fro on frustratingly busy highways. I need a quiet, meditative day... I can feel my body telling me so. Time to focus on meditation and relaxation, gentle exercise, and lots of liquids and rest.

  • I checked out "Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts" from the library and this is just the read I need - not an instruction manual, but a photographic description of all the slow, painstaking, primitive, beautiful work that she does. As I told Linda on the phone last night, "I bet Tasha Tudor has a whole crew of personal assistants and set dressers getting this stuff set up for the photo shoot," because I don't know how a little old lady could possibly really live like that without going utterly mad! But what a gorgeous, relaxing book... information on making candles and butter, spinning and dyeing wool, and photos of the adorable corgis and goats on the farm. So sweet and cheerful! Think I need this one as a keeper...

  • Am saying prayers and lighting candles for my friend Tracy who is preparing to say goodbye to a cherished pet and for my friend Kary who is focusing on her life's direction... and I'm reminded of Buddhist monks who spend their days praying for all of us to be relieved of our suffering. Thank you, little bald Buddhist monks!

Thank you for visiting, and I hope you will have a peaceful day.

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Welcome To Stasia's Blog

Stasia is a knitter, spinner, weaver, writer, reader, and musician from Wisconsin, USA.

Join her here as she journals about beauty in nature, the joys of fibery pursuits, special people and pets, and great places to shop. It's her hope you'll leave spiritually inspired and creatively motivated. Thanks for visiting!

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