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Goal Setting, Dried Flowers, Calendula, My Favourite Lettuce Seeds

I think it is safe to say, on behalf of us all, that we have undergone many changes since the spring of 2020. This certainly speaks for me. As well as spending as much time as possible in my garden, and crafting botanicals, I work one day a week in a clinic as medical assistant and phlebotomist. At the onset of the pandemic I was working far more often in the clinic. Every day at work, I spent time very close to vulnerable patients. Patients I consider friends. Friends I value. As a result, my family took our Covid isolation seriously. We were home nearly all the time and we pretty much halted our social lives. I have always had a rich inner life, so with all the time on my own it wasn't much of a stretch to dive deeper within to both discover and become more of myself. For better or worse.



Now we are here, two years later. Covid hasn't gone anywhere. But it no longer feels novel. We are asking for and being asked to reenter our lives in ways that closely resemble life before. We are again doing what was for a while the unthinkable. We are shifting from the still and internal to active, outward lives. But I don't want to go back to exactly what was. I don't want to stay right here, either. On reentry, I want to choose how I will live. I decided recently that I need some mindful goals.



There are the obvious goals. I want to grow more flowers than I did last year and put together prettier bouquets; I am really excited about dried flowers and I have planted a dedicated bed of flowers just for drying; I am excited to continue to grow loads of yummy veggies; skin balms will keep getting better and more healing; I want to be a good mom and raise kids who care; living more sustainably is more important than ever; I want my business to thrive; being a contributing community member is important. To list my obvious goals and leave it at that is not what I am after. My question to myself is how will I work at my goals and keep the footing I found during the quiet time? How can I grow to be even more fulfilled?


I can't go back to old goal setting methods. I need a way that merges my state of reflection of the last two years with the big push out into the world that is required now. I wasn't sure how to proceed but then I came across a book by Danielle LaPorte. Now I am on my way. Instead of focusing on a structured path, the goals I am setting are all about what and how I want to feel on a daily basis. My goals are truly about fulfilling and making real what seems like my essence. Isn't it really my essence that picks out the obvious goals? So I am starting there and moving outward into action. Perfect! While working through what is a workbook, I found my five words that sum up who I am but that I am not necessarily living out. If you follow suit, and set your own emotional goals, I would love to hear what your words are.



As I mentioned, dried flowers are very much on my mind for the upcoming season. I have been sowing the seeds of these and putting them out in my garden. I planted extra Strawflowers and Statice for your gardens, too. This weekend at the Garden Stand I will have Strawflower plants for sale. They come in a variety of colours and I love every one. They are long lasting in the garden and taken indoors to dry, they provide you with a vase full for the colder, darker months of the year. They love full sun and are one of the easiest plants in my garden. Statice will make it into the Garden Stand soon.


I will also have Calendula plants for sale this weekend. This year I am growing Flashback and Orange Button. Orange Button is a classic brilliant orange variety with a purply centre. Flashback is more decorative, with peaches and cream petals and bronze centres. Both are lovely cut flowers and they brighten up a salad or embellish a cake and can be dried for tea. In my own baking, I most often separate the petals from the centres and toss the petals into my bread dough. This is a favourite of mine. And, of course, I harvest countless amounts of calendula flowers to go into my Organic Calendula Soap and Many Plants Healing Balm.



In my cutting garden this week, I planted out Rudbeckia, Ammi and Cosmos. This winter, I did a lot more detailed planning of my garden than usual, and so planting this year has been much easier. I am really looking forward to how it all comes together when the blooms start coming on. I love Cosmos and Rudbeckia. I am growing some new colours of each this year that I am excited to see. In the coming weeks I will have Cosmos Rose Bonbon for sale in the Garden Stand and the Rudbeckia Sahara should be large enough to offer for sale in May. Both are prolific bloomers. A real bonus, Rudbeckia blooms all through the autumn.


My tulips are starting to bloom and I should have some cut tulips to sell this weekend. Tulips are my favourite spring bulb and I would have had many more of these flowers to share, but a vole (mole?) ate many of my bulbs over the winter. Once I realized they weren't coming up, I dug down in beds and found the telltale tunnels where the tulip bulbs went in. You win some, you lose some! That's gardening.



In the vegetable garden, I planted more leeks and broccoli. I sowed arugula and lettuce seeds, too. I grow both arugula and lettuce as cut and come again greens. I love the young, tender leaves and cut and come again is a great use of space. My favourite lettuces are red leaf lettuce because no matter how hot it gets, they don't become bitter and I find them to be the slowest to bolt. My tried and true varieties of red leaf lettuce are Red Sails and New Red Fire Lettuce. For Arugula, I tend to plant Astro. I also have a perennial Arugula that comes back every year. I love it. Even if you don't grow the perennial type, Arugula eagerly self seeds. If you plant it once, you will have it popping up forever. Sometimes in the most unexpected places. Hopefully not unwanted.


The Garden Stand is open this weekend from 11am to 5pm. It is always wonderful to have you visit.


I will have the Donation Jar for Ukraine out. Thank you for your ongoing donations. This means a tremendous amount and we love passing the money on. If you would like to buy an art print and support the Ukrainian war effort at the same time, here is a significant art project happening in Ukraine right now.


Please enjoy your week ahead!

All my best,

Chwynyn

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Upcoming Events

Every Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5pm: The Garden Stand is open

Saturday, April 9 and Sunday April 10: Strawflowers, Calendula and Dahlia Tubers at The Garden Stand

Saturday, April 16, 11am to 2pm: Your Local Small Market, Point Roberts Community Center

Sunday April 17 and Monday April 18: Tomato Plants at The Garden Stand

Saturday, April 23 and Sunday April 24: Cucumber and Eggplant Starts at The Garden Stand