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What Happens in July

I really missed writing last week! The last two weeks have been very full. In my family life, the garden, and other going-ons with my flowers and botanicals.

My husband and I celebrated our twelfth wedding anniversary. Life looks so different now than it did then. At the time, we were living in an industrial loft in an artist complex in LA - no garden or pretty places to walk. Theoretically a cool experience, but also emotionally complicated for a plant obsessed gal like me. We didn't have any children, although I had just entered my second trimester with my son - these days he likes to brag to his sister, that he was at our wedding. I was unemployed and filling my spare time with university courses. And, on a bittersweet note, I had just recently moved to the peaceful side of my grief after the loss of our first newborn child just one year before. And now? I have two kids who filled up any holes in my heart, I have surrounded myself with plants, and there is no spare time to to make use of.

My husband also had his birthday. This was a pretty low key day. Planning birthdays is not my forte. I am pretty much as horrible as can be. This year, my husband told me that he has come to like quiet birthdays. In reality, I have forced this on him. I am certain that with a different wife, he would thoroughly enjoy the big, well planned birthday celebrations she would throw. Fortunately, someday my daughter will probably do this. I suspect she might have been born to be an event planner. She certainly didn't get this from me and I am all admiration.

We also had family beach days and trips were taken to Vancouver. I am savouring what might be the last summer of my daughter's willingness to wear matching bathing suits. I didn't know that I would like this. Strangely, I do.

I have had some fun firsts with my botanicals and with my flowers. I am very excited to be creating artisan soap for a new brand based out of Huntington Beach, California. I sent off my first shipment of botanical soap bars, shampoo bars and shaving bars to Temiz Life and they have arrived. I love the concept of living a Temiz life. Translations of this Turkish way are clean, fresh, clear, pure, tidy, respectable. This company's philosophy couldn't be a more perfect fit for Slow Botanicals. Dinara, the owner and designer, embodies grace, integrity, sophistication, and cleanliness of body and spirit. I will keep you updated as this relationship further unfolds.

The flowers this year - the whole garden - is unseasonably late. Finally they are blooming in abundance and I have commenced my flowery relationship with Marketplace, the main shop in the small tourist town where I live. I am now selling my flower bouquets there on weekends. I love traipsing through the garden and picking out the flowers to include. Creating the bouquets is pure, creative joy. It has been a surprise to discover how fulfilling it feels to drop off the buckets of flowers. As well, this is another fun way to be involved in the life of my community. I feel grateful that I am continuing to better know the staff there. They are a great group of people who are always helpful and gracious.

I finally put together the details for my dried flower subscription. I am rapidly adding more strings to my studio ceiling from which to hang flowers. I adore dried flowers and it is with great excitement that I offer these subscriptions. As summer is my favourite season, I am relieved, in a delighted kind of way, to have a reason to look forward to autumn. As I live in a uniquely situated location that is loved by the neighbouring Canadians, I am also grateful that both dried and fresh flower arrangements and wreaths can cross the border. (Did you notice that I spelled "neighbouring" the Canadian way? I find it amusing that I refer to all the cabin people as "Canadians", as if I am not Canadian, myself!)

I have been harvesting both veggies and flowers from the garden, which is finally beginning to look like a real garden. All of the flowers and most of the vegetables are months late, with the exception of the garlic. Every year I dig my garlic sometime between the 25th and 28th of July. This is always the hottest day of the year and this week's harvest was no exception. Now the garlic is stashed away in a dark room where it will stay for one month. When that time is up, I will gently brush the dirt off, trim the roots, and cut down the stems to one inch. The largest bulbs will be sorted into types and put away separately for planting in October. And then the cycle will begin again.

organic garlic curing on burlap sacs

My first dahlia was finally ready to use and I incorporated this gorgeous Myrtle's Folly into a bouquet for a special local lady.

The rudbeckia, cosmos, china asters, foxglove and many more are flowering, too. I am growing a new variety of snapdragons this year with which I have fallen madly in love. Broccoli is finding its way into my freezer for the winter as is the zucchini which I grate for winter soups and tomato sauce. Tomato sauce...I will never have enough tomatoes in my garden to can, but we are enjoying the first tomatoes of the season and tomorrow we will pick the first ripe cucumber.

I have planted tiny little seeds in the greenhouse which will produce flowers next spring. I hope to be organized enough to get these all planted in August while there are still many hours of light in the day. I find that once September arrives, the seeds take their time to germinate without a heat mat. As I am still in full watering mode, I would rather not introduce active electricity into my greenhouse until the night temperatures drop low enough to warrant a smidgen of heat.

And...Your Local Small Market is on this Saturday. Immediately after which I will head to the beach for a concert at the border marker. Hope to see you at both the market and at Maple Beach or Boundary Bay, if you are fortunate to be at either side this weekend!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!


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The Shop at Slow Botanicals

Your Local Small Market is Saturday, July 30th from 10am-2pm, outdoors at the Point Roberts Community Center. Come visit us!

Flower Bouquets are now at International Marketplace on Tyee Drive

Slow Botanicals are available at

Westham Island Herb Farm, Delta, BC

International Marketplace, Point Roberts, WA

Your Local Small Market, Point Roberts, WA

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