I’ve been out in my garden (finally) for the past few days. Last year, I didn’t have a lot of interest in it, mostly because we were infested with wasps and I got stung too many times. This year, I decided not to let the wasps keep me away and bought some nasty spray to eradicate them. I don’t like to use chemicals around here because of all my animals who free-range but getting stung and not being able to enjoy the spaces I have built just didn’t make sense either. Happily, the wasps aren’t around too much this season. I’m ready for them if they start to multiply.
I've been digging and weeding. Two years of growth without weeding surely isn't a good thing. It is good exercise and hopefully I will keep interested - maybe even enough to actually have friends over for a garden party. It is so hot though that if I don't tackle it early enough it isn't pleasurable.
Every year I plant a lot of zinnias for bouquets in the house. Usually I order seeds from Johnny’s up in Maine. It goes like this: I order too many seeds. I put them in the ground too close together. Then I fail to weed and thin them quick enough and I end up with a disaster. I always get blossoms but it ends up looking a mess by the end of the season. At least we live at the almost end of a road and I don’t have to worry what the neighbors think. I really love that about living here. No neighborly peer pressure for a perfect lawn or a neat flower bed – so totally unlike where I grew up in NJ.
Back to the blossoms. This year, I decided to purchase plants from the fine folks at Walker Farm in Dummerston, Vermont. They grow lots of varieties of plants I really like. I'm hoping that by putting in larger plants, they will get a head start and I won't have the mess I usually end up with. Stay tuned. Walker Farm is a fabulous place - they were featured in the NY Times a couple years ago and if you are going to Green Mountain Spinnery and like to garden, I highly suggest a visit.
There really isn’t anything I don’t like about zinnias. The colors are bright and cheerful. They give me lots of blooms with relatively little work and once they get going, they don’t stop until the frost kills them.
At the end of last summer, I was contacted by the folks at Mary Englebreit’s Home Companion. They told me they were doing a feature on zinnias and asked if I would make up some zinnia inspired embroidered things for the feature. I was overjoyed because I have been trying to get in there for years with no success. I made up some zinnia colored bookmarks and espadrilles with embroidered zinnias and sent them off. When you do stuff for magazines, it is always a crapshoot. Things can get pulled at the last minute because they need a page for an advertisement or because plans change. But if you do get featured, magazines such as these stay around in people's houses because they are beautiful and have lots of fun decorating ideas in them. I didn’t hear back from them until March when a writer called and asked a few questions. Good sign – maybe it would happen. Fingers crossed until......
Yesterday in the mail, I received the August/September issue of ME Home Companion. No note or anything – but there they were on pages 54 (small photo of my espadrilles and page 58 (a full page of my bookmarks). Those sweet people even called my book Colorful Stitchery a how-to bible. Boy, am I flattered.
So, if you subscribe, look for the photos. The pictures here I snapped before sending them off to be photographed just in case the projects were never returned (happily, they were).
Thanks to everyone at ME Home Companion – for writing about embroidery and letting me contribute a couple projects to inspire your readers. Congratulations on your ten years of publishing this inspiring publication.