Holding On

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A mix of cultivated and foraged herbs, flowers and foliage from our beach garden.

Dear sisters,

I don’t know what’s wrong with me this year! I’m usually the first one in our humble abode to dive right into fall. I’ve felt the tug of that old familiar nesting instinct kicking in, but I confess I haven’t given in to it completely. How could I possibly get all sappy about the autumn equinox when I’m still holding on to summer? How about you? Raise your hand if you’re with me! If you’ve already moved on, I’ll thank you now for humoring me to the bottom of this post.

Honestly, I don’t ever remember feeling this way before and I think I know what (or who ) the culprit is. You see, I’ve been ” in the flowers” ( as my handsome Yankee can attest to) for so many months now that the thought of not being ” there ” is making me feel a little blue. In fact, I think what I am experiencing is a case of the Flower Farmer Blues.  < insert slow harmonica blues music here >

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Cosmos from the bee garden.

I’ve been glued to my backyard bloomers like a mamma cow to her newborn calf since my first seed order. Once they were planted I didn’t dare take my eyes off of those flowers for too long lest insect damage or even worse, a virus might appear. My dahlias suffered from red spider mites this season most likely due to the lack of rain and high humidity we had this summer. I almost lost an entire bed to those blasted spider mites. First the leaves turn yellow, then brown. The spiders weave their silky webs all around the small, vulnerable buds  so tight that it’s impossible for them to bloom. Did you know that even when you use an organic oil or insecticidal soap to rid plants of insects they can become immune just after a few weeks of treatment? I recently learned that a good spray of water with a garden hose will eradicate mites and aphids too, if you keep on top of it. I’ve tried the old soapy water routine too but have not had much success with it.

Note to flower farmgirl self: Try water for mites and aphids, but keep necessary backup sprays and pellets on hand for snails, slugs, earwigs, leaf cutters, and other more aggressive pests.

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This large dinner plate dahlia called ‘Blonde” from Longfield Gardens is over 10 inches around!

Some symptoms of Flower Farmer Blues may include but are not limited to, a temporary lack of interest in autumn activities, food or entertainment such as, pumpkins, the changing color of leaves from grazing green to rich reds, opulent oranges, deep purples and burnt browns, hay rides, apple picking, leaf-peeping, warm sweaters, boots, jackets, walks in the woods,  re-decorating, shopping, stocking your pantry, chai tea, pumpkin spice anything, fall festivals, hot soup, football, tailgating, hot cocoa, spiced apple cider, apple pie, casseroles, and other fall like things.

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Common side effects may include but are not limited to, difficulty concentrating on anything other than flowers and writing about flowers with a compulsion to document every living flower in various stages of growth and flowering with a camera or I phone. The desire to meet and network with other local flower farmers to talk about (what else ) flower farming, a fiercely strong attraction to floral printed fabrics, pillows, rugs, bed linens, paper goods, garden gear, seed packets, garden journals, wall paper, dishware, kitchen ware, underwear, flat wear, tableware, shower curtains, clothing and accessories and socks.

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Late September blooms 2015 ” Dandelion House ” .

You may experience sudden urges while driving ( or walking ) to stop and forage native plant material to keep (hoard) in buckets for making bouquets.

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Wild goldenrod on beach road.

You follow a gazillion farmer/florists on Instagram. Your dreams are filled with flower fields as far as you can see buzzing with happy, hungry bees and masses of butterflies.

September 2015 2015-09-17 014 editYou lust after every patch of UN-cultivated earth in your backyard ( and your neighbor’s backyard).

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Pincushion flower and asters in bud.

You fuss over, talk to and encourage your flowers to grow right and always try to bloom their brightest.

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You celebrate them for their individual uniqueness and beauty. You thank them everyday for the massive amount of joy they spread, the healing they give, and the memories they make.

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Morning glories. An old-fashioned September favorite.

Mostly, you love them with all of your heart.

The only known cure for the Flower Farmers Blues is to be grateful for another growing season, enjoy and share the harvest and PLAN PLAN PLAN for next year! Besides, we can’t put fall ” on hold ” forever.

HAPPY FALL, sisters!

Until our next shoreline visit~

Put down some roots and BLOOM, farmgirls!


Deb, # 1199


  1. Right there with you Deb,
    this year the weather has caused us to holding on.
    My Strawberries & raspberries are still blooming, all in various stages of growth.
    Enjoying fresh berries in September. The bees are buzzing around still.
    You are not alone Sister… Grace

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Grace,
      Glad to hear you still have some delicious berries to enjoy this late in the season. I know you’ll be sewing your lovely aprons and ironing board covers this winter to keep your hands busy! 😉

  2. Oh Deb, you took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve got a major case of the Flower Farmer Blues. Last night we mowed and weeded in the garden and I thought that even in it’s final stages of growth it couldn’t possibly be more beautiful. And I felt like crying. Even though I am physically and emotionally tired, I’m still hanging on.

    I do love Fall… but it is definitely not my favorite season. And I think the reason why I sort of dread Fall every year is because I know Winter is right behind it! 🙂 Which seems silly to say as our winters are nothing compared to the REAL winters you get. But the wet, and more wet, and more wet gets to me!

    So thankful for your friendship in so many ways but especially sharing this Flower Farming journey we’re on!

    Tight hugs.

    – Dori –

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Well, Dori we did it! One season down! I too am so grateful we have this ” flower farming ” connection and all things farmgirl!
      If it wasn’t for MaryJanesFarm, we may have never crossed paths. It’s tough to let go of the flowers but we’ll make it! 🙂
      Tight hugs back to you and Andrea!

  3. Bonnie Ellis says:

    Deb: Living in Minnesota where after a hard freeze (as you know from living in New England) we don’t have anything alive; I think I am hanging onto the beautiful blooms too. We have had rain here at the right time and things are lush and beautiful. Our fall colors are late because of it. I did put up a few fall decorations but it is still in the low 80s here. Enjoy your flowers. You really have a special gift of combining them in such beautiful combinations. Wish we were closer.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Bonnie,
      Awe, I wish we were closer too. The fall spirit will find you soon. What choice do we have? Tee He!
      Big hugs,

  4. Hedy King says:

    Deb, your flowers are lovely, I wouldnt wasn’t them to leave either. I always look forward to your posts. Thanks for sharing

  5. Sharon Elaine says:

    This is my first season planting a flower garden that’s packed full of zinnias, beautiful blue bachelor buttons and love in a mist. It will be bigger and better next year.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Good for you Sharon!

      I love bachelor buttons. Missed growing them this year. I substituted pincushion flowers for those. I planted them late July an the first one bloomed this weekend. Enjoy your garden and happy planning for next season.

  6. Sheila says:

    Eloquently stated! I am feeling a bit cheated now that my summer flowers are disappearing. Next year I will plant more varieties and hopefully some will be “crossover blooms” to get me through the beginning of autumn. Hope to visit your flower market next summer. In the meantime, dream of beautiful flowers…and don’t forget, seed cataloges come out soon.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Howdy Sheila!
      It’s hard to say goodbye to the garden isn’t it? One thing you can try is to sow zinnia seeds every couple of weeks, that way you’ll have fresh blooms right up until the first frost. Happy Fall!

      • Sheila says:

        Thank you, Deb. I hadn’t thought of zinnias and I do so love the cheerful colors. My Mom and Grandma always had them in the garden when I was growing up. You just brought back some great memories for me!

  7. Joan says:

    We had a hard growing time this year – late cold and much rain, so nothing did well but now they are blooming like crazy – the fall flowers that is, so enjoying as long as they are here. Love seeing your wonderful pictures of your most beautiful blooms. Maybe next year we will do better. Happy Fall y’all. God bless.

    • Deb Bosworth says:

      Hi Joan,
      Well, there’s always next year, right Joan? Glad you have some September blooms to enjoy too.
      Blessings to you!

  8. Wow!
    I thoroughly enjoyed your post Deb!!
    Fall is my favorite time of year. Down here in San Antonio, we start experiencing cool mornings in Sept—low 70’s are WONDERFUL after months of mornings in the low to mid 80’s—so I wasn’t sure I wanted to stay aboard your lamenting-the-passing-of-flowers train, but when I got to your gracious request to humor you, I did. You absolutely HOOKED ME with “I’ve been ‘in the flowers'”! How refreshing your turn of phrase! Three little words to so succinctly and richly describe your recent existence of being.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the ride Deb! Thank you.
    Warmest Regards,

  9. April says:

    After a second consecutive brutal winter (as in, record-setting) in the northern Midwest and an extremely delayed spring warm-up, I am absolutely in autumn denial. Thankfully our weather has humored me with a gorgeously summery September: days upon days of sunny weather, mid-70s, and (bonus) low humidity. 😀

    I love how your post reads like a Rx drug ad LOL!

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