>Teacher Bouquet Day at Preschool Garden

> The morning started out overcast, which was perfect as my first visitors to the garden were kept cool.  Some approached boldly, dragging their parents behind.  Others were a bit more shy.

“Do you want to pick some flowers for your teacher?”  I would ask them.  Every single one of them nodded.  Today is Teacher Bouquet Day at the preschool garden.  We have so many beautiful things growing right now that the idea was easy to grab on to.  As kids and parents arrive, they can stop in the garden and pick a small bouquet of flowers and herbs to bring in to their teachers.  We dropped off a vase in each class this morning so the teachers can add to their bouquet with each gift, ending up with a great arrangement.  

Some kids knew exactly what they wanted.  “I want that red one, ” one little boy told me, pointing to a bright red zinnia.  The girls usually requested the purple cosmos, so frilly and fun.  I would add stems of rosemary to some of the bouquets, letting the kids know that this was something that was added to their favorite dish- PIZZA.  I heard one little boy tell his mom, “Smell it, it’s a pizza herb.”  I added oregano and lemon basil to others, knowing the aromas would be great in the classrooms.  I also added the profuse but delicate blooms of trailing verbena to add some weight  to the bunches.   It was a wonderful chance to show little ones how special it is to give flowers to someone and to show your appreciation for all they do.

Some parents stuck around for a bit, letting their kids show them the cucumbers hanging off the trellis or the bell peppers.  One little boy just wanted to show his parents all of the roly polies.  And my little friend Nicole wanted to make sure she got one bouquet for her teacher…and one for her daddy.  I hope that dad feels extra special today.  

>Bloom Day July 2010

>I feel like I have been way too absent from the sheer love of gardening that normally drives me to post on the 15th of every month and link to Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  School gardens, summer camp schedules, hot weather…all seem to have soaked up the spare time I usually reserve for my own patch.  But today, I was determined to get out and take some photos.  This year, with the courtesy of the rains we have been having, I am seeing some beautiful blooms come out and some of the reworking of plants that has been done over the past few years has finally matured and taken hold. 

Without further ado, blooming at Kiss of Sun in July…

I had to start with this photo of my crinum lilies.  I bought two pots of these three years ago and divided up to end up with about 15 plants.  I took a handful of them to East Texas and planted them at my grandparents graves as I had heard about how well they do when left to their own at gravesites.  I planted a few at my uncle’s lakehouse, where I think they might have not done as well.  And I planted a few in various locations around my yard.  Every year, the beautiful strap foliage comes out and no flowers.  This is the first year they have bloomed and the smell is heavenly.  And having this connection in my garden to something I have left in memory of my grandparents is a lovely thing to see every day. 

Now, let’s go big and bold.  My 8-foot tall sunflowers are blooming.  They are just gorgeous and I love taking the kids out to see them. I will sometimes look out the kitchen window and see neighbors staring at my house as they are walking by and I finally realized it is not because of the window which has that permanent foggy look to it, but because they are looking at the sunflowers which are towering over my side yard. 

Too many other flowers to attach photos but the Cenizo Sages are in beautiful bloom right now from the recent rains, the Cypress Vine is putting on delicate red blooms, and the cleomids are continuing their purple bloomfest run.  The wildflower/septic field is filled with bee balm, Mexican Hat, and plenty of seeds as the flowers dry up. 

In the vegetable garden, we have tomatoes, tomatillas, canteloupes, and patty pan squash.  The pickling cucumbers I gave out to so many friends seem to be consistently putting out the fattest, most enormous cucumbers I have ever seen.  And all of my friends who took some of the plants are getting great crops.  So, yay!  Cucumber salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  My suyos are slow to develop this year, but seem to just be coming into their prime, for whatever reason.  Since I have had plenty from the school garden and my mother-in-law, I’m OK with this delayed development. 

I am taking a chance with canteloupe this year after swearing off of them two years ago when my beautiful melons yielded absolutely no sweetness in their flesh.  I currenly have three beautiful melons developing. 

And a really nice crop of tomatillas is coming in.  The balloon husks are so fun to see in the garden and so far I have only picked a few but I look forward to making many sauces in the coming days. 

Hope your garden is flourishing and you have the time to enjoy it.