Flower Child

We bought our property in Virginia in November,  so I hadn't a clue what summers there would be like. We lived in town last summer but now had 43 acres. I know. That's a lot of acres. Half are in pasture, so imagine my delight when the fields bloomed and a gazillion of one of my favorite flowers appeared: black-eyed susans. 

Every few weeks, different wildflowers emerge. In the field I can see from my kitchen, a patch of pale purple caught my eye--bee balm. It's related to mint. I had to bring some inside. I couldn't help myself even if it made the bees a little mad. 

susans and bee balm.jpg

As a child in Vermont, I was constantly bringing fistfuls of flowers to my mother. No matter what tangled collection I presented her, she was always delighted, and exclaimed, "Wherever did you find those?!" although it wasn't exactly a mystery. In my enthusiasm I did once pull up a rather large armload of white trillium, which neither of us had seen before. She gently suggested I might leave a few in the wild so there'd be some next year. Ahem.

People here usually cut their pastures twice a year. That makes sense when you've got a good hay field, which we don't. In our case, I'm sure you'll agree that once a year, in the fall after the flowers are gone, is plenty. The bobwhite quail who reside among the flowers have also voted for that schedule. 

So here it is August, and we're already looking at goldenrod, that harbinger of fall. The fireflies are almost a memory. But I choose to be wistful, rather than sad. After all, I didn't pick ALL the black-eyes susans, so next summer there'll be plenty.

Claytor May-June 2014 001.JPG