Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Flower Power

Zinnias are very hardy, multi-colored flowers. Excellent for cut flowers and arrangements, zinnias originated in Mexico. But they have found their way into Mount Michael’s garden, even if they have to hold their own among the sprawling vegetable plants that thrive there as well.

Over the years of gardening, I have always enjoyed arranging the flower beds at Mount Michael. And as time allowed me to expand the vegetable garden, I began to understand that flowers don’t necessarily have to be confined to there own space. More research provided me with the understanding that some vegetables will flourish better, if they have the companionship of flowers. And of course flowers attract bees, butterflies and other insects that are good for vegetables. Flowers and vegetables do, indeed, get on well with one another.

Although there are lots of flowers that are edible, their purpose for being where they are at Mount Michael is primarily just to be. They are perhaps more ascetical than they are practical. But over the last few years, I have realized that my flowers can also be productive and beneficial as well – perhaps equally as much as the vegetables, maybe more so.

Over the years I have connected with a few florists and invited them to use some of my flowers for arrangements in their shops. To a certain extent this worked rather well, but when our country started feeling the crunch of the economy, flowers became an “extra” that most people could do without.

This past summer, I worked with a professional to do the flowers arrangements for a wedding. Together we provided the flowers for the church, St. Cecilia’s in Omaha and the arrangements for the tables at the Reception Hall—Parker Hall at Creighton Unveristy. Some of the arrangements can be found here on my blog. Another opportunity like this would be most welcome.
Wedding Arrangments - Winter Arrangments

For this coming summer, at the suggestion of numerous individuals, I would like to extend an invitation for people to come out to Mount Michael and cut their own flowers. Yes, I am actually allowing people to come into my garden, even when I am not there to cut their own flowers. I will be providing a way for people to be honest about what they cut and make a contribution to Mount Michael. I would ask that people not be tempted to pick vegetables, but could certainly cut flowers for their own occasions and use. I would also like to emphasize that the Farmer’s Market will be open as early as possible and veggies and flowers will be for sale on those days as well, Saturdays.

Lastly, over the past three years I have planted lots of wild flowers. Although some wild flowers, as cut flowers, may not have the same longevity of life, they are certainly beautiful as well. They, too, attract many butterflies and are just beautiful to observe. I am sure God would want Mount Michael to share the beauty of these flowers with others.

Make plans now, during our long days of drab, colorlessness of winter to come out to Mount Michael and enjoy our beauty, color and gardens. You can even help us continue to keep the place operating by your contributions. We look forward to seeing you this summer.

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