Sunday, March 30, 2014

march equals mud

What a weekend. Rain, rain and more rain. We arrived home from Terzo's birthday party too late last night to move the ewes and lambs safely back into the barn in the pouring rain and pitch black. We had to let them take their chances in the shed with their collective body heat to keep them warm. The new babies weren't out there, just the older ones, so we were confident they would weather* it okay.

However, this meant that we were awoken at first light by the ewes bellowing for their evening hay, which we had not been able to give them last night in the dark. Spoiled girls.

When we headed out, we were met with a sea of mud. We had attended a talk early in our farming career, in which the speaker had opined that March should be renamed Mud. We didn't think it was possible to miss frozen ground until we remembered what a pain a boot-sucking muddy mire can be. With more rain in the forecast, we decided the best bet was to put them all into the barn for the day. We very rarely do this, but after two inches plus of rain yesterday and another inch of rain expected today, we didn't have a choice.

The problem was the mud pit that had developed at the gate of the little paddock.

The ewes, hungry (they would argue, starved) by their missed hay last night, were no problem. The rattle of grain in a bucket was all they needed to tempt them across.

Their babies were a different story all together. Couldn't say as I blamed them, either, because they were liable to get swallowed up by all that mud! Or at least, that was their perception.

So off the ewes ran into the barn, leaving all their babies behind. One by one, we cornered and caught them in the shed, and then carried them across the pit to their mothers in the barn.

The little white one was the last one to be caught. She always is.

* Couldn't resist.

Friday, March 28, 2014

lambs at play

It makes perfect sense—if lambs go to school, they can't spend all day in a classroom. They have to have a little recess time!

I have no idea how she rounded them all up after they were done horsing around.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

lambs in snow

(I had planned this post for yesterday, after the dusting of snow we got, but Mother Nature had even bigger plans for yesterday's post.)

We don't lamb in January when many others do, and so our lambs, as a rule, don't see snow. This winter though, has been the exception to most rules! The lambs got their first taste of it yesterday morning. I grabbed my camera on the way out to do the morning chores, even though it was still a little on the dark side.

Hmmm... What is this stuff? It wasn't here yesterday!

Psst, did you notice all the white stuff on the ground?

 Enough with the ground! Any chance our moms left some grain behind?
(Answer: nope!)

Nice photobomb, Dusty.


I figured out what the last two girls were waiting for: my first day back at work today.

When I arrived home at 4:20, just in time to take the younger two to piano lessons, things looked a little out of sorts in the small paddock. Ewes with lambs were out in the windy cold, which suggested that an expectant mother had taken possession of the cozy shed for her labor. I asked Primo to check it out, and headed off. When I didn't hear from him, I assumed all was OK.

Silly me.

When I arrived home two hours later, something was DEFINITELY not right back there. I hopped back as best I could, still in my work clothes, and started to count. And rubbed my eyes, and counted again, and...

Yep. There were two more black ones back there, that hadn't been there before! Kevyn had little black twins dried off and in the middle of the field, ready to go into the barn and a jug.

And the bigger one was a EWE!!! Good girl, Kevyn!

She had vacated the shed, because Henrietta was busy in there, having HER babies.

TWO EWES!! Your eyes aren't deceiving you, there is only one in that picture because things got too hectic after the second one arrived and we were trying to get everyone sorted.

The rest of the babies are bouncy and causing all sorts of lamby mayhem. This one got himself into the hayrack and couldn't find his way out again. They will have four new cohorts in no time.

Final tally for 2014: 12 lambs, 4 ewes and 8 rams.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

lamb update

Still no more new lambs... I thought this snowstorm would bring on the last two but they are holding out for warmer weather, it seems!

I managed to snap a picture of Kali and her twins in the little pasture this afternoon. Jasmine's twins are in the background. Now that we don't have to worry about bottle feeding, all the lambs are going out with their mothers during the day, and into the barn at night.

The "into the barn at night" is a problem, as they are at the awkward in-between stage where they are not quick enough to follow their mothers, but too quick for us to catch them easily if they are left behind! Terzo and I had quite the chase around the pasture tonight in the snow trying to capture four stranded lambs.

The two bottle babies are also doing quite well.

The mom is an ag teacher, and she is taking them to school with her each day, along with all the kids from their farm, so they can all get their bottles on time. They will be the smartest lambs on the block, though I suspect they will think they are goats before too long.

Nemo has already learned to jump out of the pen in their garage, where they are all living for now. The family says he has the perfect name, as they have to play "Finding Nemo" every time he makes a break.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

the best possible outcome

It has been a very rough few days around here. No matter how much I tried, I could not stop blaming myself about Lambykins death. What had I missed? Why hadn't I questioned this? Why hadn't I paid attention to that? Anyone who talked to me (or more to the point, was subjected to my blubbering) can attest that I have been a stone-cold mess about the entire affair.

Matters were only made worse by the heart-breaking spectacle of her now-orphaned lamb. He spent most of his time alone. Ewes are not kind to lambs that aren't theirs, and he had to learn to avoid their head butts. We rigged up the heat lamp in the creep area, so the big sheep couldn't get to it, to give him a warm place since he had no warm body to curl up to.

Terzo christened him Nemo, "because he lost his mom just like Nemo in the movie." Cue more tears.

The problem was, what to do with him? It would be a very hard life for him to continue as the odd man out.

Luckily, oh so luckily, another 4-H family had approached me last year to keep them in mind if we ever had any bottle babies. They own a pick-your-own farm about 30 minutes away, with a small petting zoo. They wanted ewes, but I called her anyway. Was there any way they would consider wethers* instead?

She called me back a day later. Yes, they would take them. We arranged that the small white ram would go as well, because he was also on the bottle and his mother would still have two lambs left. This way, Nemo would have someone to curl up and pal around with. Even better, the family raises dairy goats, and the kids are separated from their mothers at birth. More buddies for Nemo, fresh goat milk as his food, and a family that is well-versed in raising bottle babies.

It was truly an answer to prayer. Terzo was happy, knowing that he would be in good hands in a good place. We could all rest a little easier.

So today, Nemo and his buddy left for life on a new farm—yes, in a rubbermaid tote in the back of her Suburban!—with the understanding that we will take them back should things not work out.

I think things are going to be okay, though. And hopefully, finally, I can get a little closer to okay myself.

*castrated males

Friday, March 21, 2014

field guide to fleece

I interrupt the lambing news (mostly because there isn't any today, though everyone is just fine) to direct you to my book review of The Field Guide to Fleece over on Pam Mackenzie's blog.

It's a great little book. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

new life

Kali's turn this morning, which eased the loss a little.

Twin rams. We were thrilled that she lambed unassisted, since we had to pull her single ram lamb last year. She was on probation this year as a result but she passed with flying colors today. The "twin ram" part was the only fly in the ointment.

I am blogging on my phone, because the house Internet is down, and I can't get the photos to work. Tomorrow. Right now I have to get to bed, because the 1 am feeding will be here before I know it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

sad, sad day

No lambs to report today. Just a huge loss. My husband went out to do chores as usual—I was right behind him, heating up the bottle—when he called in to tell me that Lambykins was dead.

She gave us no clue that anything was wrong. As of last night, she was walking, eating, and taking care of her baby just fine.

It is days like these that make you question just why the hell you are doing this, anyway. Why don't you raise Christmas trees instead? Your kid wouldn't have a pet Christmas tree. He wouldn't cry when it didn't make it, for reasons known only to God (though we suspect a retained placenta). You wouldn't question whether your kid's heart is getting hardened by loss.

You certainly wouldn't have to worry about the baby making it now, too, with no one to take care of him and keep him warm and no one to feed him except you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

full house

My boss is away all week, and half the next. I was quick to seize my opportunity. Pointing out that I didn't have much to do in the office (yet) if she wasn't there, didn't it make better sense for me to take the week off unpaid and save her the expense?

Perfect timing, too, with most of the ewes' due dates in that ten day stretch, and shearing happening right at the beginning.

So I have been on kinda vacation since Friday. Friday was cooking and other preparation for shearing, Saturday was shearing and lambing, Sunday was recuperating, Monday was cleaning and running errands and food shopping, plus dealing with a sick kid (Primo).

BUT I am not complaining! What a luxury to have time to get these things done. I never truly appreciated it before now.

This morning, I decided to offer a bottle to the white triplet ram. He wasn't gaining weight like the other two.

Gotta keep that milk warm on the way out!

Most of the time, if a lamb has been nursing off its dam, it takes a little convincing as to the merits of the bottle. Not this one. He sucked down three ounces in no time flat. Same thing with the bottle I took out at noon.

So now we have a semi-bottle baby. He doesn't need the bottle to live, because he is still getting some milk from Holly, so midnight trips are not necessary. Just three trips a day to supplement what he is getting. Thank goodness for that, and especially thank goodness that I am home to do it.

Things seemed to be under control tonight, and we were ready to head out for our nieces' play performance, when Secondo burst through the front door, with the news that Jasmine was in labor. Bursting through the front door seems to be a hallmark of this lambing season.

Sure enough, he was right. By the time they got out there, the black ram lamb was born and the white ewe lamb was just behind him.

YES!!! You read right. A ewe lamb, finally. Three cheers for Jasmine!

Now all three lambing jugs are full; from left to right, Holly, Lambykins and Jasmine. Technically the first two don't need to be in the jug, but it can sometimes be tricky with ewes that still have to lamb beating up on the babies when they come into the barn at night.

Current tally: three ewes delivered, three to go, with a score of five ram lambs and one ewe lamb. Next due date is Saturday, maybe. We'll be keeping a close eye.

Monday, March 17, 2014

chickens in the snow

The Weather Channel must be regretting its decision to start naming snow storms this year. They are already on "Zeus" at this point. They will have to follow the lead of The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and hope that little storm Z produces some sort of miraculous result that takes all the snow away.

The chickens were, once again, put out. They have decided that it is spring, dang it and have started laying in spades, regardless of the weather outside. I was thrilled to find this nice surprise last Thursday.

We only have three chickens, so someone had laid twice in 24 hours. What a bonanza! Our egg box in the fridge was sadly empty all winter. The few eggs they did lay were frozen and cracked by the time we found them. But now it is full with nice rich brown jumbo eggs again.

This morning they were adamant: their feet were not touching that white stuff.

Only treats worked to lure them out: leftover baked beans, tomatoes, and a piece of a stale bagel.

Who can resist leftovers?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

shearing and lambing, oh my

Yes, I missed a day, because it was a shearing day like no other. It started with a bang, literally, as Primo burst through our front door to announce that we had lambs. Our first of the season.

We dropped our shearing day preparations and piled out the door for a lamb drill. Holly and Lambykins were due tomorrow, and we fully expected at least one of them to lamb a few hours after shearing, but certainly not before! Thank goodness we had moved them into the barn on Friday night. Holly had triplet rams waiting for us, one white and two black.

Unfortunately I hadn't organized our lambing supplies, yet another thing I forgot to do, so it wasn't a very smooth operation. We managed to get umbilical cords clipped and dipped once we found the iodine and dipping bottle. But the stripping was a problem! With all that wool still on her, none of us were having much luck finding her udder, least of all the babies.

This was the point at which the shearer and our wonderful army of helpers arrived. He got his overheard shearing apparatus mounted, and Holly was the first up.

The babies weren't super happy to be left alone in the jug.

It was quite a noisy fifteen minutes as they called back and forth to each other. We popped her back in as soon as possible and they got to work, with much less difficulty.

All three soon had full bellies and were snoozing in the corner in their little coats.

More sheep, more shearing, a few shots and a lot of trimmed hooves...

... we eventually ended up with a lot of naked sheep...

... and a whole bunch of boots and fleeces on the front porch, and people eating breakfast inside.

To make a difficult day more difficult, I had thrown my back out the day before. Shearing day is not a day to be incapacitated. Muscle relaxants didn't help matters; I spent most of the day apologizing to everyone about how out of it I was. As soon as everyone left I collapsed back on the heating pad. A few hours and a massage later I was feeling a bit better, and went out to check the babies.

Another surprise, this time from Lambykins. Terzo is more than a little disappointed, though. Only one, and another darn ram.

So to make a long, long story short: that's why a blog post didn't happen last night.

Current tally: two ewes delivered, four to go, with a score of four ram lambs and zero ewe lambs. Next due date is Saturday.

Friday, March 14, 2014

moving ewes in the moonlight

Tomorrow is our shearing day. We had quite a hard time scheduling it this year, between the weather and our shearer's schedule. We are a little too close to our lambing date for my comfort, but I was happy that the ewes still had their fleeces for the storms and cold the past two weeks. Sometimes compromises are necessary.

Those coats are packed full of fleece;
tomorrow all the fleeces will be off!

I spent today cooking and cleaning for our shearing crew, and managed to get the boys to rake out the barn in between track practice and a school event. We are so behind on everything! That should have been done last weekend, if I had thought about it.

The sheep have to be dry for shearing. It generally works out best to leave them in the field, because their body heat and respiration makes for higher humidity in the barn.

UNLESS there is rain in the forecast.

When I looked earlier today, we were in the clear. My husband heard differently on the way home from his conference. I checked, and sure enough, rain showers at 6 am.


The three of us (no Primo and Secondo, they are gone for the night) ran out to the barn at 7:30 pm to put down straw, fill hay racks and water buckets, and otherwise get it ready for occupation. Luckily sheep move toward light, in case you ever need to know that. Also a stroke of luck that it is a fairly full moon, so we could see well enough to count and make sure we had everyone. Once we got them rounded up in the back pasture and following the grain bucket, they were happy to run to and into the barn once they got close enough to see it.

Except for the hussies who stopped to visit with the rams on the way past, but we eventually got them inside as well.

OK rams, please spend the night there too.

Fingers are crossed that the rams stay in their shed for the worst of the rain showers. We will plan to shear them last, to give them as much time to dry out as possible, and hope for the best. Really, that's all you can do.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

bitter cold, better help

The wind whistled and banged and rocked the house and generally made a nuisance of itself all night last night, as a bitter cold front blew in. We went from the mid-50s all the way down to the teens. It was an insult to a long list of winter injuries, which made it all the worse.

If I was highly perturbed about the changed weather, I had nothing on the chickens' mood this morning. They had a lot to say about the matter, and none of it was good. They were truly angry birds.

I may not tell my husband how much I appreciate him as much as I should, but this morning was one of those times I realized I should tell him a lot more. He does the chores every weekday morning, while I am working out in his office (before I go to my other job). Today, he left at the crack of dawn for a conference down in Philadelphia, so it was up to me to get the chores done.

Luckily I had some willing help, who didn't complain about having to wake up a bit early or come out in the cold. He hasn't hit the teenage years yet.

Not even a peep when we found out that we had to haul water to the ewes in the back! He made doing chores a pleasure.

I was so grateful for the cheerful assistance that I let him borrow my best chore boots. It is only a short matter of time until I am the smallest one in the house, and then I'll have unlimited use of my own stuff. My husband will be doomed to share for quite a bit longer.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


A very long day today between work and piano lessons and a vestry meeting at church, but luckily for me another blogger lives in this house. Secondo wrote this post for school, and graciously agreed to share it. I find it quite amusing, because he was a kid who hated spicy food. And now his prize possession is a Sriracha Sauce t-shirt.

Given the cold weather blowing in, it will be perfect chili weather for a couple more days at least.

Well I came home from a hard track run and core workout to a house that smelled like tomatoes, beans and beef. That's right. Chili.

Now don't think that I'm a genius or something with chili. I have no idea how to make it or what goes into that stuff but I AM  a master of spicing up chili with things that range from India all the way to China and bring it back to the greatest country in the world, America.

Here is the first and only rule of chili seasoning: If you are eating chili and your mouth is not on fire and your eyes aren't tearing up then you are doing something very wrong. If you find yourself in one of these situations, then just refer to my blog. Don't worry, the sad age of "mild" chili is over (and yeah mild is just a term they use to describe watered-down baby's formula, if you are eating mild hot sauce or mild salsa, you ain't real).

Refer to exhibit A, the building block of all good chilis. Yes, you can now go to [the biology teacher] and protest that there is a new monomer, and it is Chili 3000. And yes, if you synthesize Chili 3000, you get a polymer, that is great chili. (Pardon my biology talk, we learned this stuff like what? Two months ago? How can you expect me to remember this stuff?) This is a building block of chili. Chili is life. So Chili 3000 is a building block of life. Take that, science.

If you don't already have it, click on [the link] to go buy some. Totally worth it. 

All right, so now you have the base in your chili. THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. You need to add something to make this chili yours. If not, this could be anybody's chili, it could even be mine, it could be Victor Cruz's for all I know, is it even yours bro, who's chili is this, and why are my tastebuds crying from boredom rather than pain? You gotta add some extra sugar and spice, and everything nice. Except no sugar and nothing nice this is meant to light your mouth on fire. Now, when I was a seasoning novice, I used Tabasco. This stuff is an okay hot sauce, but it is all the same and lacks a quality. Don't get me wrong this stuff serves as a great set of training wheels, but when you are looking to impress your homies or wreck havoc on your digestive system, it isn't really the best hot sauce for the job.

When you are ready to man up (or woman up... I don't know) you must turn to the greatest hot sauce ever, Sriracha. Made in Thailand, so you know its legit, this stuff is chili pepper sauce, garlic, sugar, and salt. This stuff is insanely good, and is getting easier to find every day. Just pour as much into your chili as you please , I'm not the kind of guy to tell someone else how much hot sauce is enough... but I will. You have to add a couple hefty squirts of this stuff for it to have a solid effect but once it does, you are set. Shoutout to my Dad, he introduced me to this stuff when I was 10 and now I'm introducing it to you. Enjoy.

Once all this is done, you taste the chili. If it is needed, sprinkle in some salt, even if it isn't needed add some diced hot peppers, cook's choice.

You may now enjoy the chili, but beware, this stuff was classified by the U.S. military as "highly dangerous, moderate bio-chemical weapon". Not really, but you should call 911, because there will be a fire in your mouth. No, no, no don't do that, that's how you get arrested. But you definitely should have a pan of cornbread and a lot of water readily available because this will destroy most of your mouth if you don't. I wish ya the best of luck. 

Comment if you try any of this stuff, or if you have any suggestions for my next chili.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

snow cap

My mother's Christmas gift from us this year was a subscription to a yarn club. Yes, it is exactly as it sounds. Just like the CD clubs of yesteryear, you sign up for a monthly shipment of yarn. I decided on Yarnbox, because it included both a knit and crochet pattern with every subscription, and reviews were positive.

(As an interesting aside, a few days after I put the Yarnbox subscription on my credit card, I received an e-mail from Citibank with the exciting news that I qualified for an extended warranty on my recent electronics purchase. I was mystified, and more than a little worried that my account had been hacked, until I realized they were referring to Yarnbox. Yarnbox, xBox... more than a bit of distance between those two on the technological scale, Citibank.)

January's shipment contained some really different yarn, both singles, one thin with metal disks threaded on it, and one thick. She decided to go with the pattern that was sent with it, called Snow Cap, which directed her to hold the yarn together and knit a cap with welted sides and a squared-off top.

The model for the pattern wore the hat pulled down to her ears. After finishing it, my mother tried this and texted me a picture. Let's just say that it was not an attractive look. It certainly didn't resemble the pictures in the pattern, which had a much more generous fit.

When I visited her house two weeks ago, she brought out the hat to show me. She considered it a total loss, but I thought it was kinda cute in a pillbox sort of way. Plus the colors are too pretty, and those metal disks too eye-catching, for it to sit in a pile of abandoned knits.

I perched it on the back of my head, instead of pulled down. Buy a yarn subscription as a gift, get a new hat in return. What a deal!

Many people commented that they had to add extra rows to the pattern so they could pull it down, because they didn't find it deep enough as written. I really like it this way though. While I am a huge hat fan, I am not usually a huge fan of how they look on me. I think this one passes the test.

Photos compliments of Terzo, who is my new go-to fashion photographer for obvious reasons. Now if I can just photoshop out those wrinkles...

Monday, March 10, 2014

kitten approved

When I started making cat toys two years ago, they were somewhat of a shot in the dark. We didn't have a cat at the time to test them out on, so I was going on a lifetime experience of living with cats.

It would cause no small measure of confusion when I stocked up on supplies, usually when my local Shoprite was having a sale on the cat bells.* After cleaning them out, the checkout clerks would be mystified by my bulk purchase without a coupon. One poor girl even said bravely, while clearly thinking that she was dealing with a lunatic, "Wow, you must have a lot of cats!"

"No," I replied automatically, without even thinking about how it would sound. "Actually, I don't have any."

That blew her out of the water even more than the crazy cat lady vibe I was giving off. She blinked a couple of times, but decided not to question me further, because at that point, she just didn't want to know. If I had explained that I cover them in wool from our own sheep farm and sell them as a specialty item at fiber festivals, her head may have exploded.

They have been my most popular item to date, so clearly cat owners like them, which is about 90% of the battle, being the ones with the cars and checkbooks and all.

Still, the question lurked in the back of my mind... Sure, the owners like them. But what about the cats?

Valentine has put my fears to rest.

She actively seeks them out in my workroom, climbing up to my latest hiding spot.

One of her very favorite toys is the felted wool cover from one of the catnip-stuffed balls. The little wiffle ball that used to be inside was surgically extracted and is MIA.

After taking yesterday's photo, I put the big jar of balls on the side table.

The camera could barely catch the thief making her escape, she moved so quickly.

Now my lost sleep can be attributed to her playing with the bell under our bed at 4 am, and not any worry about whether or not cats really do like them.

*I make two kinds of balls: one with a bell inside, and the other stuffed with catnip and sheep's fleece. The bells are more popular with people, but Valentine prefers the catnip one. As do I, even though they are slightly more labor-intensive to make, because of their non-noise making property. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

blessed sunday

Another day of the week that worked out perfectly: besides church, we had nothing on the calendar.

More project knitted, more roving dyed, more laundry done, more cat balls made for Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, more Mr. Selfridge watched. Plus a little bit of ironing and cleaning, but not too much so that it ruined the day altogether.

A heck of a lot of cat toys!
Only about a quarter of what I need, but still a good start.

All despite the missing hour, though it felt really good to be able to take pictures outside at 6:30 pm and have more than enough light.

I was feeling all productive-like until I unearthed the to-do list I had made on Friday morning.

Only one thing to cross off. Dang it.

It still was a pretty great Sunday. And Season 1 of Mr. Selfridge is finished, so that's something. Interesting story, especially the part about the suffragette colors, since I did so much research on that for the little beaded bag I designed last year. The set and props are amazing, and the costumes divine, especially the hats! Now I have a better understanding of why egrets were nearly wiped out. I give it a highly recommend as a Downton Abbey substitute.

Edited to add: Paige wanted to know where I found Season 1, because it is not easy to come by. Netflix doesn't have it, but my beloved library does! I requested it online and the boxed set was in the library for me two days later. Plus it includes a great making-of video as a bonus feature. Seeing how they constructed the set is well worth it. It was not filmed in Selfridge's, as I had assumed.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Exploring the intersection of art and gardening, and gardening as art, "Articulture" was the theme of the 2014 Philadelphia Flower Show, which we managed to visit today, thanks to my parents.

The entrance display (this photo is taken from the back, looking towards the entrance) was a clear signal that it was a departure from prior themes, which usually focused on a specific location. The result was many stunning exhibits, showcasing incredibly creative interpretations.

Some displays focused on a specific artistic place, such as this one that reinterpreted sculptures from the Storm King Art Center in New York's Hudson Valley.

Others chose an artist; in this case, Kandinsky. Viewers are invited to stand on marked footprints and peer through the black frames, but as with all art, people chose their own view points.

These paper scupltures, hung at the escalator entrance, were an amazing display of the art of papercutting.

Unfortunately the display around this one was too crowded for me to figure out the inspiration, but it was a spectacular blend of scupltures, vertical elements, plants and, of course, art.

This one was probably my favorite, done by students at the W.B. Saul High School, an agricultural high school in the Philadelphia City School District. The entrance sign explained, "Take our exhibit as a metaphor for us, the teenagers from W.B. Saul High School. If you give us a chance, we'll show you our own unique style, hard work, and creativity in protecting the environment."

The cow-print graffiti mural of the high school name was on the outside wall; the entrance gate featured a rainbow wreath made from water bottles.

Inside were fantastic sculptures made of plastic spoons glued together (yes, those are spoons), glass bottles turned upside-down and used as herb borders, tire rims spray-painted and mounted as wall decorations, and too many other clever details to list. It was a showcase of young artistic and agricultural talent.

Right around the corner, though, amid signs with fabulous garden-equals-art quotes like
"Nothing is more the child of art than a garden" (Sir Walter Scott)
"Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas" (Elizabeth Murray)
I found the artwork of my dreams.

Part of a entertaining display of original art by a wide variety of artists for a series commissioned by the Hudson Valley Seed Library, it was the cover design for a pea seed packet.

Unfortunately I was unable to find the actual seed packets. I would have bought one (or a few) of this one to frame, forget about the seeds!

This was a stellar flower show. Most of the exhibitors picked up the theme and ran with it in unbelievably creative and unique ways. It was beautiful and thought-provoking and inspiring. Most of all it made you want to pick up a trowel and start planting...

Just as any good flower show should.