Today, I received an email from Dan Rather’s media company, which is called Steady.

I like that name because we sure can all use more steadiness in our lives during these tumultuous times.

Every Wednesday, he holds a discussion. Today the question was: Amidst so much pain, where do you find hope?

Here’s how I answered:

I go outside every day because nature was intended to be the center of my world and the world is such a happier place when nature is in her appropriate place. If I turn online to the steady parade of doom and gloom, then I become part of the doom and gloom — I reflect that back, I affirm it.

But when I go outside, I see another story–a story that is not affirmed by the powers that be. I immediately experience grounding, support, love and joy. Like so many things, nature and our direct experience of it has been hijacked from us. But we can take our power back by simply turning off the machines, like this one I am typing on, and going…blissfully…outdoors.

Call it escapism, call it self-indulgence, call it what you will, nature still represents the world we were supposed to inherit. This other, shadow world of pain and destruction was not created by nature. And so, I turn to nature for succor. I turn to nature for hope. I turn to nature to sustain me and my joy.

My joy is powerful. It is defiant. Joy is my rebellion. Thanks for the chance to share.

You can learn more about Dan Rather’s Steady here.

One thing I have discovered over the past few years, as a newbie flower gardener, is how incredibly easy it is to grow flowers.

We live in a culture that promotes the idea that growing flowers is hard. This idea is incorrect. Growing flowers is easy, not hard.

What’s hard–and also sad–is how disconnected many of us are from earth. The idea that flower growing is hard keeps us disconnected from the very ground we are standing on.

I often hear folks say, “I don’t have a green thumb.”

The thing is, you don’t need a green thumb; you have green feet. Anyone who is living on the earth has green feet by virtue of being here.

How connected or disconnected you feel does not really matter. Begin where you are. If you already feel connected to the earth, great. If you do not, start by taking little walks outdoors and looking around. There is beauty all around us.

Imagine your yard full of flowers throughout the growing season. If you don’t have a yard, imagine a window box full of flowers or even a vertical wall garden overflowing with flowers. You do not need a lot of space to grow flowers.

Appreciate whatever flowers you already have. If you don’t have any, appreciate flowers other people have. Visit flower gardens and garden stores. Chances are flowers are not far from where you live.

You can express yourself joyfully and colorfully with flowers. Start today. Decide that you deserve more flowers in your life because you do. We all do.

Having a yard full of flowers has changed my life. Flowers have soothed me during chaotic times. They have healed me in ways I did not know I needed support. By connecting with flowers, I feel more in tune with earth. I feel grounded in a way that had previously escaped me.

Do not let anyone make you feel that connecting with nature is secondary or less important than connecting with human beings. Without nature, there are no human beings. When we do not honor nature, we destroy our home. We are learning this lesson right now.

Some people are more introverted than others. This has been well-documented but the idea is perhaps still too often ignored. If you are introverted, consider spending more time in nature. Nature is here for you in a way people may not know how to be. You don’t have to go climb a mountain. Just open the door and go outside.

You can become a change agent on earth by starting to pay more attention to nature. Flowers are for everyone. But they are especially for those who yearn to feel the earth under their feet. If you need help coming down to earth for whatever reason, grow flowers. Nurturing flowers is easy and feels great from start to finish.

Growing flowers does not have to be a business venture. Growing flowers can be something you do for yourself first. Go ahead and grow flowers as a hobby. If you decide to share flowers later, that’s perfectly fine, but it is not required.

Growing flowers is an adventure. Planting seeds or bulbs is the beginning of a new chapter. We deserve to feel great and we deserve flowers–lots and lots of flowers.

Flowers can help you slow down, be in the moment and feel amazing. Stick around if you’d like to learn more about how easy it is to bring an abundance of flowers into your life.

Until next time…I hope you will stop and notice the flowers.

I pledge allegiance to the flowers and the bees and the planet. I promise to grow as many flowers as I can possibly grow to help make a positive impact on the ecological balance in my community and in the world. I am excited to become a more active flower farmer in order to live and work in a win-win-win way with all living beings. I know when I am immersed in planting and nurturing flowers, I am on the best path for me.

As you likely already know, I am madly in love with flowers. I love everything about flowers, and I savor the whole process of working with them from start to finish. Another epiphany I had recently is that there is no one right way to work with flowers. I can approach them any way I want, and how others are working with flowers is only relevant to me if an approach engages me.

Maybe flowers don’t really interest you. I totally understand because I have not always been as obsessed with them as I am right now. I know I am not at all alone. There are gobs and gobs of flower fans across the globe, and many of them are just as passionate about flowers as I am. I think what I am really interested in these days is Flower Magic. Flowers have a transformational power that can enrich our lives in so many ways.

What do flowers mean to me? They mean pure power, color healing, high vibes, heavenly smells, and an opportunity to play with beauty. I think flowers are more powerful than we may have thought. I believe that a lot of plant wisdom has been oppressed by patriarchy. I believe that the expression, ‘stop and smell the flowers’ does not go far enough. Don’t just stop and smell the flowers. Plant the flowers, grow them, interact with them, get your hands dirty, kneel on the earth and let flower-growing be your prayer.

That’s just a little glimpse into how I feel about flowers. For those of you who are similarly transfixed, keep reading! For those of you who are not, feel free to unfollow this blog. The topics going forward will be mostly about earth-centric healing from now on. No hard feelings, if you decide to go. And if you are staying, you are welcome to follow my new Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BlissCraftLife/.

Let’s talk flower news!

I am currently taking Floret Farms mini-course on planting and processing fall flowers. I am loving it! This is my first year planting bulbs and hardy annuals for spring bouquets, so I appreciate all of Erin Benzakein’s tips. In case you do not already know about Erin and Floret Flower Farm, you may want to check out all of their resources (her whole family is involved in the business because they live on their farm). Whether you are ordering bulbs and seeds, looking for flower-growing tips, ordering their books, or even wanting to become a professional farmer, Floret’s website is like hitting the motherlode! https://www.floretflowers.com/

I love Erin’s first book, Cut Flower Garden, and that is the stage I am in right now. I love growing and arranging flowers from seed (and soon from bulbs). If you love flowers and you have not ordered this book, why not ask for it as a gift? It’s a treasure. You can thank me later.

I am so excited that Erin’s second book is coming out in February 2020, A Year In Flowers, Designing Gorgeous Arrangements For Every Season. Does this sound like a book I will like? Oh my gosh, yes. I could not be more excited to read it and gaze at the gorgeous photography throughout. How can I possibly wait until February to get it? I don’t think I can wait that long. I need Superman to fly around the globe and make the world spin faster.

Or wait…actually, better not. The world is spinning fast enough already, which is another reason I love growing and arranging flowers. It makes everything, including me, settle down so I can more fully enjoy the moment.

If you want to order flower seeds and bulbs from Floret, you have to sign up for Erin’s newsletter because her products sell out quickly once they are released. You can sign up for her newsletter on just about every page of her website — just go here to input your email: https://www.floretflowers.com/.

Are you passionate about flower growing and interested in creating your a flower cutting garden of your own? If so, let’s keep in touch. I can’t wait to create more posts on this topic. Playing with flowers feels as natural to me as breathing. Let’s play with flowers together!

Until next time…I will be outside preparing my beds for winter. Sunshine is in the forecast for the next week, which sounds helpful.

Get down in the dirt in your own yard. I will meet you there in mine. This is how we make the world a more flowered place.

More from Erin Benzakein. Her products are high quality and make great gifts!

 

My blog posts contain links that allow me to get a small fee for making recommendations. Even so, I only share products I absolutely love. Please see my Disclosure page for more information. Thank you for your support. I appreciate it!

Today is the autumn equinox and it’s a transition that does not merely exist on the calendar but also within our hearts and in the world.

I love fall, but it is a little hard for me to say goodbye to summer this year since I enjoyed it so much thanks to cultivating my first flower-cutting garden.

Here are a few things I am doing for the equinox — inspired by nature, nurture and nesting — to get into the sweater-weather swing:

Chopping down my sunflower bed. I did this yesterday. I cut down all of my sunflower stalks and used them for mulch on top of the bed in preparation for next year’s bed. I will continue adding organic matter to the bed over the next month or so and then top it off with cardboard, newspaper and brown paper so it can restore the soil without chemicals. Do you have things to chop down, dispose of or eliminate? Now is the time.

Setting intentions. Pull out a journal or a piece of paper and a writing implement. Without overthinking, jot down your top goals for the next three months. Aim for ten, but however many is good enough. You can either keep this list or let it go by burning it or tearing it up and flushing it. I will keep my list in my journal. Here is the pad I use for my written journal. I like that the back is stiff so I can write anywhere and I like to flip my pages over the top of the pad rather than flipping pages to the side. Do you have a journal on hand? Choose the one that works for you.

Listening to George Winston’s Autumn. I never listen to George Winston’s music out of season, so it always feels like fall when I turn this album on. Check Spotify or whatever music app you use to sample it or check out the album here.

Putting away summer items. When you live in the Pacific Northwest, this does not apply to clothing just yet. But there are plenty of items around the house I can switch out to put away summer and prepare for fall: kitchen linens, hand soaps, room sprays, candles and decor. It’s time to put the sunscreen away and get out the umbrellas!

Enjoying seasonal foods and drinks. Apple cider. Oregon Chai tea. Pumpkin Spice Latte. Giant apples. Apple crisp. Pomegranates. Persimmons. Grapes. Figs. Casseroles. Soups. Stews. Squash. Curries. Pumpkin-flavored everything — like Burgerville’s Pumpkin Shake and whatever Salt & Straw has going. Pie!

Planting hardy annuals. The easiest way to create a spring flower-cutting garden is to plant hardy annual flowers now. I like to use seeds from Botanical Interests but you can use whatever seed supplier you like. Here’s what I’m planting: Bachelor Buttons, Columbine, Cosmos, Calendula, Hollyhocks, Larkspur, Lupine, Milkweed, Poppies, Rudbeckia, Violas / Pansies. This is also a good time to plant perennials that will strut their stuff next year. Plant this collection of seeds if you want to give a spring cutting garden a whirl for a low investment. Use a garden bed you already have or create a new bed just for cutting flowers. Check out this Cool Flowers book on planting hardy annuals, if you want to learn more.

These Chinese Lantern Garlands are on sale in my Etsy shop while supplies last!

Decorating indoors and out. I love to create seasonal displays on the hutch that is facing our front door. Chinese Lanterns are usually the star of my indoor fall decor (and you can find them in my Etsy shop). I also hang baskets of gourds on the porch and purchase inexpensive pumpkins at Al’s Garden Center. If you are looking for decorating inspiration, try my online course, Expressive At Home.

Noticing change. Sometimes the best way to celebrate a shift in seasons is simply to notice the sensory changes as they happen. Mornings are cooler. Days are more wet. Evenings are spookier. It’s all part of the process. When we remember that nature is a cycle, it reminds us that we are part of the greater whole, as well.

We are nature. Take a moment to pause, notice the changes, and let the moment center you.

See ya, summer. I love fall.

Let’s celebrate!

Christina Katz is evolving and wants to inspire you to evolve, too. Check out her online school, Etsy shop, and Instagram feed if you would like to support her work.

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