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Blisscraft Thoughts: Walking Keeps Me Fit, Happy & More

Hellobores Blossoming In Oregon Walking Christina KatzIf you were like me when you were a kid, you probably spent a lot of time outside playing, getting dirty and flinging your body through time and space. Remember how it felt? It was awesome. I loved it. I still love it. But for too many today, it’s all too easy to feel disconnected from the earth we’re living on.

And it’s not like I’m moving at the same pace at 56 as I was when I was a kid. In October, I started walking several days a week to help recover that feeling of moving through time and space outdoors. This wasn’t exactly a choice. I re-injured myself last summer causing pain from many years ago to flare back up. It’s a leg/hip/lower back type of injury so it’s pretty debilitating. I kind of need those three parts of my body to do just about anything. My awesome medical masseuse, Ranee, asked me to walk to help speed along the healing process and I wasn’t really convinced that it was important. Walking sounded boring. Walking was for old people. How could walking even help? After several massages, the discomfort wasn’t easing up as much as I had hoped, so I reluctantly took Ranee’s advice and started walking.

Lo and behold, the improvement was immediate. Ranee is no dummy. She knows how the body works and she knows how walking can help people heal. My pain went from nagging to negligible and after a few more sessions it disappeared altogether. That’s how I got hooked on walking.

Moving my body reminds me I have a body, that my body works better when I keep it fit and that bodies thrive when you take care of them. I take care of my body and my body takes care of me — what a concept. I walked away the winter in a nearby retirement community, crossing paths with seniors who are also out walking in whatever patches of decent weather we could find. I finally got the full message: if you want to be walking when you are a senior, start walking in middle age and keep walking until walking is no longer an option.

As a flower gardener, I spend a lot of time outside in nature and it fills me up inside. I enjoy my own company. I always have and I feel especially content when I’m out in nature. I love the feeling of the sun on my skin, my hands in the soil and my knees slightly sunk into the soft ground. I love seeing the cacophony of colors that sway on stalks all around me when the garden is at her resplendent best. Incredible smells are new in every direction I turn. My garden is always abuzz with the sounds of bees, insects, and birds. However, the ground where I work is uneven, riddled with critter holes and tricky to traipse unless you like tripping and falling.

Apparently I like tripping and falling because I do it a lot. It’s not a big deal for me to tumble right now because I’m middle aged and I am still pretty good at either catching myself in mid-fall or finding a soft spot to land. In cases where I manage to do neither, I am still spry enough to watch the sky for a minute, catch my breath, roll over, get back up and carry on. But this kind of resilience will not last forever. What I learned last summer is, if you fall enough times, you may be able to get up and carry on in the moment, but you will pretty quickly be in enough pain to call your trusty medical masseuse and beg her to fit you into her busy schedule.

So how can something as simple as walking be such a revelation? Maybe it’s because walking isn’t just medicine for the body; it’s also medicine for the mind and soul. It pulls the scattered parts of me back together. It helps me breathe more deeply. It helps me rediscover my natural rhythm. Walking calms me. Walking energized me. Walking creates alignment. And the best part is the immediate positive effects also translate into lasting benefits, as well.

Maybe it’s okay to walk daily for the instant fix it provides. Life on earth is weird right now. Heck, life on earth is hard for most people these days for one reason or a hundred. And if it’s not hard on the daily, it’s challenging in fits and starts. I find my life is easier, smoother and cheerier when I walk regularly. I try to walk five days a week and sometimes I even hit that goal. And when I don’t, it’s no biggie, I just begin again the next week.

As a kid, I would throw myself off the edge of the pool and into the water. Toss myself over a make-shift high jump and land in a bean bag chair. I relished the feeling of flying through the air on a swing or a tree vine in the woods. In later years, I was an athlete. I played soccer, softball, and rugby. I swam and I dove competitively. That was then and this is now. I don’t need to be who I used to be except for the part of me that loves being outdoors. Then I flew, I soared, I dove, I tackled. Now I walk. I simply walk. I’m grateful that it feels like enough each and every time.


I am not sure which algorithm landed me on the stream of video content being produced by actor, producer, director and musician Adrian Grenier, but –wow — I am sure glad I clicked my way over to his YouTube Channel, “Earth Speed By Adrian Grenier.”

From the YouTube page: Earth Speed is a series about Adrian Grenier’s quest to evolve our relationship to value, and how wiser investments of time and money can make a real impact on our planet. On this verité-style documentary series, we will follow Adrian Grenier as he searches for partners, companies and entrepreneurs who can change the world for the better. Created by Adrian Grenier Powered by DuContra Ventures

As an earth-lover, flower gardener and sustainability nerd, I often watch educational content related to living in harmony with the planet we stand on. I am honestly not even that familiar with Grenier’s former professional body of work, although I must have seen him in The Devil Wears Prada. Needless to say, I am a fan now.

Anne Hathaway and Adrian Genier in “The Devil Wears Prada.”

More and more I am becoming interested in sharing resources that break down big sustainability concepts in to do-able steps for the average person, and that’s what Adrian Grenier is doing with this project. This series contains great storytelling, poignant revelations and excellent education and motivation. Also check out other series on his channel. I have not even watched them all yet but the one I watched is excellent.

If you haven’t watched yet, head on over to his YouTube Channel and watch and share his Earth Speed docu-series. He’s just getting started and I’m excited to see what he will produce next!


Today the topic is how to deal with the trickle of hate in the world. I don’t believe that there is much hate in the world. I believe that there is a little bit of hate, a lot of manipulation by greed and power trying to leverage that trickle of hate for their own purposes, and a tidal wave of love in each of us, just waiting to be released.

Yup, I believe that each of us contains a huge gush of love just waiting to pour through and all we have to do is point and shoot. If only folks could point and shoot love instead of everything else that gets pointed and shot. What would happen to the world if they did? Let’s try and find out by putting our love behind good things and let the rest dry up like a puddle in the sun.

For example, Parade opened on Broadway last night and it was met with a trickle of hate. Thanks to the cowardly forces of manipulation, you might think we should be afraid of shows like Parade and stay away from places like Broadway because there is so much danger there.

Poppycock. Good luck to the folks showing up in a state of hate trying to live in a world that is full of love. It’s not going to be easy for them to maintain that hate and we’re not going to make it easy on them by letting them polarize this wonderful work of art.

This is where you come in. Show your love for Parade on Broadway. Get behind it. Share about it. Send the team your love. Buy tickets. Tell your friends in NYC to go. Here is what Parade is about:

Leo and Lucille Frank are a newlywed Jewish couple struggling to make a life in the old red hills of Georgia. When Leo is accused of an unspeakable crime, it propels them into an unimaginable test of faith, humanity, justice and devotion. Riveting and gloriously hopeful, PARADE reminds us that to love, we must truly see one another.

We need beautiful stories because they help us feel things. And you know what is hard to do when you feel things? It’s hard to hate when you feel things. So let’s keep feeling things and let’s keep supporting art in the world that helps us feel things.

What can you do? You can feel your love. Feel your love for art. Feel your love for Broadway shows. Feel your love for these performers. Feel your love for the whole team. Feel your love for musical theatre in general. Feel your love for New York City. Feel your love for diversity and tolerance and a world that is safe and supportive for all.

Feel your love. Feel your love. Feel your love. And only after you feel your love, take action. No more rants. No more trying to show how smart you are. No more fighting. Get into a space of feeling love and then get behind something good. When we get behind the good stuff instead of fighting the crummy stuff, the trajectory of the world is nudged towards a more loving future.

We believe we have to pin hate to the floor and fight it into submission. We don’t. Fighting hate just makes hate bigger, stronger and more troublesome. Tune out hate and tune in love. And then do something with your love that makes the world a better place for all of us.

Use your love and change the world for good. You can do it. I know you can. This is not over yet. Listen to the song in the above video. It’s called, “This Is Not Over Yet.”

Deep breath. Let go of hate. Admit how powerless you are over it. Let it get smaller. Watch it fade into the background. Open up your heart-gates. Rev up the heart-light. Then pour out the love. Let it flow. Let it rip. Flood the world with it. Then onward towards a more loving world. We can do it.

For more information about Parade on Broadway starring Ben Platt and Micaela Diamond, please visit: https://paradebroadway.com/.


My No-Dig, Flower Growing Cheat Sheet Is Available For Only $9.99! Click Here To Download It Now.

Well, it’s the end of the flower-growing season here in zone 8b in Oregon. I have been practicing growing cut flowers for a couple of years now and I am definitely living a flower-filled life. In fact, I have more than enough flowers to share, which is always fun.

I have researched quite a bit of information online. I have also read a ton of books and watched a lot of Gardener’s World from the BBC. I thought I would give back some of what I have learned from real-life experience to those of you who are hoping, wishing and praying to fill your home with flowers next year. Here are seven things I have learned that I hope you find helpful. Consider them the broad strokes of what to consider before you plan a successful flower-growing season.

If you are looking to save money in the long run on starting to grow cut flowers or continuing to grow cut flowers, I hope you will check out these tips. Keep in mind that most of my growing tips also apply to vegetable and herb growing. I prefer growing flowers but you might be excited to know there are low-impact, inexpensive ways to grow anything you like, no matter what your garden zone. Why not give yourself a year to experiment with growing? I bet you actually do have a green thumb and you just didn’t know it.

1. Give Yourself A Monthly Budget & Stick To It By having a spending limit each month for your flower garden, you will be forced to prioritize your monthly purchases. This is important when you are just starting out because yes, you can grow cut flowers cheaply. Even so, you are going to need to invest steadily and the more you do the bigger results you will see in your garden each year. Even if you only spend $100 a month, you will be amazed at what you can build and grow. I would suggest starting simple and small. You can replace lawn with a couple of long rows of cutting flowers in your yard and you will be amazed by how many flowers you can grow from seed. Just don’t make your rows too close together and follow the advice in my no-dig flower garden cheat sheet when you are creating first your beds. Bye-bye, lawn! Hello, flowers all season long!

2. Buy Compost By The Yard I purchase several yards of compost twice a year and have it delivered from our local garden shop. I try to purchase it when the ground is hard, so I don’t have to worry about the delivery truck getting stuck in the mud, which has definitely happened before! I lay a large tarp down on the ground, have the driver dump the compost on the tarp, and then cover it with another tarp. I weigh down the edges of the tarp with old two by fours. In the fall, I cover my existing beds with compost to feed the soil and protect existing plants from freeze. In the spring, I top off old and new beds with a couple inches of fresh compost before I plant seeds. Check out my two-page cheat sheet for comprehensive instructions for building your first beds.

3. Always Be Gathering Seeds, Bulbs, Corms & Tubers Here is the tricky part about growing your first cut flower garden. There is no one time of year when you can access all the bulbs, corms and tubers you want. For example, you purchase daffodils and tulips anywhere from summer to fall, depending on how you purchase them. And you can purchase dahlias in the summer for delivery the following spring or you can purchase them in the late-winter and early spring in-person. Basically in the fall you getting first pick and in the spring you are getting varieties that are leftover after pre-orders. After a couple of years’ experience, I have decided to purchase locally except for a few mail orders of seeds each year. I am fortunate to live in a place where we have abundant supplies of bulbs, corms and tubers. It’s important to buy local and support local farmers. My advice to you is to make a few garden shops nearby your local haunts and visit them frequently so you get a sense of what products come through when. Always inspect the products you buy before purchasing to make sure they are not old, moldy or mildewy. Have a well-ventilated closet or enclosed space in a garage or shed for storing your bulbs, corms and tubers, so they will be nice and fresh when it’s time to plant them. Be certain not to expose your purchased items to mice, wood rats or any other critters who might find them delicious. And don’t forget good ventilation! In a future post, I will share a simple method for sorting seeds packets by planting time and tell you about all my favorite seed sources.

4. Use A No-Dig Approach Growing flowers is fun way to connect with nature. I think you will be amazed at the positive impact a small stretch of cutting flowers can have on your heart and soul, not to mention your family and friends and local ecosystem. I use an organic, no-dig method in my flower gardens, although these tips will work no matter which method you use. No-dig means disrupting the soil as little as possible when planting. But of course, if I have to dig a hole to plant a bulb or tuber, I will. Otherwise, I do not have a need to dig and this keeps the structure of my garden soil intact. If you have not tried no-dig, I encourage you to try it. It’s easier than you may think and is so much better for your soil in the short and long run. No-dig is also a lot less work than traditional farming methods. Check out my downloadable cheat sheet that can help you set up your very first no-dig beds. Making no-dig beds is so fun and easy, I would not be surprised if you don’t get hooked on replacing lawn with flowers. Flowers that come from a no-dig or no-till method of growing possess a magical quality that other flowers simply do not have. If you want to find out the difference, commit to a no-dig approach. You will be so glad you did!

5. Enrich Beds For Ongoing Productivity I plant my flower beds in waves. I start planting seeds at the end of February and plant the last wave in August. This means I have ample flowers all the way up until my first hard frost. But it’s not like I am busy planting all the time. I usually plant a whole row or half a row at a time. Then I don’t need to plant again for weeks in between plantings. When the flower-growing season is over, I chop my annual flowers down at the base, spread out a layer of newspaper and cover each bed with a couple inches of compost and finally a tarp or roll of weed cover. I have found that the time when I am not gardening is just as important as the time I am gardening. When I am ready to start planting beds I have already used, I will add a bit of Nature’s Intent organic fertilizer as well as some wood ash from my wood stove and coffee grounds we save from our morning habit. Before I plant anything, I top off each bed with an inch or so of fresh compost and direct-sow my seeds. Using this system, my beds stay healthy and fertile year after year with very little fuss. When you are direct-seeding your beds, planting in harmony with your best growing season is crucial. My method of planting is so relaxed and easy, I have plenty of time to check the weather.

6. Make Seedling Protection Priority One The reason I am so successful growing direct-sown flowers is that I have a simple system I use for early protection of seedlings. Nothing matters as much to me as protecting my seedlings until they are at least a foot tall. This system is outlined in my no-dig flower bed cheat sheet. I kept the instructions short and sweet so busy people can understand the concepts and plan on incorporating them into their flower garden plans. Three products contribute to my extremely high seed direct-sow germination rates: floating row cover by the yard, metal hoops for creating tunnels with row cover and slug repellant. Without these three supplies, I would have to grow my seeds indoors under grow lights or in a greenhouse and go through the arduous, back-breaking process of hardening-off and planting seedlings. My flower gardens grow in a simple four-step process: bed preparation, direct-sowing and seedling protection. Once flowers are established, all I have to do is water them. That’s four steps. The rest is flower heaven. And here’s the kicker: all that push to grow seeds indoors and all the fuss and mess and spending that go with it–you don’t have to do that. Will my direct seeding system work work in your gardening zone? You will have to experiment to find out. But you may as well try it before you spend all that money on a greenhouse or the materials for starting seeds indoors!

7. Borrow This Plan For First-year Success You can have a spectacular garden in year one if you use this simple plan and follow the instructions in my no-dig cheat sheet. If I were to start growing over again, here’s what I would do. I would plant one 30-foot bed for hardy annuals perpendicular to the trajectory of the sun. Then I would plant another 30-food bed six feet away from that bed for the second wave of hardy annuals. Then I would plant another 30-foot bed for tender annuals six feet from that bed. Then another for the second wave of tender annuals six feet from that. Finally, I would plant one more 30-foot bed for bulbs, corms and tubers. I grow daffodils, hyacinth, tulips, Siberian irises, and dahlias, which blossom in that order. By planting in waves, in long rows that are direct-seeded 3-feet wide and six feet apart from each other, it’s easy to irrigate or water beds by sprinkler or hand. That’s only about a 30-foot by a 40-foot space. You can totally hold off on purchasing irrigation until your second year growing flowers, if necessary. Just plan on watering in the evenings, after dinner. You can grow a ton of flowers in beds a fraction of the size I just recommended, so go ahead and adapt this plan to 10-foot long beds or 20-foot long beds, if you want. Just be sure to always leave six feet between rows. Otherwise you won’t be able to get between your rows at the height of the season. Keep in mind, less longer rows will be easier and cheaper to irrigate than more shorter rows.

If it’s your first year growing flowers and you want to be amazed by how much you can grow primarily from seed, mark off space for your beds now and gradually prepare the soil between now and January, February or March–whenever the weather is appropriate to start direct-sowing hardy annuals in your zone. My helpful two-page cheat sheet can help you grow flowers wisely and in harmony with nature. The earth will thank you and you will feel that renewed connection with mother nature from your very first day practicing no-dig gardening.

Maybe people avoid earth-friendly practices because they think they are too hard or too expensive or too yuppie. But no-dig flower-growing techniques are actually easier, cheaper and more socially responsible than what we have inherited. In fact, if we all moved in this direction this coming year, we could make a global impact, just by growing beautiful no-dig flowers. The birds, bees and butterflies will thank you so kindly your first year growing, you will never look back. Future generations will also thank you for gardening sustainably.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end. I hope these tips are helpful and inspiring. Happy gardening!


Homecoming Weekend: What Does It Mean To You?

Homecoming. Home coming. Coming home. Come home.

It’s that time of year when there is a lot of stuff going on out there in the world. But do you know what my favorite thing to do is?

My favorite thing to do is to stay home. As a sensitive soul, I am not enamored with crowds.

I can endure them when the goal is cultured, like watching musical theatre or listening to a classical music concert. But the cacophony of football games does not make me feel at home in myself…at all.

Instead, I like to turn my attention inside myself and inside our home at the turning time of the year.

Of course, there are still garden beds to weed and prep for spring and summer planting, but mostly I am looking around my home with new eyes. The kind of eyes that have been mostly outside for six months.

It has been a successful growing season but that satisfaction is only experienced if it is recognized and felt.

The house is a bit cluttered, if I am honest.

What do I need?

What do I no longer want?

How can I energize my rooms so that staying inside all winter will be more relaxing and enjoyable?

There is so, so, so much pressure on us to focus on the outside world.

Big games.

Big wins.

Big losses.

Big scandals.

Big tragedies.

But too much focus outside is how the inside realms become neglected.

By being outside all spring and summer, I have nourished my body, mind and soul.

By turning back inside, I am relighting a fire in my heart like a tiny hearth that warms me to the furthermost reaches of my being.

I need that heat. I need that fire. I need that reclaiming of my inner reaches.

I can’t get a cozy, warm, content feeling outside. I get other things from being outside.

At this time of year mostly I get the anticipation of going back inside where it is warm and welcoming.

And, don’t get me wrong, I love spring and summer. I loved them throughout the growing season.

But at the onset of fall, with the sharp winds and downpours of needed rain, I am ready to toss aside my dirty garden gloves and venture indoors where many fall and winter seasonal adventures await.

After all, life is not built on achievements. Life is built on accumulated moments of awe and wonder, which arise from being content in the flow of life.

Out and in. In and out. The flow of life. The wonder of the changing seasons.

Where will it all take you this fall?

I hope to an adventure of your own making.

Perhaps even into a homecoming.


All I Want Is To Garden The Way Nature Thinks

Today I was working on a part of my garden that I have never truly liked.

And I thought, how can I get this part of the garden to work the way I know it can work?

The answer was: Garden the way nature thinks.

This idea seemed like a breakthrough because we live in a world where it’s so easy to only care about results and what others think.

Truthfully I don’t really care about either of those things. Gardening is one giant experiment for me. None of my gardens are picture-perfect, most of the time.

I simply want to achieve the results that I know are possible because I have experienced them in other areas of the yard. I want to love how my garden looks first and share the beauty with others second. So if I am not satisfied then I need to keep experimenting.

I have had success growing flowers all over the place, often despite myself. It sure helps when you purchase seeds that rarely fail like those I get from Botanical Interests. I have learned more from seeds that succeed than from seeds that fail.

A garden has multiple acts. There is a big ta-da in spring because you wait for it all winter. There is the summer climax of the garden, when the plants are so tall, bright and cheerful. Then there is the winding down in fall, which leads to that barren winter void.

I love all the seasons in the garden. And I love them even more when I don’t have to work too hard to grow beautiful flowers. I love it when my beds have their own momentum that carries them almost effortlessly through season after season.

So the first thing I did was rip the weeds out of the area. Sometimes I out pull plants that are not considered weeds, if I am not fond of them. In this case, a lot of mint was growing in this area and I ripped it all out. It smelled great but mint is too invasive around here (zone 8b).

Then I went shopping for free seeds. Which is another way of saying, I walked around the yard with my snips collecting seeds that were already dry on plants letting them fall into a mixing bowl. Late summer and early fall are good times to gather seeds. And who doesn’t like free?

I gathered Balsam, Hyssop, Sweet William, Hollyhock, Feverfew, Calendula, Shasta Daisy and Foxglove and scattered the seeds and husks across the area. In a bit I will go out and water everything in. And then I will forget about them and see what happens in the spring. I have a bit of drip irrigation installed there already, so I don’t have to worry about watering.

If I had some planting compost handy, I would mix the seeds into the compost or sprinkle some compost on top to protect them a bit more from critters. But it really doesn’t matter much since the seeds are all 100% free.

I love gardening this way. I just remembered that I have some seeds collected from last season that I can add to the bed. Why not use up all the free seed I already have?

Sometimes I like specific flowers in one part of the yard but not others. This is one of those beds where I have never achieved enough height and drama. So I am scattering seeds for a lot of tall flowers. For this reason, I will add some Rudbeckia Tribola seeds to the mix.

I don’t worry about planting in drifts, I just scatter mixed seeds all over the planting area and water them in. Nature will take care of the rest. Flowers will grow wherever they are happy if their needs are met.

Gardening should always be this easy and spontaneous. I can’t wait to see what pops up next growing season!



Joy Is Our Birthright But We Have To Choose It

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.


Everyone Is Perfectly Capable Of Growing Flowers

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.


Flower Magic: Amazing Medicine That Humanity Needs Now

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!


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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. You can even make your own! Giant apples. Apple crisp. Pomegranates. Persimmons. Grapes. Figs. Casseroles. Soups. Stews. Squash. Curries. Pumpkin-flavored everything — like Burgerville’s Pumpkin Shake (in October) 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.

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 Etsy shop and Instagram feed while you are here.