With much delight, Charlene, Collin and I were able to deliver not just vegetables to the monastery, but fresh cut zinnias. I must admit I watched the recipient’s face light up as we handed over the harvest. After all, how can one not smile when presented with flowers?
This is a first for us. Although we practice farmscaping in the vegetable garden, we have not specifically grown flowers to be cut for the sole purpose of being enjoyed inside. Let’s be honest; it can be hard for the gardener to cut and remove fresh blooms that contribute so much beauty to a garden bed. However, there sure is something magical about having fresh flowers on a table, especially next to a dinner made with freshly harvested vegetables. That was the thought process during the early planning stages, and it’s been a huge success, especially since our mystery wildlife muncher does not seem to have a taste for zinnias. Having a designated cutting garden of zinnias has other benefits too. These flowers are so easy! Plant some seeds directly into amended soil, water, and watch them grow, and bloom into all sorts of amazing colors. These beauties are also working to help keep the soil covered, suppress weeds, and attract pollinators. Oh, and did I mention the more these flowers are cut, the more they will bloom all summer long and into fall.
I’ve extended this idea into my personal garden, and I realize because I have labeled this small dedicated portion as a “cutting garden,” I have no reservations about removing flowers to bring inside. I also reaped an unexpected benefit. I found my daughter (who is not into gardening) with her camera taking photos of the arrangements I made. Our passions intersected!
hoping those zinnias, with all those different colors, will find their way onto a table and as the residents of the monastery gather around for their meal, will briefly pause and smile at the flowers before them, before feasting on vegetables harvested from the Teaching Garden.