Monday, October 5, 2009

Going Native

This is a lovely flower, native to the eastern shore of MD: Eupatorium perfoliatum, 'Boneset'. We are making a transition to cultivated natives here on our flower farm, not that we have never used native flowers before. When we first started out, ten years ago, I would send Don out to gather flowers in abandoned fields, or along the roadside (where he had to explain what he was doing to more than one local cop--but, sir, I'm just trying to get lucky this eve. . .). I love native wildflowers--I always have. I spent the morning of our wedding in PA (20 years ago), picking my bridal bouquet on my grandparents' dairy farm. I have always picked flowers. And now that I grow flowers it makes such good sense to grow what is natural to the area, what the soil likes, the good bugs like, flowers that flourish in these hot, humid summers, and live in a symbiotic relationship. It connects with my writing as well, as I am working on a short story cycle set here on the eastern shore. As I dig deeper, I am finding what it is that makes the people of this area unique and what it is about them that keeps them happy and hardy and living together in a peaceful, and sometimes, not so peaceful way. . . but the natives are still here, still thriving. . .

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