Flower Power

Some months ago, whilst sitting under a ray of sun, with a hot cup of chai, in the company of two lovely friends, I made a crazy offer, followed by a firm commitment, and then another cup of chai.  Now, before I say more, the thing that you have to know about me is that I rarely make a commitment based on reason, or a lengthy thought process (I leave those types of decisions to Mark). To be honest, I am not entirely sure I have ever considered the possibility of contemplating the pros and cons of a particular direction. Even when I go out to a restaurant, I know what I am going to order within 30 seconds of opening the menu. You see, decisions for me, result from what I can only describe as a surge of energy that starts in my belly and rises up through the middle of me, somehow connecting my heart to my head. Beyond this, there is sense of instantaneous heat, followed by a feeling of forward momentum, which causes everything inside and outside of me to sing “go!”  Needless to say, this is what occurred, under that particular ray of spring sun, some months ago, when I offered (without a moments hesitation) to do the flowers for my  dear friend Elizabeth’s wedding.

No sooner had I offered, did she reply, “Nao, I would love that!”  And so, having never done flowers for a wedding before (in fact having never done flowers for any event before) it was not until Elizabeth drove down the driveway, that I actually recognized the magnitude of my offer. (For it was not until this point that I realized her wedding would be occurring the same week that I was pulling honey and putting my entire garden into jars and freezers.)  And so, I did the only thing I could do, and I laughed my head off for a good long time, because this is what I do everytime I come around this particular corner of myself (as I tend to do, over and over again). When I recognize that I am riding the horse of inspiration into the sunset without a hope in hell of getting off. eh eh Once I stopped laughing, I started planning and well; since then, Elizabeth and Tim got married, and Honey Grove flowers surrounded them whilst they did. But before this there was the business of growing them, with the help, of Gus, of course.

And with the right combination of earth, sun, rain and prayers, grow they did.

Until they were covered in bees and the golden light of late summer, each perfect petaled face offering itself in wide-open-fullness to the world.

I was sure I heard them say that they were feeling as honoured as I was, to be a part of Elizabeth and Tim’s ceremonial day. And so, the night before the wedding, I went into the garden at dusk, and with the help of my sister Shanti and my darling friend Clare, we picked the flowers for Elizabeth’s wedding.

At 5:30 the next morning, we transported these petaled Honey Grove wonders up the highway and on and off of two ferries.

And while the flowers bobbed their delicate heads in the back of the van, we ate granola and yogurt and talked about love. After traveling for several hours, we found ourselves under the big white tents of the soon-to-be wedding.

And so, with a heart felt dedication to surround Elizabeth and Tim with beauty, I set to work with the incredible help of two friends. Thank YOU Clare and Jessie! (I should also  mention that these photo’s were all taken by my talented friend Miss Jessie Turner.)

Together we created wedding party bouquets.

And once they were complete, we turned our attention to the table arrangements.

Which proved to be a sparkling combination of orange, pink and gold.

An absolute mountain of flowers it was.

And the next day, Elizabeth and Tim did get married, and it was absolutely magical.

And Mark and I were honoured to be a part of such a sacred celebration.

For whilst I was growing flowers, Mark was brewing a special ale for this wonderful occasion (but this is another post). Now back to the wedding, in honour of Tim and Elizabeth and the flowers, bless them…

…that were everywhere.

Congratulations Elizabeth and Tim!

Otherwise, back home on the farm.  All things are coming into their fullness.

Into their goldenness.

And their orangeness

And their smoothness

And their redness.

And through the garden gate…

The winter garden has already begun to grow.

As we begin to prepare for the seasons ahead.

Maintaining humour.

And sweetness.

And of course, love.

May this find you in the midst of a beautiful day~ Celebrating the fullness and the goodness of it all. As for us, we are off to spend the day extracting honey.

In Gratitude,

Nao, Mark, Gus and All at Honey Grove.


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Beauty and The Bounty

Earlier this year, when I found myself planting rows of flower seeds on crisp spring days, in long sleeve sweaters, I was imagining this very moment.

I was picturing us barefoot at the peak of summer, the fruits of our labours spilling out of colorful baskets, the bounty and the blooms overflowing.

I remember asking Mark, over tea one day, just after putting in a row of sunflowers, if it was possible for something to be “too beautiful.”

“What do you mean,” he asked?

“Well,” I said, “is there such a thing as beauty over-load? I mean, do you think this garden, once it begins to grow, might be so overwhelmingly beautiful, that it could be too much to bare?”

To which he replied, “Surely not, I don’t think there can ever be too much beauty in the world.”

And of course, I agreed with him, I sipped my tea and nodded my head in full alignment with his declaration, but still, there was more to my question, and try as I might, I could not seem to explain it. What I meant was, is it possible to let all that beauty in?  Can the magnificence of something ever be too much?

Because, it is this way for me sometimes. I must admit that I have found my human capacity for beauty to be limited in someways, as though I do not always have the circuitry required to expand in the infinite directions that such beauty requires. Sometimes the beauty of this world is so much, that it splits me wide open, pulls my heart from my chest, wipes my mind clean and releases a well of mysterious tears, that for lack of a better phrase, completely, “Take me out.”

Honey Grove, this summer, has “taken me out,” the beauty and the bounty are beyond my wildest imaginings and I have no category to put my experience.  It simply is what it is, and it is (through my lens at least) unbearably beautiful.  The last time I met a blooming artichoke flower in the four o’clock sun, it was covered in three kinds of bees and I had to kneel down, because my legs went wobbly under the weight of such exquisiteness.

Yes, there is something about growing flowers that gives meaning to the mystery. I think flowers might be some of the best role models for the human experience. Something about the way they give their light to the world without a single thought of being more or less than what they are~ wide open in their wonder, alive and shimmering in their wholeness, perfect in their imperfection. I am fairly certain that flowers know the secrets of the universe, and whenever I can, I like to bottle their essences and give thanks for the magic offered. I am a great believer in using flower essences to support the emotional and energetic body.  And so a few weeks ago, a dear friend came over and we made 3 flower essences under a blue July sky.

St. Johnswort


Salvia Flower

And while all things are blooming and fruiting, the shelves of our root cellar and farm shop are getting fuller by the week, as we spend our days picking and preserving and planting for the winter months ahead. Lucky for us my Mom is a food-preservation-expert and she came to stay on Honey Grove, with our beautiful niece Senay, for a whole week. Thanks to their enthusiastic and loving efforts many good things were accomplished, not to mention the fun we had!

We canned peaches on the first day they arrived.

Senay is a practiced canner of peaches. She knows the routine very well, having spent a good deal of time  in country kitchens with both Nana and her Mom.


She helped with the making of peach jam too, and the measuring and blending of Honey Grove teas…

Because, we are happy to announce that the farm shop is now officially open!

And there are lots of homemade things for sale!

We have homemade jams lining the shelves and dried flowers in hand tied bundles.

We have nourishing beeswax hand salve and hand crafted body-care.

We have postcards, designed by Mark.

And Honey Grove garlic…

And flower seeds for bees!

The guests can now take a little bit of Honey Grove home with them and this seems to please them very much. Speaking of guests, we have had the loveliest folks coming to stay on the farm. The notes that they leave behind  in our guest book, bring us more delight than I can properly say. Somehow their kind words about what we are attempting, have a powerful effect on us and we are motivated to keep dreaming our dream, to grow our gardens and bake our breads and keep our bees. Speaking of bread, Senay had several bread-baking-lessons with her Uncle Mark, everything from multi-grain Greek celebration loaves to pizza dough. She has indeed, become an expert kneader and shaper.

She has also proved her flower arranging skills. Her talent in the garden rivals her talent in the kitchen.

Not to mention the important lessons she gave Aunty, including how to use a cucumber as a microphone before you eat it.

And the importance of putting regular offerings out for Faeries. “It’s a good idea to thank all the Faeries who make your garden grow so well Aunty, you really should be doing this at least 2 times a week” (and so a new ritual has begun).

And I was fully educated on what sort of platters to use, as well as the things Faeries like to eat.  ( For those interested: Flowers, blueberries, seeds, nuts, honey and wine, to name a few).

Oh, and while we were feeding the Faeries, Arrabella’s baby duckling’s hatched! 5 fluffy feathered ones. And our Arrabella has never been happier~

Of course we don’t spend all our time at the farm. We do manage to get down to the beach too.

And Gus has been teaching us all how to fully enjoy a summer sea.

Because that is what summer is about after-all. About celebration and sunshine and holidays and happiness, and more beauty than one can possibly know what to do with~( but that’s the point I think, you don’t have to do anything with it at all).

And so, we bid you farewell for now.

Summer Blessings to All~ May your summers be filled to the brim with happiness and abundant goodness, and may you keep listening to the wisdom of the blooming and petalled ones, as they turn toward the light in wide-open-wonder, perfect in their imperfection.

Nao, Mark, Gus and All at Honey Grove.


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