Sunflower Contest Update

A total of twenty-six people registered for the Mammoth sunflower contest.

Mammoth sunflowers are large with cheerful yellow petals with a brown center. The flower blooms of this type of sunflower can be a foot across, and the plants can reach a height of 9 to 12 feet. To give children an idea of how tall that is, the ceiling in most homes is about 8 feet from the floor.

The little grey striped seeds we planted are now safely tucked into the soil and will germinate in 7 to 10 days. As you know, we planted two seeds in each hole. When the plants are about an inch tall, one of the seedlings should be snipped off at ground level to give the other plenty of space to grow.

Each time you visit the garden, give your sunflower a drink of water and maybe a few encouraging words. Don’t fertilize. We took care of that and in mid-summer we will invite you to the community gardens to feed your flower a low-nitrogen fertilizer. When you come,  you can enter the sunflower playhouse and feel free to walk inside the sunflower garden pathways.

In September we will measure to see which sunflower grew the tallest.  Maybe it will be yours.

Registration for the contest is now closed. Thank you all for joining in the fun.

 

 

 

Before the Rain…

My husband and I arrived early and had our hands in the earth by 8:15.

We could see the sky darkening. Undaunted, we planted carrots, cucumbers, kale, spinach, herbs, flowers and more.

We cleaned up between rows. When you weed your beds, throw the weeds in a bin. Don’t leave them or any debris from your beds in the pathways. Only wood chips should be in the pathways. This will become increasingly important as the season progresses.

By the time we were done the rain was starting so we packed up the tools and left.

Just in time, too. As we drove away we could hear the thunder, see the lightning and within minutes…a deluge of rain poured down.

But we felt good. It is satisfying to have the garden planted and mother nature watering her in.

Smiling….Natalie

The Last Day of Summer

Carla Smith, a Cornell University student and Saratoga Springs resident who will be volunteering in the garden. Say “Hello” when you see her.

I was in the garden this morning, pulling radishes and meeting with Carla Smith who is interested in volunteering and willing to help with fall cleanup of the plots. If you would like assistance, let us know and we will put you in touch with Carla.

She is a Cornell student who is majoring in communications and taking horticulture classes. And while she can’t be here every weekend, when she is in town she would like to give the community garden and its gardeners a hand. Thank you, Carla.

I gave her the tour and sent her home with a bag of radishes. It’s amazing how fast the radishes grew! It is 31 days since I planted them. The harvest is such that I will have to find some recipes for tasty dishes. Do you know there is such a thing as Radish Greens soup? I will keep you posted on what I make.

Icicle radishes harvested this morning from the Saratoga Springs Community Garden.

The garden was a great place to spend the last morning of summer and reflect on what a great season it was.

Of course, I am thinking ahead to next season and have started a seed list in my mind. There will be time this winter to read seed catalogs and make selections for the most delicious, disease resistant and healthy seeds.

And there will be more garden days to come this season…I still have kale and beets to harvest.

 

Sunflower Painting Sold!

Thank you, Nancy. May it always bring you joy.

It is deeply satisfying to know it will be in your home.

As an artist it is wonderful when your creation goes to someone who loves it as much as you loved painting it.

This is definitely one of the happiest paintings I have ever done and I love that it will be “living”  in Saratoga Springs.

Natalie Walsh

Sunflower Painting Finished

Here it is.

This is one of the happiest paintings I have ever done.

In case you haven’t been following the blog, these sunflowers are a variety similar to those painted by Van Gogh. I purchased the seeds from Renee’s Garden seeds, grew the sunflowers at the community garden, and created this 20 by 24 oil painting when the flowers bloomed.

I hope you enjoyed following the painting’s progress. Natalie Walsh

Sunflower Painting – Third Post

The oil painting of the Van Gogh sunflowers is coming along.

I’ve been working on the color of petals, the urn-like vase, the overall shapes of the flowers, highlights and darks. It’s not done yet, but I love how energetic and joyful the painting is at this stage. It is coming alive.

I had the good fortune of going to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston last week. There was an exhibit of paintings by Renoir I had to see. In the same room there were several paintings by Van Gogh. I just stood, stared and studied. What a pleasure.

I hope you enjoy watching this painting as it progresses. – Natalie Walsh

If you haven’t been following the blog, I planted Van Gogh sunflowers seeds from Renee’s Garden seeds in the community garden for the purpose of using the flowers as the subject of an oil painting. When they were ready, I harvested and photographed the sunflowers.  I will continue providing updates on the painting until it is completed.