If you plant them, they will come...

After dreaming of the idea for many months now {number 5 on my Eighteen for 2018 "bucket" list} about the notion of creating a sunflower patch in our side yard - to attract butterflies, bees, birds and children and families and their high school seniors to my home studio - the plot has been planted.  

First, we mapped out our plot.  I would have dug up the entire side yard, but that's a whole lot to take on!  I'll gradually chip away at the new one, though, so that gives me something to work towards.  We measured and looked to the sun for the optimum growing area.  Sunflowers need abundant sunlight!  This location is just right...    

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We had toyed with the idea of renting a sod remover - yes, they make such a creature!  One day, seemingly out of the clear blue (but possibly not), I remembered reading about using tarps to starve the grass and keep it from growing making it easier till up the earth underneath!  Yes, tarps!!  This method does take longer than the quick, one-day option of gas powered equipment, however, we had time on our side.  

After many weeks, roughly 5 to 6 weeks, Kurt pulled up the brown tarp and tilled the 12' x 16' ground.  The first pass with the tiller went well in breaking up the sod, but did not dig deep enough to loosen the nutrient rich, organic soil underneath.  It was time to take action!   

Curious note:  If you try the "tarp method" at home to remove sod, be sure NOT to use the blue tarps!  We tried that at first in combination with the brown one.  The blue tarp actually encouraged (Vigorously!!) the sod to grow underneath!  The blue tarps have an opposite effect - so if you have a patch of ground where you want the grass to grow -- throw a blue tarp over it and watch with wide-eyed wonder at the results it produces!  No lie!  Crazy blue tarps. 

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Portrait Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

I set to work hoeing the patch in preparation of planting!  I got about half way, before giving in.  Farmers (especially organic farmers) do not get enough credit for the intense hard work that gardening is.  My right hand was so sore that I couldn't use it for a full day afterwards without shooting pain.  I suppose I should be thankful that was all that was in need of bodily recovery!  I guess carrying around heavy camera equipment has helped to strengthen my arm and back muscles -- Oh the benefits of photography that keep on producing!!  Ha!!  

I'm happy to report that Kurt helped me with the hoeing and together we finished the plot; hands recovered fully!   

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania
My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

I was careful in my selection of seeds.  I chose Sow True Seeds' openly pollinated, untreated, organic seeds:  Evening Sun;  Lemon Queen;  Autumn Beauty.  And planted them in neat rows according to size (taller ones in the back, shorter in the front).  What can I say?  I'm part OCD after all, for which gardening is my therapy.  Things out of my control do me good.  Plus, I get pretty flowers to admire!   

I planted last Sunday and noticed this morning on my garden walk - because I'm obsessively observing the patch every day - the little wonders sprouting up out of the earth!!  Hooray!  Gardening.  What an absolute thrill!  

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania
My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

I will report back here from time to time to let you know how these little babies are growing!  Aww, so fast!!  Grow, babies!  Grow!!  

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

In other news... 

Today is the girls' last day of third and sixth grade!  Hello fourth and seventh graders!!!  I can't believe it!  So, as I write this, they are enjoying their last day of the 2017-18 school year in preparation for summer vacation!  I have a feeling they may not be as excited as this photo from this morning.  Emilia, I'm most surely, will come home crying this afternoon.  She loves school and her teachers and her friends, the sensitive soul she is, and doesn't like to say good-bye.  Even though it's only for 11 weeks, that's a lifetime to a nine-year-old!  

Me?!  I'm enjoying this beautiful, quiet, birdsong, seed-sprouting, quiet (oh, did I say quiet again?!) morning all to myself.  I love summer and having the girls home with me 24-7.  I also love quiet, sunny mornings of reflection, photos, and coffee...  And on that note, my morning is complete.  Summer vacation, here we come!!!         

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania

Happy Summer to you, friends!!  Make loads of FUN-fabulous memories!!!

xoxo

My 3 Girls Photography Child and Family Photography Berks County Pennsylvania