April 22, 2011

a garden confession

I have something to tell you. There's really no way to soften the blow of what I'm about to say, so I'm just going to spit it out.

I planted my zinnia seeds last weekend.

I planted a lot of zinnia seeds last weekend.

I planted a shocking number of zinnia seeds last weekend.

Can you tell I'm stalling?

Okay, are you ready?

I planted one thousand, one hundred and ten zinnia seeds last weekend.

There, I said it.

1110 zinnias.

Eleven hundred and ten.

Eleventy ten.

I am a sick person.

I truly don't know how it happened. How can there possibly be that many seeds in those little packets? I just kept opening packets and planting seeds. I didn't count the holes in the seed trays as I was planting. I didn't even think to count the holes. About three quarters of the way through my seed packet stash, my guess was coming in around five hundred, and even that was pretty alarming, but when I did the final count (I finally did the seed tray count....seven across and fourteen down...ninety-eight per tray), I about fell off my chair. I'm using the wedding as my justification, but deep down I know I passed ridiculous a good six hundred zinnias ago.

Keep in mind the seed tray holes are very small and the zinnias will have to be transplanted into bigger pots while still in the greenhouse. Then I have to find a home for them all out in the gardens. That means I have to handle 1110 zinnias two more times.

Houston, we have a problem.

I wonder how many days it will take me to plant them all. I wonder if I have room to plant them all. June just may find me setting up a roadside zinnia stand, peddling my extras to passersby.

Actually, I think I'm going to look at it as a challenge. I'm going to find a place for each and every one of those zinnias if it's the last thing I do.

Please. Send. Help.

Truth be told, I'm a bit embarrassed by my zinnia numbers, so in an attempt to distract you from my zinnia gluttony, I'm going to totally switch gears and try to tug at your heart strings just a bit.

Just yesterday, I said my goodbyes to my middle son. He's heading off to a very hot place, very far away.

Then, last night I had a great talk with my oldest. He's getting out of the Coast Guard in three months, planning his wedding and he and his bride-to-be are mapping out the next phase of their lives as a married couple.

They're all grown up. I'm loving my grown up boys.

They are extremely cool people.

But, occasionally I miss these little fellas.

A lot.

I found these photos just a couple days ago. We had just moved into a house that had no grass, and each and every day was spent in their version of little boy heaven. They each got a hose that was turned on with a trickle of water, and they spent hours and hours playing in the mud.

Simple days and good, clean fun.

Then I found this picture and it made me laugh to see that even though it was taken five years later, the expression on my younger son's face is pretty much the same.

Of course I can't leave out my youngest....my baby. My 6'4" baby. Look at those curls and those cute little bunny teeth. Fourteen long years ago.

"Sunrise, sunset.

Sunrise, sunset.

Swiftly, fly the years.

One season following another, laden with happiness and tears."




Did it work?

Did you forget about the zinnias?


  1. Good Morning, I came across your beautiful blog a few days ago & just love it!....I have two girls that are similar in age to your boys!...& I cannot plant enough zinnias! :).....especially the lime ones!!!....I love how I have no problem with the idea of planting 1000+ zinnia seeds!...Love love love!....Wishing you a lovely Easter weekend!.....Your friend, Heidi XO

  2. Haha!! I love your zinnia story! And I love the fact that you planted so darn many of them! And admitted it. :)

    Great old pictures of your boys. So cute!

    Have a great day!

  3. Ha! I did forget about the Zinnias for a bit enjoying those boys and their smiles! Ahh...swiftly, fly the years for sure!

  4. holy cow that baby pic of your baby is the cutest thing ever! and yes, you are insane! that's a heck of a lot of time on zinnias:) but i'm sure it will be unbelievably beautiful!

    can i tell you a true story? i got Fifi's book Romantic Prarie Style yesterday. i kept thinking the whole time "i wish she had out Teresa's house in this!"

  5. ahh... aren't boys the best! I have two grown sons...25 and almost 27. Sixteen months apart. They kept me busy but wouldn't trade any of it! Zinnias are a close running to boys! ha! Zinnias are my favorite flower. Wish I lived closer to visit your beautiful gardens and learn a few things. No natural green thumb here! I just throw the seeds out into the flower beds!
    Can't wait for more pictures as the season rolls on!

  6. It worked...what zinnias? I miss my little ones but love my young adult girls, too. Just wait for the grandbabies...Okay, I know they aren't even married yet. Back to the zinnias...I gotta go buy me some more seeds now. ;)

  7. Consider these heart strings tugged good! You're killing me with those pictures! I already look back at pictures and wonder where my itty bitty boys went. Praying the Lord's protection on your middle boy. I can only imagine what your mama's heart is feeling today.
    And if your zinnias need a good home I would consider a road trip over to get some. Driving across a state to get beautiful flowers isn't extreme is it? :)
    Have a blessed Easter weekend!

  8. Such sweet photos! I love zinnias too! I haven't planted nearly that many! I save some steps and plant directly into the ground. You will have PLENTY of cut flowers!

  9. Precious, precious little boys....now grown to wonderful men. What mom could ask for more? The zinnias are a whole other subject. I doubt that there is a Zinnias Anonymous so I think you will just have celebrate the beauty you are creating!!

  10. OH, mama, do I ever know what you mean! The years march by without us realizing how fast they go, and now...what?

    And you will be in zinnia heaven and so will anyone who lives near you. Are you planning to grow the flowers for the wedding yourself?

    Have a great Easter weekend and please know the respect I have for your sons who serve all of us, they are wonderful men.

  11. Boys are a blessing! Hope you are having a great Easter! Lucky you to have all those zinnias to look forward too, okay maybe not 1100 to plant, but I would sure love to take a pile ;)

  12. sweet sweet youngsters :) I do hope that you have a flowerbed ready to go. I didn't even plant 3 full seed packets and I'm already running out of space to transplant the rapidly maturing zinnia plants. The first flowers will be opening (hopefully) this weekend :) Sending happy Easter bunny wishes ~diane

  13. I know exactly what you mean when you say you miss the little guys your sons used tobe. I've said the same about my daughters. However, I do not understand how eleventy-ten zinnias can be too many. In fact, I don't think the phrase "too many" can be applied to zinnias. ever. Happy Easter:>) You'll be glad for every single bloom in a couple months!

  14. Love Zinnia's. Love them!!

    You could just starting sending beautiful bouquets around to all your lovely readers.

    I'd take a "thinking of you" thata way. :)

    You're too cute.

  15. Yes, I forgot about the zinnias- I cried instead.... My little guy ( now 35) just left for home (13 hour drive away)after a lovely visit and I miss him like crazy already. Sunrise...Sunset....

  16. I'm not that upset about the zinnias ... I just can't get over the pictures of the boys when they were little! It strikes home with me because MY boys are the ages that your boys were back THEN, and it just kills me to think of mine growing up and leaving all that behind, funny faces and all.

  17. I love zinnias. There can never be too many, eleventy eleven might be excessive, so you're just fine. Great photos of your boys!

  18. Greedy, greedy, greedy.

    Glitter Troll

  19. yes, I forgot about the zinnia's....for a moment....my mom LOVED zinnia's,she always cut some to bring in the house....she never planted that many though...smiles....your boys, yes, that is a sad and happy time.....but, a proud moment to see them grow into such fine young adults....I have two daughters, ages 28 and 30, and now 5 grandchildren.......have a wonderful Easter..

  20. I didn't forget the zinnias, but you definitely tugged the old heartstrings! They're so cute! Best of luck to all your young men on their journeys. May they be safe, healthy and happy.

  21. I did forget about the Zinnias until you brought it up again :) It is a reminder that I should plant the 3 packets of Zinnia seed I purchased a month ago or more. Love the lime green ones so I pigged out on them when I found them in the store.

  22. What precious pictures of your beautiful boys!! I'm cherishing every minute that my little ones are little! I know they grow up all to quickly! My heart breaks for you having to say goodbye to your middle son. I'm sure you are already counting the days till he's home again safe and sound! Now about the zinnia's.....That is an impressive amount of zinnias girl! If you run out of room for them you can ship some to me! Remember...I need some serious help with my gardening! Happy Easter Teresa

  23. My very first thought (no joke) was to picture myself with "carry on" pots of zinnias. I'm sure they'd allow it -- right? Twould be the least I could do for you, take a couple off your hands. I LOVE ZINNIAS!!!!!!!!

    I almost called you this a.m.

    I ain't playin'.

    Isn't that mean of me to tell you that I "almost" did it? Well, maybe that means I'm working up the nerve to take that one last step...

    Be warned.

    ps - Your boys. Sigh.
    pss - You're a good, brave, smashing-smart Mama.

  24. Your zinnea pic is just wonderful!! I'm so jealous, we are no where near planting yet!!
    Your sons are too cute. I think of mine at that age too and they are in their 30's now! Where did time go?? Congrats on the wedding, you'll be busy this summer, not planning a garden but cutting flowers for the wedding!! Happy Easter!!

  25. Oh.....You are a tricky one Teresa! That sweet little face at the end with the "bunny teeth" sucked me right into thinking about your adorable child with the soft brown eyes and not the.....the.....what was it?

  26. Leave some zinnias for the rest of us - LOL. You did have me forgetting about your zinnia excess though. Cute photos of the kids.

  27. What a lovely pasture of flowers you will have! I'm sad about your middle son leaving but I'm thankful for the people willing to serve our country, and the mothers who raised them up so.

  28. Yes, I forgot. Started thinkin about my own grown up boys and daughter. Some part of them will always be little in our hearts.
    Thousands and thousands of zinnias; just glad it wasn't poppies...I'd be thinking hmmm Wizard of Oz...

  29. I LOVE your post and your writing style. And I thought I planted a lot of seeds, but you win! Happy Easter!

  30. I read your blog often and enjoy the posts and pics but this post holds a special place. I have 3 little girls and my world is total opposite of mud and water ,its more like bows and high pitched screaming. Sometimes I get lost in the day to day activity of having 3 small ones and you reminded me to stop and enjoy my little ones soft curls and my 8 year olds endless chats! Happy Easter!

  31. You ARE crazy, but not for the zinnias... For letting those adorable boys grow up! Yeah, yeah awesome men. Serving our country. Makin you proud. Yada yada... I say lock em up n never let em leave. Or forget makin me proud~ make me more sweet babies! ;-)
    No really, you grow great kids and flowers so why *not* 1100 zinnias?! <3. Wish I could come help. Thanks for makin me appreciate my muddy, messy boy!
    Happy Easter!

  32. I think your 1110 zinnia's has EVERYTHING to do with your middle son leaving. bless you

  33. Too cute you sick Zinnia woman! Ha-ha, I love Zinnias. What precious pics!

  34. I just found your blog yesterday & love it!!! I went through your entire blog! What an amazing photographer you are! I wrote about your blog on my blog & used some of your pictures. I hope that is okay. If not, please let me know.

    I look forward to your future posts. :)

  35. I am also a
    zinnia-phile, so
    I am not shocked
    at all by your
    gluttony!! Your
    boys are beautiful
    and I imagine, very
    special people, as
    well. I can relate
    to every word ~ I
    want them to be ready
    to fly, but oh, how
    I'M not ready!!
    Happy Easter, Teresa!
    xx Suzanne

  36. I love Zinnias! I have been saving the heads when they dry and planting them the next year! They spread and come up in random places, too! Love your pictures. My kids will never grow up. I'm going to keep them little forever.

  37. Yes, and we'd like a picture of each little bloom please. Thank you. =) Happy Easter Friend! ~Sally

  38. What a lovely story, it's bittersweet watching our children grow up but I suppose we can't stop them! I'm sure you will find a place for all those Zinnias on your farm - they are the prettiest flowers anyway. Happy Easter

  39. You made my eyes leak. Please pass me the zinnias.

  40. If you want lots of flowers then you must plant lots of seeds. Imagine what it is going to look like in full bloom. Your blog is beautiful and I just signed up to follow.


  41. Yes, I forgot about the zinna's with one look at those precious boys. Who cares how many flowers you plant anyway. Can't have enough and with your lovely pictures that you take of your lovely flowers...ahh...the more the merrier! Blessings friend and I pray your worship tomorrow is extra special. Sunday's comin'...Amy

  42. There is no such thing as too many zinnias! They are the bright, merry clowns of the garden.

    You are breaking my heart with the middle son heading overseas; when you originally posted your heart's feelings, I felt your pain. I commend you for your courage! I know he will be held in God's hands and returned safely to your arms.

  43. Yeah, I got sucked in by those bunny teeth and forgot about all the zinnia madness. I enjoy all your posts. Your writing skills match your photography skills. Will keep your middle son in my thoughts and prayers.

  44. I completely forgot about the zinnia addiction with the posting of your boys. My Lili was just telling me tonight she didn't want to grow up but she knew she was growing up because look how big her feet and her head have gotten. Oh, what will I do when she is grown? Pray that we are friends like you and yours!

    If you decide to send any to AZ, I will be happy to give you my address!! And of course, I will continue to pray that your son stay safe!!

  45. Awwww...I can tell you just like growing things....zinnias...boys...and you're good at it! God's blessing on your family, especially your son that has just left, but for all of you that have sacrificed for our country. Thank you.

  46. Oh, I wish you lived near me and I'd help you with the zinnias. They remind me of my grandmother. Love them.

    Those photos of your boys. Oh my. Praying for the one going far away. My baby boy is 6'5" now. Yes, I forgot about the zinnias when I got to the end. Lovely post.

  47. have 4 of my own kids that is so yeah I forgot about the zinnias upon reflection of sunrise sunset thing- got me going honestly how did it go so fast? God's blessings on the one leaving and the one coming I always pray he is watching over mine now that I can't make it better with a cookie- back to the zinnias girl you are some kinda woman gonna have your very own Garden of Eden for that wedding wish I could be there to help you transplant em that my friend will take an army. Thanks for stopping by I did have a lovely Easter hope yours was as well!

  48. Zinnias! I love them too. Last year we were at a fair in Maine and I saw the most beautiful zinnias ever, so I asked the lady displaying them what variety they were and where she bought the seeds.

    They were Bernary's Giant from Johnny's Seeds in Maine so I ordered some. It is a little early for me to plant them yet but I can't wait!

  49. Laughing over the zinnias and - please pass the Kleenex - tearing up over the guys. Thank you to your sons, and you, and your family for their service. Can just see later this summer a post titled - the zany zillion zinnia zoo!
    xo Cathy

  50. Your garden pictures are gorgeous! I would love to plant some peonies. I have no experience w/them but they are simply gorgeous. Unfortunately, the only one I've run across so far was $70. I was hoping for a cheapie to see if it would survive. :)

  51. Love your blog! I am often guilty of gluttony of one kind or another and I am also the mom of 2 boys. They are 9 and 13. I love them, but they also make me crazy. I read a lot of blogs by moms who just want to hold on to the early years, but I love the young men my boys are growing into and the things they like to do at this age. Total bonus, they blow their noses and wipe their bums all by themselves!

  52. what zinnias?
    Ha! :)
    I love the idea of how full of color your yard will be (& is already!)
    I will have to look for that geranium- I love those too- have you tried 'rozanne'?
    (and my peonies always have ants too. I have the same fear! boo.)
    loooove your blog....

  53. I plant a lot of zinnias too... I may need to go count them now to see how many :) I do know that I planted 360 impatiens about one month ago... those seeds are so small I use tweezers! It's all worth it later though. I can't wait to see how all your zinnias look and your gardens in general for the big event!

    It is amazing how quickly the years go by with kids... mine are 21 and 23. I still can't believe that. My niece just had the first baby of the "next generation"... that's even harder to believe!


  54. Dear Teresa, your boys are absoultely beautiful! Can I call them beautiful?? I'm loving those curls and long eyelashes and the pout! Oh why do they have to grow up so fast? Good thing we have our memories and the pictures. But kids are wonderful no matter what age, even as adults! And then they give you grandbabies and it's like you have them little again and you will love it!

    So I haven't forgotten your 1011 zinnias, you are an insanely crazy flower girl! Which is why I like you so much! Zinnias is about the only flower I can grow here in the summer once all my other flowers are sun-roasted! You will be thought of now when I have my zinnia garden, how can I not?? : )

  55. I'm digging the zinnias, and I LOVE your blog. I'm new to blogging and we are moving, so I love to look at the pics on your blog for inspiration.
    Thanks so much and God bless!

  56. I would like you to know that I planted zinnias for the first time this year because of YOU. Because of YOU and your love affair with zinnias. I hope mine turn out half as beautiful as yours!!!

    And can I just say that my heart is all a-flutter just waiting to see photos of this wedding....I can't imagine getting married surruonded by 1110 zinnias. It would be a dream come true!!! :)

  57. Just found your beautiful blog today - and I am so glad I did! We have a wedding this summer too and I love your zinnia idea. Thanks for sharing all of your gorgeous photos and I look forward to coming back often!

  58. What.were.you.thinking? Ok, let me just say, you make some precious baby boys. Sometimes I just ache for those pudgy toddler days. I was thinking last night that I would give most anything to hold baby Emma in my arms in a blanket and give her a bottle again. Our day will come again. But not too soon I hope.

  59. First of all, prayers and thanks to your middle son. Secondly, regarding the zinnias..Good grief!!!! The will be magnificent, but...good grief!

  60. I have never seen eleventy ten zinnias! I think that just might be what heaven looks like. Love those little faces. Your boys are cuties... so hard when they grow up and start to move away.

  61. I did forget about the zinnias briefly when I saw those bunny teeth. But then I thought about the green envy zinnias seeds I just planted b/c I was smitten with the ones you shared. There will be zinnias.

  62. Yes, it did work! Why didn't you plant them outside in the ground? I've done that here in Texas and they always come up so nicely. I might just go buy a few packets.

  63. Honestly - you do need more zinnias. I know you do - cause I'm sick too. Amen. It's 40 degrees out here this morning, and I'm crippled and can't do much yardwork. It's a cruel joke. I feel like I'm in purgatory. I miss you. ALOT.