Taos Splendor–September

It all comes together now as we approach the fall season. Everyone’s gardens have been nurtured by the monsoon rains and the temperatures moderated by the clouds most days. The fruits of nature are bursting forth, be they coming from orchards, wild bushes, home garden plots or local vegetable farms. I love this photo from the farm market last Saturday, illustrating the originality of nature when it comes to tomato varieties.

These necklaces of marigolds look at home decorating a special place or shrine and will  show up again for Day of the Dead altars and memorials in early November. Whatever your vision this way of using marigolds for sacred decoration feels so right here in Taos. The photo shows the booth of Cosmos Farm run by Barbara and Larry in Dixon. They are newcomers to the Saturday market, but seem to be ahead of the crowd when it comes to success with lots of marigolds. I did pretty well last year and did some marigold stringing of my own. We’ll see what comes of this year’s plants. They are definitely blooming now, but I’m not sure about quantity.

One plant that has exceeded my expectations is lemon cucumber. I planted a couple of seedlings from the nursery and they have produced copiously for my salads.

This is Chris, both a new, and a noticeably young, farmer at the market this summer. As you can see from his sign, he’s also farming in Talpa, the area when I live. He says he learned what he knows about growing here from Jeff at Talpa Farms, who lives up the road from his place. Both of these farm locations have access to acequia water, which is remarkable for its purity and adds something special to their produce.

I want to help spread the word about the new art supply store in Taos. If you haven’t already done so stop in and introduce yourself to the owners, a nice couple. They have a handy location along Ranchitos on your right just past the Harwood (if you’re coming from the south end). Sculptures from Melissa Serfling’s Red Cat Antiques, across the street on Dona Luz, add to the artful ambience of the location.

About this time of year I have plenty of Cosmos and branching sunflowers around my place. At this point (their third summer) they’re pretty good at seeding themselves. Seems they like everything about the Taos climate and I favor them for their wild and casual look.  I’m also am fond of zinnias and marigolds. They seem to demand a bit more intention on my part, but are good for cutting whereas Cosmos are not.

I recently painted 6 new small (8X8″) flower paintings for the Gallerie Corazon in Santa Fe. I notice I’m enjoying working with the flowers on the small size panel. The owner of the gallery had a vision about 6 months ago of having a display of a grid of 16 of the 8X8- size flowers. I think I might be getting closer to that number, which originally seemed high.

I’ll end with a photo of my favorite, a white poppy.

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