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If These Walls Could Talk

The Fresh Scent of Summer

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08/01/2010 - Julia Ossa's garden is filled with fragrance and beauty. It's a testimony to what, for her, has been a lifetime pleasure. She credits her grandparents for inspiring a love of gardening within her. "They were so in love with each other," she reminisces. "They were always laughing... one wouldn't leave the room without a kiss for the other. Everything I love in my life I learned from them--- good food, photography, books, laughter, hiking, sewing, and gardening. Granddaddy always had a garden". Julia's childhood memories are of bounty and harvest. "There was no weeding or work" she says, laughing as she describes being sent out by her Grandma to pick flowers for all the rooms in the house, and whatever she wished to eat for dinner.

Julia has tried to inspire this same love in others--- sharing her gardening knowledge by doing landscape design. She offers this advice to home gardeners, "Plant in waves, curves, or circles". She encourages layering the plant heights, placing the taller ones in back, "... but mix it up a little with a few tall ones in front once in a while for rhythm". We should also see vegetables as more than just utilitarian plants. "Use vegetables like flowers. Red cabbage looks like great big blue roses. Parsley looks like ferns, and zucchini looks tropical with its' big leaves. Vegetables look great with annual flowers mixed through them". Julia suggests we aim for big patches of colors and textures instead of small splashes, "Pick about three colors and repeat them throughout for continuity and flow. Structures like teepees and lattice are great backdrops. They give vertical interest and a climbing surface".

Now, in midsummer, is the time when we can begin to enjoy the best part of gardening--- the harvest. For those of us that don't garden ourselves, the Farmers' Market is the next best thing. The Farmers' Market can be found at the fairgrounds every Friday from 7:30a.m. till noon. Local gardeners gather there to sell their garden-based wares. Julia Ossa will be among the vendors.

Julia has marketed potpourri and herbs for tea and culinary use in the past. Her new venture, Julia's Flowers and Pots, includes her handmade pottery, seeds from unusual things like heirloom Mediterranean sweet-peas , and houseplants started from cuttings. It's main feature is bouquets filled with her organically grown flowers. She favors European arrangement, "... loose and natural, arranged so a butterfly could fly through it". Each bouquet is unique, "I love it when the flowers grow in curves toward the light. they make neat shapes to arrange".

Julia's arrangements can be purchased at the Farmer's Market, or ordered for delivery. I had the honor of purchasing her first delivered bouquet for a friend recuperating from a broken ankle at Elkhorn Rehabilitation. Julia delivered the flowers herself because she wanted to see the recipient's response. I wonder if Jan could sense the labor of love she was recieving?

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