I started the morning by making yet another zinnia garland. It's unusual that I actually teach anything on this blog, but these zinnia garlands are so charming and so easy to make, I figured, Why the hell not? If you have a bunch of zinnias, a needle and thread, and a little bit of time on your hands (like half an hour), you can do this with them.
Zinnias, like many summer annuals, will continue to produce blooms if you cut them regularly. I cut my zinnias every couple days. I cut the stems right under the heads of the flowers so that they look like buttons.
Six Motels will be a kind of rolling document of my travel from Northampton, Massachusetts to Dixon, New Mexico. I will sleep in Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, Baton Rouge, San Antonio, and El Paso. That's a lot of Motel 6s and Super 8s, and I don't have quite enough $$$ to swing it. If you are new to OilChanges this year, you can learn more about last summer's reader-supported X-Country Road and Farm Adventure by clicking the X-Country Road and Farm Adventure label at the top of the blog. That's the document I made of last year's reader-supported trip to Stanley Crawford's garlic farm in New Mexico. In the meantime, let me get back to the zinnia garlands.
I brought my haul inside and sat down to work on them. "Work" is probably the wrong word. I can make a zinnia garland in my sleep. Making one takes very little time and practically no skill. You only need to be able to thread a needle and push a needle through a flower. I guess you need to be able to tie a knot, too, but we can all tie our shoes.
You just push the needle through the center of the flower and repeat until all your flowers are on the strand. The strand will be heavy at first while the flowers are fresh, but it will become very light once they have dried out. I dry the strands by hanging them from a push pin on my wall. If you dry them in direct sunlight, the flowers will not keep their colors as nicely.
Here are some garlands. If you want a long one, cut off a long length of thread and leave the needle on. That way you can add more flowers to the strand as you harvest them. I have dreamed once of a kind of beaded curtain made of long zinnia garlands. Whatever floats your boat. That the garlands are pretty and charming is a bonus to the seed saver. Those strands contain the seeds that will become next year's zinnias. If you look at the strand on the far left, you can see that I stuck some marigolds onto it as spacers between two different types of zinnias. When planting time comes next year, those marigold spacers will remind me of what's what. When saving seeds, it's important to use labels. When traveling X-Country and sleeping in hotels, it's good to have good friends. Adios. And please stay tuned to find out more about "clicking the 6." Thanks.