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wet rock gardens local flower farm

on friday, i locked my keys in my car. this was made especially foolish by the fact that i was a thousand feet down a dirt road and most certainly alone. my car had no real business being locked. but it’s a habit. tuck keys in purse, exit car, push lock, close door. usually, my purse is with me.

but no, there it was on the seat, with my phone tucked inside as well. at least i had my (mom’s) camera. better yet, i was in paradise, stranded at wet rock gardens flower farm in springfield. it was only sort of raining as i radioed friendly mr. kelly for help from the check in table. i poked around and made myself at home while susan sped to my rescue in her vw camper, bearing a cell phone.

peony buds

the deer wandered off, bored with me (or laughing), and i wandered off in search of what i came for, peonies. my timing is impeccable. i need them this weekend, and they should be damn near perfect. one red bloom was open already, a pretty preview of what’s to come. susan showed up as it started to rain in earnest, so she took me on the driving tour of the farm once i got a hold of the mister to bring the spare key to my car.

foxtail lilies (eremerus)
“if no farmer is handy…”

wet rock is on twelve acres tucked away by the mckenzie river in springfield. it’s run largely by only two people, susan and kelly, who’ve acquired and developed the property piecemeal over years. it’s the sort of place that can only be understood as a labor of love. the farm offers u-pick flowers and provides arrangements for local festivals (country fair, anyone?) and concerts and the occasional free-thinking bride. they host their own events as well, make giant soap bubbles at dawn, and pull weeds by hand. it’s a lot of work for one couple, but all of it is beautiful, even the bits that fall lower on the priority list than tending the plants.


“sometimes you have to pull the weed to get to the flower,” susan said as she was telling me about their u-pick flowers, nestled in more beds than i could count. “we don’t mind.”

i don’t mind either. i’ll be back this friday for the peonies and all summer long for the other treasures.

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