Feeds:
Posts
Comments

flowers a go-go

Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of providing flowers for New Belgium Brewery’s 20th Anniversary shindig. Thanks Andrea for inviting me to join in the celebration!

Mason jar arrangements are this season’s most requested order. I love the simplicity and utility of the jar’s design. Unassuming and quaint they let the flowers shine. They’re sturdy travelers too- I don’t have to sweat delivery logistics…

Their size is just perfect too- anything smaller is annoying and anything much larger is almost arrogant in comparison for displaying summer’s flowers.

Thanks again to all the folks at New Belgium! Keep up the great work!

Maine escape

Last week we left for our annual trip to the East Coast. Before we could take off though I had to complete and deliver all my orders for the week- it was a crazy night of packing, cleaning, and extreme floral design. Most people have this idea that the floral arranging process is graceful and therapeutic (it can be and often is), however, in the peak weeks of my season, it’s a blurred craze of bouquet making at all hours of the day. If there was a floral design reality show like Project Runway- I think I could kick some ass!

So we escaped to Maine to enjoy a week of life without deadlines, looming weddings, and the daily demands of our flower farm world. Instead we played in the ocean, rode bikes, visited museums, ate lobster, and spent some good time with friends and family.

And oh the flowers! The hydrangeas, hostas, and lillies are out of this world in Maine.

Always my favorite part of our trips to Prout’s Neck is the Beach Club- the wooden lockers, outdoor showers, everyone in white beach cover ups and flip flops, seashell collecting, boogie boarding- just the best!

Queen Anne’s Lace grows wild everywhere. If only we were so lucky here!

Finally our umbrellas got some use…

So nice to explore new places with my girl!

Now we’re home again and back to the business of flowers! I did kinda miss my midnight design sessions…

Maine escape

Last week we left for our annual trip to the East Coast. Before we could take off though I had to complete and deliver all my orders for the week- it was a crazy night of packing, cleaning, and extreme floral design. Most people have this idea that the floral arranging process is graceful and therapeutic (it can be and often is), however, in the peak weeks of my season, it’s a blurred craze of bouquet making at all hours of the day. If there was a floral design reality show like Project Runway- I think I could kick some ass!

So we escaped to Maine to enjoy a week of life without deadlines, looming weddings, and the daily demands of our flower farm world. Instead we played in the ocean, rode bikes, visited museums, ate lobster, and spent some good time with friends and family.

And oh the flowers! The hydrangeas, hostas, and lillies are out of this world in Maine.

Always my favorite part of our trips to Prout’s Neck is the Beach Club- the wooden lockers, outdoor showers, everyone in white beach cover ups and flip flops, seashell collecting, boogie boarding- just the best!

Queen Anne’s Lace grows wild everywhere. If only we were so lucky here!

Finally our umbrellas got some use…

So nice to explore new places with my girl!

Now we’re home again and back to the business of flowers! I did kinda miss my midnight design sessions…

hollyhocked

As the heat keeps me from working in the flower field during the midday hours, I’ve been seeking shade in our private garden spaces. They’re filled with a mess of flowers that are most of the time neglected, but somehow manage to live and perform. These are our wild, ‘survival of the fittest’ regions that offer coolness and chaos to balance the strictly managed rows of sun-loving blooms.

Of all the flowers that have succeeded in growing here, hollyhocks are my favorite (with poppies a close second). I had a dream just days before meeting my partner Arthur of a stand of tall white hollyhocks. After one of our first dates I got the tour of his backyard and lo and behold, the hollyhocks of my dream were growing in a small border bed. Flowers always lead my way… Anyhow, I am now a firm believer that no garden should be without these tall and striking beauties. If you’re interested in growing some, you’re in luck because now is a great time to do so. Hollyhocks do best when seeded in summer as opposed to spring. Find a pack or two- I love the dark mahogany of ‘Watchmen’ or the lush peony-like ‘Charter’s Double’ and get started!

skinny roots and all

Franny and I ventured out into the field today to deal with work that certainly should have been addressed in the fall. We ripped bygone annuals out of their beds, shook the topsoil loose, and tossed them into piles for composting. It turned out to be a great “teachable moment” for Franny. We explored the variety of root structures and lengths and noted how the soil was uniquely impacted by each plant that had been it’s previous occupant. I learned a lot too.

Here’s Franny standing beside some baby Celosias that eventually turned into these:

That now with their skinny, dry roots exposed roots look like this:

Oh, but the cycle will continue yet!  I have seeds started already for some fun new varieties of these strange and beautiful flowers. Stay tuned…

yellow fever

Yellow is not my favorite color, but my power color. It charges me up when I have it in little bursts here and there. Kind of like a mimosa! It was infinitely wonderful to play with some yellow flowers this last week in Austin, TX. While in the lone star state I traveled to Blanco where I spent some time visiting with Pamela and Frank Arnosky of Texas Specialty Cut Flowers. Pamela not only gave me some great flower growing advice, but reassured me in my homeschooling efforts (she homeschooled all four of their kids).  When I expressed how challenging I was finding it to do both well, she commented that at least I didn’t have to contend with fire ants. Well, that’s true. When my kids whine about the grasshoppers bugging them this year, I’ll remind them of that.

The Arnosky’s were kind enough to let my family and I pick some daffodils and explore their hoop houses of ranunculus and anemones. Flowers in February! Back at home my industrious partner was putting the final touches on the make-shift greenhouse we designed for my own experiments with these flowers. I’m hoping these beauties will be ready by the end of May or early June.

Also while in Texas, I had the pleasure of training with Austin based floral designer Brooke Howsley of Pollen Floral Art. I’ll share more about the great time I had with her in another post, but here’s a pic showcasing all the yellow flowers I had left over from my session with Brooke.

I’ll be growing some of these flowers such as the french tulips and foxtail lillies someday, but until then I’ll just have to buy wholesale to include in my arrangements.

Franny’s helping me here pot up various bulbs. Pretty cute in her thrifted vest!

As a last bit of bright beauty to share, check out these incredible fields of rapeseed flowers in Beijing, China that I was just reading about. Yeah for yellow!

springboard

I was delighted to discover that the host of the Specialty Cut Flower School I attended this past weekend was not only a talented flower farmer and instructor, but also a fellow thrift store junkie with a flair for interior barn design. The upper level of her pole barn was used for our classroom. I had the pleasure of watching powerpoint slideshows and listening to panel discussions in this whimsical and cozy space that overlooked her farm.

It was an excellent weekend of focus and observation. The warm days spent in Washington’s Skagit Valley were just what I needed to pull me from my winter funk and cement my goals for this year’s season. I am so excited to move forward into the spring with new vision, wisdom, and direction. I missed my kiddos, but man was it nice to have some solo time!

 

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.