And so the flower season begins.....
I'm not even going to try and explain why I haven't blogged all year! It's been busy. Let's leave it at that! I'm now on the cusp of my first full flower growing year. Last year I'd only just started to think about growing and selling flowers so I hadn't really thought too much about early Spring. However, this is the time of year when everyone is Desperate For Some Flowers! So this year I'm more prepared and have been getting very excited about the anemones that have just started to pop through. These will form the backbone of my early bouquets on the Flower Cart in early spring. I'm particularly taken with the maroon variety. It's petals are just like chocolate and mix so well with the soft green of eucalyptus and the pink of viburnum in bud. Just delicious!
Close on their heels are the sweet peas. The humble sweetpea is such a workhorse in the cut flower garden. Not only does it produce copious amounts of flowers it also provides colour and scent that is second to none in my mind. These cute as a button posies will be tied up with brown twine and bundled up to sell on the cart too. The other corms and bulbs waiting to fulfil their destiny as a My Flower Cart bouquet include tulips, ranunculus, scillia and narcissi......
While the bulbs and corms have been busy sending out roots and shoots I've been quietly getting on with the business of Seed Sowing. I definitely have a bit of an obsession with seeds. I save seeds from my garden religiously and I hunt for seeds voraciously online and in shops. I spend hours poring over websites and seed catalogues being seduced by the new varieties and ones I've never heard of. I've tried hard this year to pare the varieties down to a minimum but a few exciting ones did slip through. Always interesting to try something new. There are of course the total failures like Madia Fruit Cocktail that I tried last year. It promised to smell of tropical fruit but I didn't catch even a scintilla of a whiff of that scent and it's yellow flower was disappointing to say the least. Out it came. But then there was the beautiful cynoglossum that I found by accident. It grew so quietly I almost missed it. I returned home from holiday and it had almost finished flowering but what a great filler it made! Experimenting is definitely part of the fun of Flower Farming. The catalogue of seeds to sow is too extensive to list here but there will be sunflowers, zinnia, bells of Ireland, cosmos, larkspur, asters, campanula, rudbeckia, helichrysum, gomphrena....and lots more besides.
Dahlias are busy sprouting. Some tubers can't wait to get going. Others look as if they'll never wake up. If you're sprouting your own dahlias remember to keep them away from frost. I won't be planting mine out until Labour Day along with the tomatoes. I've high hopes for the Dahlia Walk this year. It provided armfuls of cheery colour and sumptuous texture for bouquets and events and this year I'm hoping to double my yield.
The Herb garden has acquired a few more beds to house the much needed foliage for my bouquets. Scented geranium was my hero in the Herb Garden last season. It's scent and ability to last so well in bouquets and Table Flowers made it my number one Go To. I love texture and scent and herbs satisfy both of these but I need to plant huge amounts to keep up with demand. As a fairly new bouquet maker I can't believe how many stems are needed to create a sumptuous, generous looking bouquet. Cutting huge buckets of fresh, seasonal foliage is a truly pleasurable task and I'm looking forward to this treat in the next few months.
I'm excited to be part of the Black Barn Market in Havelock North this year. It opens on December 3rd 2016 and runs until the end of February. As well as fresh bouquets I'll also be selling fresh christmas wreaths. These can be hung up to adorn a door or laid flat to decorate your Festive Table.
The flower cart made it's debut at the end of August! What an early start to the season! Filled up with fresh spring posies it looked beautiful. Opening times will be a bit sporadic in early Spring because the flowers aren't as plentiful as in high summer. So please do phone or FB message me if you'd like to place an order. Small posies start from $15 but bigger bouquets are also available too. Thanks for all those lovely customers who have stopped by to support me already this season. Your encouragement and kind words keep me going especially when it's cold in the field!!