Sunday, March 18, 2018

Back to School...

...but hey, it's not September!
I'm talking about the Beginner Growers' School for flower farming newbies, like me!
As you know, I've been a gardener most of my adult life but home gardening practices are much different then gardening commercially.  Oh yes!
The 2-day event attracted many young (and!) farmers from all over the U.S.  We had a wonderful meet and greet reception and it was fun to put faces to names I'd gotten to know via social media in the last year.  It was especially fun to see which of these tags someone chose to highlight his/her personality.  Of course mine read 'party animal'...haha!  
 A floral demonstration came next and wait 'til you see the finale!
Sue from wowed us with her very unique
design style and choice of materials.  
 Each new bloom variety she introduced brought oohs and aahs from my lips. 
And, she made the process look effortless!
   Isn't that just STUNNING!
Another favorite demonstration was this wrist corsage.
Our second day of school included a roll call of amazing speakers.
These are the pros in the biz who's 'been there' and 'done that',
so they truly speak from experience.

The topics ranged from seed starting to how to market your flowers.

The legalese of starting a business and pricing formulas...

...and, even bug pressure!
All in all, an amazing session.  I filled page after page with (hopefully legible) notes.
The camera came in handy too for those quick changing slides.
A huge THANK-YOU to the ASCFG (Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers),
for putting together such a great how-to program. 
I know it will save me many years of having to 'learn from my mistakes'.

I came home fully recharged and ready to start an amazing new season.
Now...if only the snow would melt!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My First "I Do"....

I knew that pouring my heart and soul into flower farming would eventually
lead to customers asking if I 'do weddings' least I prayed it would! 
(DHM Photography)
Kelly and I hit it off right from the start and I couldn't have asked for anyone
sweeter and more easy going to work with.  This was going to be great!
Until she mentioned the size of the wedding party:  12 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen...whoa!  Remember, this was my first wedding! 
That panic quickly left as we discussed details and budget.
She wanted simple elegance but also loved the rustic, mason jar look.
Knowing that she was putting her trust in me really boosted my confidence.
I can totally DO THIS!
What was 6 months away (when we first met) finally turned into a mere week.
The only thing left to chance was the weather...
Groom's boutonniere
Mom's pin corsage
Flowers and greens were picked up on Wednesday.
Boutonnieres and corsages made Thursday.
Friday night bouquet assembly came together without  a hitch.
Okaaay, it took many tries to get them just right!
(Thank goodness for this new walk-in cooler, to keep them fresh.)
Though the roses and hydrangeas came from a grower in CA,
it felt amazing to harvest stock,
tulips, spirea and peonies right from my fields!

As I delivered the flowers to the bridal party,
I was literally holding my breath and trying to calm my heart.
(DHM Photography)
Guess what?  Kelly absolutely LOVED her bouquet!
And, of course, the weather was perfect!
(DHM Photography)
After the ceremony, I was on standby to re-purpose the bridesmaids'
bouquets into table arrangements.
(DHM Photography)
So there you have it, friends, my first official wedding!
It felt great to reach and succeed such a milestone!
In total, I designed bouquets for 4 weddings last year
and can hardly wait to answer "I Do!",
when asked by the next engaged couple if I...

Sunday, December 31, 2017


There's nothing like a year end post to make one pause, reflect and give thanks.  2017 certainly was a first season as a 'flower farmer/designer' was AMAZING and I am beyond grateful for how wonderful it all turned out.
(Isabel March Photography)
The process of harvesting blooms at dawn became a zen-like ritual I could
hardly wait to get out of bed for.  Seriously!
(Seth David Photography)
Learning how and when to cut certain blooms, how to process them,
to provide the longest vase life, was truly a trial-and-error process.
And I am still learning!
(DHM Photography)
All those long hours of planting, pinching, weeding, watering really paid off as I was able to harvest enough stems to provide lush, healthy and colorful bouquets for the Farmer's market on Sundays from mid-April to mid-October.
10-14 hr. days were the norm, and quitting time came only when my legs and back gave up, in utter exhaustion.  I knew it would be hard work but...oh man!  Guess when I'm surrounded by beautiful flowers, breathing fresh air, how can I complain?!

 Especially when customers, like sweet Olivia,
love and appreciate my flowers like this?  So cute!
So with a full season of growing for market and a few wedding designs behind me,
I'm forging ahead and growing even more flowers!
Anyone have extra sunny space in their yard to rent me???
3 weddings already booked for 2018 and a second (mid-week) farmer's market
in the works, it's going to be an awesome year!
The garden is now in deep sleep under a cozy white blanket but I can't
wait for the explosion of color come spring.

Plantings this fall included many new varieties of tulips and hardy annuals...
already establishing their roots under the snow. 

And, of course, that coveted first handful of blooms
from my favorite vine, sweet peas!
I mean, who can resist their intoxicating fragrance?
As always, thank you, garden friends, for stopping by.

I wish you ALL a Healthy, Happy, Prosperous and Love filled New Year.
Catch you on the other side!