Thursday, February 28, 2019

Year in Review

I seriously had good intentions on keeping the blog more active this past year,
but, as you can see, it takes a lot more than good intentions, my friends.
When the record-breaking wet spring finally came to an end,
every waking moment was spent in the fields...planting, planting, planting. 
This beautiful orchard was a brand new growing space for me and the best part is
it's just 10 minutes from home...yeah!
I bought (and seeded) thousands of plants...every square inch of this plot was filled. 
Notice there's hardly any room in the pathways...a process I'm still learning!
With said weather delays, the first round of blooms were not harvested until late April,
which was 2-3 weeks behind last year's schedule.  Of course once the bulbs started blooming, it as difficult to keep up...sometimes harvesting daffs/tulips twice a day.  How fortunate I was to enter into a great partnership with a local organic grocery chain, and was able to offer their customers weekly bouquets throughout the season.  If you're local, (Hunterdon County, NJ), come find my pretties at the Basil Bandwagon stores.
It was fun trialing many new varieties of plants.
A few favorites were celosias,
Mountain Mint...
and pink sunflowers...
aren't they pretty?
Lilies are still a top favorite crop of mine. 
Succession plantings every 3 weeks (150 bulbs) provided enough
stems for farmers' markets, gorcery store bouquets and local designers. 
I plan to double the count this year.  They are super easy to grow and so beautiful!
However, they must be harvested in bud stage,
otherwise opened blooms bruise very easily...a lesson learned the hard way.

In midst of farming madness, I was honored to design wedding flowers
for two very special two very different styles.

 Farmers' markets remain a favorite outlet as I get to meet new flower lovers
every week and receive such great feedback from regular customers.
Seeing familiar faces every week was the best!  That's flower power for ya!

 End of summer's bounty!
By November, I was ready for a much needed break.
The last 4 months have been busy with on-line classes (on farming, of course),
design workshops, and some fun travels.
Now it's all about indoor seeding and getting
ready for the upcoming season.

Hope you all enjoyed the colorful photos in this post and maybe
it won't be another full year before you hear from me again!
Yours truly~Lynn

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...