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Flower Farm Journal

"More than anything, I must have flowers always, always" Claude Monet

The Hellebore Appreciation Society

I feel like a very late joiner to the Hellebore Appreciation Society. For years, come mid winter, all of my gardening friends would be crawling around in their flower beds, heads cocked to the sky, admiring the pretty nodding flower of their prized hellebores. I would usually get down in the mud too and halfheartedly admire the crop. But for some reason, they just didn’t have the same effect on me that they did other gardeners. That was until I started growing my own. Now every winter you’ll find me crawling around like a fool in my shade garden, oohing and aahing over the delicate nodding blossoms too. If we have company, I’ll make them get down low and experience the magic with me. Then I’ll whap off a handful of flowering stems and send them home a big ole bouquet. Four years ago I planted 50 baby hellebores on the […]

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This Week On The Farm: Week 9

The ladies got moved to a fresh patch of grass running the length of our driveway. Oh, our poor neighbors! I’m sure they wish our place was tidy and cute. I remember the day the neighbors to the south moved in. Both kids were outside in their rain boots, with umbrellas, buck naked playing in the puddles. Elora wandered over and introduced herself and showed them her favorite bumble bee boots. We all still laugh about that first meeting. Little did they know what they were in for. The dahlia tubers we pulled from the basement and planted into bulb crates to take cuttings from are just about ready. I’m working on a detailed photo post for you on how we do this, so stand by! It’s a really great way to multiply your stock when you’re first starting out, only have a few tubers and want to increase your […]

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This Week on the Farm: Week 8

It has been the most beautiful span of days here. The weather has been unseasonably warm. Tee shirt weather almost. The frogs are already croaking so loudly out back that we can hear them through closed doors. It looks like late March, not mid February. Trying to capture the last “winter” scenes for the book has been a bit tricky. All of the early ornamental trees and shrubs are exploding into bloom and around the neighborhood, the familiar hum of lawnmowers can be heard. Fingers crossed we can make it. The earliest daffodils are about to pop. Just down the road a field of a million King Alfred’s is just turning yellow. Soon the school buses with armies of pickers will descend and begin the harvest and spring will officially be underway in the valley. The sweet peas that we sowed in the fall and planted into the hoop houses […]

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Spring flowers: top 10 seeds to start now

With the days finally getting longer I’m starting to get the spring itch already! Unlike much of the country, here in Washington we’re experiencing one of the most mild winters I can remember. Seeds have arrived and we’re already starting to fill the greenhouse with tray after tray filled with soil and seeds. If you have access to a greenhouse or an indoor space where you can rig-up some simple grow lights, there are a number of flowers that you can start indoors and then plant out as soon as the ground can be worked, which will give you a jump start on harvesting bountiful blooms in spring.  Starting seeds indoors, versus direct seeding, can reduce pressure from weeds and pests, plus enables you to transplant strong, healthy plants exactly where you want them in your garden. For many flower varieties, you won’t want to start seeds until 6-8 weeks prior to your […]

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This Week on the Farm: Week 7

This week was a wild one. We packed and shipped out over a hundred and fifty boxes of sweet pea collections to eager gardeners all over the country. Figuring out how to run an online shop certainly has had its unexpected challenges, but we’re finally getting the hang of it. A huge thank you to all of our patient new customers who’ve been so gracious during this learning process! Jill, Cora and baby “Paper” (he’s in mama’s tummy, temporarily named by Cora) visited the farm this week. Jill is Floret’s office manager and handles all of the workshop coordination, shop customer service, emails and anything else relating to communication and organization on the front end. She was actually the first floral designer I ever sold flowers to so many years ago! When Jill came on board in the summer of 2013, my life was transformed. It was the first time I got to […]

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This Week On the Farm: Week 6

It’s been hard to keep up with documenting all that has been happening around our place. For the first time, I’m no longer the one having to keep everything moving forward outside. With Chris home full time now, days pass and I don’t step a foot into the garden. It’s both a relief and cause for concern. My identity has been shaken this winter. Who I was is changing and I’m not quite sure who I’ll end up being after this transition is complete. While I’ve never been so free from the physical side of farming, I’m now trapped in a new way. My days are spent buried in mountains of paperwork and projects and never ending lists of to-do’s and should have done’s.  While it’s difficult to not check and balance my progress each day and end up feeling like a failure, there is so much growth happening within these […]

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