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Flower Farm Journal

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

Welcoming Autumn

It’s hard to believe the first day of autumn is officially here. I’ve been noticing signs of the shifting seasons for weeks now around the garden, but have been half pretending that summer is going to continue on forever. While autumn signals a time of slowing down and regrouping, which is always a welcome relief, the shorter days and grey skies that come with it are a hard adjustment for me. This summer, like all the others before it, has been filled to the brim. Workshops, trials, visitors and enough writing and photo taking to feel like I was making another book (Which I’m not.). Somehow I thought this summer would be less busy and less frantic than the others, because we have such an amazing team here on the farm. But by now I should know better that. I guess I forgot that what looks totally doable in the […]

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How does your garden grow?

This last weekend, we hosted our third and final Seasonal Floral Intensive here on the farm.  We welcomed flower lovers from across the country (and even abroad) for a dreamy three-day floral design focused workshop.  One of the highlights of each workshop we host is setting the participants loose in our field to harvest to their hearts desire.  Watching them explore our flower fields, discovering new varieties and burying their heads in the blooms is always such a treat (check out all the behind the scenes beauty over on Instagram). Seeing them in our garden reminded me that I need to check in to see how YOUR gardens are growing this summer. How’s it going? What’s been your biggest surprise?  What’s your new favorite flower this season? A big thanks to everyone who has tagged their flowers, gardens, fields and designs with #growfloret and #floretseed.  It is such a thrill to see the beauty you are cultivating across the continent. […]

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Farmer and the Florist Interview: Flora Forager

I’m so delighted to introduce you to Bridget Beth Collins, the insanely talented botanical artist, painter, writer and creative force behind Flora Forager.  If you don’t already follow her on Instagram, @flora.forager, you must check her out.  Her artwork–created entirely with flower petals, leaves, and other foraged botanical materials from her garden and neighborhood–is absolutely breathtaking and has become one of my favorite feeds to follow. It was somewhat serendipitous that I had the chance to meet Bridget in person earlier this spring when she visited the farm with a small group of journalists.  We hit it off immediately and at the end of her visit, I sent her home with armloads of blooms to create her works of art.  Seeing what she created with the flowers I gave her was such a treat! Flora Forager, A Seasonal Journal Collected from Nature is a super sweet little book featuring Bridget’s artwork that just came […]

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The {Farmer} & the Florist Interview: Rosebie Morton

For the latest installment of my The Farmer & the Florist interview series, I’m thrilled to welcome Rosebie Morton of The Real Flower Company. If you’re not already familiar with this UK flower superstar, you are in for a real treat. First, here’s a little background on Rosebie: Inspired by her memories of her mother’s English country gardens, Rosebie planted her first rose bushes in the early 1990’s, a time when the market was being flooded with stick-straight scentless commercial flowers.  Selling at the Covent Flower Market, Rosebie developed a loyal following of flower enthusiasts who appreciated the natural charm and heavenly scent of garden roses, what she describes as “real” flowers.  Rosebie’s business grew quickly and in 1998, she co-founded The Real Flower Company, which specializes in bouquets of fresh garden roses, perfumed flowers, herbs and unusual foliage.  The Real Flower Company now ships luxurious seasonal bouquets all across […]

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Let’s meet in Michigan

I’m headed to Michigan this fall—would you like to join me?  I recently made plans to attend one of the biggest flower grower gatherings in North America:  The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers’ National Conference.  This year’s conference will take place November 6-9  in Grand Rapids, Michigan and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to present as one of the keynote speakers and serve as a panelist for one of the sessions.  View the complete conference agenda here. As you’ll see, it will be an action-packed few days, filled with presentations by some of the country’s most experienced farmers alongside some savvy small-scale new growers, horticulture researchers and experts. Flower farmers from across the continent will be there and I can’t wait to connect with so many flower friends all in one place. If you aren’t already familiar with the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, this organization supports variety trials and university research related to cut flowers, plus it provides educational resources, organizes conferences and coordinates regional events […]

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Catching Up

It’s hard to believe that it’s been three whole months since I’ve posted in this space – possibly the longest break I’ve ever taken. Between pouring over the last rounds of book edits, teaching four workshops and working on some really special new projects, I’ve been a bit short on words lately. After getting a string of concerned emails about the silence in this space, I thought it was time to finally get back on the horse. So, in no particular order, here’s what’s been happening around the farm. This year we planted our dahlia tubers earlier than ever and have been experimenting with some season extension strategies like putting hoops over the young plants to push for an earlier harvest. These efforts, combined with a warmer than normal spring, led to our earliest recorded field harvest ever. With over 6,000 plants coming into bloom, I’m excited, and a little nervous about […]

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