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Home Blog This Week on the Farm: Week 8
February 17th 2015

This Week on the Farm: Week 8

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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.

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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.

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The sweet peas that we sowed in the fall and planted into the hoop houses are starting to put on some lush growth. They looked pretty ratty this past month but the recent sun and warm afternoons are making them grow like crazy. Next week Chris will set their trellises because they are ready to climb.

edited week 8-48I picked the first handful of Icelandic poppies on Valentine’s day. This fall we planted an entire 100ft hoop house full. That’s 2,ooo plants! I can’t wait to see all of their cheerful faces but know that full days of harvesting are right around the corner.

edited week 8-32We’ve been swimming in parrot tulips for the past few weeks. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of stems being harvested and sent out for Valentine’s. There’s nothing quite like hauling in an armload of these ruffled treasures. Back at the beginning of this journey, when I would dream of the future, I would imagine the most luxurious flowers I could (roses, peonies, dinner plate dahlias, parrot tulips) and think maybe someday I’ll be able to grow enough to have an armload like the pictures I’d seen in books. Now it’s an everyday occurrence.

How about you? What’s happening in your garden? Are you buried under a mountain of white? Are you picking buckets of flowers yet or start seeds in the greenhouse?


  1. Yasmin on

    Hi Floret, I am writing to enquire if you were at all open to- in the future- the idea of an enthusiastic Australian girl coming and helping on the farm there? I have followed your journey for a while after discovering you on Instagram, and I can’t help but ask! My partner and I (he is wanting to harvest in other parts) want to travel over and I’m truly not afraid of hard work. If you at all had a minute to reply and perhaps we could keep in touch if the opportunity ever arises! Thank you heaps, Yasmin.

  2. Mara - TheFarmAtOxford on

    “Back at the beginning of this journey, when I would dream of the future, I would imagine the most luxurious flowers I could (roses, peonies, dinner plate dahlias, parrot tulips) and think maybe someday I’ll be able to grow enough to have an armload like the pictures I’d seen in books. Now it’s an everyday occurrence”

    I totally think about that too, the pictures of flower farmers with hundreds of blooms tossed over their shoulder… and I smile because I have a feeling by end of this year I’ll have done that a few times over! The stuff of dreams for sure.

  3. Allison on

    Love seeing the first signs of spring pop up around your farm!!! It’s been nutty over here in bend too! The mildest winter in memory so far! I’m nervous that march will bring cold and snow… Just when I want to start thinking about sowing those seeds end get them ready to plant. I think of your wise words of growing wisdom as I pour over seed packets and get ready to begin the first season. Can you just start a 24 help line for farmer florists on the verge of freaking out? The farm has room for a call center right??! :) maybe right next to the hoop house loaded with those beautiful Icelandic poppies?

  4. Michelle on

    Three feet of snow and below freezing by here. No plants in site. Seed sowing in my dining room has begun.

  5. Jackie Coldsmith on

    It’s sooooo cold here in Maryland! Zero degrees last night with negative wind chill. It’s hard to believe that I’ll be planting outside in just a month! Right now I’m tending the seedlings under lights in my basement slated to be planted in the greenhouse in March. So looking forward to spring weather!

  6. VillageKid on

    Seeds and more seeds, both flowers and veggies, are going in this week.!! We are ‘warm’ for us, which means we are above freezing more than not so not sure how much things will be ‘ahead’ once they get going this spring.

    Been pouring over peony pictures and putting in an order for 2016. Is amazing how much ahead is always need…and faith ;-)

    Love seeing the daffodils….always think of it as the flower of my birthday month, March, as I grew up just down the road from an old bulb farm and the old fields would bloom by the masses!

    Ahhh, parrot tulips, how I miss these!! Maybe I can consider in the future.

    Hope the book is getting ‘easier’ to put on paper!

  7. Laura on

    Here in western NY we are buried in snow and battling days that barely crawl it into the teens. I look out over what would be my gardens and think that buried under 3 1/2 feet of snow are daffodils, English roses, herbs and strawberries. Fingers are crossed that everything has survived the bitter winter. Seems like spring is a very far away….sigh…. but in an effort to put myself in a cheerier mood I’ve started preparing my tags for the incoming dahlia tuber orders (which will arrive in late April) and putting together my planting map and calendar. One thing done each day will eliminate the stress at planting time!

  8. Tonya on

    Ugh….14″ of snow. One of my shabby homemade hoophouses caved in haha. The low last night was -14. High today is 3, with low tonight of -10. Im certain that the ranunculus are all dead. Ill just cross my fingers until the snow goes away. Glad things over there are peachy though. Im really jealous!

  9. Waverly School Farm on

    We are buried… in white ranunculus. Yellow, orange and pastel mix, too. Loads of anemones and sweet peas. Bupleurum just started to bud, wish I’d gotten that going earlier. Everything seems about three weeks ahead of schedule here, too. I hope that doesn’t mean an even longer, hotter summer this year. I like it cool!

  10. erin on

    Cold….. so cold…. husband and I are designing our greenhouse…. the cow greenhouse. I’m hoping to get an adjacent off of the side for a flower greenhouse. I’m not sure I can last another winter without someplace to heal my soul

  11. Barbara, Stow Greenhouses (MA) on

    So much snow. Shoveling the roofs the past days as we are expecting more. Light is so limited that all greenhouse growth has come to a halt. Wondering if we’ll catch up by Mother’s Day. Fingers crossed.

  12. Killoran Moore on

    The forsythia is blooming, the ornamental plumbs, the cherry blossoms! The daffodils, tulips and hyacinth. We’ve been waiting for the land to dry up a bit to get some work done, but in that time the roses have started leafing! Wanted to get a bit more work done today, but Baby is getting more teeth so no one is doing anything. Haha.

  13. Katie on

    Oooo! That photo of the poppies just makes me giddy! Covered in a blanket of snow here in Chicago and the temperatures are frigid cold today and tomorrow. It’s hard to imagine starting some seeds during this weather, but start I should!!

  14. Tania Cubberly on

    We are walking on cracked sheets of ice that have been blanketing us for what seems likes months although its only been a few short weeks. I’m about to turn UP the music in the greenhouse and kiss those seeds right in the soil!! Cheers to the season everyone!!!

  15. Corina on

    I planted garlic last week! I just wrote a blog post about this… how warm it is, how I am double digging my vegetable garden in a T-Shirt. I apologized to all my readers on the East Coast, buried in snow…

  16. Laurie | Hedgerow Rose on

    We are buried under piles of white! But it’s photos like this that keep me sane, thank you. :)

    Loving your week on the farm series, it’s such a breath of fresh air!

  17. Splendid Market on

    I love the promise of daffodils! I have daphne, hellebores and even a few crocus blooming in my courtyard right now. Makes me smile!


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