Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cut Flowers 101 and Ranuculus

 The first signs of the coming spring are here! Crocus are sprouting in my garden near the kitchen door and temps are warming up the ground making it soft underfoot. In general, it's been a very mild, dry winter for New England. I read last week that daffodils are already in bloom on Cape Cod! Here at Dandelion House I've been cleaning the existing flower beds and having fun sneaking a peak at what's already coming up!

As I uncovered the large patch of newly sprouted Jacobs' Climb ( bee balm ) the scent of damp earth and mint traveled up to meet my nose. Birds are beginning to chirp and sing. I think they've given up on any showing of Old Man Winter. Between you, me and the garden gate, it's fine by me if he forgets us all together this year! I'm ready for SPRING!  

 Much of my winter reading has been about Cut Flower Farming. I'm adding 16 4x8 garden beds to an area in my yard I've dubbed " My Backyard Flower Farm "

The Garden Plan
where I'll be growing mostly Cut Flowers and Herbs for Dandelion House to share with family, friends and neighbors.Who knows, if things really take off this could be the beginning of a new " farmgirl enterprise " for me! The Cutting Garden ( pictured above ) by Sarah Raven and The Flower Farmer ( pictured below ) by Lynn Byczynski ( along with Growing for Market Hoop House Update ) have been my cut flower bibles over the last several weeks and I can't wait to get going outside creating the new beds, bringing in organic soil and a nice layer of wood chips for the new beds and my established gardens as well. Boz has some ideas on how to make use of more scrap stone for the raised beds which I'll be sure to share along the way.

I'm feeling so excited about my new flower growing AD- venture! I just had to share my journey from the beginning with all of you! I'll need you by my side in the garden along the way to *stake me up* for the inevitable ups and downs I'm sure to have! The Cottage Hens will be doing their part by supplying me with plenty of fresh cock a doodle do straight from the chicken run!

 I hope you'll join me in my Cut Flowers 101 series where each week I'll focus on one or two cut flower varieties! Why not learn together?

  This weeks flower pic is a spring bulb called Ranuculus which is planted in early to mid spring in our zone 6A near upper Cape Cod. It's bloom time is April- May outside, but it's season could be extended if planted in a hoop house or cold frame!

 I will be trying this plant inside and out to see which results do best.

It is delicate with paper thin petals, yet packs a romantic punch when grouped together in a vase or a bouquet.

Martha Stewart Wedding

The range of colors is staggering...

 Soft and bold alike.  I love them all!


For more info on Ranuculus go here!

Thanks so much for joining me on My Backyard Flower Farm journey friends! 

Do any of you grow cut flowers and/or ranuculus? I would love to hear about your experiences along the way too so be sure to leave a note on the flower cart on your way out! 
This post is linked to the Homestead Barn Hop  .

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