Friday, April 29, 2016

Perennials for the Farmer/Florists Garden

Black Knight Butterfly Bush, Cone flower, Knockout roses,  and Prairie Sun.
 Today's bouquets are all about what's in season RIGHT NOW. Whether you're designing with your own flowers or, sourcing blooms locally it's all about finding and using things that are unique to your area, and more specifically to your garden site. Not sure what you want to plant? Take a visit ( or several, it's still early)  to your local garden center and do a walk about. Talk to the nursery staff and tell them what you're day dreaming about. I like to get my plants in one gallon sizes or larger when I'm planting a new garden boarder with perennials and shrubs.  I just don't have the patience to wait for them to fill out! 

 Here in southern New England there are several perennials that I love to grow and use in my design work.  

 Here a Butterfly Bush blossom is right at home among some old fashioned zinnias.

Below I have Lemon Queen Sunflower ( pictured above) arranged with Black- Eyed Susan and annual sunflowers with grass plumes.

This bucket of late spring flowers is a mix of herbs, perennials and Forsythia shrub branches.


 Sedum and Ornamental Grasses are some of my favorite perennials to grow because you can use them all season long.  Not only do they They add year round interest to the garden but

they add unique colors and textures to the bolder shades and shapes of summer annuals such as Dahlias and Zinnias. 

 The Shasta Daisy is such an early blooming flower that reminds of summer picnics and backyard BBQ's. 

Shasta Daisies
Cone flower
The possibilities are truly endless and that's what makes growing and designing so much fun. You'll never run out of color, textures and fun shapes to work with and just by adding a handful of new plants to the yard will give you new ideas and material to play with.

I hope you'll give these easy care, sun-loving perennials a try and experiment with them in flower arranging too! 

 Here's a little perennial planting tip:
Plant your perennials in groups for masses of color in one or two seasons.
Hint: Instead of planting three plants, plant 5 of the same variety and plant them closer together than recommended. You can always go in and thin them out in a few years and then you can pot some up to share with friends and neighbors too!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Flower Growers Fellowship and Membership


Can I just tell you that I am NOT a good prankster. I'm just NOT. I have the worst poker face on the planet and I'm not good at coming up with ideas for pranks to play on people. It must be in my DNA because now that I think about it, no one in my family is good at it. I think the worst prank someone could play on me is to tell me I'm out of chocolate, coffee or potato chips. That would be all kinds of awful around here. Hmm...I'll be right back.
Okay, we're good. Still plenty of chocolate! See? I told ya. No pranks and everyone is home! What a boring bunch we are! Anyway, what I really want to share with you today is how excited I am about recently becoming a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Becoming a member and attending a conference has been on my "goals list " for a couple of years now and I can't wait to get my members packet and begin to learn, grow and share with this community of flower farmers, designers, educators, writers, speakers, propagators, and mentors. 

  I'm  really looking forward to the members benefits , fellowship that comes with it and the new people I'll meet along the way. 

The association has seen a 60% increase in membership over the last five years. 
Proof that the flower farming renaissance is alive and thriving. 

 It's an exciting time to be " in the flowers". 

Tell me if you're a member and what you love most about it. 

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