Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Goodbye Soggy, Foggy Spring ( I hope )

Grasses, Knockout roses, sedum, lavender, winter berry shrubs and weeds.
Howdy friends! As I titled this post I thought maybe I should call it the Dandelion House Quarterly, since that's the last time I posted. Forgive me? Spring, 2017 has got to be the soggiest, foggiest spring I can recall in all of my 16 years in Plymouth, MA. It's been a challenge to get everything in the ground around the cold temperatures and perpetual rain.

 The top photo shows the sun shining, but it didn't last long. However, the perennial gardens are loving the cooler, misty weather we've been having. Me, not so much. May 31st is my cut off date for getting in the dahlia tubers and seeds. But, if it's too wet they can rot so I put it off another week and a half before finally planting them. It proceeded to rain for 4 of the following 7 days afterwards and it seemed like it took forever for green sprouts to pop up out of the soil.  Now that I've gotten some planting done, I'm excited to share some progress, even if it's slow as molasses. My apologies for sounding like a whiny backyard flower farmer.

 I planted 120 tubers all in one day. They are beginning to poke through in their own sweet time but one raised bed filled with Cafe Au Lait dahlias all broke through the soil at the same time and appear to be growing at the very same speed! It's like they choreographed it that way. Five, six, seven ,eight, and GROW!

Cafe Au Lait's plays well with brighter flowers as well as similar pale tones.
 I also ordered in some new varieties of Chrysanthemums from Kings Mums.  
this year. I like to space them a couple of feet apart. Once they're about 12 inches tall, I'll cut them back to encourage more growth and buds for late summer and early fall.

  They come in as healthy plugs with at least 4- 5 inches of growth on them. You can specify your delivery date when you order so they arrive when it's safe to plant in your zone.
You can order them in early and pot them up in small pots, then plant them out after they harden off. 
 Or, you can throw them to the wolves like I do and just plant them straight out into the garden after the danger of last frost. 

Most mums are October and November bloomers which I just love because they truly extend the growing season in a beautiful way. 

Annie Girl, Coral charm, Seton's J Dore, Seton's, Ashleigh. 
 They don't look like much right now, but these cute little Apple Blossom Snapdragon plugs will be lovely in about 6 weeks. 

The same goes for the Lisianthus plugs below. I'm excited to see how it goes with them especially with the cool spring we've had. Fingers crossed! My friend, Monica of  Prince Snow Farm Blog and I shared a plug order from @farmerbaileyplugs.

Rare Seeds also sells seeds for Apple Blossom Snapdragons. 

Lisianthis Seedlings.

Rose Lisianthus Johnny's Selected Seeds
 I have some messy trees nearby and with all the wind we've been having things are a bit messy 

looking but I'll get it all shaped up eventually! Needless to say, I have lots of weeding to do still in the larger gardens as well.
No wonder I feel so soggy, foggy and behind this spring! 
Here's to brighter days and blooms this summer!

In other news, the New England Farmer Florist Facebook Group has grown by 100 members since our first meet and greet in March. Stop by and say howdy! And join if you like. While the focus is on New England growers and designers, we enjoy all types of flower connections. :) 

I hope your flower farming endeavors are coming along. Every season brings new challenges, whether it be the weather, garden pests or diseases, or slow sales. Spending time in the flowers in never a waste of time.  Pray for sunshine and warmer days ahead. The flowers and I need it! 

Put down some roots in bloom! 


Resources: Kings Mums,   
                 Eden Brothers 
                        Longfield Gardens 

*I don't receive any compensation for including links to these wonderful flower websites. I've ordered from all of them and they all have great product and wonderful service. I'm happy to share. 

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