May 28, 2019

A Little Spice

When I first designed my oval flower bed on the west-side of our house, I really loved purples and yellows. That's all I wanted in there, really. Deep dark purples and vibrant yellows--like a pansy, but with different textures from the various plants.

I have achieved that look in the spring.
Purple and yellow tulips, the brilliant yellow-green of 'Dart's Gold' ninebark, and perennial bachelor's buttons in--what else?--purple.

However, lately I have been feeling a bit of the old gardener's discontent.
Things are fine, but they're not quite where I want them to be yet.

I have decided the color palette needs a little shot of something warm and spicy.
Perhaps a splash of deep orange-red.
I might even go for deep pink--if I could get those doggone agastaches to come back every year.
Just--more. You know? 

Remember these? I was loving this color last year.

The other thing I have noticed this spring is that my flowerbed is already looking a bit crowded.
The alliums are doing fantastically well. 
In fact, I have tiny baby alliums all throughout the bed. They look like very fine grass, or green hair even, but when you pull them up there's a mini onion-like bulb attached.
They have managed to crowd out the Dutch irises so badly that they have never bloomed.

I am actually thrilled with the idea of transplanting a bunch of them to the back side of the greenhouse, where currently my hyacinths have finished blooming and look quite bedraggled.
Since alliums are related to onions, the deer don't bother them--a must for the orchard.
So that project is going on the Never-Ending Chore List.

The perennial bachelor's buttons that were maybe 12" tall last year and about as big around have also shot up this spring. They're a good 2' each direction now! Great for cutting, but considerably bigger than I had planned on when I put 6 of them spaced out around the bed. 
So I may dig up 2-3 of those as well, and move them on to a new place. 
Haven't decided precisely where that would be yet.

Finally, the tulips have been gorgeous. 
I am thinking about even moving some of them, though, to give more breathing space to some of the rose bushes and summer bloomers in there.

Always some changes to make, right?
That's the whole fun of gardening for some of us weirdos.

Now, if it would just stop raining long enough for me to get some of these things done!

May 22, 2019


Hello friends! I am here. First let me tell you about some of the other places you can find me, when I'm not here!

I now have a website for my flower farm, at  I am writing a weekly blog post for the "Farm Journal" portion of that website. Most of my "and blooms" posts have thus transferred over there. Also, I haven't figured out an easy way to cross-post them--if you have any tips for me on that, let me know!

In addition, I have started up a bi-monthly newsletter, called Bluebird News. In it I share information on various topics relating to growing, harvesting, and arranging cut flowers. It has been fun! Also, you are invited to join my list! I just need your email address to do so.

For pictures and such, I have finally joined the world of Instagram (@bluebirdflowerfarm)! Despite my initial reluctance, that has been a good thing for me, as it has forced me to take more pictures of my floral design work. I am also on Facebook (bluebirdflowerfarmutah).

Anyway, with all this content I'm creating on a regular basis, I haven't been around here much at all, and I apologize for that. I really don't want to let this space go entirely, because talking about books and gardening, and connecting with my friends here has been such a bright spot in my life.

A beautiful misty morning last week.

So, a basic update on what I'm up to these days:

Bluebird Flower Farm: I still love it! I spend pretty much all of my free time growing and arranging flowers. This spring I've grown around 200 tomato and pepper starts to sell as well. I have done one wedding now--for my niece--and am still figuring out which direction I really want to take this thing! If I want to get into weddings full-time, for instance, that will require some pretty major infrastructure--as in, I would need to hire a team, and buy a floral cooler at the very least. Not sure I'm ready for that. Or another option would be to go more towards the grower side of things and get into it more as a plant nursery. I have had many requests for that (hence the veggie starts.) Or just keep doing a little of everything. 

I am growing my subscription base: I now have 2 business clients that want weekly arrangements, and one that wants arrangements every other week. I know that's not very much, but hey--it's 3x what I had last year! I have slowly been building awareness, marketing, etc., in my small town. So now I also have a handful of repeat customers who want flowers as gifts, or for special occasions. I continue to make connections that are promising. I am actually happy with the pace I am growing right now, especially as I have still have kiddos to care for and you know--other responsibilities as well (soccer coach! story for another time...) 

I am smack in the middle of all the spring planting right now, except that this whole week it has rained and rained, which is very different than the usual weather here. I have cleaned my house and stuff. It's been weird. Maybe that's why I have found the time to get back on here! 

Bookish stuff: Lately what time I have to read has either been spent on total fluff, reading something recommended by my kids (or for them), or reading business/flower related books. I have not reviewed a single thing in weeks! 

I am listening to some crazy wind outside right now. I may need to stop what I'm doing here momentarily and go out to rescue all my poor little veggie starts. They're covered up, but it sounds like something is blowing around out there. 

Family stuff: I know I don't write on here much about my family, but they are doing well. My baby will be 2 next month! I can hardly believe it! Her older siblings will all be done with school next week. Summer will be fun. I haven't made a plan for it yet, but we're going to make it fun! I will not spend 20 hours per week weeding like I did last year, for a start! (Cardboard and weed barrier, to the rescue!)

So, if any of you are still around--thanks for sticking with me through the dry spells! I will do what I can to post more regularly here. In the meantime, I would love to connect with you elsewhere!