This post falls under the “record keeping” category. It’s good to have a record of what I had in bloom each week—partly for evaluating what worked and what didn’t, but also for planning out next year’s flowers. What can I offer each week? When can I expect flowers to cut from the things I plant?
I did quite a bit better this year at taking harvest photos each week. There were a couple I missed, but overall, I did all right. These are not always the best-looking photos. They were not staged at all, for the most part. Just what I had in my buckets. Upping my photo game? Next year’s goal! :)
One thing you may notice: for most of this season, I was doing my main harvest every other week. My big days were every other Friday, because that’s when I had all 3 business subscriptions coming due, with a total of 4 arrangements. I cut other stuff in between for smaller orders, and supplemented some with purchased flowers—both from other local farms and from the wholesaler.
So, want to find out what flowers I had in bloom from one week to the next? Come on, let’s do this!
May 17: Lilacs in their full glory! Plus in bucket #2: flowering plum, ninebark foliage, alliums, pink salvia, and perennial bachelor’s buttons.
(The second photo is just a closeup of the geums—same date.)
June 13: We’ve got peonies, folks! Oh, they were gorgeous. Most of these were cut from a friend’s garden. Mine should be ready to begin cutting from next year!! Can’t wait!
June 21: Annual bachelor’s buttons, that did me the favor of reseeding themselves from the year before. Plus, a handful of blue Allium caesium (I planted more of those this fall.)
Also, in the second bucket are catmint, more allium, scabiosa, a late peony, and 2 little roses. That last pic is just a closeup of the scabiosa—they were so big and beautiful in June!
July 2: Mixed bucket here. Let’s see if I can see it all—Bells of Ireland, annual bachelor’s buttons, scabiosa, the pinkish-red one in the back is Jupiter’s Beard. It looks like there may be a rose tucked way down in there as well.
One of these days in early July I had 2 or 3 full buckets cut, including one full bucket of around 40 stems of Bells, but I didn’t get a picture. So add that to your mental list.
July 10: Bells of Ireland, annual bachelor’s buttons, drumstick alliums, scabiosa, the first of the snaps!, first of the lilies, roses.
July 11: Bells of Ireland, annual bachelor’s buttons, snapdragons, feverfew
July 19: Snaps!! (Can you tell I love snapdragons?) Bells of Ireland, dill, one sunflower
(bottom bucket): Yarrow, Bells of Ireland, bachelor’s buttons, white echinacea, roses, drumstick alliums, sedum, ninebark foliage, poppy seed pods
October 4: Hyrangeas and plum foliage
Well, that about wraps it up! Even just going through this exercise made some things become quite obvious to me—improvements to make for next year.
The biggest thing is: I need to get my production levels up! I made it through, but nearly every bucket was a couple stems of this and a handful of that. If I’m going to grow this little flower business of mine, I need to GROW more flowers!
By this time next year, I want to see full buckets of 1 type of flower, consistently!
Seeing as how I put in nearly 800 more bulbs this fall, not to mention several varieties of perennials, I’m on my way. I am taking Flower Farming School online right now, as well, with Lisa Mason Ziegler, and that has been great at giving me the tips and information I need to really make this into a commercial operation. The basics—like figuring out the watering, making beds, keeping weeds out. You’d think I would already have all that mastered, 2 years in, but I still have a lot to learn.
I have to say, though, it was a great year! For the most part, I had all the flowers I needed for my customers this summer. I fully expect it to just keep getting better every year.