May 13, 2020

First and Last

Last of the daffodils for this year.

This was a great week for us here at Bluebird Flower Farm! Our Spring Subscription started last Friday. YAY! I’m always watching for what’s blooming, but last week I was watching everything like a hawk, I tell you! Particularly the tulips—as I mentioned, tulips blow open very quickly in the heat, and I knew we were going to have some warm days mid-week. I needed every tulip I could get my hands on for the subscriptions (x 3) plus 7 Mother’s Day arrangements.

So I was going out a couple of times per day to pull up any tulips that were ready and get them in the cool garage. “Ready” meaning “still closed but showing a hint of color.” I also cut lilac buds and harvested the last of the daffodils, and the first of the perennial bachelor’s buttons. Fun times. I did end up purchasing some flowers from a flower farm in Ogden that sells wholesale, which was great too! Tom grows such beautiful flowers and I was happy to be supporting a fellow flower farmer. I purchased a little bit of greenery from the regular wholesaler as well. I had a good mix that was mostly locally grown blooms. Just a note: as my subscriptions are a harvest share, I used all my own flowers and filler for those!

I had a lot of fun putting together arrangements again. I missed that in April! I put together a few for myself last month, but there’s nothing like making them for someone else and then seeing the joy they bring to that person when you deliver them.

This is the exact stage my alliums are at right now—just breaking open. This was taken last year, on May 19. We are a full week ahead of last year!

This week I’m looking forward to subscriptions again. It’s going to be a purple week! I’ve got 2 different types of alliums in bloom, both purple, plus blue violet camassias, baby blue camassias, and purple perennial bachelor’s buttons. I may even find a few grape hyacinths (purple and blue as well!) to add in there. My daughter and I experimented last week, tugging the grape hyacinths down at the base, so that they come off the bulb itself underground. That gave us another good 6” of stem, so I think they would be long enough for the subscriptions. For foliage, I will probably cut the ‘Dart’s Gold’ ninebark that’s so pretty right now, as well as some of my ornamental plum branches which are flowering.

I want to add in lilac blooms, but I need to experiment first and make sure I know how to keep them hydrated. So maybe this week I’ll cut some and try some new tricks I’ve learned along those lines, and see how long they hold up. Then I can add them in next week if they don’t wilt in 2 days. The lilac buds were awesome in last weeks’ bouquets.

We are working on getting permanent irrigation installed in the garden (pvc pipes underground that connect to removable drip tape in the beds). That will be amazing, once we get it going. Then we can leave on vacation and not worry about everything dying off while we’re gone!

All the starts I planted out the first week of April are growing, but very slowly. I’m going to give them some fishy fertilizer this week and see if that won’t give them a bit of a boost. I need those flowers! C’mon ladies—get a move on! I’ve got dahlias hardening off, and phlox and statice still inside, that I need to bump up to 2” blocks this week as well, so I can start hardening them off.

I have found, in our dry and windy climate, that the 3/4” blocks just don’t do well at all in hardening off stage. If I want anything to survive past that, they have to be in bigger blocks, or in a plastic cell that will retain the moisture. I have a bunch of starts in peat pots, as well, but I’m not a fan. They dry out so quickly, and I think they are wicking moisture away from the roots of the starts, since the peat pot doesn’t stay moist. Again, wind. So I have decided from here on out, I will just collect the plastic 4” pots to reuse in that instance.

Lastly, I need to purchase some Wall O’ Waters for my kiddos’ tomato plants. They are hardened off and need to go in the ground soon, but we are still having cold nights. Again, I don’t want one night of frost to ruin weeks of work keeping those beauties alive!

Always more to do, right?

What do you have growing right now?

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