Seasonally grown flowers and super-inspiring farmer/florists got a great shout out today in this New York Times article: The Farm to Centerpiece Movement.
I'm super excited that local, sustainably grown, fresh, and seasonal florals are continuing to grow in popularity! Here's to a 2014 (and beyond) filled with more and more of these vital blooms!
Sunday, December 15, 2013
I took a cue from squirrel this past week and got ready for winter for real (no, that's not a tulip bulb she's nibbling on, just a formerly frozen apple). The fall planted bulbs finally got in the ground. Working with the tulips, narcissus, alliums, iris, muscari, and garlic got me all excited for next spring and summer!
The last of the kale from the garden came in. Two days ago, after looking at the forecast for today's snowstorm, we went out and took down the caterpillar tunnel. Dealing with this task in windy, partially frozen conditions will help me remember not to procrastinate on this in future years.
I picked a lone stem of anemone from the footprint where the tunnel had stood- a real survivor given the anemones were tilled in at the end of June, the rest of the plants in the tunnel froze a month and a half ago, and I haven't tended to anything in the caterpillar for at least two months. At the end of caterpillar take down day, I pulled on my new ice skates and we went out on the pond for the inaugural skate of the season!
The real cold came that night (below 0 degrees), and the snow came the next evening to cover the frozen solid ground. Now that the chilly, dormant season has officially arrived, these gorgeous mini amaryllis are helping me get my flower fix. Welcome winter!
Monday, December 9, 2013
Earlier this fall, the super talented and community-minded Maria Northcott (wedding officiant extraordinire at A Sweet Start) organized the first ever Midcoast Meetup. Held at the lovely Darrows Barn in Damariscotta, this turned out to be a great evening of meeting and connecting with other local wedding vendors from midcoast Maine.
I enjoyed out-of-this-world pizza from the mobile wood-fired oven of friends at Harvest Moon Pizza while getting to know new faces. It was so fun to meet people who had worked on different aspects of some of the same weddings I provided flowers for this past season.
Maria invited me to bring flowers to set out on the tables during the event. Since we had a milder than usual start to our fall, I still had lots of flowers to harvest from the garden in early October. I took these first few photos of my arrangements and floral vignettes that evening under not-so-hot lighting.
Luckily for me Erin Little, the ever-creative and inspiring photographer at a love supreme photography, was also there capturing the evening with her camera. All of the following photos are here courtesy of Erin.
Many, many thanks to Maria for pouring her love of people, community, and weddings into one awesome event! It was great to connect with other local wedding vendors in a laid-back atmosphere; I look forward to continuing to cross paths with these folks and their talents in the years ahead!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Motivated by the coming winter, I gathered up the last of the flowers I harvested before the frost a couple of weeks ago, cut some hardier blossoms and foliage, and put together what will likely be the last arrangement using materials from my garden for this season. Included are: dahlias, rosehips, cosmos, nicotiana, scabiosa, bronze fennel, lavender, apples, oats, oak leaves, forsythia foliage, and alder catkins.
Still feeling so much gratitude for what turned out to be a great growing season this year.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Spent Friday afternoon at the garden gathering calendula to dry for making calendula oil, clipping lavender, digging the last of the potatoes (late!), and rounding up the few pumpkins and squash still in the field.
I also took time to just look at the flowers, knowing a killing frost was on its way later that night. As I looked around, I felt deep appreciation for the great season with my garden and for all of the beauty that came out of it.
The first killing frost brings such a mix of emotions. I felt some sadness that afternoon looking at the buds of flowers that would never open. Returning the next day to survey the damage, I was especially startled by the contrast in the dahlia row. What were sturdy, lush, green plants the day before were limp, mushy, and blackened by frost. I knew it would happen that way, but somehow the change still surprised me.
Part of me misses these cheerful faces already! The rest of me feels relief, though. No more flowers to harvest, no more orders to fill. It is time to shift into cleanup mode, much later in the fall than I was expecting to do this work. Still, almost right away, I began thinking of next season; looking forward to trying new varieties, improving my growing techniques, and abundant harvests.
For now, I'm really savoring the first two back to back days of down time I've had in months and am looking forward to more as this fall turns into winter.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
This abundant harvest season means lots of work canning, processing, and storing up now so all this food can be enjoyed through the winter.
Though the squash vines at home got frosted, there still hasn't been a frost in the flower field! I feel lucky to still have fresh flowers to cut this late in the season.
I'm loving how the smoky lavender and yellow shades in bronze fennel heads unite the blues and yellows in these mixed bouquets.
Meet some of the newest members of the flock! Goldie (above) and her three siblings hatched out this July, the two littlest ones directly below are just a week and a half old today, and below them, Buddy and Wheelie (born in late August) are roosting on the back edge of their little home at sunset.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Now I know what happens when making an arrangement using buckets full of fresh flowers from Broadturn Farm, Worlds End Farm, a Massachusetts flower grower, and also have free rein to go out and clip material from the gorgeous surroundings at Snug Harbor Farm. It is hard to practice restraint. I want to include some of almost everything.
Yesterday, I went to my first floral design workshop right here in Maine. Even though this is an unusually mild fall so far and my garden is still filled with flowers, having some different varieties and colors to work with was super exciting! Part of wanting to use so many different blooms and foliage could have been because I knew I'd get to take these beauties home with me (along with the lovely terracotta pot).
Next time I get to go to a workshop like this, I hope to take more time to walk around and look at what other participants are creating and connect more with some of them-- it isn't too often I'm in a space with a couple dozen other people who have a deep love and appreciation for flowers.
The perfect end to this drizzly day of learning was a stop by Broadturn Farm to walk around and talk flowers for a while with Stacy, fellow flower farmer and also my mentor in MOFGA's beginning farmer program. Then I headed back up the coast with this arrangement riding shotgun.