Monday, October 6, 2014

summer happened and I grew flowers

Since my last post was from springtime, I thought it'd be a good idea to let the world know I've just been outside these past few months, helping the flowers do their thing.  This summer was filled with FLOWERS and: work in the garden, bouquet making, farmers markets, and arranging flowers for weddings. Though I didn't do a great job of taking photos regularly this year, here's a peek into the garden from June to September.



  I look forward to sharing more photos of event flowers from this summer once winter weather settles in.  The growing season is winding down and the killing frost isn't too far off.  But there are still a few more harvests of the season's last blooms, then fall cleanup and spring bulb planting coming up.  We're also putting up a high tunnel this fall, to help extend the growing season starting in 2015!  Super excited about having fresh flowers available for more months each year!
  It's been a wonderful third year for Blue Cloud Farm, and I'm so grateful for all of the support from my local flower-loving community and the opportunity to provide seasonal, sustainably-grown flowers for so many stellar couples that got married in midcoast Maine this year!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

seasonal bouquet 05-22-14

Tulips 'queen of night,' narcissus 'sir winston churchill,' muscari, fritillaria meleagris, azalea, dicentra, chokecherry foliage, apple blossoms, lily of the valley, chive buds

Friday, May 16, 2014

tulip time!

Design Impression

This week was tulipmania in the garden!  A couple of days in the 70s coaxed all of the tulips to color up just in time for mother's day.  Couldn't have planned it better if I tried.  Each spring I'm in awe of tulips more and more, and this time around I wanted to better capture their fleeting beauty!  Here's the 2014 lineup, in order of opening in my little tulip bed:
Orange Princess and Apricot Impression
Akebono (above- my favorite!) and Jaap Groot (below)

Pink Star (above) and Apricot Parrot (below)

Carnaval de Nice
Queen of Night

Thursday, May 15, 2014

seasonal bouquet 5/15/14

Tulips: apricot parrot, design impression, & pink star, narcissus: delnashaugh, accent, geranium, & flower record, and alder foliage

Monday, April 28, 2014

flower update

 The first garden blooms open in the warm little microclimate created by a rock wall!
 In the cutting beds the plants are farther behind, but this 'Dick Wilden' narcissus is budding up nicely.
Allium multibulbosum emerging looks like tillandsia of the dirt.
 Low tunnel of stock and snapdragons enjoying the cool temps. 
 I've been checking the tulip beds at least three times each day to look for any buds and as a bonus, I get to spend time staring at the awesome leaves of 'Tsar Peter' greigii tulips.  I decided to do a small planting of these for their foliage, and I'm psyched to get to watch them develop!
Fritillaria meleagris unfurling.  Some of these spring-flowering plants are among my favorites of the whole year, so I'm feeling really excited about soaking it all in these next few weeks!

Monday, April 21, 2014

first fresh bouquet of the season!

With potted tulips ('apricot impression' and 'design impression') forced indoors, scented geranium, sweet pea tendrils, and pussy willow.  Hooray!

Thursday, April 10, 2014


The little flower plants are growing well in the relative warmth of the hotbed and the high and low tunnels.  The nights continue to dip below freezing, so I still tuck the seedlings in each evening with blankets of row cover and greenhouse plastic.  A couple of days ago, I noticed a few nibbled snapdragons in some of my trays, and the next morning, even more.  I set a tiny Havahart trap with some peanut butter to catch the culprit and hopefully put an end to further seedling damage (note the stubs of snaps in the corner of the tray below).
The next morning, I uncovered the hotbed and saw the trap's doors were shut, and this little one was inside.  Not a mouse like I was expecting, but another rodent I didn't even know lived here!  After brief internet and field guide research, I'm still not sure what sort of critter he is.  Some kind of vole?  A Southern bog lemming?  I settled on mouse-bear.  I waited a day to see if I might catch any of his pals to relocate with him (no one else ended up visiting the trap), and then took him to the edge of the woods a few miles away.  Too bad we couldn't be friends, mouse-bear; you're really adorable.
Outside, the predominant color is still brown, but signs of spring are everywhere.  The alder catkins are loosening up and showing pollen, narcissus and tulips are finally emerging from the ground, pond ice is melting, and the chickens are loving being able to scratch for worms again in the dirt.  
I'm appreciating the chickens' surface tilling efforts in some early planting areas and am really looking forward to digging in the dirt soon myself!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Sweet peas!
It's been an unusually cold March so far, even for Maine, but with the seedlings getting a solid start indoors and tomorrow's first day of spring forecast for rain and temperatures in the 40s, I'm feeling hopeful.  Here's what some of the little flower plants are looking like today, the last day of winter!
Orlaya's impressive cotyledons
Snapdragons looking forward to being transplanted into bigger soil blocks today
Three successions of stock at one, two and four weeks old
Tiny lavender is the CUTEST
This 10' x 60' caterpillar tunnel is the next destination for the seedlings.  We reconstructed it on Sunday and built a hotbed inside using straw bales and horse manure.  Once the hotbed really warms up in the next few days, I'll move the seedlings out to the tunnel where they'll grow until they can be planted outside in the ground.  Yay for springtime and all the flowers to come!