I’m starting my 4th Season as a Flower Farmer!
This journey started with signing up for Floret’s online workshop in January of 2020. After 30 years designing and building gardens and landscapes across Canada, I was wanting to do a little something beautiful here on our property for ME. Two weeks into the course I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do and I have been running with it ever since. In the first weeks and months of getting this property transformed into a flower farm and then a full-service florist shop, the right people arrived, as if on cue, to create my amazing team.
I feel like I have learned so much over the past 3 years but at the same time it seems like I have only scratched the surface and still have so much more to figure out. My education in Landscape Architecture and my years of creating gardens gave me a great foundation to build on, but flower farming is completely different and the plants I am growing (mostly from seed) are not the ones I would typically use in any of my designs – let’s just say I have never planted dusty miller in any gardens I designed and now it is a prized plant in my cutting garden.
If you haven’t heard of Floret, google to find out how one woman’s work has created worldwide change by inspiring so many to grow local flowers for the floral industry. Grown not Flown!
On The Farm – In the Fields and Greenhouses
Is this spring in January?? 11C and sunshine with a bit of rain has us working out in the fields and looking for spring blooms here on the south side of Mount Doug Park in the Blenkinsop Valley, Victoria, BC.
The hellebores are starting to bloom! I’ve been adding to my collection every year and soon we will be harvesting stems of singles and doubles from white and green through pinks and purples to almost black. Our thousands of naturalized snow drops are starting to bloom. The specialty narcissus and allium bulbs we planted last fall and the year before are poking out of the ground. All of our fall sown and sprouted hardy annuals and biennials are growing in the greenhouse and fields and weathered our December winter weather just fine! Oh and I forgot the few white and burgundy scabiosa I planted in the greenhouse continue to bloom!!!
All those ranunculus corms we pre-sprouted and planted into the field and into crates for the greenhouse are thriving! (And only a few nibbles so far rather than losing 1/3 of the crop to voles). The ranunculus in the field are even happier than the ones in the greenhouse right now.
We got a bunny fence up around the anemones this past week so we can start harvesting them now that they are not being eaten. But it looks like our fall, field planted crop of stock may have been a great snack for them.
The Potting Shed
With this early warm weather, we are jumping the gun bit on sowing more seeds…but we have started our next succession of hardy annuals like snap dragons, Icelandic poppies, stock, bupleurum, bachelor buttons, corncockle, bells of Ireland and more. We have heat and lights to help them on their way until we have our longer days of sunlight. I have my last succession of ranunculus to soak and pre-sprout this week. These should give us another flush of blooms after the others finish later this spring.
The Flower Studio
We had the opportunity to do a storefront display! Rekha’s concept and the resulting wreath turned out to be spectacular. Check it out at Tulip Noire Clothing at 2227 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, BC
Now we have another major shift as we clear away the festive décor and make way for the new season. While we are harvesting a few things out of our fields and greenhouse we also support other local BC flower growers at this time of year who have heated greenhouses. We are in the flower studio keeping the farmstand stocked with bouquets and small arrangements. We are doing our regular subscriptions and special orders for all occasions.
Check out our website for easy ordering of hand-tied bouquets and arrangements. We deliver!
Dahlia Tuber Pre-Sale Continues
I am regularly checking in on my dahlia tubers tucked away in storage making sure they are holding well for spring shipping. A few varieties were dropped from the list due to poor quality and other new varieties have been added along with some additional inventory if you are wanting to grow some gorgeous dahlias.
NOTE – All Dahlia tubers will be ready in April when danger of freezing in the mail has passed and viable eyes on the tubers are apparent. Pick Up, local and Canada Wide Shipping is available.
Our March, April and May Floral Design Workshops are now posted on the website. Rekha and I timed these workshops to focus on our farm’s spectacular blooms of the spring season.
The workshops are offered on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and are a great way to learn about our farm, local flowers and get hands-on experience in floral design under Rekha’s direction.
Following demonstrations, you will create 3 beautiful arrangements to take with you.
These workshops are great for those new to floral design as well as those with experience. Rekha’s European training, knowledge and creative background helps everyone to accomplish spectacular results. And working with fresh flowers always makes everyone so happy!
If you would like to set up a private group workshop session for up to 8 participants, please contact us directly.
2023 Seasonal Flower Share Collections
These are very popular for local gift giving. We have put together several different collections of hand tied bouquets and arrangements in a vase to be picked up or delivered through a specific season or throughout the year. These could be considered CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) as they are prepaid to help us to get our crops in the field, tended and harvested for you to enjoy.
Looking Forward to 2023!
This year I am feeling that we are more on top of things here at the farm and in the flower studio. We are getting into the rhythm of the seasons and understanding how things flow from one thing to the next. With almost 40k tulips and thousands of ranunculus planted I can’t wait for spring to arrive!