All of us farming flowers in Alabama now that this is anything but true! It is a hot time out there and we are loving those flowers that require a little less babying ( are there such?) and working hard to bring our crops from summer production and into fall. If you plant dahlias early, as have always done, you struggle with an intense heat and bug problem. Thank goodness for the wiser farmers, particularly at Three Porch Farm in Athens ,GA for suggesting a better way to plant in the future. None the less, we march through looking forward to cooler days and an Indian summer filled with beautiful blooms!
During our break, I had the great treat of being photographed in the garden by the incredibly talented, Kristina O’Quinn. We will be participating in the October 2018 Field to Vase dinner in Nashville sponsored by American Grown Flowers and it required a photo of me! Ugh! I love taking photos of my flowers but me? She made it so much fun! I only hope that the love I have for what I do is now shown. I am so happy in these photos, but it just falls in with my general philosophy of flowers; They make people happy!
Even though we are officially taking a “break” to prepare for a busy fall we still have many flowers blooming. Those heat loving zinnias, echinacea, and rudbeckia have been joined ( finally) by the prettiest lisianthus. Their soft whites, greens, and pastel pink shades are so different from the hot, fiery reds, oranges, yellows, and hot pinks and purples that really dominate the garden at this time of year. All those requesting a blush and white palette for their next wedding will be thrilled to pair those with hydrangea “blushing bride” and “limelight” to really knock that color scheme out of the park! I continue to work with the dahlias to get them in great shape for cooler weather. It takes a bit of time and training to encourage long stems and blooms. I think that I have a least one plant that will flower in any color you can imagine. I can’t ever choose! Of course, many “cafe aux lait” have been planted but this year I added “break out” for a similar look. As much as I fuss over the dahlias I have fussed just as much over the heirloom chrysanthemums. This year I planted some of the giant flowered varieties, These look so modern even though they are most decidedly not! If all goes as planned ( God willing) they will have huge flowers in golden blush shades. I can imagine a fall bouquet of chrysanthemums, goldenrod, sedum, sea oats, roses, and salvia in all those deep fall col;ors. I can almost feel the cool breeze in the air! I better go down and check the progress of the pumpkins!
It’s hard to believe that our gardening season is halfway through! It is hot in Alabama and in July we take a little break from the heat and begin to prepare the garden for a busy fall season. We are blessed with a long growing season that lasts ( usually) into the beginning of November. July marks a real transition. The delicate flowers of the spring have given way to the heat loving, and brightly colored blooms of high summer. The garden is full of zinnias, echinacea, black-eyed susan’s, celosia, sunflowers, strawflowers, and sunflowers. The lilies are wrapping up and the roses are slowing down. BUT.... the dahlias are beginning to bloom and the lisianthus have taken over where the roses left off. This year has been a grand experiment for me! I have been blessed to work with Sarah Marshall of @HavenBotanicals who has taken over the marketing and customer care aspects of the farm that are so difficult to manage if I’m up to my elbows in the garden. She has been amazing and together we have been able to get locally grown flowers into the hands of so many more designers and florist than I ever could have imagined. It has been so much fun to see what all these amazing creatives do with our flowers. It’s magical!
And a little secret about our July break? Sarah and her family just welcomed a brand new baby boy into their family! If that isn’t the best summer harvest of all, I don’t know what is!
We will be back in August to continue our weekly e-mails of available flowers and ready to bring you all the best of the garden, again!