June 2019 - Flower blog
June came and went so quickly! Often, it’s still cool here in the Pacific Northwest throughout June despite the Summer Solstice marking the beginning of summer and paradoxically the shortening of the daylight hours.
Working at Lowlands Farm continues to get busier as we begin the Flower CSA. Harvesting, prepping, and bunching bouquets for the CSA is the highlight of my week there now! I love seeing all our hard work coming together into something so beautiful for others to enjoy.
At home, my cutting garden is finally starting to pick up. The flashback calendula and xanthos (or yellow) cosmos are starting to bloom, while my huge white lavender bush and equally large mound of anise hyssop are exploding with scented blossoms
I was happy to sell my first wholesale order of white lavender and wild gathered oceanspray to Emily at Paeonia Pines during June for wedding floral arrangements! I’ll continue to send out my flower availability to my local Snohomish Flower Farmer – Florist group.
Going forward without a cooler to chill the flowers, however, is going to be difficult. I continue to search for some kind of nearby option that will allow me to keep the flowers fresh longer.
Flower research for June included a field trip to nearby Cascadia Iris Farm to witness the late blooming Japanese and Siberian irises. I just love the delicate shape and stunning colors of irises. I decided I must have more to offer for next season! So, I purchased some root stock of Spuria irises and Table irises, which are better suited for cutting gardens. They’ll arrive in the fall at the right time for planting.
Similarly, I decided to purchase a fragrant white peony for next year. I’ve held off for a long time on getting peonies, despite how much I love their scent and giant ruffled blooms, because they are quite expensive and can take some time to establish. However, I really want one! Plus, in reading about them it seems like the herbaceous variety don’t mind moving locations. So, I feel more confident about taking it with me when we decide to move the flower farm to a larger area in the future. ☺
You may have seen my obsession with violas continue to expand on social media. I decided to start 11 more varieties of violas from seed and pack them in the garden for fall blooming.
Many of them are perennials and may actually continue through the winter. I haven’t come to a decision about whether to grow them as annuals or not, but I do want to experiment with support netting for them and shading them to encourage longer straighter stems. I’ve noticed they seem to do much better as a cut flower when shaded by the other plants. This encourages them to stretch their stems for the light. The two fragrant varieties I currently have in the garden came from Floret seed. In addition to hording them at home, I love giving them as little bouquets to friends who report back a 1 to 2-week vase life from them!
My new obsession for the month of June was stock, or Matthiola incana. It’s an English flower, which has been in cultivation since the 16th century and is often seen in cottage gardens there. It’s also used in floristry in the United States because of its tall stems and spiked flowers that are heavily scented. I’m in love with their scent which I can only describe as a sweet clove-like perfume. They are also used as a spicy edible flower! They do, however, prefer cooler weather, so the 7 varieties I started from seed should bloom in the fall. I also plan on trying to overwinter them in caterpillar tunnels to have an early spring crop next year.
So many plans in the works!
Till next month!