Dreaming of gardens in January

A large part of why I love being a florist is because I love flowers and plants. My entire house is filled with plants. I spend hours upon hours leafing through garden and plant books. A part of this love is designing with the flowers and another part is growing them. When I was 10, my family moved into an apartment with a big back yard after years of living in small apartments with little to no yard space. I quickly claimed a garden that had been let go and while that garden didn't amount to much- the idea embedded itself deeply in me. Both of my dads have green thumbs, their veggie gardens were always a source of pride and while I didn't quite appreciate it in my younger years, I think that it left fingerprints all over me. In searching for our forever home- garden space was a top priority and we really hit the jackpot in finding our home. The previous owners at one point had really put some love into this property. It's filled with fruit trees/ bushes- plum, apple, blackberry, apricot, mock orange raspberry, etc. The peonies are old and wise, full and in a variety of colours. The lilac that are wild and have infested in the best way possible, make every view from every window in our house a dream come May. There are also little treasures that pop up- a handful of delicate poppies here, a rainbow of bearded iris there and amongst it all wild yarrow, strawberry, ammi, honeysuckle and so forth. Last year was our first whole year here and we went hard at the gardens. The result was good- but our goals are bigger. Every year we dream and plan and come spring we jump in and do what we can despite the weather, the bugs, the day that always ends....

A very important part of my business is local flowers and foliages. I don't love the idea of flowers being flown from around the world at such a high environmental cost when we have access to such an abundance of beauty right here- locally! I have been fortunate in connecting with some amazing growers and have been able to provide the majority of my designing with local flowers. I have attracted people who want these flowers- who appreciate the value of what local means from so many standpoints. The growers who I have connected with have also found that there is a growing theme of interest in this and were so busy this summer filling orders for their own businesses- that is became difficult to share this bounty outside of their day to day. While I am overjoyed by this- it also means I need some flowers! This situation prompted me to plan an expansion of what I grow. My patient and encouraging partner jumped right in when I asked if we could do this. We spent the fall preparing an under used area of our property to become a flower field. It is going to be amazing. We are realistic in how much work this requires. Those growers I know are the hardest working humans and I have a learnt how much work really lays behind the pretty pictures of a flower farm. With this in mind, we are starting small. Working with an area we can manage while also keeping our focus on our main jobs. Weddings are my number one and take priority. I just finished the bulk of my seed and plug orders. In the spring, I will inevitably be tempted by local greenhouses and add to this collection. I will take photos of the progress to come and share it here. In the meantime- enjoy some photos from last season of our half veggie, half flower garden, and some of the varieties that will be included in the new garden expansion this spring!

Dreaming of the flowers helps these dreary grey days go by much quicker!