So much could be said about this season. It was full of ups and downs, highs and lows. Rain. SO MUCH RAIN…But let’s focus on the beauty, shall we?
Spring brought lots and lots and lots of rain. We lost several crops - Larkspur hates wet feet and rotted from the tips and the roots. Weeds loved the conditions and I quickly lost control of some of my field. But while we were losing flowers, we also had some successes…
There was a big learning curve on the ranunculus — We will try again, though taking a break from them in 2019 because they are very expensive to grow and with a baby on the way, I don’t feel like I can give them enough of my attention this fall. But we are all definitely smitten!
Our peonies bloomed all at once - Two varieties went gangbusters on Mother’s Day which meant harvesting in the rain and drying the blooms out in front of a fan. Besides the weather, our crop was insanely beautiful and sold fast to our designer clients. Seems you can really never have enough peonies…Excited to see our new varieties really take off in 2019 after blinking and missing them this past spring!
I finally had success with spring stock and will never let a season go by without growing some of this lovely, fragrant flower. It comes in such a great variety of colors!
Sweet William was a real winner…It cranked and cranked and cranked - At one point its all I had blooming in June. This is a crop we overwinter — It is extremely hardy here and has great vase life.
New-to-me godetia was hit or miss. We planted the white variety in a wetter part of our field and between the rain and thrips, lost the entire crop. The Salmon color is so vibrant it is hard to figure out what goes with it, but in a rainy year, it was a bright spot. This flower blooms all at once and there is only so much you can move at one time, so we will grow it again but scale back…It benefits from a hard pinch to encourage branching…And definitely net//stake!!!
This was the earliest I have ever had zinnias…The plants we planted late spring did not seem to mind the rain - They cranked forever. I did not do as great a job at succession planting them this year, and need to revisit which varieties sell vs. which varieties I grow because I like them :) I am very excited about the new Queen Orange for 2019. Long live the Queen(s)!!!
Another consistent producer and best seller, scabiosa is a small flower that makes a big impact. I will cut it back again next year for a second flush (and also, STAKE/NET it!!!) and plan to succession plant for fall sales as I never seemed to have enough.
Another new fave in our field is this Delhi Pearl Celosia. It is a soft pinky-coral color and I am obsessed. We will definitely be growing so much more of this in 2019 - At least 3 successions.
I had a total love affair with celosia this season. I did better (still lots of room for improvement) with succession planting and selecting colors that designers would like and that I could incorporate into our market bouquets. It is such a reliable, colorful crop. Can’t wait to add more to the repertoire in 2019…
I have grown lisianthus from seed for three years and have been fairly successful…The plants I actually got into the ground this season did wonderfully, but because of the rain and being a one-woman-show, I failed at transplanting these miserably and really missed them in my production. Will 100% do better in 2019!!! Their long vase life and stunning blooms make them a must-grow.
More on zinnias…I love the smaller size of the Oklahoma series and will definitely continue to grow them in 2019. I am also going to try again with the Cupcake and Zinderella series because even if they don’t produce the Pinterest-worthy blooms they are insta-famous for, they are still sough-after because of their size and colors. The Benary series just don’t perform well for me here with short vase life, weak stems and quick susceptibility to diseases like Powdery Mildew.
This season I focused on adding more blue and purple to my field and it really paid off. Ageratum, salvia and several varieties of delphinium helped to add so much to our mixed bouquets all season long - Blue and/or purple go with almost all other colors, it turns out. I hope to grow more of the same along with light and dark purple lisianthus, more delphinium, larkspur, and sweet peas in shades of blue and purple in 2019…
Besides being my favorite flower, Foxglove really was a workhorse for me in 2018. I will grow at least 3X as many dalmation apricot plants next year, and probably less of the more vibrant colors, the lilac in the Foxy series being the exception - They have longer stems for some reason and I sold more of them than any other foxglove. I just love these freckle-faced beauties.
SUNFLOWERS!!! I really struggled to keep up with my succession plantings on these guys but when they were good, they were sooooo good. I am determined to do better in 2019 as they really do add so much to mixed bouquets and I had so many requests for them that I couldn’t keep up demand. These are definitely not your grandmothers sunflowers :)
Some flowers just aren’t meant to be cut, but instead, meant to be enjoyed in the field at golden hour or by our pollinator friends :) Verbena definitely falls into this category for me…
I promise to do so much better in 2019! I will also share some favorite dahlia varieties soon, it was a rough year for them but they are always worth reviewing!
Thanks for checking in // following along on our flower-filled adventures!