Seasonal Flower Alliance (06/07/2014)

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As spring turns to summer the cool flowers slow down and the heat-loving flowers take their place, but the shift starts subtly. The poppies burn in the heat but the bachelor’s buttons look like they’ll never stop. The larkspur blooms in a flash, and the sunflowers and zinnias show promising buds.DSC_0021This post is part of an occasional series inspired by Erin Benzakein of Floret, who posts her own Seasonal Flower Alliance photos and invites others a respond with photos of their own seasonal bouquets.

DSC_0032This bouquet is made with larkspur, matricaria, bachelor’s buttons, calendula, nasturtium leaves, and calla lilies. They are such a treat to work with. I love how they slide down among everything else, barely peaking out but stunning in their beauty. These ones are called Captain Rosette.

Wildflower Wedding, May 31, 2014

May was a busy wedding month at Spring Forth Farm.  Clients are taking advantage of our DIY bucket of flowers we offer as well as the “a la carte” option for a mixture of DIY buckets with Spring Forth Farm making the bouquets and boutonnieres.  Jonathan and I put together a wedding with a “wildflower theme” for Saturday May 31, 2014.  Here are some photos of that process.  Enjoy the beauty of the flowers.

Wildflower Bridal Bouquet
Bridal Bouquet. Photo by Thomas Fisher.
Bridesmaids Bouquet
Bridesmaid’s Bouquet.
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Boutonnieres.
Boutonnieres.
Boutonnieres.

The handiwork for making boutonnieres and bouquets takes a lot of focus and organization.  We like to lay out the flowers as we work so that we aren’t scrambling to find what we need and to strip leaves off of the stems.  A year ago I spent a month at Harvest Moon Flower Farm where I first learned to build bouquets from experienced flower farmer, Linda Chapman.  We also used Fresh From the Field Wedding Flowers by Erin Benzakein and Lynn Byczynski, a wonderful book to help us continue to learn how to build bouquets and wire flowers for boutonnieres.  Spring Forth Farm wouldn’t be where we are now without these resources.

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Building a bridesmaid bouquet. Photo by Thomas Fisher.
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Photo by Thomas Fisher.
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Photo by Thomas Fisher.
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Photo by Thomas Fisher.
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Making boutonnieres.

We cut the final few bunches of flowers for the DIY section of the order Saturday morning of the wedding before the flowers were picked up.  We love providing the freshest possible flowers to our customers.

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Cutting matricaria. Photo by Thomas Fisher.
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The wedding florals ready for pick up! Photo by Thomas Fisher.

The wedding flower pickup by the groom’s step-father on the morning of May 31, 2014.

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Photo by Thomas Fisher.
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Photo by Thomas Fisher.

Congratulations to the happy couple!  We loved doing this wedding and love the opportunity to continue to improve our arranging skills.  We look forward to our next couple of weddings in June 2014.

 

Perennials, Revisited

This is an exciting weekend at Spring Forth Farm. We are doing flowers for our first weddings of the year, and we congratulate Brandon & Kelly and Hayley & Jay. (Look for photos of the wedding flowers sometime next week.) It isn’t too late to order fresh, seasonal Spring Forth Farm flowers for an event or wedding this season, but we are filling up. Please contact us if you are interested.

This past March, we wrote about our trip to Maryland and brought back a truckload of peonies, hydrangeas, and other perennials. We barely fit them all in the truck.

Our truck, overflowing with perennials for planting.
Our truck, overflowing with perennials for planting.

Now, they have been planted, taken root, leafed out, and to our delight they are blooming! Here is a photo update of this excitement on the farm.

We were most excited about the peonies.

Peony in bloom.
Peony in bloom.

We brought back fifty established plants, each one a mystery. We knew we had pink, white, and burgundy, but we had no idea how many of each, or which plant was which. With the stress of the late transplanting and without irrigation, about half of our peonies aborted the buds, but that means about half bloomed! We were so excited about these sweet-scented balls of color. Most of the ones that bloomed were pink, but we expect we have more burgundy and white that will bloom next year. We are learning so much as we grow this year, and the importance of irrigation for these crops really hit home this spring.

We also brought back hydrangeas, which are starting to grow flower heads, and curly willows. The willows have been growing in trays but we’ve started planting them and are really looking forward to this great crop. Here are before-and-after photos of the hydrangea, stored in our straw pile for planting in March, and now in May.

Here are the first of the rooted willow cuttings being planted out.

When it comes to plants, we get excited about different things, but we both like to experiment. Jonathan was particularly excited that we brought back two dozen eremurus roots, also called foxtail lily. These are sort of an experiment – we don’t know if they will survive the late summer rains – but we hope they do so we can offer these unique spires next year.

We are really excited about nurturing and growing these perennials on our farm and dream about adding many more varieties of perennials to the farm over the next few years.

Seasonal Flower Alliance (05/13/2014)

A few weeks ago, Erin Benzakein of Floret invited participation in the The Seasonal Flower Alliance, a public project to arrange and photograph local, seasonal flowers. Here at Spring Forth Farm that’s what we love, so we’re excited to be a part of this. Periodically, we’ll post bouquets filled with our local, seasonal flowers, list their ingredients, and help capture time passing through the seasonality of what is in bloom.

Bouquet with Icelandic poppies, calendula, agrostemma, bupleurum, and wild peppergrass.
Bouquet with Icelandic poppies, calendula, agrostemma, bupleurum, and wild peppergrass.

Bachelors’ buttons are also in bloom, and these small spring flowers make very nice simple bouquets.

Here in North Carolina, we are starting to get days in the 90s. We don’t know how much longer some of these flowers will bloom — the poppies, in particular, are sensitive to hot weather — but the next round of flowers are budding up and ready to burst. As the flowers change with the seasons, we will continue post photos of what is in bloom.

To find our where you can buy Spring Forth Farm flowers, please follow our blog via email or RSS reader or like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest announcements.

A Photo Essay

Time is getting away from me.  Here is a short photo essay of happenings on Spring Forth Farm over the past few weeks!  Stay tuned to find out where you can get your next Spring Forth Farm bouquet.

Frolic Life: living without electricity has proven to be easier than we thought and quite relaxing.

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Bath Time
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Night time reading and writing-Photo by Tom Fisher

Market Bouquets and Wholesale Accounts: as we continue to figure out how we will market this summer, we are blessed to be able to set up a small flower stand at the school I teach at, Orchard Hill Children’s School.

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Market Stand Bouquets
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Last Fridays in Hillsborough Stand

Maggie at Pine State Flowers in Durham, NC is buying our flowers for her new shop.

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Wholesale poppies and bachelors buttons-Photo by Tom Fisher
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Jonathan harvesting for wholesale-Photo by Tom Fisher
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View from the far side of the farm-Photo by Tom Fisher
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Megan seeding wildflower mixes and cover crops into our fields

1st Market: Success!

Here are some photos from our first market selling Spring Forth Farm flowers at a market on the UNC campus. The market was a huge success, and we sold every bouquet and every tulip we brought!

Next week, on April 25th, we will be setting up our flower stand from 6PM-9PM at the Last Friday Art Walk in downtown Hillsborough.

Spring Forth Farm flower stand at FLO/CDS spring 2014 market at UNC.
Spring Forth Farm flower stand at FLO/CDS spring 2014 market at UNC. 

We started with a full stand.

Spring Forth Farm bouquets for sale at the 2014 FLO/CDS spring market at UNC.
Spring Forth Farm bouquets for sale.
Tulips.
Tulips.
Selling a bouquet at the 2014 FLO/CDS market at UNC. Photo by Thomas Fisher.
Selling a bouquet at the 2014 FLO/CDS market at UNC. Photo by Thomas Fisher.
Our bouquets and tulips were a big hit with students and faculty.
Jonathan talking to a customer. Photo by Thomas Fisher.
Jonathan talking to a customer. Photo by Thomas Fisher.
A Spring Forth Farm bouquet.
A Spring Forth Farm bouquet.
Our poppies were a big hit. These are Icelandic poppies “Red Sails.”
Spring Forth Farm poppies.
Spring Forth Farm poppies.
We sold out! At the end, we had only three unopened tulips left, but they too were snapped up before the market ended, a perfect end-of-semester and Easter gift for mom.
Almost sold out: Only three tulip buds left in the bucket.
Almost sold out: Only three tulip buds left in the bucket.

Don’t miss the next chance to buy Spring Forth Farm’s seasonal flowers, April 25th at the Last Friday Art Walk in downtown Hillsborough starting at 6PM.

First chance to buy SFF flowers!

Spring Forth Farm will join several other local farms at a market hosted by UNC students at The Pit on Thursday, April 17 from 10AM-2PM.

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French tulips and Icelandic poppies “Red Sails.”

We will have beautiful spring bouquets featuring our French tulips and poppies. Here they are in buckets, safe from the rain, wind, and frost this cold April week. Come pick up a piece of spring sunshine. For more information, visit the event on Facebook.

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A bucket of French tulips for the FLO/CDS farmers market at UNC on 4/17 from 10AM-2PM.