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.

A Bittersweet Beginning

Have you ever traveled 300 miles to spend the weekend digging over 100 perennial flowers in the mud?  Well there is a first time for everything.  On Friday March 28th, Jonathan and I celebrated his 31st birthday and the beginning of my spring break from teaching by driving to southern Maryland do just this.  The forecast was mid 40’s and half an inch of rain over the course of the day.  Believe it or not, we ended up lucky.

Jonathan digging peonies

It drizzled nonstop the whole time but started rain buckets just as we were leaving.  We actually had a wonderful time together covered head to toe in mud and actively digging up the beginnings of Spring Forth Farm.  There was sadness in the trip too.  The reason Farmhouse Flowers sold us their perennials is because they are going out of business.  It is bittersweet to take from one small farm ending to begin another small farm.  We wish Dave Dowling all the best as he starts a new chapter in his life and we give thanks from the bottom of our hearts for the generosity he showed us as young flower farmers.

Literally overflowing with plants

We packed the truck to the brim with our hydrangeas, peonies, sedums, foxtail lilies, mountain mint, gooseneck loosetrife, pussy willows, curly willows, and more.   We made it home to Hurdle Mills, NC and unloaded them into our bountiful supply of straw!

Limelight Hydrangeas waiting to be planted

We spent the day yesterday building two beds by hand to plant everything in.  We finished planting just as the sun was setting.  It was a successful trip.

Planting Peonies
Planting Peonies

Thanks again to Farmhouse Flowers and good luck on the next adventure!  Stay tuned throughout the summer for more photos of our perennials in bloom.

Planting Our 1st Wedding Flowers

We are excited to announce we will be providing flowers for our first wedding as Spring Forth Farm! (The first wedding we ever grew flowers for was actually our own.) In order to have flowers our first year, Megan brought back several trays of starts from her summer learning at Harvest Moon Flower Farm.

We were sort of in a pickle because the wet summer has delayed us clearing and tilling land, and our starts needed to get out of their trays and into the ground. Our friends and neighbors Liz and Paul generously offered us some beds in their garden this fall for our sunflowers, zinnias, celosia, black-eyed Susans, and tuberoses.

On a cool day with a good chance of rain, we took the trays of starts over to Liz and Paul’s house. As Mr. Bingley watched and their chickens clucked in the background, we all worked together to get these tender starts in the ground and watered.

Thank you Liz and Paul for your help and kindness. If you are interested in Spring Forth Farm flowers for your wedding or special event, please contact us.