Photo credit: Lisa Bridges
We didn’t start out as farmers, but it seems to have been the natural progression of things. Paul and I began working together in 2006 designing and building gardens. One of our clients wanted dahlias in his terraced beds and we credit him with altering our course. As anyone who has grown dahlias knows, the tubers multiply, so the more varieties he tried the larger our collection became. We were already growing perennials for the business and thought it might be nice to incorporate “a few” annuals to fill out our dahlia bouquets. In 2016, fate and friends convened enabling us to purchase our present property. We now have over a hundred varieties of dahlias and have added an assortment of annuals, grasses, ornamental shrubs and bulbs to the mix.
Our tag line ‘from border to bouquet’ references not only what we do, but how we do it. Designing gardens requires an understanding of color, texture, form and function with the added dimension of time. Our observations of these elements over the years informs the way we construct our bouquets. They have a hand-picked, straight from the garden to the kitchen table freshness and natural sensibility to them. Our bouquets, in turn, are now influencing our planting palette and this exchange with nature is both exciting and inspiring.
Photo credit: Lawrence Braun
Secretly, I believe that ever since I heard Meryl Steep in her portrayal of Karen Blixen say, “I had a farm in Africa…” I too wanted to have a farm, although I didn’t realize it at the time. What Paul and I both knew independently, is that we loved being outside in the amazing web of life called nature. Paul likens growing flowers to living in a time-lapse photograph. The speed with which a tiny seed, some so small we have to use a toothpick to sow them, grows into a magnificent flower is truly amazing. Each bloom is a portrait in time, imbued with images and feelings, changing weather and shifting light. Not a day passes by without us sharing a bit of that beauty with each other and every bouquet that goes out is suffused with it. (But don’t tell Paul I told you this!).
We learned many of our farming practices from Floret, one of the nation’s leading farmer-florist operations, and studied design with Love n Fresh Flowers and Nicolette Camille. We continue to improve our practices through attending workshops, reading the Growing for Market publication and participating in the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. We are super grateful to them, to you, our local community and the folks who work with us in the fields for encouraging and supporting our fledgling farm and giving us an opportunity to do what we love and share what we grow.