Dahlias: A great way to wind down the growing season

This time of year is always bittersweet – the beginning of the end of the season for the wide array of beautiful flowers in the field. It’s time to start cleaning up: pulling out annuals, lifting up plastic mulch, rolling up support netting, adding leaves and compost to condition the soil, and dividing perennials. But it’s always nice to have gorgeous, lush, colorful dahlias keeping us company while we put the rest of the fields to bed for the winter.…

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The joy of flowers

From the amount of whining and complaining I have done about the scorching heat in Maryland this summer, you’d never know I was raised in Louisiana and tolerated this kind of heat for 8 months a year. But as the summer comes to a close and shorter days and cooler nights give a hint of fall, I look back on this summer with great satisfaction and just a touch of pride. I’ve learned from mistakes, figured out many things through…

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We finally got a hoophouse!

As the growing season goes into nonstop activity — planting, weeding, cutting, post-harvest care, making bouquets and delivering — I realize I haven’t posted anything in a while. Not even to crow about our new hoophouse! I’m so excited to finally have this means of extending my season. I’ll be growing things that many florists want for weddings and other events but that don’t winter over here, such as dusty miller and eucalyptus, plus I’ll get an earlier start on…

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Singin’ in the Rain

The old saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it…” Here in the mid-Atlantic region we had one of the driest Aprils on record, and I watched as my soil cracked and shriveled, hoping and praying for rain. Well, now that May has arrived we’ve got drizzle and downpour every day, and I’m planting in sloppy mud and dashing between raindrops to get major field tasks done. But I’m gradually accepting that flower growers and…

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I haven’t posted in a while; first I was preoccupied with starting seeds and inventorying supplies, and lately I’ve been planting non-stop since we finally got past the danger of frost. The first photo shows the ugly underbelly of flower farming — laying the black plastic “mulch” that holds moisture and nutrients in the soil, reducing the need to water and helping to suppress weeds. The second photo shows how small the seedlings are when we plant them out. Most…

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