Mother’s Day starts in November at Blue Gables Farm when we plant the colors for the following spring’s tulip crop and plant huge quantities of bulbs in our flower field. Frank says looking at all those bulbs makes him hungry for onion soup! There is a long, cold, dark winter between us and spring, but when the days get longer and the sun stronger, the soil will warm and a menagerie of colorful flowers will jump out of the ground and proclaim a new season!
Zinnias hold a special place in the hearts of flower farmers mostly because they are such prolific producers and have such beautiful blooms. The more you cut a zinnia, the more it will produce! And, at Blue Gables, no flowers we grow attract as many butterflies as our zinnias.
Like many farmers, we struggle with crop damage caused by whitetail deer. We have learned that tall fences are the best way to deter them. Other farmers use dogs and sprays, and hair, soap and their urine to fend off hungry deer. In the end, we have accepted that we must coexist.
Soon after we started selling flowers via our website and at roadside stands, people started expressing interest in visiting Blue Gables Farm. We understood their desire to see the flowers growing and experience the fun of picking out blooms. It wasn’t long before Custom Cuts became a big part of our business. It gives us a lot of joy to welcome visitors, answer their questions and share our love of flowers with them.
Succession planting sunflowers can be tricky because the earlier plantings grow so fast and tall that they tend to shade and stunt the development of their nearby younger siblings. By planting the first batch on the west side of a north-south bed, shading can be minimized and subsequent waves can get enough light.
A lot of folks are intimidated when it comes to arranging flowers in a vase. Almost every one of them can ride a bicycle and arranging flowers is easier than that, so we’re pretty sure they can do it. The most common problem is people don’t know where to start. Here are our simple secrets to success.
We forage for flowers on our land to supplement and enhance our market bouquets. We look for flowers, greenery and woodies that add color, volume and interest to our standard offerings. It’s an important part of our operations.
We can’t imagine flower farming without landscape fabric. It helps retain moisture, protects roots, and most importantly keeps weeds at bay. There are some tricks to working with it, though, some of which we learned the hard way. So grab your propane torch and follow along!
F1 means “first child.” It indicates that a seed or plant is a hybrid created by human intervention. Although they can be expensive, F1 flower seeds yield better blooms and healthier plants, but there are additional advantages and disadvantages of using F1 flower seeds.