Friday Flower “Happy Hour”
(No booze, just blooms!)
4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Every Friday through the season.
$5 Bunches – Mix & Match at the Flower Bar
HARVESTING THIS WEEK
Before sedum turns to a lovely blush pink, it’s got game as a neat textural accent. The plentiful small green buds are an excellent foil for hot-hued focal flowers or more understated white-on-white or pastel palettes. The season for green sedum is fleeting but deserves a nod of appreciation.
Viva zinnias! These flowers love heat and sunshine and they come in a fiesta of colors. Native from the US southwest to South America, they are most often associated with Mexico where many zinnia species originated. We grow the popular Zinnia elegans, in many different colors shapes and sizes. When enjoying cut zinnias, be sure to change the water at least daily as they tend to deteriorate quickly in the vase.
Crested Gold Celosia
With its velvety texture and convoluted ripple formations, it’s hard to believe crested celosia is not a fabulation of some [unhinged?] florist. But no, mother nature had the fun with this one! The heads continue to grow – sometimes to gigantic proportions. We harvest at a more petite size as they work better in bouquets and are less likely to be seedy. You can easily dry the flowers and you may see a sprinkle of dark seeds. Simply give the bottom of the crest a gentle rub to dislodge any additional seeds and allow to finish drying.
The flower spikes of apple mint may be understated in shades of green and lavender, but the fresh scent is deliciously uplifting in a bouquet. This mint sports large, felted leaves on long stems. It has lovely foliage all season, but is even more special in August when in bloom. It’s a bee and butterfly magnet and useful in the kitchen too.
Sunflower – Lemonade
We all know sunflowers are cheerful. They’re popular around the world and are the Ukrainian national flower. Dark, light, multi-hued, we like them all. So although it sounds like hyperbole to call one “cuddly,” this one is! Sometimes called a Teddy Bear type, we can see why. The petals are so fine and supremely dense you’ll want to pet them.
Japanese breeders took a rather unassuming American native species and transformed it into one of the most elegant flowers in modern floristry. Starting from a simple cup-shaped bloom, today’s lisianthus are doubled, fringed, frilled, and picoteed. Many look like roses and come in a wide range of colors, subtle to vivid. We especially enjoy the ones that look like lavender roses!
Marigold – Specialty types
Smaller blooms than fancy reflex chrysanthemums but with a swirly-curly petal form just like them, bright yellow “Phyllis” marigolds are a new favorite on the farm. We’re also trialing two different “white” marigolds (which are really cream colored but why quibble unless they are heading to a wedding). They all have excellent vase life and can even be dried.
Astrantia – Star of Billions
This is a flower that deserves close inspection to be truly appreciated. A ring of green-tipped outer petal-shaped bracts surrounds a domed center of tubular stamens. The flowers are crisp and held in umbels on 14”-18” stems. Superb fresh or dried.
We wait all summer for dahlias to bloom – and finally they are here! Beloved for their almost unreal perfection of form, ball or formal dahlias have row upon row of precisely formed petals. They bloom in sizes ranging from 1” to 5” diameter and in an astonishing color range including just about everything but green and true blue. Coming soon, the fantastic “dinnerplates” – enormous blooms that truly make a statement.
Pincushion flower is a florist favorite with long stems and a fantastic color range. Hybridizers have worked to create ever larger blooms, and the scoop series are premium cultivars. We’re still working to cultivate the extra-large 3” blooms that these plants can produce under optimal conditions, but while we’re learning we can still enjoy the beautiful colors and form of these blooms. First to open are the dark purple with more shades to come by next week.
Rarely seen but quite special, Patrinia scabiosifolia is a long-stemmed umbellifer with ballpark-mustard yellow blooms. In bouquets, as in the garden, it has a see-through lacy quality. The bright color looks amazing paired with hot shades of pink or orange and can brighten arrangements in dark colors without clashing. As a perennial, it has a short season in late July and we enjoy every minute of its brilliant show.
Marigold – Chedi
These are the giant orange flowers used in ceremonies and festivals around the world. We can’t wait to make some garlands from the bounty that will come on later this month. For now, we’ll enjoy the first few blooms in bouquets as pops (no punches!) of vivid color. We have not had a definitive pronunciation guide to the name. Is it Chedi with an “eye” (as in Jedi) or an “ee” (as in Freddy). What’s your vote?
ENJOY AGAIN NEXT YEAR!
Hydrangea - Quick Fire
Let the show begin! This beautifully textured paniculata type hydrangea undergoes a summer-long transformation. In July, it opens pure white with dense clusters of small buds like beaded pearls. Soon though, the flowers begin to shift to pink, or “antique” coloration. The flowers become spotted with deep red and tan, looking aged in a lovely way that’s perfect fresh or dried.
Also known as Lily of the Nile, most agapanthus are too tender for our climate – but these beauties are hardy! We’ve grown them for four years and the clumps grow bigger every year. They flowers look like the big alliums of spring, but bloom in the heat of summer. The color is rich blue with just a hint of violet. They are long-stemmed with star shaped florets, and last well in the vase.
Rudbeckia - Maya
Just opening for the first days of summer, this double Rudbeckia is sunny as the days are long. Goldstrum has a dark chocolate button eye, revealed as the innermost petals unfurl. Many more Rudbeckias to come in the warm shades of the season.
Larkspur - QIS Purple
Like its perennial cousin Delphinium, annual Larkspur has tall spikes packed with blooms. The spikes of Larkspur are more slender and produced in greater abundance. Very pretty fresh, they are a favorited dried flower too. These usually bloom earlier in the season, but we’re happy to have them now!
Phlox – Cherry Caramel
Another annual cousin of a classic perennial, we’ve found they hold their florets better with less shattering in the vase. Cherry Caramel is a terrific accent flower, with creamy, slightly toasty petals with rose pink centers – lovely! Somehow, they seem to mix with most everything.
Lathyrus - Sweet Pea
These are the perennial type of Sweet Pea, so alas, have no scent. But the flowers are pristine white and have thicker petals that hold up better as cut flowers. We harvest these with a length of stem with curly tendrils, buds and blooms because all are pretty. This knocks the plants down for a while, but they will be back before we know it!
Cotinus - Purple Velvet, plume
Like an ephemeral purple cloud, this soft filler is the source of the common name for Cotinus, “Smoke Tree.” Purple Velvet sports deep purple leaves that reverse to dark teal green. The plume is the plant’s flowering inflorescence and tiny dark seeds may be spotted amongst the delicate haze of stems. The plumes add unique volume to bouquets and arrangements.
Another beauty in the wonderful allium family, spherocephalum florets are held in tight clusters on long stiff stems. They begin in light green then open to rich purple for a neat bi-color effect. The size varies a bit based on the size of the bulb but they are charming in all variations. Limited supply in 2023 as our beds recover from a move.
Platycodon - Balloon Flower
These blooms are such fun! They start small and green, then over a couple of weeks begin to color and puff up, and finally burst open into a five-pointed star shape. Lovely at every stage, they continue to bloom through much of the month of July. We have both pink and violet-blue varieties to add interest to you summer bouquets.
Cosmos – Mixed Varieties
The paper-thin petals of cosmos are fragile and show every bruise making them difficult to ship to florists. But they are so refined they are well worth the gentle handling they require for on-farm sales. The abundant, feathery foliage is another plus for filling bouquets.
Chephalaria – Sputnik
For years we’ve waited for the flowers of Sputnik to open, only to have pollinators spoil the show. Once an individual floret is fertilized it browns quickly making the white bloom look tired before it’s fully open. This year we realized the buds were interesting texturally before they open. As an added benefit, they last longer in the vase and the leaves are a show in themselves – glossy mid-green and slightly wavy. We like.
Gypsophilia – Pink Diamond
We were surprised to learn that Gypsophilia (a.k.a. Baby’s Breath) is naturally pink and the sweet color was intentionally bred out to create the white type that’s ubiquitous in commercial floristry. Honestly, we love the white too! But for our own fields, we chose the much less common pink that is every bit as hardworking a filler as it’s better-known cousin.
Best known as Annabelle hydrangea, this classic flower opens green, matures to creamy white, then ages back to soft green. We love it in both colors! But the white blooms must be harvested only after they have “hardened” or they will wilt. It’s a bit tricky to determine when the blooms are ready but before they begin to green up again. The mature flowers make beautifully bouffant white mound, elegant on their own or whimsical in arrangements dotted with bright pops of other blooms. And did we mention that the late green stage is perfectly useful too and can easily be dried?
Phalaris – Ribbon Grass
This striped, bicolor grass has grown less than two feet tall for us – a nice size for floristry. The mostly upright leaves curve gently when mature and add a countrified look to arrangements without being too floppy. Ribbon grass can also be used in structured arrangements, made into loops by securing both ends of the blade. It lasts for a day or more out of water making it useful for events.
Monarda didyma – Jacob Cline
Like royal crowns, the spiky blooms of Jacob Cline are ruby red. In the field they are beloved by hummingbirds, though we doubt they will attract nectar seekers to your vase. Pollinators love it too, hence the common name “Bee Balm.” Monardas are cousins of mint and have a similar fresh scent and flavor. The plant is native to the Americas and has been used medicinally for centuries. The petals are edible for garnish or salads, or steeped as a tea.
Delightful acid green filler adds airy volume to arrangements. The tiny flower heads may be pressed or dried for craft work. It is reportedly also used as a traditional medicinal herb in China and Japan to stimulate the immune system.
Campanula persicifolia – Bellflower
We grew these from a seed packet that boasted to have a complete bellflower garden in the mix. Indeed it had plenty, though only some make good cut flowers. These bellflowers are tall, sometimes over three feet, and come in two colors, pale lavender and white. When we have not been careful and the plants have gone to seed, the following spring volunteer plants seem to show up everywhere, not a bad thing, but a surprise amidst the asparagus.
Rudbeckia – Henry Eilers
Rudbeckias are a signature summer flower, blooming for months in warm hues. Henry Eilers opens a bit later than some of the other cultivars we grow and has a distinctive look. The quilled and sometimes spooned petals stand out stiffly and separately from the central cone. Like many rudbeckias, this one has yellow to gold flowers. We grow lots of different Rudbeckias, and they al get along quite well. SO well that we have lots of interesting offspring pop up that blend attributes from their named parents. Fine with us!