Our flower field at Cloverhill Flowers is full of blooms! Back in June, I showed you what the field looked like, as well as the new method we’ve been doing this year. My mom and I are in our second year of running the business and it’s been exciting to test out so many new varieties this year. I was out there last night to check on a few things and I took some pictures to show you where it’s at now that we’re in the peak of the season.
Every day we’re out there cutting flowers, watering and checking on how things are developing. We did two big weeding sessions in the spring to help the seedlings, but since then we’ve done very little. For the most part, the flowers have drowned out the weeds and where they haven’t we only pull out or cut those that are getting too big. So you’ll probably be able to spot some weeds in these photos but recognize that we’re just putting our time and energy into the tasks that make the most difference right now.
It is so encouraging when we come out to the field and see it bursting with blooms.
These little beauties have become one of my favourites – Scabosia or Pincushion flowers. We’ve grown a mix of purple, pink, yellow, cream, ruby red and the most stunning black.
This Queen Red Lime Zinnia is a special zinnia that has taken awhile to come in but now that she’s here, we’re so in love. Zinnias are generally a hot weather flower, so this cold, wet summer we’ve been having hasn’t been the ideal conditions.
One of our big goals this year was to grow Cafe Au Lait Dahlias. This was our very first one that’s opened up last week and we’re hoping they’ll just keep getting bigger throughout the season.
Another new favourite variety this year is these bright and beautiful Princess Asters.
And these China Asters steal the show in any bouquet. They almost remind me of a mum but much fuller.
These Lisianthus were a real gamble this year because they are known for being quite difficult to grow, but thankfully most of ours have survived this cold and wet year, although some of them have grown much shorter than expeced.
But it’s worth it when you see them bloom. They almost look like a rose when they’re first coming out and then eventually they’re similar to an anemone.
They had a lovely touch to arrangements and bouquets and we’ve found they last much longer than roses.
Our patch of Cinnamon Basil if out of control. We’ve cut so many bunches out of it and it just keeps coming back. The dark purple blooms are a fun touch to our farmhouse jars and they have a beautiful scent. It’s very similar to thai basil.
Another scented beauty is our Eucalyptus. It’s originally from Australia, so we weren’t too sure how it would do here in Ontario, but it’s been coming along nicely. Our sprigs are much finer than what you’d typically find in a flower shop, but I kind of like that it’s different.
We’ve grown a few different varieties of Celosia, but this Chief Mix is on its way to being 4-6″ wide for each bloom. We’ve been carefully tending to them in hopes that they’ll be ready soon for fall bouquets and arrangements.
Our Blue Glitter Sea Holly is finally starting to get these lovely blue thistles on it. They make a lovely touch for boutonnières. I’m trying to try a few of them right now to see how they work for fall wreaths and arrangements as well.
Another fall favourite we’re growing is Rose Crane Flowering Kale. It’ll be perfect for our pumpkin arrangements and fall bouquets. They will have a vivid purple center, like those few you see in the patch that are farther ahead.
We also attempted another vegetable garden this year in the field. Just a small little one with a few vegetables and herbs (which are often neglected) but we’ve already had some winner comes out of it. Radishes, peas, beets, basil, lettuce and dill have done well. Our peppers are starting to finally grow (it’s been a cold year for them), and we’ve got squashes, zucchini, carrots and beans on the way. I only did part of the vegetable garden in organic landscape plastic, but I plan to do more of it next year. It makes it so much easier to keep the weeds at bay.
We made a path with the landscape fabric to get down into the garden and lined it with Nasturtium on either side. It’s proving to be one of our favourite edible flowers, along with Bachelor Buttons and Calendula.
In the area of the field that we didn’t use, we originally laid down landscape fabric to kill the weeds and then planted red clover and organic buckwheat as a green manure. The idea is that you grow these ground covers and then mow them down before they bloom. When the sown plants are left in the field, they help amend the soil and restore nutrients for the next growing season.
We’re taking field notes and hoping to use what we’ve learned to improve on the next year. Everyday we’re learning something new but this has been such a fun and exciting experience. I never knew that this is where life would take us.
Thanks Sarah! We work so hard out there, so sometimes it’s hard to stop and appreciate what we’ve accomplished so far. Leaps and bounds over last year, but always room for improvement 🙂