All posts filed under: local flower farms

The Dreaming Garden

Tha Flower Factory breaks ground in Baltimore and gardeners everywhere are inspired.

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This Week in Flowers – Mid Summer

Over the Potomac and through the woods to MidSommar Farm we go, in search of dahlias and lisianthus for some lucky September and October brides.  Karen Gesa and her daughter gave me a tour of their adorable start up flower farm with its abundance of echinacea, cosmos, gomphrena, nicotinia, bells of ireland and herbs.  The Cardinal Basil is practically a flower in itself. And this Carmine Lisianthus –  just about killed me (note to my Jewel-tone October Bride – keep your pretty little fingers crossed!).  Karen gave me a bundle of delightful flowers with just two stems tuber rose and my entire mini-van became a perfume bottle on wheels. Felt like I was driving home from heaven…and, who knows? I may very well have been.  The farm name reminded me of the lull happens in mid summer, a peaceful little interlude where we can enjoy the last of the callas, glads and tuber roses before we dive head long into a heady harvest of dahlias, salvia and the lisianthus second-showing.  This year’s Dahlia growing season has been vexing for some growers, what …

This Week In Flowers – July

 Full blown that’s where we are, summer-wise! Full of everything with more to come. Zinnia, sunflowers, gladiolas and celosia are just getting started, along with the summer “it” girl, lisianthus. We wait all July for her to show up. I’m also very excited about crocosmia, a funkly little red-orange flower on a swooping stem with a sword like, long lasting foliage. (image courtesy of Gardening KnowHow.com This summer, local flowers are filling CSA orders and shelves at Takoma Park Food Coop .  Come find something pretty!

I am a pest

    This past Monday morning was especially tough for many hard workers and I was entirely at fault.   Blundering through the row of zinnias at Red Chimney Farm,  I upset more than a few bees, spiders and butterflies.   I may have stepped on a salamander. A baby bunny gave me the stink eye.  A Praying Mantis spent a long time sizing me up, making it clear that my head could roll if she so chose.  I apologized profusely to all involved in this thrumming, humming hive of industry under the hot July sun, cut my flowers and got my clumsy human butt outta the way.  It reminded me of this recent Robert Krulwich’s NPR Science segment on biodiversity: Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else Not Even a Bee. Photographer David Littschwager studied one single cubic foot of land in different places and then did a sample of the little critters found therein.  He counted hundreds of species; different insects, birds, plants and fungi; all working in tandem with the soil, living in harmony or merrily eating …

appreciation

This year’s Spring seems to move as slowly as the glacier that was winter 2014, and I, for one, am going to be grateful for that.  So often the DC-area dives headlong into swamp-like summer after one or two picture perfect days.  This year, we creep and inch along in the chilly drizzle, still wobbly after such a cruel winter. My Farming Friends all note the same slow and timid start on their flowers. Usually Mothers Day week marks the end of Tulips and the peak of Peonies.  This year, however, we have Tulips aplenty and Peonies….well, we’re just going to have to be patient. Nonetheless, local lovelies are still abundant: we have plenty of lilies, ornigathalum (Star of Bethlehem) , poppies, ranunculus and, of course, tulips.  Flowering branch are still available and should be enjoyed and appreciated while we can.  Just like Mom (hint, hint). Holding fast to the cheery chill, for as long as it’s here…

Buckets of Bouquets

 We have been quite kite-like this April, zipping off to Hither-Thither and Yon-ville and back again; the mini van sloshing with Buckets full of Beauty. But that’s nothing compared the amount of work Maryland and Virginia flower farmers put in this cold and chilly season,not to mention all the begging, pleading and coaxing that went into convincing the flowers that “yes, it is spring; truly. The Sleet Boogyman is GONE.”  Thanks to my friends at M and M Plants, Wollam Gardens and Red Chimney Flower Farm, shy little flower guys came out to shine. And while I suppose it’s possible to become jaded and used to the usual, everyday fabulousness of spring flowers (is it?!), these local farmers had some funky and unexpected tricks up their mud covered sleeves: peach pinwheel daffodils,  lusciously purple hellebores,   satiny magnolia blossoms and elegant long-stemmed french tulips.  Tiny Frittularia made most people look twice, with it’s funky little checkerboard pattern and lantern-shaped bloom. We had these and more to share at Goldsborough Glynn Antique store in Kensington, National Geographic’s Earth Day celebration, The District …

The Little Red Chimney That Could…

  While this may look like a Monument to the Brick Furnace Industry, it is actually the clever disguise of a Lovely Bit of Local Flower Farming.  Suzanne Montie runs this little operation out of her yard in Bowie, MD, tucked in between housing developments and sheltered by the remains of a chimney so massive, it could not be bull dozed to the ground when the County wanted to put in a major thoroughfare.  The chimney and Suzanne both saved a flower farm and we are lucky they stood tall and perservered, because  they make DC a lovelier place to live.      When I visited last week, Red Chimney Farm looked a lot like every other yard in Maryland this winter: muddy, slushy and a little yucky.  But under straw and hiding out in hoop houses are all the signs of a Spectacular Spring To Come.   Pulling off row covers, Suzanne showed off some winter survivors: ranunculus, anemone and snapdragon.  Other plots showed evidence of lysianthus, tulips and iris; peonies stuck tiny red “fingernails” out of …

far afield (again)

Are you in need of a little mid-winter floral therapy?  Well, sometimes a little drive in the country can do you good. Racing up I83, past fields covered in galvanized steel sheets of snow, I had plenty of time to ponder if it’s such a good idea to drive all the way to Lancaster County, PA for flowers.  Maybe, I thought, I should I just come to grips with the fact that winter is not a floral time of year and maybe I should just Woman Up and face the latest cheerless, bleak Polar Vortex w/o a scented stash of local blooms. But, truly, I seldom listen to advice, certainly not my own, and yet again, a whim was rewarded.  Regardez moi ça!  Paradis sous la niege. Check it out: I received the grand tour, thanks to my lovely hostess, Bernie Hendricks.     Once upon a time, florists came with a greenhouse out back.  Lancaster County was once world renowned for their greenhouses, most of which were shuttered in the advent of international flower farms and Fedex. …

a sticky trek

Look at these lovely things I found on the Eastern Shore – Pink Dawn Viburnum blossoms.  Such a sweetheart shade of pink.  Very Valentines, if you ask me.  Most people don’t think of “sticks” as all that romantic.  I do, of course, but that’s just me.  And so do the lovely couple who run Seaberry Farms in Federalsburg, MD.   Wenfei and Rick Uva manage a 36 acres of handsome plum, cherry and peach trees, as well as perennials and annuals they use in floral arrangements and wedding bouquets. I trekked out there last week to bring home some branchy beauty.  To be sure, it’s a long way for “just sticks.”  I crossed the gut-clenching Bay Bridge – twice.  I lost all GPS connection and the roads suddenly stopped having pavement.  Turkey Vultures seemed to follow a little too close. But it was worth it.  I have some unusual treats that won’t be showing up anytime soon in Costco: flowering branches of witch hazel, fantail willow, viburnum, alder catkins.  All of which I envision in some pretty …