We've enjoyed the last year working with two Vintage Type Market Retailers. We were with the Vintage Market Home in Wyandotte and Honeycomb Creative here locally in Monroe for the past year. We love both the stores and their offerings. However, for our business, we decided to take a different direction. We left Vintage Market Home in August. We are with Honeycomb until the beginning of the year and then will re-evaluate. We currently have some stock in at Honeycomb Creative and we will be revamping our offerings to them soon.
As always, if you are a local customer and wish to pick up an order contact me through Etsy or at email@example.com. I have worked with brides in picking up wedding party orders at our place. I have also worked with local buyers who would just rather just save the shipping and come do a porch pick up
Holidays are coming - start looking for our Christmas offerings. I have already started posting several items such as Christmas sachet bags, Christmas herbal bulbs, Christmas swags, Birdseed wreaths (big and small) and Christmas tree bird seed favors/ornaments. Our Winter themed bouquet offerings are also listed such as our winterberry bouquet, Celtic Meadow, Love-in-the-Midst. We still have our Fall and Thanksgiving offering up and are 10% off currently such as birdseed favors, wreaths, swags, wheat or oat stacks, sunflower arrangements and more.
New to the shop! We are now offering some mason jar floral designs! See pictures below.
Our Kitchen Redesign pics are posted here! We worked with Dayna at Honeycomb Creative @ 415 N. Monroe Street, Monroe, Mi to get this done. She was a wealth of knowledge and guided us in this process. They have a variety of Fusion Mineral paint colors at Honeycomb . We used Midnight Blue and Putty. We LOVE how it turned out. Hope it inspires others to give it a try! We used a paint spray - Dayna allowed us to use hers and then my hubby went and bought us our own. We did have use a brush on a smaller areas. Dayna really walked us through the process with instructions how is best to handle a kitchen reno on old cabinets. Fusion paint is really nice and it made a huge difference in our cabinets and design. We did have white cabinets with Cranberry red walls. Stop in and see the folks at Honeycomb Creative if you are in the Monroe, Mi area. They are so willing to help you with the Fusion Paints. You can also go the Fusion Paint website or google repainting cabinets with Fusion. There are a lot of blogs out there from crafty people who repainted their cabinets or other projects.
My tidbit of info is - make sure you clean your cabinets really well in order remove grease. TSP is a great product to clean/prep the cabinets first. Remove all the hardware from doors and hinges from cabinets. My hubby set up a makeshift paint shop in our attached garage. Our barn was a bit too dusty. He used saw horses with a board across them to lay out the doors and did one side at a time. He also used tarps on floor. Some people even tent with tarps. We did have to use a primer. Why? Well we had a oil-based paint on the cabinets, which would not allow the Fusion to adhere very well. It was beading. So we went to Lowe's and got a bonding primer. Just ask your paint dealer for a bonding primer if you run into adherence issues. Then after priming all doors and the cabinets and allowing them to dry , we were able to spray Fusion. You will have to use a paint brush on smaller areas and base boards etc. Being novices, we were going to do this in a weekend, but we found quickly it's not really a weekend sort of project given the issues we ran into. I would recommend probably taking more like 3-5 days. Plan for more rather than less in terms of timing. Besides any issues you may run into you have to remove and clean existing hardware (if reusing), plus allow drying time between coats if you are using a primer. This all takes time. If you are painting wood cabinets that are not painted already, I would recommend meeting with someone at Honeycomb or looking up instructions with Fusion as to what is the best approach.
New bouquets in pint mason jars
Listing for Mason Jar Bouquets can be found here. We also have available arrangements with lavender and baby's breath. Multiple choices of jar colors. Jars are pint size.
Wow it's been since August since I have blogged! Time flies. We are full on into fall, my favorite season. The lavender/flower farm is still keeping us busy. Everything had a later harvest than usual. I was harvesting plenty of tomato, eggplant, cucumbers, and herbs and other veggies until just last week. I did our final English lavender harvest last week as well and we got a good number of bunches. Considering what a tough year it was with plant loss and cold winter/wet spring combo, those plants that did survive produced well, but just a bit later than usual. I still have a lot of big empty spaces in the field. These were the plants I pulled. Because it was too late in the season by the time I really learned which plants were going to make it or not, I was unable to order replacements. I did put in an order for a bunch of Royal Velvet English lavender plants for next spring to fill in the field. I have decided to keep what Grosso and Phenomenal I have that made it, but not to purchase more and stick more to the English lavender. For our Michigan winters and sometimes wet springs, these seem to do the best. Plus I do love a good English lavender.
Speaking of English lavender. I have some new designs incorporating it. I have been really busy creating some lovely wedding parties with English lavender as bridal bouquets and bridesmaids. They look particularly lovely mixed with baby's breath and this has been very popular.
I also have created two new vertical swags/wall hangings. The first is an herbal swag. It really can be used year round, but the rose hips and sunflower give me a fall vibe. It's a great piece for home decor anywhere in your home or in the kitchen. It has lavender, rose hips, flax, oregano and Sweet Annie. The other swag I just listed yesterday. It definitely has more colors of spring and summer with pinks and purples, but again for home decor it can be used any time year round. Would look lovely in any room in the house. Both swags are about 20-24 inches long about 18 or so inches wide at the widest point (bottom). They really make a statement. I had one hanging a bedroom at my house and the smell was lovely. Sweet Annie and lavender mix is just wonderful! These are not intended for outdoor use or outside doors! They are dried flowers so they cannot tolerate elements such as rain, snow, wind, excessive direct sunlight etc.
E-commerce site will be up November 1st and possibly before. You will be able to come to our website and click shop and go to our own personal store rather than directed to Etsy. Why the change? Mostly to have more control over our own designs and products and the fees! Etsy is starting to charge more and more and that means shop owners have to pass that on in terms of higher prices. We will still keep our Etsy shop as some prefer it and honestly there will be some things I offer on Etsy I might not on e-commerce right away. The bonus and reason to shop online at our own e-commerce is it takes out the middle man and I can price down from the Etsy store on most items on a regular basis. So please look for the new shop coming very soon!
I am headed to our little log cabin in the woods this weekend with hubby to prep the cabin for coming winter. I will be working on our e-commerce shop from up there as well!
I hope everyone has a great fall and remember Christmas items are already starting to pop up on our shop!
Have a great fall! I have created a slide show of some of our new designs and some photos that were sent to me from our brides.
Wedding 1: Photo Credit: Ashley Auger Smitten Mitten Photography. All photos are copyrighted Smitten Mitten Photography. Bride is carrying the Cottage Garden Bridal Bouquet. Bridesmaids are carrying medium English lavender and Baby's Breath bouquets. Groomsmen and Groom have English lavender and Baby's Breath boutonnieres.
Wedding 2: The very last photo is the Midsummer's Night Dream Bouquet, large, with thistle. This was photo was donated by bride Danielle Denning. Copyrighted.
Keep them coming brides! I love to see and use (with permission) the photos from our brides or photography studios. How I use them: On our blog and website, our listings for the floral designs. I always give credit to photographer and will use watermarked photos whenever possible/provided.
Hey everybody! We have been busy this August. We just had a second harvest of our lavender. English lavender tends to produce a harvest in June and then again in late summer. So I was out in the fields this past weekend doing a harvest. We have been working on weeding and some repair of the lavender fields. We still have some empty spots for replacement lavender. I have been waiting on getting the Royal Velvet lavender to replace the Phenomenal plants we lost earlier this year. As I mentioned previously, we are going to grown more English lavender in our fields as we find it's more hardy for our growing zone. However, we still have quite a few Grosso and Phenomenal plants and those actually gave a bit of a second harvest as well in August.
The Pollinator Garden (wildflower fields) are also looking amazing. The annual zinnas and cosmos I intermixed with the perennial wildflower are blooming and look gorgeous. There are just so many pollinators coming to the garden.
A short announcement regarding our retail stores. After much thought, we have decided to stay with one retail location, which is Honeycomb Creative in Monroe at 415 N. Monroe Street, Monroe Mi. I found maintaining products and stocking two stores too time consuming for the return. This past year was our first foray into retail locations. As a vendor there is upkeep, stocking, changing out products for seasonal items etc. We have decided to stick with just one hometown location and concentrate on our online shop which is bulk of our business.
Since Honeycomb Creative is quite literally less than 3 miles from my home and in our hometown, it's easier of the two for upkeep and restocking. We love Dayna and her family! They have such a cute store housed in an old historic house that was renovated in the Downtown Monroe corridor. They also offer classes upstairs and one of the few locations that carry Fusion Mineral Paint. Follow them on Facebook for updates.
We enjoyed and love The Vintage Market Home in Wyandotte. I want to wish them luck on their new location and expansion. They are moving to a new location (just down the block) in September. We love Rina and Angie - the owners! They have been very helpful to us in this past year and they did such lovely displays with our lavender products and floral designs. However, August is our last month with them. The distance is really the main factor in this decision. As we are not residing Downriver any longer and we are really only up in the area once a week for church, we decided to withdraw from the store.
I have been asked many times for floral crowns, wall swags, and more wreaths. I am working on those. Here is the delay: Spring through summer into fall is our busiest season, especially for floral design and weddings. Doing floral designs for wedding parties is time consuming. I am doing multiple weddings per week as an average plus all the field work that is required and harvesting. So, as summer winds down and we start to slow down, you will start to see more of the new products cropping up on our shop later this fall. I also will post them on social media and our blog.
I did have have a chance recently to do one fall wreath which is listed on our shop! It's the Fall Meadow Wreath. It has Sweet Annie, safflower, sunflower, oats, flax, and daisy. I love it and it smells WONDERFUL! Also included in our gallery are some English lavender and baby's breath bouquets and boutonnieres for a local wedding and a bud vase arrangement in the Summer Festival Style.
Sometimes there is confusion on the coloration of lavenders. Especially with floral designs clients many are expecting deeper colors on the Intermediate (Grosso/Phenomenal). The intermediates really have a wide range of coloration. The long-stemmed Intermediate lavenders are much sturdier and have larger buds so they hold up better to mixed floral design arrangements, but I do occasionally mix in some English lavender for color in season. I will break down the color differences between Intermediate and English below.
Our farm is moving towards growing probably about 75% English lavender after this season. We were about half and half between English and Intermediate lavender previously. However, our intermediates were hard hit by the winter and not as hardy. I will keep what we have that survived and have babied them back to health, but I will be starting to grow a longer stemmed variety of English lavender soon and we will move to incorporate it more into designs. All our English lavender - Hidcote and Melissa survived quite well despite the harsh winter and cold, wet spring.
Here is the breakdown of color on the two types of lavender I use in my designs:
Intermediate Lavender - Are long-stemmed- (Grosso and Phenomenal) vary in color from purplish blue to soft faded blue to gray-blue. Color is highly dependent upon what is in stock and varies. We do grow our own Grosso and Phenomenal lavender, which tends to be a deeper color than many I have received as supplemental from other farms. I will use our own lavender whenever possible and when in season. However, when our supplies are exhausted we do supplement with lavender from other farms in order to offer floral designs year round. We are a small farm and we cannot possibly grow enough to supply the demands for lavender bouquets and floral designs year round.
While I cannot control the color factor on lavender I receive from other sources, I will use the best blooms and color possible and tend to know which suppliers have the best color/sizes. I am very particular about who I receive supplemental bunches from. It needs to meet a certain standard. Since I work with it daily in designs, I know how sturdy I need it be and the size I prefer. I request pictures before I purchase to see if it will meet my needs. Right before the new harvest can get a little towards slim pickings as many supplies are starting to run out or blooms are more faded . Please be patient while we get our harvest in (usually July for us here in Michigan) and also for our supplemental suppliers to get their harvests ready as well.
Intermediate lavenders are used in oil production for essential oil. As we are a flower farm that grows for cut flowers and floral design, we do not distill oils at this time.
We also use English lavender. English lavender is generally smaller in size and length and has a more delicate look. We also grow our own English lavender and will have it for sale in season but I am usually out of our stock very quickly. English lavender is harvested usually in late June, but I will also get a second harvest in August or even September although not as big. I mostly sell it in small petite bundles and sometimes in larger wedding bouquets. To me it is a more premium lavender. We personally grow a mix of Hidcote - small deep purple flowers - and Melissa, slightly large flowers and lighter true lavender color. I will mix the two together, which makes a unique two-toned bouquet. When I have to supplement lavender from other farms It is usually Munstead or Hidcote, which is the true purple. I do not tend to keep English in year round as supplemental. However, at times I will get it by special request if I am out of my own.
We will start to grow a longer-stemmed version of English Lavender in 2019 and our farm is moving more and more towards English lavender production as it is hardiest for our growing zone and winters. Look for it to start to be available more on our shop and in our designs as we convert more to English lavender. My personal preference is the English lavender so I am excited about moving towards growing more of it.
A good example of different lavenders is our mixed bouquet of English and Grosso bouquet - See picture at top of blog.
Grosso and Phenomenal Intermediate Lavender Pictured below. First picture is fresh intermediate from our farm before drying. Middle and third pics are bundles of dried Grosso. Notice the light faded color. This completely normal for dried Grosso or Phenomenal. Our home grown tends to be a bit darker than this although buds are a bit smaller, which is more due to the size of the plants not being fully mature. Last row: Our Dried Grosso - somewhat deeper color. Second pic: Fresh Grosso Drying from our fields. Last pic: Mixed Grosso and English lavender.
Below is the English lavender. First picture is fresh English lavender, before drying, from our fields. Second picture are petite bundles of English lavender from our fields. Last pictures - larger bundle of Munstead lavender. Notice the English lavender has a deeper colors although there are some variations. Second row of pictures are our bundles of Mixed Hidcote and Melissa - Notice the deeper color of Hidcote and lighter lavender of Melissa. Not all farms mix lavenders - most do not. However, I just really like the look of these two mixed so since they bloom at the same time I usually mix them together in finished bouquets.
Just an FYI I am closing the shop to new orders next week. So get your orders in before that time! While I don't really get a "real" vacation per say due to have multiple wedding orders I need to work on during my vacation, I am going to close to new orders so I can concentrate on getting those few weddings out that are due before I reopen. So rest assured those people who have orders due out next week will get them as planned. That's being in business/self-employed! True time off in busy season is rare. Summer is busy season for weddings and also field work and harvesting. However, my hubs is off work next week so we should be able steal away some time here and there. He deserves a vacation with all the constant travel he has been logging in doing training in other states for his job. I am planning to work through the weekend to get most orders out so we can have some free time together.
My eldest son has been helping me tremendously in the field lately due to being tied up doing orders myself and with my husband traveling. Dear son has been my right-hand man when it comes to field work and planting and weeding etc. So wanted to thank him for all the help he has been to me.
It has been such a rough season for lavender growers and for us! I will admit I have shed some real tears over the loss of plants and how the field looks this year. I have had my son pull more plants that weren't completely dead but decided they had not recovered enough to make the winter. We are working on replacing about 1/4 of our field. It looks a mess right now so hence no pictures.
My son is working on redoing the field and husband and I will be helping him soon. We have a huge weed problem this year due to all the rain despite weed barrier and rock. We just cannot keep up! So, in desperation we are pulling up the river rock we put down last year and moving it off the field to another location. What a job! With only son working on it right now it will take awhile, but we hope to have it cleared by fall. We are then going to re-weed barrier the field with a good strong commerical weed barrier. No rock. When I put that rock down I certainly never envisioned pulling it back up but I also never envisioned all the rains and the uncontrollable weeds! Yikes. So lots of work ahead of us to redo the field.
All of our English lavender survived save one or two plants. New plants are coming in August. We are making a switch to mostly English lavender - Royal Velvet - as I stated was a possibility in another blog. It really is just more hardy in our growing zone and recovered the best after our long cold winter and wet spring. Most of the plants we lost were Grosso and ton of Phenomenal. I will keep the ones that survived, but not replacing that particular cultivar.
It's been hard not to be disheartened this year. I know other growers are in the same boat as us and some worse. One local growers had 80% loss of their fields. Another grower in Illinois lost her entire field and because of her advancing age decided not to replant and chose to go out of business and start over into a new life adventure. I am part of USLGA (United States Lavender Growers Association) and I've heard so many in the Midwestern lavender farmers facing massive losses and replanting. It's really hard on the small growers when we don't have thousands of plants to rely on and many lack the ability to repurchase and start over. We were lucky to have not lost more plants so we are working on trying to fix fields where we made some mistakes and replant.
In good news, we did still get a pretty decent harvest from the plants that did survive. Our wildflower fields are taking off. I replanted the middle field that had been all zinnas last year with a mix of perennial and annual wildflowers and it's growing great with all this rain. Our yarrow is huge. I also just planted some milkweed and butterfly weed. Our raised bed herb garden and vegetable gardens are also doing very well! So always a silver lining.
Shop closes Monday to new orders (July 29th) and will reopen on August 7th. Here are some pictures of some of the things I have been working on this week.
Happy 4th of July! A day early that is! We are closing down the shop tomorrow and will reopen on July 8th for some much needed rest and relaxation. We have been SO busy the month of June! After the crazy wet and cold spring , we've had massive clean up in the lavender fields (and major weeding, which is still ongoing). I am happy to report we've had a GREAT harvest of our English lavender!. Such a beautiful bounty! Most of our English lavender survived the polar vortex this winter coupled with the massive rains of spring. I believe we only lost 1-2 plants. Sadly, I cannot say the same on the intermediate lavender. We lost about 40-50 plants so far (Grosso and Pheonmenal) which I use in our floral designs. Intermediates don't tend to have intense purple color of the English, but because they are very sturdy and long they work very well in our larger designs. We may end up pulling more depending on they do now that we are finally getting some warm and dry weather.
We have replacement plants coming this month. It's a set back, but such is the life of a farmer! We can't beat Mother Nature that's for sure. It has been a disappointing season so far, but we are moving ahead! We are starting to go with more English lavender in the fields than ever before. It's just more hardy for our 6A growing climate and able to handle our winters. I have placed a later order for plants that will be coming soon. We will start incorporating our English lavender more and more into floral designs in the future.
We have completed our Raised Bed Gardens! Woo-hoo! My husband did such a great job building them. They are 8'x4'. So far there are three of them. He is working on making the fourth. We have planted some tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, squash, cucumbers, eggplant, and cauliflower. We also have a bed devoted to herbs. We have basil, sage, lemon verbena, dill to name a few. Due to weather we just completed planting last weekend so it's a late start.
We also finally got the tractor into the field and plowed another new field last weekend. Told you we have been busy! This will be used to extended our lavender fields when new plants arrive and also be used to place all the milkweed, butterfly weed, and other plants to support our ever growing Monarch Waystation/Wildflower fields.
RETAIL NEWS: The Wyandotte Street Fair starts next week. July 10th-13th . This is a big annual fair filled with artisans. "Over 200,000 visitors, 200 fine artists, 25 restaurants, and a multitude of local merchants." For more info check out this page
We are a vendor at the Vintage Market Home at 110 Sycamore Street. We have supplied them with lots of new products. They have both our English and Grosso Lavender in stock! This is from our 2019 harvest! We have new bath bombs (lavender and lace) and also resupplied them with our bath and body products, candles, gift baskets and more. Make sure you stop in at the street fair and at Vintage Market Home (right next to Stroh's Ice Cream).
Honeycomb Creative at 415 N. Monroe Street in Monroe Michigan also received some lavender bundles from us! Again, these are super fresh and just harvest and dried a couple of weeks ago! Smells amazing.
The Etsy shop is hopping with orders - many for summer and fall weddings/floral design. However, our birdseed favors, sachets, gift baskets, and botanical candles are also selling very well now too! Right now we are running about a MINIMUM 4-week time frame to complete wedding party/floral design orders and then ship out. Please make sure you allow enough time! Other products go out according to shipping time on the listings - usually between 1-3 days or 3-5 days depending on product.
Everyone have a safe and happy holiday. We will answer any emails when return on July 8th. Enjoy the slideshow - Pictures of our English lavender harvest, bundles wrapped for retail sales, raised bed gardens, and new tilled field.
Due to the cold, wet spring 2019 lavender production is behind. We usually have harvested by now. Unfortunately, it may be several weeks to a month behind depending on weather. We will post updates as to when the harvest comes in. The English lavender are budding but just not quite ready for harvest, but it will be soon. The intermediates, which were hardest hit by the cold, wet spring, are still trying to recover. Some have recovered and are starting to bud, others are still just getting a little green, and we have removed over 40 plants so far and are in process of replacing. This means our harvest will not be as robust as last year.
We are also switching over to more English lavender than intermediate on replacement plants. We have replaced about 6 Phenomenal plants with Phenomenal. However, English lavender is much hardier for our growing regions and winters. It also survived the cold, wet spring in much better shape than our other lavenders. So, I was able to obtain Royal Velvet plants - a particular Engilsh variety I have found hard to find in my area of SE Mi - and I should have these in July sometime. They make lovely bouquets and also great culinary lavender. July is beyond our usual planting window, but it should be fine as the English varieties are hardier. I have planted English as late as August and September and they have survived the winter.
The switch over to more English lavender will mean that starting after this season, our floral design will incorporate more of the English variety mixed in with the Grosso or long-stemmed we usually use. I think this will be a good change as the English lavender has a more vibrant color.
I have used long-stemmed in the past for floral design because it's longer and buds are bigger and sturdier. However, the color and scent is usually far superior, in my opinion, with the English lavender. Since English is significantly smaller in length and size I intend to do a mix of Grosso and English together in bouquets.
English lavender can also be used as a culinary lavender, which is an added bonus. Those fallen buds, collect them and you can use them in lavender tea, in recipes, or lemonade. We also will beginning to sell tins of our culinary lavender with the increase in English lavender plants and production next season.
The varieties we use of English are Hidocote and Royal Velvet (starting this season) . They are a lovely deep purple color. We also have Melissa which is a light lavender and some tend towards pink. We also have some Folgate lavender plants.
I have added some pictures below to show you some fresh cuts of each type and dried bouquet examples. Hover over each picture and it will show you the type of lavender.
It's wedding season! I have been busy for the past couple of months and still taking orders! I wanted to share some of the photos I have received. Remember to send in your photos from your wedding or event! We love to see our floral design at the actual event (and other products). You can send them to me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org or upload them to our Etsy shop as part of your review of the item you purchased. Lastly, you can send them to me through private message through our Facebook page.
How do I use your photos? First, I will give credit to the photographer if you provide their name. Professional photography tends to have a watermark to identify the studio or photographer so of course that's the easiest way to post them. If they are your own personal photos that's fine too. I will watermark with Lavender Rose Farms watermark on bottom. This is just so it identifies the photograph and prevents anyone from using your photo without permission. If you would like photo credit just send me the name of the person who took the photo andI will post the photo credit with the picture.
Where will they post? I post them on our listing on the Etsy shop. When you purchase our floral design there is a carousel of 10 photos for each design. I love to post wedding photos as well as my own photos of the floral design so potential clients can see how the floral design will look at an actual wedding or event. Your photo may be featured as our profile or cover photo on our Facebook page and on our Etsy shop profile/cover photo, and also on our floral design page of our website!
So keep them coming! I love, love, love seeing these photos! Thank you!!
Lavender & Flower Update: The English lavender is recovering well after the extremely rainy spring. It has been said this is a once in 100-year event to see this much rain. Some of the English varieties already have buds! The intermediate Lavenders are still in transition and I plan to replace almost 70 plants. I have a wonderful new variety coming in called Royal Velvet (this is an English or augustifolia). I have been wanting this one for a couple of years and have been unable to find it locally. Shout out to Victor's Lavender in Washington State. I should have this at the end of June! Normally, that is a bit late for us to be planting; however, since everything is so behind and we are still getting some rains I think later planting will work fine.
Our plants to expand the Monarch and cutting gardens are on hold. We cannot get the tractor out into the fields as they are too consistently wet. So have replanted the existing Monarch field where the annual zinnas were last year. The Wildflower section (perennial) has come on strong this year. Double if not triple the size! So many new wildflowers coming up I didn't see last year including daisies. I just love it!
So much worry about the lavender this season. We are experience problems in our fields and delays like so many other growers around the Midwest and the South. Many farms are experiencing massive losses of plants due to the very wet spring. I am unsure of what our losses are, but know there are some. It's too early to tell on the intermediate lavender. I had some time with God about it and realized I am going to just leave them alone for a few weeks to see if they recover. Most of them have been pruned back to get the dead off and expose the tender new growth to sunshine - when we get it. Most of the Augustifolia or English lavender is greening up nicely but we have also lost some plants. Most notably a large plant I transplanted in 2017 from the old house. There is a bit of green on it, but assuming it will have to go. The Grosso and Phenomenal are way behind and some I have already been pulled out a few. The combo of polar vortex in winter and unusually wet spring have done double duty on them. Many are trying to rally. I am guesstimating a loss of possibly half of them. Only time will tell. I did purchase some replacements. but I am hesitant to put plants in just yet. I would like to see if this raining stops in a week or two.
In the end, I am thinking of starting to replace the Lavadins with augustifolia. While it's not as long-stemmed as the intermediates it's much hardier for both cold and wet. I use the Lavadins more extensively in floral design, but I may start incorporating more English and doing a mix of the lavenders. We could go many years without a winter/spring such as the one we just experienced or we could experience another next year. Last year we also had an unusually wet spring although not as bad as this year.
I did go out and seed the Monarch field today on a happier note. I decided to fill it in with perennial wildflower mixed with a little zinnia and cosmos and more yarrow. We shall see how it does. Doing the perennial mix last year gave us good results on the test plot. This year it's twice the size of plants and different plants have emerged - including daisies which I love and didn't see last year. The instructions say it takes 2 to 3 years to fully fill in. My goal is to just let it go to wildflowers and stay that way. I do have some butterfly weed to also add to the mix.
I have decided to concentrate on our raised bed area this year instead of expanding the fields. Since we are getting such a late start to the seeding process this year I feel it's the smartest way to go. My husband is making some huge 6' x 4' beds. So far we have four of them and two more to complete. Two will be used for herbs and veggies and the rest I am going to seed or plant cutting flowers rather than in the fields.
As with anything with Mother Nature, we just sometimes have to go with it and revise.
Here are some photos of the WF fields.
Our growing season this year, much like last year, is off to a slow, wet start. It's been chilly for May and rainy. Last year, I had a lot of concern for the plants. However, they did perk right up as soon as it warmed up and dried out. I am hoping for the same this year. I have been holding off on pruning lavender because it's been either raining or too cold. We have had a few 60 and 70 degree days here or there, but nothing consistent. As it is, that has given me some guilt-free days inside to try to catch up on floral design and wedding party orders.
Speaking of floral design. I have run into a snafu as far as availability of larkspur which we use in a lot of bouquets. I have ready access to the deep blue/purple. However, the pink larkspur is difficult to find as is the white/cream. Many growers suffered losses of these colors last year for unknown reason, which caused a shortage. At Lavender Rose Farms, we will to start growing larkspur along with other cut flowers this year. Since it's early May, we do not have a crop right now and other growers are sold out of what was produced last year. Leading me to a dilemma on some of my designs.
So, I will rework these designs that rely on the larkspur. Summer Festival, Country Meadow, Lavender and Larkspur, Mountain Meadow, Woodland Bouquets, Peony Jewel and possibly a few other designs use either pink or ivory larkspur or both. These colors schemes can be be substituted with other flowers such as pink or ivory peonies or pink or ivory strawflowers and natural ivory/white baby's breath and pink gomphrena. There really are a lot of different options to substitute the pink and ivory color scheme. Most bouquets it will not make a significant impact to the design. As I said the deep blue/purple Larkspur is still available and will use this in designs.
If you place an order I can send a picture with the new flowers added for approval before shipping. Mostly, though you just have to trust my design sense to rework the flowers available for the ones not available. By my past work, I believe you will find I am pretty good at customizing and redesigning bouquets. Floral design does require artistic eyes and impression. So I am confident I can rework things for great result. As soon as I have new pictures I can add them to the listings.
Larkspur will be available again later in the summer so don't worry it will return to the line up. We will return to using it unless we find clients like the new designs better. You never know!
This is reminder that dried flowers are a natural product and crop. Like any other farmers, flower farmer's crops have good years and less successful years. It's part of growing anything natural. Very reliant on multiple factors. Crops have good years and bad years and we just adjust.
As for now, I have strawflowers on order and will have them in soon and I have peonies in stock. I will post a few stock photos of the new flowers below. I do have a little ivory and pink larkspur in stock, which I will use until they are gone.
Thanks for the support and understanding!