April 2019 - State of the flowers
It’s April and the sun has returned after several weeks of rain. I think this blog will be a great place to document things that go right and wrong for myself as well as keeping everyone updated. So here’s the latest news from the flowers this month!
Unfortunately, my anemones never perked up and I decided to dig them up to try and save the corms for use again this fall. I think a combination of not properly pre-sprouting the corms and not protecting them from the snow made them languish. I may try building small caterpillar tunnels for them this winter. I also had many seedlings like China asters, cosmos, and zinnias bursting out of their cells ready to go in the ground, so I made the decision to make room for them and give up on the Anemones. Next year, I’ll need to plan the beds a little differently to make sure everything has time to finish blooming before turning the bed over to the next crop.
The tulips’ life-cycle was planned about right. I pulled up the last few blooms this weekend in order to lay down compost and amendments for the next crop. If you’ve been following along on Instagram (@twigandsnip), you’d have seen the many lovely tulip bouquets I’ve made over the spring. I think my favorite tulip this year was Montreux. It bloomed like a creamy yellow peony and had a honey like scent. It may not be obvious from my posts but many flower farmers grow tulips as annuals, which is what I did this year. As the buds form and start to show color the whole plant, bulb and all can be pulled up and stored upright in a cooler. This prolongs the life of the tulip and makes it easier to spread out the harvest over several weeks. Once a tulip is needed for a bouquet, I simply cut it off from the bulb, hydrate it in water, and it’s ready to go!
I’ve already got tulips picked out for next year. I hope to double the variety and amount I can offer, since they can be planted very close together (imagine eggs in a carton). I simply didn’t have the funds to buy that amount of bulbs for this season. Having never grown tulips before, I love how easy and beautiful they were to manage!
My dahlia tubers came in the mail this month as well and I’ve planted them along the back fence. Hopefully, I’ll have large Star-child and Totally Tangerine harvests this year. I decided to start with just a couple plants, as they can get quite large and I’ve never grown them before. We’ll see how they do!
Wild harvesting this month has been wonderful, as fringecups and Pacific bleeding heart have popped up all over the forest, as well as new sword fern fronds. The spruce and fir trees are also putting on their bright green spring tips right now. I keep trying to think of ways to use them in bouquets!
I also began my new job at Lowlands Farm in Snohomish, WA. It’s a small woman-owned 4-acre farm that uses organic growing practices. The CSA boxes start in just a few weeks. If you’re in the Seattle area, I highly recommend buying a share. We’re going to have so much great produce and flowers! Our days there are filled with hard satisfying work, the lowing of free range cows, and so much birdsong. I can’t wait to see all the fields fill up with color!
Till next month!