Wednesday, November 19, 2014

We are on Instagram

Hi folks!

If you are on Instagram come follow us!  @perbellusflowerfarm.  We are on facebook too

Stay warm!


Before the Snow Came

Some shots of the backyard just before the snow started flying. I miss it already.

Winter has arrived!

I wasn't expecting it yet! I thought I had more time for planting. Clearly, that is not the case. Looks like I'll be doing lots of potting in the greenhouse for the things that didn't get in the ground.

We are adding eight feet onto the greenhouse this weekend. Plus, putting on the new plastic. Then we'll be getting the new propane tank and heater all set up. Can't wait!

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Spectacular Fall

Fall colors are nearly gone but they were magical while they were here.

We are busily finishing up planting, weeding, and cleanup before the snow comes.   We've had some great weather lately! My mom has been in town helping me with all the field prep.   I'd be really scrambling workout her.   Thousands of perennials, peonies, roses, shrubs,  bulbs, and seeds have been going in the ground. We are in the home stretch! Whew!

Friday, September 19, 2014


Summer has been cool.  We rarely made it into the 80's.  I wasn't complaining aside from the fact that flowers and vegetables prefer the warmth.  Plus, we didn't get rain for two months.  

This summer I realized that I don't want to grow vegetables commercially anymore.  My heart just isn't in them.  It is the flowers that captivate me!  I'm looking forward to streamlining.  Vegetables are a whole other animal and it was just too time consuming and annoying.  I'll still grow veggies for ourselves and I'll likely still grow way too many, especially, garlic, tomatoes and peppers, and I think I will actually eat more of them too.

I grew lisianthus for the first time ever and I'm smitten!  Such a dreamy, romantic flower.  I'll be putting in around 2 to 4 thousand next year.  I'm posting in a photo with an arm full below.

I am going to the ASCFG national conference this October and couldn't be more excited.  I'm also attending their Growers School.  I know I will learn so much and have a refreshed outlook on flower farming.  I need all the help I can get!  My organizational skills are lacking.  I'm a right brainer with A.D.D., go figure.

I'm giddy with excitement at all the new plants I acquired this year.  The perennial beds will be impressive next year.  I'm putting in hundreds of varieties of goodies, many of which I started from seed.  My greenhouse is stuffed with plants ready to get into the field.  Not that the veggies are gone I will have lots more space for flowers.

From here on out I plan to be more involved with this blog.  I really slacked this summer.  I worked over 40 ours a week and then with the farming I just didn't have time.  Next summer, I am only working three days a week.  I will have so much more time for weeding, and tending the flowers.  I'm really looking forward to being able to focus on the flower field and do more writing about it.

I'm on Instagram now too.  Check me out @perbellusflowerfarm.

A Quick Recap of Spring

Last spring was a late and cool one but it was one of the best for prolonging spring blooms.  The cooler weather kept flowers in the orchards for weeks and it was magic!  

The crab apple in our backyard was out of this world.  The fragrance wafted into our living room which is about 100 feet away.  The crab is now loaded with tiny red crap apples.  Our three apple trees are loaded with tasty apples too.   

We tilled up the entire front yard this spring to make room for peonies, annuals and shrubs.  I have yet to plant anything in there but I have the stuff.  I now have over 100 new peony plants, dozens of shrubs and trees, tons of bulbs and thousands of perennials.  Next year will be beatiful!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


This is the first year that I have grown lisianthus.   It's safe to say that I will be growing three times as many next year!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

It's June and There is Much to do!


We are in the thick of it! I'm planting like a mad woman.  Everything is going in this weekend.  Thousands of flowers and vegetables.  It can be very overwhelming at times.  I work off the farm four days a week and those four days are long days, plus, they are outdoors so when I get home it is hard for me to go back outside.  Luckily I have three day weekends now that are dedicated solely to the garden right.  I've also had the pleasure of some volunteer help which makes a huge difference.  I work best with others.

I'd list everything that we are planting but that would take awhile.  I grew just about everything this year, again.

I'll be sharing pictures soon!


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sowing Time

The snow is gone, almost, and we are getting ready to work the field and plant some seeds!  We have a greenhouse full of transplants to set out too.  In a few weeks the sweet peas, dianthus, broccoli, lettuce, onion, cauliflower, kale, chinese cabbage, pac choi, and cabbage transplants will be ready for the field.

We will be direct sowing mustard greens, peas, kale, beets, carrots, shallots, bunching onions, spinach, arugala, asian greens, larkspur, bupleurum, nigella, and a bunch of other goodies over the next week.

Daffodils are poking there heads out of the soil now.  We have some allium bulbs to plant this week and lots of potting up of last years perennials.  200 asiatic lilies are growing in the greenhouse.  We also have six types of willow and cranberry viburnum cuttings, taking root.  They will make wonderful additions to our seasonal arrangements.

I'm expecting a large delivery of David Austin roses and over 100 trees and shrubs, this week.  In a few years the threes and shrubs will provide us with ample cutting material for arrangements and to help us with sales into the the fall and also early spring.  I will be taking extra precautions against rabbits and mice.  I look around the county and see more damage to the bark of shrubs and trees than I have ever seen.  Have you noticed?

We finally invested in new hand tools this year.  Last year, I made due with old junk.  Now I have four different pairs of clippers including some Felco pruners, three harvest knives, a collinear hoe, stirrup hoe, cultivator, and a really nice bed prep rake.

 Plus, new watering equipment and OMRI approved fish fertilizer and a few gentle, OMRI approved fungicides and pest management treatments.  Last year we had issues with worms in the broccoli, squash bugs were rampant on the zucchini, and powdery mildew attacked a few things.

 I have also purchased 1,500 feet of insect barrier fabric.  I will use it to protect all of the brassica varieties from insects this year.  Also, it will provide a controlled environment for a few delicate flower varieties.

We are also getting over 40 yards of compost this spring.  The first 7 yard load is arriving this week.  Yippee!  The health of the soil makes a huge difference in the health of the plant so it is a worth while investment.

We still have flower shares available this spring.  It is a 12 week bouquet share that begins in June, we hope.  Mother nature has to cooperate.

Happy Spring!

Perbellus Flower Farm

Friday, February 28, 2014

Waiting to See Soil Again

With three feet of snow still on the ground and more falling each day, it is hard to believe that spring is just around the corner.  I doubt, however, that I will be able to put anything into the ground until late April.  That's okay though.  It gives me lots of time to prepare for those crazy days of bed prep and planting.

I have been on a plant buying bender this spring.  I'm really beefing up our offerings this year and investing in shrubs and trees that will produce in a few years.  I'm taking the 'buy it all now' approach.  The more I invest now the sooner I will get to harvest from these long lived treasures.

Some woody things we are adding are David Austin roses (lots of them), ninebark, crab apples, flowering quince, flowering almond, redbud, ilex, lilac, hydrangea, viburnum, pussy willow, curly willow, dogwood, American bittersweet, honey suckle vine, calycanthus, kolkwitzia, witch hazel, spirea, forsythia, fringe tree, aronia, chokecherry, hazelnut, mock orange, osage orange and on and on.  Most of this stuff wont really produce for 2 to 4 years but it is well worth the wait.

Some perennials that we are putting in this year include delphinium, foxglove, eryngium, rudbeckia triloba, echinacea, eryngium, allium, lilies, bearded iris (400 varieties from my life long collection/obsession), peonies, yarrow, agastache, helenium, hellebore, hosta, astilbe, golden rod, armeria, clematis, columbine, grasses, campanula, salvia, dahlias, dianthus, guillardia, gaura, gypsophilia, geum, heliopsis, heuchera, kniphofia, lavender, monarda, blue poppy, oriental poppy, liatris, mints, hyssop, penstoemon, shasta daisy, lupin, lysimachia,  and much more!

For annuals we will have snapdragons, amaranth, ammi, aster, sunflowers, zinnia, basil, ornamental peppers, celosia, strawflower, atriplex, godetia, grasses, calendula, bachelor buttons, scabiosa, cerinthe, bupleurum, cosmos, cardoon, golden drumstick, larkspur, dusty miller, flowering cabbage, sweet peas, stock, iceland poppies, lisianthus, marigold, hyacinth bean, love in a puff vine, gomphocarpus, bells of ireland, nigella, orlaya, salvia, green ball dianthus, and another dozen or so goodies.

For vegetables, just work your way from A to Z.  We got em!  I have tamed my wild vegetable buying ways, however.  I realized that I don't need to 10 types of beans or summer squash.  That doesn't apply to pumpkins, tomatoes or peppers though.  I still love to buy and try them all.

It is going to be a crazy year around here but at least we wont be planning a wedding this time.  I'm scaling up flower production by nearly double this year.  Vegetable production isn't shrinking, it is just getting more streamlined since my primary goal is just to feed ourselves and our 10 member CSA.

Early seed sowing has commenced.  I started artichoke, iceland poppies and some chantilly snapdragons.  Once the perennials seeds arrive I will get them started as well.

I have a light stand in the basement, wrapped in plastic.  I ordered a little fan on Amazon today to help keep air moving in there.  I also bought a couple of those metallic emergency blankets to wrap around the frame which will help reflect light back onto the seedlings.

We still have to finish the greenhouse but it has been so cold and windy lately, in the negatives and single digits.  Ugh!  I'm hoping to get some work done this weekend and next.  It is almost time to kick that thing onm though, with cold temps like these, I will wait as long as possible before using that propane.

Stay warm friends!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

What We Are Sowing

Time to start the Artichokes and perennials this weekend.  The beginning of March, I will start some snapdragons and a few other goodies.

I'll be back with photos of our sowing room in the basement.

Think Spring!!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wedding Flowers

Though I am still new to floral design, I had many women inquiring about wedding flowers based off of my market flower designs.  As my skills grow I'd like to do more wedding work.  This year I am hoping to do a few small ceremonies.  I'm working with brides that would like a less formal look at this point.

Hopefully I can squeeze some learning opportunities into my schedule this year.

I'm expanding my offerings this year and will be making a big investment into shrubs, bulbs and peonies this spring.  It is hard to control myself when those colorful catalogs start showing up in the mail.  I'm most excited about growing ranunculus and sweet peas, eeek!

Happy New Year!