Saturday, August 31, 2013

What I Love Most About Life on a Flower Farm

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about my life as a flower farmer and the things I love most about living on a farm. Obviously, the flowers and plants are the first things that come to my mind; I’m passionate about growing flowers and would have to agree with Claude Monet when he wrote, “More than anything I must have flowers always, always.” It’s truly a blessing to be surrounded by these amazing gifts of nature.

However, flowers are not the only thing I love about living on a farm - there are many treasures to be enjoyed. Farm animal friends make life interesting and rewarding; the dogs are loving and protective, the roosters constantly reminding me of their presence and the goats give that all around farm feel.

This wouldn't be a farm without a vegetable garden and fruit trees that make our summer gatherings even more special with fresh homegrown fruits and vegetables.

And finally, there's my favorite equipment - trucks, tractors and a windmill to create that special farm-like charm.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Seven Gorgeous Ways We've Turned Feelings into Flowers

Summertime is often associated with long, warm days filled with fun and exciting events like weddings, reunions, birthdays and vacations. Many of these occasions we have come to associate with our favorite things - Flowers. The human population has and will always be controlled by floral products. We love flowers and we love the joy and excitement that they bring to our lives and the lives of others. Simply put: we turn people’s feelings into flowers. That is our passion! Being a flower farmer is exciting, especially when we realize what an important role we play in the lives of so many people. Our flowers eventually become an important part of wedding bouquets, centerpieces, and displays that will one day be a part of a cherished photo album or keepsake. Here are seven ways our flowers have been linked to special feelings or events! 

 Celebrating the 4th of July.

 Enjoying an outdoor summer gathering.

Celebrating a special birthday.

Attending a friend's wedding.

Displays at a favorite vacation spot. 

Celebrating the start of a new relationship.

Attending a family reunion.

What special flower memories do you have?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What's in the Basket?

This weekend we decided to create a few new bouquet recipes that would reflect these last few weeks of summer. During the month of August we start to see more and more protea being harvested, varieties like Sylvia, Susannae, Pink Ice and even some of the Sugar Bush. Foliage is abundant in fields right now, with the deep red and green Jester, burgundy Safari Sunset and green Inca Gold leucadendron. In addition, there are the grevillea foliages, Ivanhoe and Red Hooks, both full of texture and color, as well as their flower counterparts, Bush Lollies or Spiderman. 

In this basket, we have protea, leucandendron, grevillea and dainty white waxflower.

Here, we've decided to feature our foliage, the lush leucadendron and textural grevillea and a sprig of calycina too.

This basket of gorgeous blooms includes protea, bush lollies, red alstromeria, leucadendron, grevillea and a splash of pink calycina.

All three colorful bouquets together made for an amazing poolside display - Enjoy!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bush Lollies

Did you know that Grevillea flowers were a traditional favorite among Aborigines for their sweet nectar? This pollen could be shaken onto the hand to enjoy, or into a coolamon with a little water to make a sweet drink. These lollipop-like flowers are sometimes referred to as the original Bush Lollies, or Bush Toothbrush and Spiderman. Their popularity comes from their willingness to flower and flower and flower. They are also excellent plant choices to bring in the birds, bees and butterflies.

Grevillea is a large diverse genus with about 340 species, mainly of Australian origin. Grevillea flowers can be found in an assortment of wonderful colors, and their texture can only be matched by the pincushion. The charts below provide a quick glimpse of some of the most common varieties being grown and harvested today.

Bush lollies are stunning when displayed alone, mixed with other Australian Native flowers or combined with more traditional flowers.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Floristry with Australian Native Plants

I recently discovered the Australian Plant Society’s – NSW Facebook page: and was thrilled to see all the wonderful information that’s available about propagating, conserving and appreciating these amazing plants. As I perused the Page further admiring all the beautiful pictures I was intrigued by a post about a meeting being held in the North Shore on “Floristry with Native Plants”. The guest speaker that evening was Jeremy Smith a teacher of Urban Horticulture at the Ryde Campus of the Northern Sydney Institute, TAFE NSW. Jeremy also has extensive experience with growing Australian Native Plants for the cut flower trade at the Wildflower Farm in Somersby. Jeremy was planning to demonstrate how commercially produced Australian native flowers can be used in floral displays.
The next day these gorgeous Banksia bouquets and arrangement were posted for all to see!

Beautiful bouquet with Banksia Coccinea, Strawflowers and eucalyptus.

Banksia Menziesii, strawflower and waxflower arrangement.

More gorgeous coccinea, dryandra flormosa and kangaroo paw wrapped into a hand-tied bouquet.

Not only did their post include pictures, it also had two great videos of Jeremy's presentation - check on the links below:

Floral Arrangements with Australian Native Plants - Part 1

Floral Arrangements with Australian Native Plants - Part 2

With Banksia season just weeks away here in Southern California - I'm already inspired to create my own California Grown Australian-Style Native Bouquet!  Thanks to the Australian Native Plant Society for sharing!