perennial cutting garden advice

spivey13(zone 4/5 IA)April 16, 2006

Good morning and Happy Easter,

Thanks in advance for any advice offered by all you experienced and creative cut flower growers. This forum has been a true education for me, where so many of my questions can be answered with a quick search. The fact that you are so willing to share your expertise is invaluable.

I am in my second year of flower farming. I'm going to be up to about 3/4 of an acre this year. Inspired by Cathy in Iowa, I wanted to expand the "cut your own" portion of my gardens. Since the annuals are in rows on the far side of the barn, I want to have a cottage-style perennial cutting garden closer to the house. So, we plowed up a big portion, rototilled it, and built a variety of 12x3, 9x3, 6x3 amd 3x3 foot boxes (we used 12' long, 8" high lumber, and made the boxes easily divided). We then made a pattern and laid out the boxes. It is assymetrical, kind of to get people to wander, and room for some interesting garden bits. Since we constantly fight grasses, we've decided to forgo rock or mulch in the paths, and plant grass in the pathways. I've been moving dirt in between rainstorms (it gets HEAVY when wet!!), and am about half done, and have a variety of perennials arriving in the next two weeks.

Here's the question, after all that explanation. Should I put plants in according to color, or just put them in anywhere? How close can I plant them? I guess it makes sense to put the tall ones in the middle of all the boxes. Do I have to wait until after the chance of frost to plant, or can perennials go in next week (about 2 weeks ahead of traditional last frost? Any advice, suggestions, etc would be appreciated. We've put so much work into making boxes, preparing dirt, etc, I really don't want to be moving plants like crazy in the next couple years. Dividing and selling off, no problem :)

Here are the plants I have coming:

21 - 25 count of alchemilla mollis thriller, aquilegia clementine blue and red, baptisia purple smoke,leucanthemum highland white dream, phlox becky towe and blue boy, monarda raspberry wine, salvia may night and merleau blue, veronica spicata goodness grows, rudbeckis sunset, and 72 delphinium magic fountains and gallery mixed lupinus. I also have some established perennials to move in, some echinacea, liatris, lilies, heuchera, peonies and others.

I am trying to establish a place where a person can feel they can take their time, wander, enjoy cutting a bunch of flowers, and just enjoy their time. Eventually, there will be a fence and arbor at the entrance--probably next year's project! The annual beds are for serious cutting--they look very no nonsense with the straight rows, and that works for me. I also sell at farmer's markets, and to florists, so I want to have useful perennials, but more of a relaxing place.

Any advice given is appreciated. I hope this works!

(the other)Cathy (from Iowa)

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bluestarrgallery(zone 7 GA)

Dear Cathy,

We must be on the same wave length - I have been moving dirt and putting in planting beds between rain storms too. I have mostly lavender growing now so I wanted to add some other cut flowers and have just put in a bunch of perennials too. So far I have achillea paprika, buddleia royal red, agastache ruperstris, echinacea primadonna rose, gallardia, helenium red and gold, penstemon huskar red, phlox eva cullum, rudbeckia triloba and tritoma flamenco - all ones that love the heat. I have others coming next week but my list is buried on my desk.

I also debated whether to make the beds more like a perennial border or in rows and I finally decided to put them in rows for a few reasons - one the eventual height of the perennial, I wanted to be able to snake emitter tubing down the rows of perennials, and also I need to get down the rows to cut the flowers. I have made up one 30 by 12 foot bed, a 17 x 7 foot bed, a 17 x 3 foot bed and a 15 x 6 foot bed. I got the 30 x 12 bed planted the beginning of the week and they have already grown an inch or so. I planted them about two feet apart and started the next row one foot beyond the first row and so on - so the rows don't look so regular. I tried to put contrasting foliage perennials next to each other and the taller ones in the back of course.

I think perennials are pretty hardy and should be able to be planted outside now but I am not familiar with your weather so others will have to advise on that.

Where did you get your perennials? The ones I got said they were vernalized so that is supposed to simulate their having gone through winter. I am past my last frost date here and my ground is covered with weed barrier fabric which helps to insulate the ground. Bark mulch will go on soon.

I am converting my raised beds into cut flower beds too. I think for staking and for irrigation purposes I will have to put only one or two different types of annuals or perennials into the five raised beds which are 17 x 3 - it will be more like a wave of color rather than a mixed border. I do have a few other borders interspersed around the yard that I had planted last year and those are kind of mish mash and then I have two of my smaller lavender beds between a couple of those and various trees and shrubs.

I know what you mean about wanting people to wander around. A friend of mine said placing benches or lawn chairs around will encourage people to relax - so I am doing that - I am making sure they are placed in the shade because we get very hot here in summer. For interest I have a three wheel bicycle with a basket in front and back that I am going to plant with flowers. I already have various pots planted with mixed flowers to add height. I also have a couple of old rusted metal tractor buckets I planted with flowers and a couple of old wine half barrels planted with flowers.

How are you planning on taking payment? Are you going to have the capability of taking mastercard/visa? or just cash and checks? I am still debating on this in my mind.

Good luck and let us know how your farm sales go this season, I would love to hear about your experiences. Linda
Here's the tractor scoop of flowers:

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 2:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cathy --- we better be able to plant perennials this week cuz I've got a bunch coming!!

No -- the weather has been good for us and the forecast looks great for perennials -- in fact, I've got my Amazon Neon Duo dianthus in all ready -- snaps and calendula will go in tomorrow.

I wish I could give you good advice about planting the perennials (whether cottage-style or in rows) Some of my customers respond nicely to the mixed gardens -- some do not. And Lord knows -- there are gardens that I want to tear up right now and start all over again!!! I personally like the look of the cottage gardens.

Cliff is doing well --how is Scot doing?


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spivey13(zone 4/5 IA)

Most important question first--Scot's doing really well. He had his second clear colonoscopy last week, and will now only be checked every two years. CT scan also clear, and he's debating whether to do another PET or not in future. Liver numbers are normal, the only thing is the CEA number keeps bouncing around, but it's notoriously unreliable, so we try to ignore it! Poor guy--the better he feels, the more I make him work! Make sure you let us know when the ACS fundraiser is this year--we'd like to make it if possible.

Cathy, your gardens are always in our heads when we are designing something new--truly a beautiful spot. Any weddings there, yet? I think I'm leaning towards mixing perennials, and keeping the annuals clustered together. If it dries out enough today and tomorrow, I should get all the dirt moved, and then go to Gwen's this week to pick up plants--I'm so excited. The rest of the plants are coming from AMG in MI and Walters in MI. I guess I'd better be moving dirt in the rain if I have to, to get things outside.
Linda, I loved the photo. As for charging people, I used Cathy's ideas last year shamelessly. I sell a gallon of flowers, cut your own, for $10. It works well, and a person can usually cut two nice sized bouquets for that $10. I just take cash or check at the moment--don't have any problems with checks, so I'll keep trusting people til I get burnt!
Thanks for the pointers...


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 2:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Cathy, I highly recommend "The Flower Farmer", by Lyn Byczynski, a softcover book, that will answer many of your questions, and many that you haven't thought of yet. There is no cardinal rule for spacing perennials, they are all different, but you'll be really, really sorry if you space them wrong just to get them in fast now, and but then have to replant them to get any performance in the years ahead. That's a lot more work in the long run. For example, salvia can be less than a foot apart, but some baptisias should be four feet apart. And baptisia roots so heavily and deeply, it's close to impossible to transplant. "The Flower Farmer" gives spacing for many of them. Any good garden reference book will tell you how wide a plant gets; you can use that number for spacing. For a strictly cutting area, you can put plants a little closer together; reaching for the sun gives them slightly longer stems. If they're TOO close together, the stems can get too long and weak, and/or they won't bloom well. For shrubby things that will be kept cut consistently, they can be pretty close, but that's more for an unpretty cutting field, since they aren't very attractive that way.

Color and foliage shapes are good guides for combining plants. As far as how to place shorter and taller plants, consider the sun, and whether the tall plants might shade out the shorter ones. Either put the tall ones behind the short ones, and/or plant shade-tolerant plants behind the tall ones.

As for what to plant when: bareroots can go in NOW, unless they've been kept in a too-warm sheltered place and have leafed out already. In that case, pot them up so you can bring them indoors at night, then harden off gradually, or plant out after last frost. With everything else, figure out what it's been exposed to so far and act accordingly. Anything in a pot that's been living unsheltered outside already can be planted. Anything that has been living indoors, or sheltered somehow from the cold, will need to be hardened off before planting out. ALL seedlings need to be hardened off before planting out. Some can handle a little frost, but only after hardening off; the ones that come to mind right now are delphs, columbines, yarrow, and field snaps. Everything can safely be planted out after last frost.

I have a question - how are you going to keep the grass in the paths from migrating underground, via roots, into your beds? Bark mulch doesn't really stop them, they just come up through it, since they have all the energy of the mother plant to use. That can be an forever-ongoing battle. Sinking a barrier deep into the soil at the edges of the beds can help.

Starting out is exciting. Don't expect to make NO mistakes; the learning curve is pretty steep the first year. Best of luck to you!


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 2:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cathy -- If you get as far as Gwen's and don't call me, you'll be in trouble!!!!
Come on over -- the yard is a mess -- will be until June 1st. Love the rain but --Boy, are the weeds growing!!!

Good news about Scot -- you know you are always in our prayers!


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 2:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
becker(8b Willis)

Hello All! My name is Becca, and I am new not only to this site and format, but also to perennial gardening. I have high hopes of actually doing SOME things right, and learning enough to be selling my flowers either potted or as cut flowers by next year. Jeanne, I appreciated that last statement you made, "Starting out is exciting. Don't expect to make NO mistakes; the learning curve is pretty steep the first year. Best of luck to you!" lol I know it wasn't directed to me, but I took comfort in it, nevertheless.

It's 93*F here today. Watering the new sod in regularly. In my garden all I have started is Daylily, Cosmos, Marigold (mostly just for accent), Nasturtium (for the seed), and Sweet William.

Any advice y'all have will be greatly appreciated, and if you don't mind, I'll just continue to lurk and learn!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The wholesale vendors from whom you are purchasing your plant material are both located in my neck of the woods. AMG is just southwest, and Walters Gardens is northwest. Both are equal driving distance from our farm. They are both really nice companies.

It looks like most of your plants are plugs. These are little baby perennial plants that have been growing in a greenhouse. The companies assumption is that you will be bumping these up to larger containers, and growing them off for a bit in your greenhouse before planting them in your garden. This makes for happier plants. Some of the annual plants that we grow in our hightunnels are brought in as plugs. We always bump them up before planting them in the hightunnels. It really helps to get them off to a good start.

I would, however, think you may want annuals mixed in with your perennials for more color, interest and drama. I would love to see waves of color. You have to look to some of the Masters of Impressionism for inspiration -- Renoir, Monet, Degas, Cassatt, VanGogh to name a few. Instead of using paints, you'll be painting with flowering plants.

We don't have a U-Pick operation. Our flower crops are, of course, laid out in rows. We have had small groups out to our farm because they are interested in seeing a working flower farm in operation. Some of these people have spent hours wandering about in the fields. Sometimes we can't get them to go home even though we desperately need to go to bed.

And, I don't know about a no nonsense approach. Our grandchildren, who all live out of state, come to work on the farm during the summer. We have our moments of total nonsense.

Growing for farmers markets, florists, and a U-Pick operation is alot of work. But, I suspect you already know this.
Good luck with your endeavor.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 8:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spivey13(zone 4/5 IA)

Thank you so much for your responses!

I used to live in that neck of MI as well--well south of the pinky finger, across from the thumb. If I still lived there, I guess shipping from growers would be cheaper! Luckily, when I met Cathy last year, she tuned me in to a great grower close by that I get quite a bit from as well. Last year I put the 128 perennials and annuals directly in the ground, and they did very well. This year they will be quite a bit bigger--a lot in the 2 1/2" to 3" pot size.

Good to know about the baptisia, Jeanne. Unfortunately, I lent my flower farmer book to a friend, and have not gotten it back yet. The local library carries both Armitage and Byscinski (sp?), so maybe I'll do some heavy reading during the next rainy period. As for the grass migrating, we put a heavy layer of newspaper down over the tilled soil, inside the boxes, quite a few layers thick, then covered it with fresh black dirt mixed with very aged compost, to be topped off with bark mulch. We'll see if that holds it--we can always add bark or rock later to the paths if it continues to be a problem. I'm sure I won't make NO mistakes, but I'm just hoping for FEWER mistakes :)
Becca, welcome to the forum. I don't post a lot, but man I learn a lot!
Cathy, I will call Gwen and be over this week. I have to watch a couple extra kids tomorrow for a friend--add them to mine, and I don't see me moving a lot of dirt! I tried to get things done today, but the folks whose ancestors built our house back in the 1890's stopped by, and I ended up giving them the tour and handing out cinnamon rolls.
Trish, Thanks for your advice, especially. It was a lot of work last year, but well worth it. I'm sure my pay per hour was horrific, but I was home with my three young kids, and I can see a future income for me, and for them if they want to work at it. Maybe I'll have grandkids out here working someday too!

Thanks again,


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 9:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bluestarrgallery(zone 7 GA)

Trish, I planted my perennial plugs directly in the ground - but the cell size was 32 and 50. The 32 cell size rootball is almost close to the 3 inch pots herbs and some annuals come in - they seem to do fine and this saves me the labor of repotting and then planting. The 32 cell and 50 cell rootballs from Gro-N-Sell were very well developed I thought. Of course my weather here is a lot different - 42 at night and 65 during the day now.

I planted my lavender from plugs, some down to 128 cell size (I did want a larger size but the variety I wanted only came in that size) directly in the ground. The lavender was planted in the fall and I allowed at least six weeks or more of no frost to be sure they didn't freeze. I planted them in weed barrier cloth which helped keep the ground warmer. On very warm days I did have to water them twice a day and one day I had to water them three times. When I plant them directly in the ground I keep a very close watch on them to be sure they don't dry out since the rootball is so small. The 128's were about an inch size rootball. The first time I planted them, I was real worried thinking they would all die - (I later found out that most people don't plant that size directly in the ground - but ignorance is bliss) - but not one died - six were pulled up by gophers but not eaten.

I planted more lavender varieties from plugs this past fall and they were fine but I was able to get 72's cell size instead which I preferred. We don't get that hard of a freeze here and the ground does not freeze solid in winter - so again, my growing conditions are much different.

My thinking for planting directly in the ground from plugs is the plants get to establish their roots deeper in the native soil sooner so they can make it through my brutal summers and they don't have the transplant shock twice - this seems to work for me at this location - I do what I call "cruising my rows" daily and sometimes more than once a day - till I am sure they have gotten over their transplant shock and they are putting on new growth.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Planting for a U-pick operation is the "same", yet different. The customer's ideas of a flower farm can vary so much. Some want to see rows and rows of flowers --others want to see well-laid flower beds, like a beautiful botanical garden. What the U-Pick customer is looking for --is the experience.

Linda -- seating is enormously important. We have a small gazebo, a lath house and benches throughout the garden so people can sit and relax. Picking a bouquet normally takes 15-20 minutes --- most customers are here for over an hour to all afternoon -- relaxing and enjoying the peace.

The U-pick customer will pick flowers in full-bloom, regardless of your advice. They will pick the stems shorter than you will. And instead of focusing on 3-5 flowers to create a bouquet -- they will pick ONE of everything you have!

You will have to show them how to use certain flowers in a bouquet --ex -- Jewels of Opar. The moment I have a bouquet with them in it -- they sell. Bells of Ireland and craspedia are the same way.

Trish comment about using annuals in the perennial beds is an important one. I didn't do that the first few years and was discouraged because some beds looked so dull. Even edging beds with small dianthus or marigolds makes a huge difference. I also found that the impact of the color is important. Because of the large area, mixed colors lose impact. I'm hooked on hot pink this year and I'm using a lot of Amazon Neon dianthus, merlot mix dianthus and Uproar Rose Zinnias to create a wow! factor. We'll see how it does.

With 3000 gal of water in storage and a new well --- life is starting out much better this year! Hopefully, the good rains will continue and we can catch-up on the drought conditions.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 7:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bluestarrgallery(zone 7 GA)


What type of seating have you used? Plastic is easy to keep clean and store but I want my theme to be kind of rustic/victorian looking and that means having more wicker or benches and such.

Do you have water or some type of drinks people can purchase in case it is hot - I have been thinking about that.

I will have to set aside the front and side rows of each bed for annuals, as Trish suggests, so they are easier to get to - to replant. I have already planted my flowers in rows so we shall see.

My thought has been I would have the flowers already picked and people can choose from them - I am sort of protective of my flower beds - but maybe I will change - my beds are set up so they are concentrated flower masses and then grass areas around them.

I have a covered patio with wisteria (which is covering good) but I have planted some trees on the west side to provide more shade and now I am putting in a bed of taller flowers on two sides of the patio. I have a rose arbor but it is a ways away (future growth area) and I have porches on my little gift shop on four sides. Willow trees with seats under them and now I am converting my kiwi (which isn't growing that great) to another rose arbor and it will have seats under it.

My lavender is planted on either side of a meadow and I want to put a raised deck with one of those canvas patio coverings over that - but I am saving up to purchase the wood. (The deck has to be raised off the ground because it is a wet area during the winter and the wood would rot and sink unless I put it above ground)

You say customers pick one of everything you have - how do you do your pricing then - charge by the stem or by the size of the bunch? Or different prices for more expensive flowers? Do you find customers take all the large flowers and you are left with only small ones or how has that been?

Since I have a little gift shop - my idea has been to have pre-made flower arrangements in the shop - people can purchase those or buy loose flowers and arrrange those themselves. How do customers take away their bouquests - in a sleeve a bucket or vase? Eventually I want to have classes on flower arranging at pre-arranged times.

THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU! - for all your questions (which stimulates my mind on questions I didn't even know I had), suggestions, ideas and sharing - this is a great forum.

My weed barrier cloth came last night and emitter tubing - so I am going out to put that down and plant more plugs - it is sunny today - I think spring has sprung.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 1:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Linda -- My customers pick into a one gal milk jug for $8. Yea -- I know it is too cheap. I started out $1 more than the next closest u-pick. And I raise the price every two years to try to re-coup from my own stupidity!!!! RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!!!

Since we live in a 110-year-old Queen Anne Classic-L farmhouse, it is important to me to keep the "look". So we use a lot of cedar seating that my husband builds or the old metal lawn chairs that I have restored. And I also have park benches and funky stuff around for seating. Cliff is currently building a pergola with a hammock in it. (ok -- that's for me!)

I do serve refreshments --- homemade lemonade and fresh homemade cookies every day. As I say -- a U-pick is about the experience.

No -- customers have been fantastic about cutting the flowers. Children have caused NO damage and I welcome kids into the garden. They never seem to over-pick any of one thing..........but with 3/4 of an acre of flowers-- its difficult to see anything missing. Even though -- I will think that I have no flowers.

BUT --- many of my friends could not handle having a U-pick. They don't like people in their gardens -- so really think it over b/4 you go into it. It takes a "mellowing" of the mind! If you are concerned about being protective -- the idea of pre-made bouquets sounds great.

Ok -- break is over. Back to work.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 3:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spivey13(zone 4/5 IA)


I also didn't have any problems with people picking the more expensive items. In fact, I really had to encourage customers to cut what they wanted, as long as they needed it, and to strip the stems. I only had about 1/3 of an acre last year, and individuals would pick from 1 - 3 hours. As I have small children, I encouraged people with kids to come and pick. Usually the mothers were hyper-cautious, and the kids would pick for five minutes and then head for our sandbox/swingset in the shade while their mom finished up. We served lemonade, too.
I didn't mind people in my gardens, so it works for me. The majority of my income from flowers is at the markets, or weekly subscriptions to offices, restaurants, and directly to florists, although the UPick lead to several of these. I envy you your small gift shop--that sounds ideal. I'm also jealous of the zone 9 you are in!
Good luck with it all,

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 6:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bluestarrgallery(zone 7 GA)

Cathy, do you feel you re-coop the cost of refreshments - are you providing them free as a service? Where do you store all your stuff - like say all of your milk jugs - I am running out of room - my office is stacked, my living room, my storage shed - etc. etc.

Cathy, Zone 9 has its drawbacks - just see what I say in July and August - I won't be quite so mellow then. I am trying to figure out how to fit a small cooler in my shop for display - I am going to air condition the building which is tiny - so that may be enough and I have my old frig (which wasn't that old) from kitchen remodel to store other flowers too. How do you work your subscriptions - do you deliver the bouquets? That might work for me if I did it one day a week and then did my grocery shopping the same day - I will have to think about that. The closest market to me is about 50 miles and I can't see how I can do a market and be open on the weekends - plus the lady who ran the market said they had too many people selling flowers. I am hoping I can get the customers to come to me. We shall see.

thanks. Linda

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 1:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spivey13(zone 4/5 IA)

I do deliveries two days a week, in two different directions, both of which are only about 40 miles roundtrip.
Once you are up and running, I recommend the power of a press release. I didn't advertise last year, other than with my flowers. It was my "learning year" (will that ever end?) and I planned on just sliding in slow. I did put together a press release with the subscription and upick info, sent it out to the local papers, etc, and ended up in two metro newspapers and the local paper--not the release, but full articles and color photos, which was more than I could have asked for. I know Cathy also gets a huge amount of media, esp. through her big ACS fundraiser. BTW, Cathy, are you still looking at advertising on TV?


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bluestarrgallery(zone 7 GA)

Cathy, I do have a press release drafted and I am going to send it out by timing it to when I open, my sign goes up and my website is live.

A few other things I am doing to get the word out about my farm is joining the local chamber-they have a place on their website for a business to put their logo which directs folks to your business website. I have given a talk to my local garden club and now I am scheduled to do two more at other garden clubs - my talks are on lavender - but they could just as well be on cut flower production. I also put an ad in a garden club tour map which was inexpensive - and I will think about that for next year for other cities having garden tours - not all of them have advertising in their booklets - but some do - and those are the people who might just like coming out to pick fresh flowers direct from the grower.

I am seventeen miles from the nearest town - but that is where I do my shopping - so subscriptions might be feasible on that day.

What does ACS stand for?

Thanks for all your advice and help. Linda

    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ACS is the American Cancer Society. My husband Cliff has lung cancer and Cathy's husband, Scot, has colon cancer. So I have done benefits the last two years out of our farm. This year -- the ACS moved up Relay for Life to June 18th -- many years I've barely been open then.

So this year -- we are participating in a Relay for Life team out of our county. My SIL lost her battle with lung cancer in Jan and we are on her hometown team. I'm not going to be doing the full event like I have in the past but will be doing a smaller plant sale out of the yard. Daylilies need to be divided!

Cathy -- I will be doing tv advertising. And I'm trying to get more press coverage (as always!) Newspaper ads just don't pull them in for the long haul. I have one ad that always works well -- in June!! And I haven't found a good August ad!!!!
Linda --storage is always a problem (wouldn't be if I didn't love flea markets!) But I hang jugs from the rafters in the barn.

The treats seem to make the customers relax -- maybe buy another bouquet and definitely, come back again. Besides -- it gets me a chance to bake which I love to do. And I'm in Iowa and we are just friendly type people that like to sit and visit.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2006 at 12:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bluestarrgallery(zone 7 GA)

Dear Cathy and Cathy,

My thoughts go out to you and your husbands. My father survived colon cancer and my mother survived lymphoma and they are both in their 80's now. I routinely shop at a store here in California called the Discovery Shop which has gently used items and monies raised supports the ACS. A flower farm must be a wonderful place to have a benefit.

Flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales - are some of my favorite haunts - never know what perfect vase or bench you might find.

Our barn is almost falling over - that is the next project to patch the posts and then strengthen it and try to level the interior - floor is dirt but we are putting in gravel to make it less dusty.

Since I am growing lavender, I have been experimenting with lavender recipes. The first time I cooked something with lavender in it my husband said "Are you sure you should use that in cooking?" After eating my Lavender Turkey Marsala, the next night he said "Are we having anything with lavender tonight?" You can't actually see the lavender buds in the turkey but they are in there.

Lavender Turkey Marsala with Mixed Green Salad and Red Potatoes

So I might try making some lavender cookies or mini muffins to give to visitors - thanks for the idea Cathy. By the way lavender brownies are really good too. I use about a teaspon of dried culinary buds and grind them up or crush them before adding them to the recipe.

It got up to 80 yesterday and will be the same today. I got three flats planted yesterday and will wait till later today to plant some more since it is so warm.


    Bookmark   April 20, 2006 at 2:26PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need help identifying this plant/flower
My wife bought a variety pack of seeds and this plant/flower...
wedding flower help
1st . I would like to grow calla lollies for daughters...
cold hardy kiwi
looking for a male and female cuttings to start cold...
Wreath Master Machine for SALE!
wreath master machine for sale Ontario Canada. used...
Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine in Flower Arrangement?
Will an ornamental Sweet Potato Vine Survive in a floral...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™