Journal for the rest of June

Noni MorrisonJune 20, 2005

I have been missing this so decided to take the initiative here. I loved sitting down and chatting with my garden pals and seeing what everyone was up to.

Here at Calico Gardens I have just planted my last seedlings from the greenhouse. Poor little things...they were the ones that survived the brutal 3 day period of temps in the 90's we had stuck into a 60's degree June. So yesterday, with great glee I planted out the Timeless mixed color cutting ageratums and the remains of the mixed color asters. I hold out little hope for the asters but they will have their chance.

Flowers sold well yesterday for Father's Day. I made up 18 bouquets and that maxed out my garden. Today I am looking for roses for my Tuesday customer who loves English roses. Most have paused to regroup, though I may find a few "Teasing Georgia" still in bud. I have given my customer different pinks for the last 4 weeks and am determined to have some other color for her this week. THE PRINCE is showing color. If the buds will just start opening today I can do something wonderful with them I am sure. I bought "THE PRINCE" on one of Waysides sales and I love it. Lucked out on that one! I am loking through all the online catalogs for brighter colored English roses. anyone have suggestions for ones that will last atleast 4 days as cuts if treated like kings, LOL? I have Pat Austin but she will shatter on the way into the house. I have every color of pink imaginable. I have Graham Thomas and an Abraham D who is just regrouping right now. My Charlottes haven't hit their stride yet from being planted 3 years ago. Charles Darwin is new to me t his year and about to open his first blooms for me-TA DA! I Had one gorgeous blossom on Fisheman's friend and presume he is building another deep in his heart somewhere. LD Braithwait is getting shaded out by a wonderful honeysuckle. Othello has been sunburning on his face and few in blooms this year. Guess I will get out and give everyone a liquid feed before it gets warmed up today.

On other fronts, the glads are looking better then last year but no blooms yet. I will be getting the first dahlias within a week I think. IT will be awhile until they are rampant however.

So what is happening down your way?

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DapperDahlia(z6 Pa)

I think (with all of the first time dahlia grower knowledge) that i have some blooms coming although i'm not sure and they are really close to the plant which is making me nervous because i need long stems for boquets. Planted sunflowers ( a little late) on thursday night and hopefully they will show thier little heads soon. thats all from here. :o)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 12:33PM
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KrazyKim(z5 MI)

I started sunflowers 3 days ago. I used a little plastic tub that grape tomatoes comes in. It has ventilation and a snap down lid. My packet says "germinates in 7-21 days".........They are already up!

I staked my new "Kent Beauty" Ornamental Orgeano and it's looking so much better......what a gorgeous was worth the hunt to find it.

Everything is looking good. Trial run this year, experimenting with cutting and arranging. Looking into a hoophouse for next year.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 1:01PM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

My knee is slowly getting better, so I'm getting a few little things done. My sister's farm intern saved my season by coming over last Thursday and planting out 3/4 of my sunflowers in the field. That maxed out the prepared areas of the field. The remaining sunflowers are competing (in my head) for raised bed space with all the remaining annuals and glads. I have less than one raised bed left to get them all into, an absolute impossibility. I have to make up my mind, though. By tonight that will be finished. It hurts to throw out so many seedlings! I've always thrown out some, since I generally start more than I need, just to be sure I have enough, but this is something like 6 flats of 64 seedlings each - ouch! They are too underfed and yellow to give away. They should have been planted (out in the field) several weeks ago and have used up the nutrition in their blocks. I should have fed them - that was just another thing I couldn't do.

On Wednesday, one week after the injury, I went to an orthopedic doctor, who read my MRI and Xray and told me he thinks nothing is broken or torn or loose in my knee, just that the entire joint (bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage) is badly bruised and had quite a bit of internal bleeding. He estimated two to three weeks before I can go back to work. I was appalled. Two to three weeks to heal a BRUISE???? Now, as it heals very, very slowly, I know he was right. I tried to kneel on it yesterday, in pillowy-soft earth, and it was strictly nothing doing. But then this morning a neighbor-to-be came by to borrow the tractor and told me his wife broke her humerus (the upper arm bone) yesterday and will be out of commission for many weeks. They are having their new house set (it's a NICE double-wide manufactured) on Thursday, moving in in two weeks. The poor woman won't be able to help move at all. It's going to drive her NUTS! That puts my bruised knee joint into perspective. So what if I lose the late season because I can't plant the seedlings? Imagine having your non-cooking spouse putting your brand-new kitchen together!

Back to the garden world, the climate puts me so far behind Lizalily and DapperDahlia, it's laughable. My dahlias are only just recovering from being transplanted into the raised bed from pots and are nowhere near blooming. Some only have two sets of leaves so far. Only the species rugosa roses (not really cut-able) are blooming so far, with John Cabot (a Canadian Explorer rose) just starting to open the first few buds, to be followed by the rest of the non-rugosas. Bearded iris, Russell mix lupines, biennial dianthus, painted daisies, and greenhouse sunflowers were the bulk of my market flowers on Saturday. Now the foxgloves are starting to open. I think there will also be some monkshood for this coming week, along with biennial dianthus and some peonies, and some campanula persicifolia. Iris are done, lupines nearly so, painted daisies nearly so also. There are only about 18 greenhouse sunflowers left. I'm very excited that some orange and some pink Asiatic lilies might be open for this week, although most likely it will be next week. Ditto for Shasta Crazy Daisy - maybe this week, probably next week.

I sprinkled a bunch of ladybugs into my greenhouse raised beds three days ago. I think they all hid the first couple of days - I couldn't find any of them in the greenhouse and thought they had all been exhaust-fanned out of the greenhouse, but then yesterday evening they were just where I wanted them, feasting on aphids everywhere. I have a bad outbreak of aphids in there, enough to disfigure a few flower buds and cause sooty mold here and there. I tried spraying them off with the hose, and Neem, but they would be back in even larger numbers in one day after water and two days after Neem. Usually the yellowjacket wasps keep the aphids under control, but our cool, rainy spring has kept them from multiplying much, so there aren't any in the greenhouse. I had to spend some money on ladybugs. They're having a wonderful time, pigging out on all those aphids.

Well, gotta get out there and fill that last raised bed -


    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 1:38PM
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I'm glad you restarted the journal, LizaLily. I miss reading the happenings in everyone else's life. So many things happened at market this past weekend; and, I kept thinking to myself, I can't wait to tell all of you about it. Half of it I can't remember; and, the other half is just pure nonsense. Markets are interesting beasts.
My son is a huge, huge help this season. He made beautiful $10, $15 and $20 bouquets at market last weekend. He has never asked how to make them. He just does it. Only one person acted like she had a problem with it; and, that says more about her than we probably care to know. I'm not sure my son caught it; but, if he did, he didn't indicate that he had.
About 12 of the 300 LA lilies, Golden Tycoon we would like for Saturday's market have almost started to bloom.
The foxglove is done. We picked the last of it for the previous Wednesday's market. The Campanula is in its last week. Field grown is so much nicer -- stronger stems, etc. We won't be growing it again in the hoophouse. It comes on only one week before the field plants. Not enough to make it worthwhile.
The dahlias in the hoophouse are beautiful. Long stems, and blooming their heads off. It's like a Monet painting. The colors are amazing. And, the early pink snapdragons, 'Potomac' were a welcome addition to the bouquets. We'll have more of those for the next market; and, it looks like some Ivory White.
Yesterday, I seeded about 65 trays. Today, the name of the game is weeding zinnia sections while batting at the flies and sweating. Gotta love it.

Okay. Breaks over. We're outa here.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 9:47AM
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KrazyKim(z5 MI)

Flowerfarmer, you have to post pics of the dahlias......please? Sounds gorgeous!
My dinnerplates are making buds but the plant is only 8 inches high. First time growing dahlias, does that sound right or should I move them?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 1:39PM
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Also glad to see the journal back. Sorry about your knee
Jean. And I know how it must hurt to have to heave those
seedlings. I always find myself planting all my seedlings
even though I grew them as extras. I have 12 flats of 50
plants per flat of zinnias and sunflowers left to get out
into the field. I never thought I would get to the end.
I had over 145 flats this year of annuals to plant by hand
with a bulb planter. I am also in the process of getting
some zinnia and sunflower seeds planted into the garden.
Direct seeded zinnias and sunflowers always seem to do better than the flats I start inside the greenhouse. One
question I have, what variety of zinnia seeds does everyone
buy. I know Benary's Giant are a favorite, but they never
do that well for me. I like State Fair. Getting late
and I have to cook dinner for the family. Really feel too
tired to, but people are hungry.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 8:33PM
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Welcome to the Mojave Desert--Eastern Division! I am so glad I didn't have weather like this the first year I started or I would quit immediately. We are 10" down for rainfall and have not had more than 1/4" of rainfall total since mid-May.

Because of an old well with too much lime in the water --my irrigation system is set up on the storage of rain water. We currently have the capacity to store about 2000 gal. But no rain = no water! So we started hauling water 2 weeks ago from BIL's well. New well will go in next month. Hopefully, I'll have something left to water!

Our prevailing winds are from the west ---usually. My gardens are protected and face the east. For some reason ---all of our winds are coming from the east this summer! So the hot dry winds on top of the dry soil conditions are doing a number on any of my late plantings!

So that is the weather report from the east coast of Iowa!


    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 12:39PM
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Noni Morrison

OK today I finished planting the few zinnia seeds I had left after the sun blast fried all my seedlings. I had just a few seedlngs left and hope some were the big purple one since I had no seed left of it. THey are very leggie seedlngs but a half dozen did survive. I planted the new Lime green zinnia, polar bear white and Cherry Queen with a few dibs and dabs of coral and pink, and a small package of cactus flowered zinnias. I did fill up the rest of my spacewith my left over sunflowers so the fates have decreed that THIS YEAR I am doing sunflowers and folks just better like them, LOL. I used up various dibs and dabs of other seeds for some succession planting too, and popped all seeds for white things into my newly cleared Moon Garden. IT has been about 60 degrees and misty this morning ...just clearing now in the evening. This is the coolest June I remember here and I jst love it. I hope my suns and zinnias won't mind it too badly!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 8:45PM
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Yes, Liza, thanks for starting this thread. Jeanne, I'm glad to hear you're healing. I'm still succession planting glads--thought I'd be done by now but I got behind in May, from work duties and weather. I did order another 50 dahlias, and will be putting those in the ground this weekend. I'll probably just get a few blooms off of these, unless I do something to extend the season.

I've been coping with thrips in the glads--using the Gardens Alive Bullseye product--it seems to be working. I need more, but they are out of product until late summer, so I've ordered some Spinosad from another company. It looks like I have to spray every 2 weeks, as the larvae develop.

The first crop of glads are tall, but no stalks yet. My Asiatic lilies are in early bud. Hopefully, I'll be back in the local farmer's market in early July---yea!

In the meantime, trying to clean up the yard, and the house...



    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 10:38PM
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I'm sorry all the rains have missed you. It seems as though they have been hitting me everytime. Thank goodness we have dodged all the really severe stuff, except for that one night we spent in the basement, but even that didn't damage things too much. With yesterdays rain, we have had 12.5 inches in the last 20 days. So I guess I won't complain about too much rain, it only drowned out one zinnia planting. We had 4 days in a row with no rain and 80+ degrees and everythng has grown like weeds, including the weeds.

I direct seeded another 1000 sunflowers today, Sunbright Supreme and Pro-Cut Orange. I've been planting Zinnias every week now and plan on three more weeks, sure hope everybody buys them again this year. My Cosmos look fantastic and I've been selling some of my Native flowers the last few weeks.

One desginer at a florist I deliver to pulled me aside the other day and told me she was leaving. She wants me to deliver to the new shop she'll be working at as the lead designer. The shop is a little out of the way but she told me she would purchase more because her new boss is going to let her make all the buying descions. I'm going to try and find another shop in the area to try and maximize my driving/sales to that area.

My new Phil Buckleys Mock Orange are blooming, WOW!! It is much prettier and more fragarent than the regular Mock Orange. If your growing any woody perennials, you've got to add this one. My sales guy told me I was gonna like it and he's right.

Well, since I've been at it since 6:00 a.m. and it's now after midnight, I suppose I should go to bed. My DW works tomorrow, so I've got the day off from the fields to goof around with my daughters, it's supposed to be 95 degrees. The only thing better than having a swimming pool, is our neighbors having one. They are just like family, so we get the priviledge of using it anytime we want. Tomorrow sounds like that's the ticket.

Stay cool,


    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 1:37AM
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Noni Morrison

Steve, thanks for the clue about the Phil Buckleys. I seem to have trouble getting any Mock orange to take off, which is odd as they are one of our native flowers. What would you say their cultural requirments are that need to be met to make them succeed? I see nice ones blooming in my neighborhood.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 12:26PM
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I bought really good bare root stock, 3 year old plants. I don't know much about their requirements, I put them under woven plastic mulch and put some slow release fertilizer in the hole before I planted them. We have had copious amonuts of rain so I haven't watered them at all. Send me your e-mail and I'll shoot you a picture of the flower.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 1:47PM
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Noni Morrison

I like the photo, Steve and the fragrance sounds swoonderful, but google turns up nothing. Any idea where I can buy a plant?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 12:43AM
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Recently we subscribe to the Arnosky theory of bouquet making. It makes getting those 100 to 150 premade bouquets for market so much easier. Then we, of course, make the European hand-tied bouquets for customers at the market. Some people don't want to wait. So, they are happy picking one of the premade from the table. Sometimes it saves our sanity. Every week I think the bouquets we are making are the prettiest ever. This week we are working with the LA lily, 'Tycoon'. I love the yellow; but, not real happy with the petals. The bright pink snaps, blue campanula, "Colorado yarrow and Green Mist in those bouquets are just smashing if I do say so myself. We have a new way of displaying the bouquets this year.

The dahlias in the hoophouse continue to bloom their heads off. Tall stems and so many blossoms on one plant.

We are under a "Heat Alert" here in Michigan. Needless to say the trucks won't be loaded again until dawn-thirty.

Kim, I will post some pictures of the dahlias in the greenhouse as soon as I have them developed. Had to use a disposable camera. Our camera is broken. I'll post some pictures of our display soon too.

Gillie, We also use the Oklahoma zinnia in bouquets. And, we use Benary's Giant. Some years with those are better than others. The best strain we found was purchased from Fedco a few years ago. We grew State Fair one year. They're fine; but, we find that the produce vendors who bring a bucket or two of zinnias to market grow this variety. The Benary's zinnias are brighter in comparison. Our bouquets are bright. So, they work well for us in that regard. State Fair are too muted.

We sowed 150 flats this week. The amaranth germinated within 24 hours. Our seedling greenhouse has a special greenhouse film that blocks out the UV rays and dispurses the light evenly. The film is more expensive; and, we don't have it on the hoophouses. I wish we did.

We picked all day yesterday and this morning. Started making bouquets around 10; and, we'll be back out gleening the field this evening.

Okay. Bouquet break is over. Enjoy your weekend everyone.......

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 1:39PM
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Jeanne_in_Idaho(z5 N.Idaho)

Those lilies I was hoping for DID open for this weekend - but they are bright red (Fangio) and a pale orange (whose name escapes me at the moment). The red just POPS. It's big, and mildly fragrant, too, so it must be part Asiatic, part who-knows-what. I'm sure I knew its heritage once upon a time, but that was a LOOOOONNNNG time ago - a year and a half at least. Well, it seems like a long time ago to me!

A friend and neighbor and fellow market merchant's son is getting married tomorrow. My friend was planning to grow all the flowers for the wedding, but I know her garden and doubted right from the start that there would be enough. She had plenty of notice to plant more, but didn't. I told her I could sell her some flowers if she needed them, and gave her pointers on cutting and conditioning the flowers so they'd last for the wedding. So yesterday she called me in a panic, had no idea what to cut or how or anything I'd told her. We had even toured her garden a couple of weeks ago, to plan what to cut. So I went over there yesterday evening and rallied the troops (lots of family at her house right now) and supervised the cutting, something I DIDN'T have time for. Surprise, surprise, they needed more flowers, so some of my lovely red lilies and pale orange lilies are going to be the young couple's wedding present from me. I threw some white Campanula persicifolia (who can resist white bells for a wedding?), and some pink peonies into the buckets for a surprise. I know, the color combinations are pretty strange, and it only gets stranger with the flowers from her garden. Nobody seems to be terribly concerned about the color combinations, they just want lots of any available flowers. And I still have quite a few lilies for market tomorrow.

The foxgloves are going gangbusters right now. I wish I could have given some to the wedding, but there will be small children there, so it's just too dangerous. I've got tons of plain unspotted white, tons of Apricot Queen(really a very slightly orangish very pale pink - I've never seen a real apricot that color) and a bunch of Excelsior, different colors. I like the Excelsior color mix, particularly one that is cream on the outside and rosy purple on the inside. Dynamite combination! I have no idea what I'll put with it. In fact, much of my color choices for today are going to be a challenge. The pale orange lilies and apricot foxgloves just perfectly DON'T go. The red lilies will work with white foxgloves, thank goodness. Then throw in many shades of red and purple and pink biennial dianthus, and a few royal blue Delphinium - this is going to be interesting!

Speaking of royal blue Delphinium, the Belladonna "Oriental Blue" is an amazing royal blue color, deep and saturated without a hint of purple. The shade varies plant to plant, some are a little paler, a few have a hint of purple, but the solid blues are to DIE for. In my opinion, it's a big improvement over Bellamosum, which always had a hint of purple. I've put in 30 Oriental Blues this spring. That doesn't sound like that many, but to small-grower me, that's a lot of one color. I've only seen that color of blue once before, in Phacelia campanularia, a desert wildflower also known as California Bluebells, a little thing too short to cut that doesn't like the climate here besides. If you're in a climate that delphiniums like and you haven't tried Oriental Blue, you might want to get some. It's now one of my absolutely-must-haves, along with Procut sunflowers and Amazon Neon dianthus.

It's fun, reading what everybody else is doing, in our wide range of climates. Here, anything outdoors that isn't planted by now isn't going to bloom before frost. My last set of glads went in a few days ago. I'm risking having no bloom on them before frost, but I had plenty of glads, so I'm willing to gamble a bit. The last annuals planting went into the last bit of space in my raised beds a few days ago, snaps and sunflowers, some garnet scabiosa, and some Camelot digitalis that probably won't bloom this year, but I only had a little space left, so I experimented.

I'll be putting in a second planting in the hoop/greenhouse, where the early sunflowers are just finishing. Cinnamon basil, more Benary zinnias, some celosia, maybe some ageratum will go in, if they all fit. Anybody ever try ageratum in the greenhouse? I know I can't grow it outside.

My crazy annual asters are getting ready to bloom, in the hoop/greenhouse, in their 2" blocks. Now, we all KNOW that isn't enough nutrition for them to actually bloom, but their color is good, they are strong, and it's too late to plant them outside, so what the heck! They are on the floor, not taking up any space I need for anything else.

Flowers are conditioned, time to start arranging.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 4:34PM
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Could you summarize the Arnosky theory of bouquet making. I must have missed it in their book and in GFM. Or I need remedial help...PLEASE!
I went to market today (4th week) and finally had some interest in the perennials I had potted. Most of them are plants that double as cuts...if the potted plants don't sell, they get planted here for bouquets in the future. Since the first of my lilies in pots has color in the buds, they looked more interesting to the customers, plus a couple delphiniums, white obedient plant, iris, and lavender which has been selling for three weeks. Got home and there was money in the honor jar for more perennials also. I love growing beautiful plants and cuts, BUT somehow their beauty isn't satisfying until they sell...kinda like a confirmation that I did a good job.
I didn't take any cuts today to market, as it seems to be between peonies and sunflowers. My lilies in the field are probably not going to produce this year because I was a bad girl and did not keep them weeded. Plus everything is slow due to the drought we are having. The well can only do so much.
For those looking to market at a farmers market there is definitely an advantage to one that is located on grass with trees for shade. With a breeze today, it didn't feel hot, and when I walked down the road and saw 85 on the bank sign, I was amazed.
Happy selling.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 6:53PM
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Liza Lilly,

Try Phil Buckleys Quill Mock Orange. I got mine from a wholesaler. If you can't find any let me know and I'll Ship you one next year when I get my new shrub order in.

I didn't have much for the florists today so I only went to my two best customers. While I was at my first shop a guy walks in with 200 mini Cala lillies. Absolutely gorgeous!!! Pink, creamy butter yellow, burgandy and white. It turns out he's the father of a guy I graduated high school with. We talked a little and the florist told him it's kind of a slow week before the 4th of July so he only wanted two bunches. I told him I know I could sell them at my other florist. He said he didn't mind as long as he got what he was asking per stem. I could have anything over that. I took them to my other best customer and I didn't even have to ask, she said "I want all of those". I got what he wanted plus .50 a stem for myself. I think I will have to start growing them next year. So where's the best info on mini Cala's?

I did another Benarys Giant zinnia planting today, my 5th, and then it rained to soak them in. My limelight spray millet was being overtaken by weeds so I figured I could better use the space for some sunflowers, so I tilled it under.

My Asclepias Tuberosa (Butterfly Milkweed) is just starting to bloom. The florists loved them last year but I don't know how many stems I'll part with. There is going to be a shortage on the seed this year in our region(I have a local ecotype seed that is in demand for prairie restoration projects in the midwest)and it commands a nice price. I will cut some for them to keep them happy but I'm going to save most of them for seed production. My asclepias incarnata(pink) is looking great and I'll sell as many stems as I can cut on those because the price is pretty low for the seed right now.

It sounds like your able to get around a little, that's good to hear. Of course you're out there giving of yourself to help the unprepared wedding flower lady, you are a such a good samaritan!!

After midnight, time to get some ZZZ's so I can weed till I drop tomorrow.


    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 1:18AM
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KrazyKim(z5 MI)

I'm interested in info on mini callas myself. I looked up some info (not much in the way of catalogs) and they say the have a very long vase life. Sounds good to me! Steve, I'll keep looking, if I find anything I'll post it. Here is what I came up with so far.

Here is a link that might be useful: Callas

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 10:52AM
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Another hot, humid day here in Paradise. Husband's hip has been giving him alot of trouble. He started to fall at the market on Saturday. Son caught him on the way down. He is supposed to be resting. He doesn't know what rest is however. Right now we are just trying to maintain. Part of a zinnia section will most likely be lost to weeds if I can't get to it this week. I didn't get it all done last week as was the plan.

As many of you know, this is what we do. We're so grateful to have son's help this season. He's taking classes this summer. Between his family life and classes, his time is limited. He lives next door which is oh so convenient. He's here to pick, make arrangements, load trucks for market, and go to market. That is alot. His 10 year old daughter is also very good with arrangements and market. The other grandchildren have not yet arrived. Soon though we hope and pray.

We had a terrific thunderstorm yesterday. We weren't sure the hoophouses would still be standing when all was said and done. They survived. The sunflowers and zinnia seed that were direct seeded last week will now be able to germinate. Thank goodness for that. This, however, will mean more thinning and weeding. Someone mentioned direct seeded zinnias are much better plants. We find this to be true as well. However, we do both -- plugs and direct seed. Walked the field last night, and everything looks very good. It actually looks very good.

Jeanne, your lily, Fangio is an Asiaflorum. It's similar to the Red Planet we have about ready to bloom this week from a May 6 planting. This is early. We had thought the Acapulco would bloom this week; however, the red will be perfect for the 4th of July weekend bouquets. We are shameless capitalists.

I'm supposed to be weeding the lisianthus. So, I better get back at it.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 9:16AM
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Noni Morrison

Well, yesterday was a great fertilizing day. Nice to have time to finally get to it and a nice cool day heading into rain in the evening. I got half the rose garden done in one kind, all the cutting garden done in another, and then my youngest young man helped me top the rose beds with compost. THey had sunken down pretty badly since their last feeding so hope we see some of them perk up considerably. THe glads I interplanted in the cutting garden are coming up nicely. I staked and tied some of the tall things but not the glads yet. I will need to put in sturdy posts and get some good string and I need to do that pretty quickly. THe beds are mixed with many things so the growing through netting wouldn't work. However, I got my lilies that were leaning tied up, also the ones trying to eat my newest roses. Only managed to break two of them totaly off and one bud that was ready to pop. I did finally get my third jar of lily tabs tucked in with the lilies. WIsh I could find room for a bed that was just devoted to lilies. For some reason I have tried "Tiger babies" 3 times without it coming back the second year. IT was my sturdy favorite at my old house. Some lilies seem to do fine in mixed beds and others just disappear.

I have discovered that the LA lilies do much better in my back garden where the sun hits it later in the day. IT can get botritis attacks pretty badly but the LA's just grow up beyond the damage and bloom merrily away. Right now I have a number of deep red orange/yellow/ peach blooming behind a hot pink polyantha rose (Gabriel Privat)...Love it! Color combinations like that make my heart sing on grey days and I feel like a kid getting away with something my mama told me never to do! I call it "My Rainbow Garden" which means I can use any bright color I want to...sort of my "Stick out my tongue" garden.

Still dripping from last nights rain, but hey, heading into July we will take what we can get!

Lousy sales this weekend, but THe TALL SHIPS ARE COMING this week, so we intend to have our stand stocked for the people who will be going by to gaze at them before they(the ships) head across the water to Tacoma for the 4th. THe 4th is usualy pretty good for sales too.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 11:05AM
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honeybunny442(z6 TN)

I can't believe I live in the same state as Steve! I haven't had any rain in June until a little bit Friday night. We've been hauling water too, you should see the big muscles I have! Jeanne, hope your knee is doing better, but please remember that kneeling is one of the worst things you can do for a bum knee!
Callas are very labor intensive for us here in WI. The bulbs must be lifted every fall. They are also prone to rot and erwinia if planted too early, or if the bulbs get too hot, or if they are planted too close together, or if they get stressed. You will have a row of lovely flowers and the next day they rot off at the base, or your buyers come back to you and the stem you sold that looked fine turns to mush the next day.
All that depressing stuff aside, can you tell me how much that guy was asking for his callas?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 4:20PM
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Here in central New Jersey we had two inches of rain today.
I finished putting in 3 flats of zinnia plants when the
rain started. Had hopes of also getting in some more zinnia
seeds and sunflower seeds but the rain started coming down
heavy and I was soon working in mud. We had been praying
for rain, but not so much so fast. Oh well that is how it
always goes for farmers - feast or famine. At least we can
stop irrigating the sweet corn for awhile. Hope everyone is
getting their work accomplished. I was able to make about
10 bouquets of lisianthus mariachi the other day. It is
starting to come in. Our small farmstand doesn't really
get going until July, but we are still selling potted plants
and some greenhouse tomatoes so I added my bouquets to the
offerings over the weekend. Our really busy crazy days are
not too far off. Then its picking sweet corn every morning
along with harvesting all our other summer veggies plus
cutting and making flower bouquets. I get tired thinking of
it. Have a good week everyone!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 7:11PM
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He wanted a $1.10 a stem. I charged the florist $1.60 a stem and made .50 a stem. Thanks for the Calla info Kim.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 12:22AM
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Patty_WI(z4 WI)

I've been out weeding, weeding, weeding.

Yesterday I brought some sunflowers to the florist I'll be selling to. I also brought along some other things I am growing to show her some examples of my quality. I sold her 15 stems of Bashful sunflower (all that I brought)and the 5 stems of zins I cut for an example. She loved them. Also I left her a couple stems of Cerinthe. They were a little soft though, Does anyone have experience with them? Know any tricks to firm them up?

I know it wasn't much, but It's a start and the first sale to a florist that I've gotten. I has to call my DH in the van on the way home I was soo excited.

I've been selling at my Thursday markets for a few weeks now. The flowers have been selling well. What little I brought anyhow. I tried to do arrangments while people were there to choose their flowers, but most people want to grab and go. I'm going to rethink the tied bouquet Idea I was going to do, and maybe bring more ready-made bouquets instead.

Tuesday market starts after the 4th and maybe I'll have enough flowers/produce to start the Sat market. I'll need to walk my Sat market partners' field and see what is ready.

I know that I'll need to invest in a fridge for this adventure, I have some lillies that opened/are opening. The florist does not want them and market is a couple days away. If I don't want them to go to waste I'll need to find a way to store them.

Well, I'm off to wake my kids for summer school. After I drop them off back to the weeding,weeding,weeding.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 8:11AM
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Noni Morrison

Well, I was wondering what to put with my PRINCE English roses for my "English rose lady".They are a deep black purple color right now as we have been having cloudy days.

I think I outdid myself with this bouquet, LOL. Too bad my camera is at the repair shop. I will have to describe it.

OK, for foliage I used some of the katsura lower branches I pruned off last week. THey seem to hold up well and are so pretty with their blue green, heart shaped leaves. I used s ome of my pale pink costa snapdragons, about 18 Prince roses in either open flower or bud showing color at center front, filled in with pink astilbe and 2 sprays from my new James Galway pink rose. (What beautiful buds, pink with a little peach at their base!) I filled in with a half dozen or so of the "Merry Mix" annual chysanthmums that are pink daisies with a deep red center ring. They tie everythig together so nicely!

Now, what will I do for next week?! I love a challenge like this one! Maybe my new Charles Darwin will still be putting forth..I hope! I had to refrigerate the Prince as it came on on Thurs[visual image of a prince with velvets and cockaded hat in my refrigerator!] and we do up the subscription bouquets on Monday night. THey looked just fine though.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 11:48AM
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We have market tomorrow. Think we are getting the Brain Fever from working with the bright colored lilies. Quick note: Jeanne, you asked about ageratum in the greenhouse. We have a small 8' section growing in one of the hoophouses. The stems are nice and tall and straight unlike the not so straight growing out in the field. The stems are, of course, softer because they are growing in the hoophouse. Ya just need to condition them -- which I already know you do.
Annie, I haven't forgotten about our bouquet making methods and the description thereof. I'll get to that after we get this crazy market behind us.
A dollar sixty for calla lilies. Hmmmmm.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 2:37PM
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KrazyKim(z5 MI)

ugh........I'm so sick of this what life will be like when I start a flower business? lol Love it/hate it/need to do it.
My sunflowers are up, 2nd set of leaves and looking nice and strong. Time to transplant.
My poor dh, comes home to a sweaty, cranky, dirty, mosquito bit, farmers tan of a wife.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 3:40PM
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flowers4u(z6 OR)

Hi everyone,
Whew---where to start! My director was in town last week (for my nonfarm job) and I was involved for 3 days with him and customers, then came home on Wed. night and cut flowers like crazy. Then on Thurs. night my "bride and her party, including a Vermont floral designer" came to look at what flowers were available and stayed for almost an hour! Then I had to cut flowers for them. They used my packing shed the next day to arrange all the wedding flowers and then stored them in the cooler. Easy for me! Then Friday night I put bouquets together for my first Sat. mkt. We moved to our old location - WINDY, WINDY and hot! I tried a new set up which blew over (no severe damage, except the display had to come down to ground level), won't be doing that anymore!!! Then Sunday night it poured (we do need the rain, but I was cutting in my straw hat and raincoat!! Had to get those lilies in! But, almost done planting...just a few more transplants and then I can get back to weeding, weeding, weeding! I am hopefully hiring a parttime harvester and weeder...hopefully this one will work out! She's an organic vegetable and chicken farmer in her first year of farming, but has lots more "school and internship" knowledge than I do, but is looking for the hands on...
So, now I just want the flowers to grow, grow, grow!! ageratum is field grown and "usually" grows straight if I plant it intensively and pinch it at least twice, otherwise they get curly! Do you pinch them? This year, they're in different spots and half are planted in black, permeable, lightweight help them stay warmer! We'll see how that works!
Take care everyone,

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 7:18PM
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susiq(NW AR 6B)

I'm struggleing to keep things alive. HOT and DROUGHT! 'nuff said?

I planted 30 Pro Cut Orange seedlings on Friday. Each was 8-10 inches tall. Came back Sunday and they were GONE! Don't know if it was rabbits or grasshoppers. It's things like that that make me wonder if I'm the ONLY person in Texas (the WORLD!?!) who can't get sunflowers to grow! I have a few more trays of various suns/zinnias/ misc. others in progress, but I'm VERY scared to plant them in the field. It's very discouraging--I may have to camp out there every night and say "Shoo!" to anything that moves!

Have found the hoops & fabric & staples to make some row covers, just haven't had time to set them up. Hopefully if I DO get them set up, I'll have some protection from varmints.

I ran into a friend at Walmart Sunday afternoon; she asked if I had any flowers NOW, as in That afternoon! Told her I had a few sunflowers (from a successful planting in late March). She was having friends over for dinner Sunday night, owned a neat blue pitcher, so out she came and bought all 8 I had laft! Hooray! A RETAIL sale! That was fun! And fun, just standing in the field, cutting, and then handing them to her right then. We decided to let her take them home and put them in water there instead of trying to juggle buckets and water from the field. She was going straight home in AC car anyway.

My boss at the nursery decided that this would be the year to grow vegies as fresh produce to sell at the nursery. So he's got this (seems huge to me) area of vegies in progress out back. One of the staff chores is "getting" to harvest said vegies every morning. Today was MY turn! I had to work a whole HOUR! Boyohboy, do I have new respect for the millions (?) of farm workers out there--and the whole American Food Chain! And you cut flower growers who also grow and harvest your own vegies for market. BOY am I SUCH a City Girl! LOL! I've had to stoop over some for my meager flowers on occassion, but not so far, in the kind of heat we have right now, and not through scratchy leaved zuchinni & squash plants! Dang!

New subject: Kim, could you repost the Calla link? When I clicked on it it said the page wasn't found or something like that. Thanks.

That's all for now.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 12:19AM
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KrazyKim(z5 MI)

Yep, Susi, here you are.

Here is a link that might be useful: Callas

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 6:13AM
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