Ready, Set, SOW… The Bloom Magic Cutting Garden 2021

cut flowers bucket

A look inside why this florist loves playing in the dirt.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a farmer florist is being able to decide not only which flowers will become part of a special day, but actually growing some of these flowers. I am lucky to have my own business that literally grows from my deeply personal choices. The inspirational power of nature can never be underestimated, and when a winter meeting with a couple planning to marry 10 months later turns into a booking, we joyfully add their names to the planting chart. To present a bouquet adorned with bud and branch, and see the magic shared from grower to carrier, is an experience that fills me with gratefulness and joy every time.
zinnias in the garden

Winter is time to reflect and plan.

Since most of the weddings we do happen in the warmer months, I am immersed in planning now. Every year, I evaluate what we grew in the cutting garden last season, and assemble a list of foliage and blooms for the coming season. Our harvests will beautify dozens of bouquets, centerpieces and chair swags. The goal is to bring a unique seasonal look to our designs. This is definitely part art, part science.

Deciding what to plant is always a complicated decision. Factors we consider include:
• Ease of growing in our Zone 5b raised beds
• The ability to have multiple harvests:  some flowers will push out more blooms from being picked, we call these “cut and come again”
• We choose amazing colors such as magenta, cranberry, purest white and multicolored
• Textures are amazing, like ruffled dahlias or fuzzy ageratum
• We love to plant versatile flowers, that can be used in many ways. A flower that is equally happy starring as a closeup in a boutonniere, as jumping around flying high over a centerpiece, deserves a place in our garden
• Long lasting flowers that withstand summer heat and have great vase life also make the team
• Flowers that grow well in containers are a joyful addition – always room for more pots!

This year, I am most excited about Zinnia ‘Isabellina’ , a petite pale butter yellow bloom, and Phlox ‘Cherry Caramel’ which has a profusion of billowing beige to orange to deep pink petals. They may not be ready in time for my own wedding on July 4, I am keeping my fingers crossed. As I finish this blog post, there is almost 3 feet of snow outside my studio window! In just sixty days time, I will and put sunscreen on my face and find my garden hat. I’ll tune up my bicycle and fill the tires, and pedal down the driveway on my way to the cutting garden across town. I will work compost into the earth and start layering in the corms and seedlings of our early spring collection. It is a time of hope, remembrance (my mother started me in her garden nearly 50 years ago) anticipation and wonder. As I work, I will think about the weddings ahead, or of simple things like what to have for dinner. Working in the garden grounds me and feeds me. This is one of the defining practices of my little flower business that I hold dear. I’m not sure if it’s what I meant when I named this company four years ago, but it definitely is a part of it all. Follow us for more as the garden takes shape on Instagram, @kirstenbloommagic

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