Part of the fun of flower farming is trying new things. Every season we add new plants to our extensive grow list. Even though every year I vow to cut back, the excitement of growing, literally and figuratively, draws me in. Do we really need over 300 varieties? Probably not, but for a lot of reasons, it’s nice to diversify. Someday I may cut back and only grow our top 10 best sellers, but for now I spend a lot of time researching new plants for us to try!
Not all are keepers. Some just aren’t worth the trouble and space despite their beauty. But one that is, so far, is the garden rose.
I love garden roses. I could easily become a garden rose addict. Mid winter of 2015, after swearing I would never, ever, ever grow roses again (mainly due to the heartbreak of the Japanese beetle problem here) I allowed the dreamy catalogs to pull me in. In defense of my weakness, on that bitter, cold, dreary afternoon, I looked at the stunningly beautiful photos and I could actually smell the roses. We managed to, for the most part, keep the beetles and disease at bay. And so, with little hesitation, I ordered several of a few more delightful varieties to add to the ever expanding grow list for this spring.
We get a nice bloom period on both sides of the Japanese beetle hatch. In-between it’s constant battle, but we find the joy they bring is worth the effort. One whiff of their delicious fragrance and you will be hooked too!
This year we’ve added the following garden roses to our collection:
We’ve been adding flowering shrubs a few at a time, but for next season I went a little nuts. I am still not sure were they are all going to go, but we always seem to tweak out a little more space here and there. With 60 new shrubs ordered, I better do some serious tweaking!
Tulips are one of those must have spring flowers and we try to grow unique varieties. We’ve been getting a lot of requests for peony flowering and green tulips. Our early bloomers always give us so much hope spring will actually come!
Brodiaea is an experiment for us this season. It is a zone 6 bulb, so a lot will depend if we can create a zone 6 environment for it. We thought them beautiful enough to give it a try.
Another flowering bulb outside our comfort zone is the spring blooming anemone. We’ve had some success with them in prior years. I love them so much I’ve forgotten the pain of losing an entire crop to early season high temperatures and are going to attempt them again.
Dahlias are by far our most popular flower. The list of varieties to choose from seems endless. Our most popular colors this past season were burgundy, white, and the soft creamy pink of the Cafe au Lait. This year we’ll be adding Karma dahlias to the mix. Karma dahlias have been proven to have an excellent storage and vase life.
Additional new dahlia varieties:
White Perfection – white
Thomas Edison – purple
Zas Zas – Orange
Cornell Brons – Bronze
Purple Flame – Purple
We’ll also be expanding our most popular varieties to give us over 1000 dahlia plants.
We’re also adding quite a few new annuals and perennials as usual. When I get that list complete, I’ll add it here.