2017 started out to be a challenge on the flower farm. In the fall my husband and boys had put up three hoop houses. I was so excited to finally have some hoop houses. We had planted 100’s of tulips in two and everything was doing very well. In January, we had record high winds. I woke up one morning and looked out the window and I could see something was amiss out in the garden area. When I went outside and got closer, I could see that three of the greenhouses were upside down.
One was on top of another one and one was in the trees. We had actually just put up the third greenhouse just the week before and all I could think was $$$. My kids and I rolled the huge hoop house off of a smaller greenhouse and it seemed to be fine. The other hoop house was basically unsalvageable. I decided right then and there that I was okay with it, things like this happen. I’m going to just move forward. This is my dream and I’m going to count my losses and move forward. You know, I still had one that was pretty much okay. The next day, I was trying to secure the other hoop house down and the winds seemed to be okay. I was trying to move as fast as I could before any gusts would cause any problems and as I was securing the bottom with a heavy stone so I could move it around, a big gust came and literally lifted the whole hoop house up into the air like a hot air balloon with me hanging on. I knew if I didn’t let go, it could be dangerous. As I yelling no no no, I looked up and the hoop house was about 60 ft in the air with me directly looking up at it. The wind shifted and slammed it into a row of four large trees. I pretty much lost it, because I thought I had done really well the day before counting my losses and saving face. But this was discouraging. The metal poles were all bent. So for the whole day and the next, my children helped me destroy the metal into movable pieces to be taken to the recycling center.
Then in April, heartbreak struck again as we had record breaking floods that went through our property and all through the gardens and flower fields. I had just planted 15 antique apple trees, ranunculus and dahlia’s in a greenhouse. I was getting ready to plant 100’s of peonies as well as 50 rose bushes. The flood waters washed all of this everywhere. Bags of spaghnum, my garden tools, and dozens of raised beds that I had had for years. All washed away. Not only that, we had just put in a new road with pipes and new dirt. All washed away into a big gravel barge in the middle of the creek.
It took months and lots of new loads of dirt to get everything back into place. This all left me being unable to plant on schedule meaning I was way way behind on all of my planting. The things that did survive didn’t get planted because of so much restoration which added to my worry. Am I going to even have a flower farm this year? I really didn’t know. I just had to play it out with all of the people who were helping us put things back into place on their time tables too. You learn lots and lots of patience. But when you have a dream and a vision in your heart, you push through the mental thoughts that you can’t do it.
Little by little is one of my favorite sayings; that saying has gotten me through many days throughout my life. Little by little, day by day, hour by hour, I pressed on. It was a trial of patience, endurance, and prayer. Having a flower farm is a hold on tight kind of business. You deal with mother nature, climate change, beat the clock with the weather. You deal with deer, rabbits, possums, raccoons, squirrels, mice, even the neighbors cat, not to mention chasing my sweet little bluebirds, to try and keep your plants and bulbs where they’re supposed to be. You put up fencing everywhere just to have sunflowers, but you do it because you know it will be beautiful.
It looks all glamorous in the photo’s, face book and on instalicious, but it’s hard work. If you’re a flower lover, tender, gardener, you know what I’m talking about. It’s worth all the worry, planning, scheduling, the money, the fencing, and sore muscles and sweat to be a flower gardener. Flowers make people happy, flowers make birds happy, and flowers bring joy and remembrance to people faces when they receive them. So, in looking back at the beginning of the year, it wasn’t looking so good and I didn’t even know if I would have any flowers at all, because of all the loads of dirt and dirt work that had to be done.
You know what? the tulips in the hoop houses were beautiful. They came in on perfect schedule and I had kind of forgotten about them until one day I unzipped the zipper on the hoop house and to my surprise, the whole hoop house was in full bloom with every color of tulip and it smelled heavenly. Little by little the dirt was in place, the hoops were re-bought and built, and the raised beds were turned into firewood, the paths were put back, the gravel was delivered and was put down even better than before and the road to our little cottage studio was back leading up to the doors. The dahlia order placed again, the roses replaced and planted by fall. The seeds were planted and by the middle of July things were in bloom full force.
Because the vision in my head never went away and little by little those vision’s become a reality. Here are some of the pictures we took at the end of summer. Hope you enjoy and hope your vision for 2018 is beautiful and filled with flowers.