Happy Sunday! I hope this Sunday finds you rested and happy. Our summer is still struggling to stick around! We had a bit of rain and grey yesterday, today there’s a bit more sun, but still a bit of cloud. Temperatures certainly leave a bit to be desired if one was to consider taking a dip in the lake or pool. We didn’t set ours up this year, no grand babies to splash around with, and it looks like temps may just be staying in the cooler range anyhow….
I’ve always paid attention to the weather, while growing up my dad worked for the county-so it was always a thing to watch the weather report to see what was going to be happening the next day since he worked outside, and was responsible for taking care of road maintenance throughout the county. My first marriage was to a man who worked outside, it was important to know what was going to be happening for weather, and now here I am…watching the weather as a flower farmer. It seems like I pay attention to it even more now. Joe used to have life stock here on the farm in the early years, so he too has always been in-tune to what’s going on with the weather. Even though we pay very close attention to it, there’s nothing we can do to change it or make it better or make it work for us, we have to adjust to it and accept it for what it is. Sometimes that is difficult for me – to just accept things and let it be – again back to the Que Sera Sera…… The weather will do what it wants, when it wants, so the only thing I can do is wait and watch. It’s certainly been an interesting year!
My first pop-up shop went well. When I say it went well, it means that I met my goal-which was to provide for my subscribers. I got to meet people who I’ve been in contact with for a while, we got to chat flowers & life! It was great to see people I haven’t seen for a while! I didn’t have a lot of “extra bouquets” to sell to anyone walking off the street because I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of people walking off the street to purchase flowers in a Popsicle shop. How did I know this? I’ve been paying attention to the traffic on their web page, I’ve been paying attention to the traffic on my blog, Instagram and Facebook page. Had I been watching other people’s pages about the wild success of other people’s pop-up shops in other parts of the county, I may have been convinced that I too could have an amazingly great day at the pop-up, but I wasn’t paying attention to their pages, I was focused on what I wanted & needed and what I could provide. I went in with reasonable expectations, and they were met. I’m hoping my subscribers also feel that their expectations were met. Most of them have reached out and said as much, so that puts my mind at ease. I’m not worried that not everyone has reached out, not everyone does, and it’s not a bad thing!
With all that being said — how were my expectations met, how stressful was it the night before? It was rough…..I was putting together bouquets until 10:30 the night before, mosquitoes were feasting on my arms and legs, I was stressed out…I knew I didn’t have many blooms. I had gone to another flower farmers gardens to pick up some color from her to fill out my bouquets a bit more. It was a horrible feeling to have to ask for help, but honestly, is there really any shame in collaborating with a fellow farmer? It might have been bad to go to Safeway and purchase flowers from them…but it was a fellow farmer who has inventory, but no outlet to move it, so we were a team. I’ve laid that stress and guilt to rest for now. When I picked up my first bouquet to put the rubber band on it, I felt embarrassment – it was small, way too tiny to put my stamp of approval on it and I didn’t know what I was going to do. I wrapped them all, put them all in the sleeve, and tried to think of ways that I could make it up to my customers – give them a bouquet of sweet peas perhaps, or make this one not count, and give them an extra one at the end perhaps? I came inside, feeling defeated — starting getting ready to bed, and then realized I had forgotten the silly snap dragons I had bought at a nursery a few weeks ago – saving them just for this occasion-duuhhh! I’m so ridiculous!
I certainly wasn’t going to be back outside, I had already taken off my bug spray drenched clothes, it would wait until the morning. Obviously I didn’t sleep well that night, but felt certain things were indeed – going to be just fine. I unwrapped all the bouquets, added those damn snap dragons, and added a few more beautiful honey wort and put them back into the sleeves feeling much better about the situation. I still ended up giving my customers a cute little vase with a beautiful bloom in it as a little freebie gift, so I felt as though they were getting their money’s worth. Thankfully I know that the fields will start to fill in more, and their bouquets will certainly fill in as things go on. But now we wait……on the edge of our seats to see what blooms next. It’s certainly taking it’s time!
I have four bouquets to get out for tomorrow’s group. I just might be over at another fellow farmers place looking for color, she too has a ton of blooms but no sales outlet – just my luck – customers but no blooms, they have blooms but no customers. It’s a tricky business for sure. I’ve invited her to come to the pop-up shop next week, thought perhaps we could do a bit more advertising and see if we could get more foot traffic to the location to help her move some inventory. I doubt I will have much extra as of yet, so it would be nice to help her a bit and the pop shop! We’ll see how it goes.
I bought another bit of color the other day at another nursery – oh the shame of it all…but honestly, it will be okay. They are perennials, long sturdy steams, good color – called Beardtoungue. I’ve never seen it before, but know they will be happy to share what they have this year with me, and will give me more next year. I will add them to my garden and they will come back next year – it’s an investment that I’m sure I will not regret. They were not expensive, they will be nice to have for now and for the years to come!
While I’ve not been paying a huge amount of attention to what the other’s have been doing, I couldn’t help but notice I’ve seen a repeat of a white rose in many people’s arrangements. Those white roses were grown and sold by a larger flower farmer in the area – so apparently I’m not the only one buying from other farmers.
The two flower farmers that I chat with have expressed their concerns about their short comings, their inability to find customers, and have mentioned the Instagram stories and the pictures we’ve seen. There’s a great disservice in people sensationalizing their success and not being honest, but who wants to admit failure? I get it….when I was posting my pictures on my page, I didn’t go on and on about my short comings, but I also didn’t go over the top and go on and on about my success either. It’s not all glam and glitz…..there’s lots of grit and grime…it’s just too bad people aren’t more honest about it – human nature I suppose!
As far as color in my garden goes….
- My own snap dragons that I’ve been stressing over since early February are starting to show color. They are tucked into the very crowded sweet pea rows, but some are making it just fine.
- Sweet Peas…..they are over abundant and super happy this year, I’m excited to see the color and smell the fragrance and be able to share them with mom and my daughter.
- Gailardia flowers are doing well. I think I might have ten or so plants, they are showing some color and are ready to burst. They are an orange & yellow flower – I tried to plant more colors that I usually don’t plant more of because it’s not always about me!
- Calendula are still going strong — not entirely sure if I really need to make more oil….honestly….but we’ll see what happens! I can certainly gift it! I’m not interesting in selling it, the market is flooded with people selling oils & I don’t need to stress over making labels and tooling up for yet another hobby.
- Salpiglossis is blooming, and very beautiful, but still short. But the blooms last a long time in a vase, so that’s what I gave my people – a beautiful bloom to enjoy!
- Pin Cushion flowers are ready to share some color. I didn’t plant a ton of them, I think I have about 10 of those as well, but I’m told they do give lots of blooms per plant, so we shall see.
- Bachelor buttons are just about finished already. They certainly are cute!
- Poppies are very perky and happy, I’m so thankful they showed up! Even though they are not an excellent cut flower, I still enjoy taking their picture and having some in the house just for me!
- Sunflowers – we have two opening — they are the volunteers that are so happy to return year after year! They survive two tillings – freezing temps, gusty winds – and soggy ground….and pop up to give me amazing color – it’s not even July and they are blooming. It’s difficult to weed them out, the only reason why these ones survived was because the corn that was planted in these rows didn’t come up, so I have two rows of sun flowers that will give me color early on and make a lot of people happy. So silly really, here I work hard to grow so many different flowers, and here these sunflowers pop up out of nowhere and provide plenty of joy! Joe and I have joked about just letting the entire garden come back in sun flowers and skip all the drama of the greenhouse.
I suppose I should get a move on, get something done for the day. I’m thinking the fields are soggy from yesterday’s rain and this mornings soaking, so not sure what will be happening in the garden today. Maybe I will convince Joe to take a drive over to the nursery – you know….just to check it out, just in case something needs a good home….and maybe there is a good sale?!
Thankfully my headache & body aches from last night has dissipated, it was a rough night last night – not sure what’s going on with this body of mine – other than age perhaps? But I certainly was happy to wake up to find myself rested and not nearly as uncomfortable! I hope you too are feeling rested and comfortable.
Thank you for stopping by, until next time my friends….hugs to you!