Breaking Even…..2,100 Seedlings….Making Friends & Getting Tired….

Happy Halloween! I trust things are not scary nor frightening in your part of this wonderful place we call Earth.  There’s the full moon, the upcoming election, and the impending doom of a possible second shut down – what could possibly go wrong?

You will have to forgive me, I’m a bit cynical today….I’ve had an interesting run of let downs as of late.  I had a lady order two wreath kits – that has suddenly ghosted me.  I had three people cancel for the event today – it’s okay – really, things come up and I totally understand – but add that to the non-response of some people on various fronts it just kind of adds up and gets under my skin a bit.  I’m not a fan of talking to brick walls-honestly, how difficult is it to respond to someone’s request?  A non-response is worse than anything.  Unanswered emails, unresponsive to invites, unresponsive to requests for information – it’s happening on several different fronts and it’s just frustrating.   

Wreath kit ready to go…but the lady disappeared—hopefully she’s ok—hopefully she’s just a flake!

Anyhow, on to gardening news – where I go when things get under my skin and frustrate me!  Diving into spreadsheets, organize seeds, sort through the containers, do a few things that actually make a difference.  I’m hoping to get out there tomorrow and do some work – I’ve invited my son over to hopefully help with a few things.  So happy that they are all back and healthy! 

My bulb order arrived, I’m a bit disappointed in the number 165 tulips, 100 daffodils, 15 oriental lily’s and a few other bulbs that I cannot remember the names because they are so obscure – other than lily- I cannot wrap my brain around their full names! But honestly – how many bulbs does a person have time for?! Why would I need 1,200 bulbs….? A person doesn’t need bulbs, this person just wants them-lol!

My bulb order!

Speaking of Lily’s – we received some exciting news last week – my daughter is carrying a baby girl!!  Whom she is going to name Lily!!  She’s had that named picked out ever since she was a teenager.  About 10 years ago – when she was 13 or so – she announced that she was never having kids, but if she did, she hoped it would be a girl and she would name her Lily.  Here she is…turned 24 yesterday, pregnant with a baby girl – giving her the name she’s always dreamt about.  If that doesn’t melt your heart, then I don’t know if we can be friends!

Back to the garden – but no promises there’s not going to be another detour!

I’ve placed my order with the wholesaler – a bit on the ridiculous side really – some 2,800 seedings – where in the wide world am I going to stash those – and why in the heck – who in the heck….?!!

It was a long process, I’m not going to lie, I went back and forth, lots of rolling numbers around – when I first went through and tallied up everything I wanted it was three times more than that….but I pulled myself back to reality a bit longer and whittled it down.

I ordered lots of sedums this year, not because I love them, but because last year the wholesaler had these super cute fairy garden kits – I missed out on those and the sedums and promised myself I would order them this year because I had so many people excited about the idea of doing a sedum fairy garden that I thought it would be fun….so here we are….over 100 sedums arriving in March so Jade can have people over to do fairy gardens – which Jade now has to track down the makings of the fairy gardens because the wholesaler isn’t selling the kits anymore…thankfully I’ve found a wholesaler that will sell to little old me-but….I’ll have fairies and sedums coming out of my ears!  It’s not to make 100’s of dollars – it’s to have fun and share! 

My goal – as in the past – is to break even.  I certainly don’t flower farm to become a millionaire – to steal Joe’s business tag – it’s all about making friends and getting tired.  I love to share, I love to make people happy – and flower farming certainly marks both of those boxes! 

I’ve found a way to have flowers in my garden and for my bouquets subscribers that is inexpensive, but in order to have those prices – and that lower investment on my labor – I have to order a ton of seedings.

For instance – the Snap Dragons – the tiniest of seeds that have to go in dirt by no later than mid February-in the house – cost less than 10 cents apiece – I have to order 140 of them to get that price – but you know what I don’t have to do now – go through the painful process of starting the seeds, thinning the seeds (it honestly hurts my heart to thin those babies) then repotting the babies two more times.  I get them when they are still small, but not so tiny that I run the risk of killing them, pot them up once – sell half of them, keep half of them until they are big enough to go out in the field-around mid April.  Still getting the benefits of beautiful Snap Dragons, but not the painful work that goes into them.  Some day I might have the time and energy to spend on that sort of thing, but with a full time job, and soon to be three grandbabies, a mom that needs a bit more attention and a social life that I’d like to keep….it just makes sense right now that I find ways to cut down on work. 

I’ve ordered Stock from a different wholesaler, the nice things about those is that they can also go out into the field early, and they are a one and done type flower so they will get pulled up and something else can go in their place. There will certainly be very deliberate planting this year with only five rows going in!

Other things on the list include…..3 different colors of Lisianthus. I ordered twice as much this year than last year, I’ve put out a post on a flower farmer page I belong to and have been getting responses from those people that are interested in sharing the order. I don’t need 420 Lisianthus plugs, but it would be nice to have 100 at a really good price – and I didn’t have to spend a ton of my time and energy trying to germinate them. I’m sure I can sell them to at least make back my cash investment, getting back the investment of labor is always a tricky equation. How do you put a price on that – I’m not paying for a gym membership or having to pay to go see a therapist…and I make friends along the way – so it’s kind of hard to put a price on that!

The price was lower then $1.25 since I ordered a higher number…

It’s certainly an upfront cash investment, but I know I will get it back in the end – with many benefits that I cannot put a price tag on.   

I have a few people that asked about Petunias and basket stuffers last year. I grew my own from seed last year, and they were amazing and it was so much fun!! But this year I decided to save the time and energy in February and I actually ordered three different types of combos this year, basically a group of flowers that are all set to be potted together to make a complete presentation on the patio – they are lovely and beautiful in the pictures, but in order for them to look that lovely and beautiful it will take a lot of warmth and a lot of light. Last years energy bill was 30$ higher than the year’s prior, so it will be interesting to see how it goes this year. Not only is the extra light and heat going to be interesting, but the space needed to keep those babies happy is going to be tricky. It’s going to be a juggling act for sure! But I do remember that I was successful in selling things that didn’t fit into my greenhouse to people who have space in their kitchen windows for babies but not the money to buy from the big box stores or even the smaller local places, they have the time and energy to invest in nurturing the plants far enough along to enjoy the process and put them outside when they are ready.

One of the combos I purchased-called Mid-Summer Nights Dream—-sooo pretty!

The day has managed to get away from me, and this post is probably a million miles long – so I will save some for the top of the hill and write more later.  I need to get the house in order for today’s wreath making event.  I made peach crumble bars and witch hats out of cookies….why oh why do I do these things to myself?  Oh yes….it’s all about making friends and getting tired!  Until next time my friends, be well, be safe and be happy.  Hugs to you!

My witch hat cookies

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