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  • November Hoop House Update – Hardy Annual Cut Flowers

    To say that the weather over this past month has been wacky would be an understatement. It was less than three weeks ago that I was complaining about temperatures in the 90s – and now, it’s snowing and in the teens! With such a wide fluctuation in temperature, I’ve  not done a very good job at planning and getting the seedlings into the hoop house. Alas, I’ve finally completed the process. Let’s take a closer look at what’s growing. I’m experimenting with growing freesia again this year. I have some in the ground, as well as in pots. I’ve read that they’re hardy to zone 8, so in my mind,…

  • DIY Hoop House for Cut Flowers – Year 2 Update

    One of the most game changing aspects of the garden for me has to be the addition of the unheated hoop house. I constructed this one made out of pvc last fall. I’m happy to say that the structure survived the summer, and it’s now time to cover it for another growing season this winter.  Being totally honest, there are some parts of the structure that look pretty rough. Specifically, I’ve gone through and secured all of the pvc joints with tons and tons of duct tape. It’s not glamorous, but we’re on a budget. It might not be the prettiest thing ever, but as long as it gets the…

  • Planting Paperwhites in Soil for Forcing // Forcing Narcissus Tazetta ‘Ziva’

    Paperwhites, or narcissus tazetta, are also among the many bulbs that I’ll be forcing to grow indoors this winter. Like amaryllis, the process of planting paperwhites for forcing is insanely easy. First, we’ll need to start with a bag of bulbs. I purchased my bulbs from Longfield Gardens, but I’ve seen them available almost everywhere online. The most common variety that you’ll see is one called ‘Ziva’. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any other type. Paperwhites are special in that they are quite different from many members of the narcissus family. They do not require a period of cool before they are able to bloom. According to…

  • Planting Amaryllis Bulbs // Forcing Amaryllis Bulbs Indoors in Winter

    Every year, it seems like I have a never ending list of things I want to grow. For years, I’ve wanted to try my hand at planting amaryllis bulbs and growing them indoors during the winter. While I’m no stranger to forcing flower bulbs, I’ll admit that I’ve avoided amaryllis – mainly due to the price tag. Over the course of this growing season, I made it a point to budget better in my garden. Instead of buying a much needed new pair of jeans, I bought some amaryllis bulbs. I know, right? My priorities are either “all messed up” or “totally in-line”. It really just depends on perspective, I…

  • Lasagna Planting Fall Flower Bulbs in Containers // Forcing Flower Bulbs

    My grandma loves getting flowers. In fact, that was one of the main reasons I decided to try my hand at lasagna planting and forcing flower bulbs this winter. In the past, I’ve forced some hyacinths and tulips, but I wasn’t too invested in learning more about the process. This year, I’ll be trying to pot up several different types of flowering bulbs for blooms this winter. First, I needed to find a pot that was big enough to accommodate the flower bulbs. This 3 gallon pot was the perfect size. I’m so glad that I saved it to use later after transplanting the hydrangea bushes that I bought. Ideally,…

  • Pre-Sprouting Ranunculus and Anemone Corms for the Spring Flower Garden

    Ranunculus corms have arrived! To say that I’m excited may possibly be one of the biggest understatements of the century. This year, I was able to purchase some really beautiful varieties of both ranunculus and anemones. I was so thankful to have been able to place an order from Italian Ranunculus with the help of some flower farming friends. I also ended up buying a bunch of “traditional” colors from retailers online. Here in my garden, it is imperative that I start both ranunculus and anemone corms in the fall and let them overwinter. If I plant them in the spring, my summer temperatures simply get much too hot too…

  • Trench Planting Tulip and Daffodil Bulbs

    Now that October has arrived, that means that our fall bulb orders have also started to show up at the front door! Spring flowers are hands-down my favorite flowers. From ranunculus to tulips, I just can’t get enough of these beautiful blooms. I think a lot of it has to do with my dislike for the cold winter weather. When the flowers finally start to open up in the spring, I’m able to feel like I’m truly alive again. Anyway, I was able to order quite a few tulips this year thanks to everyone who reads this blog and watches the YouTube channel. So, thank you. I really mean that.…

  • Direct Sowing Flower Seeds in Fall for the Spring Cut Flower Garden

    One of the most common questions that I get about sowing hardy annuals in the fall directly relates to figuring our which plants should be started by direct sowing and which ones should be started in seed trays and then transplanted into the hoop house or into the ground. If I’m being honest, I don’t have an exact answer. While some flowers are happy being started in any ol’ method – others are very specific. The best I can really do is share what I’m doing here in my own yard, and hopefully it will be helpful.  New to me this year is ‘Mountain Garland’ Clarkia. I’ve grown godetia in…

  • Direct Sowing Sweet Peas into the Fall Garden

    When I first starting growing flowers, sweet peas were high up on the list of things that I wanted to grow. I couldn’t help it really, there was so much hype surrounding them. I had heard that they had an enchanting fragrance, and of course, the actual blooms looked so feminine and delicate – two things which I certainly am not. Regardless, I had done enough research to know that they wouldn’t be happy trying to grow and bloom in my hot climate during the summer. The solution was to get a jump start on the season as soon as possible. I had marginal success with the winter sowing method,…

  • Preparing Fall Garden Beds for Spring Flowers – Planting Hardy Annual Flowers

    Preparing the garden for planting is easily one of my least favorite garden tasks. Seriously, it’s a toss up with weeding. Right now, there’s no word that I can use to describe my yard other than a “mess”. Seriously, just look at this picture. The hoop house looks as if it’s totally falling apart. On the left, you can see my small weedy patch of lettuces and carrots – which are actually growing really well, I might add. I always want to be honest with you guys, too. There’s a 99% chance that I’ll be taping the hoop house together with some really strong duct tape in hopes of getting…