I got here to flowers later in my gardening life. I reduce my enamel rising edibles. As a brand new gardener, I had a set of self-proclaimed black thumbs, little data, a restricted quantity of assets, and couldn’t fathom why anybody would spend time cultivating vegetation that couldn’t be eaten. What was the purpose of flowers, actually?
I quickly discovered how essential flowers are to a wholesome vegetable backyard – and which of them will be eaten! As Lisa Mason Ziegler teaches, Greens Love Flowers. And so do bees and birds and different bugs that assist our ecosystems thrive.
The yr we began the farm, following a lesson on pollinators in the course of the OSU Grasp City Farmer coaching program, I planted a bee freeway in two beds that stretched throughout the farm east to west. Lots of the vegetation had been native perennials I bought via the Worthington Gardening Membership – Aster, Coneflower, Bee Balm, Sedum. Over time I added extra; Yarrow and Columbine, Chives, Coreopsis and Black-Eyed Susan to call a couple of.
When these vegetation outgrew themselves, I began dividing them and promoting the offspring to generate further funds for our work. At our first sale in 2017, I offered possibly 100 vegetation.
Quick ahead 5 years and we have now over 40 several types of seedlings on the market and have partnered with our fabulous good friend Bernadett Szabo who grows largely medicinal and culinary herbs. I’ve expanded my choices past native and perennial flowering vegetation to annuals as properly.
Over my time on the farm I’ve come to appreciate flowers have numerous functions. Along with supporting pollinators and including colour to the panorama, folks love to offer and obtain flowers. Flowers convey folks pleasure. They make an event really feel particular. Our CSA members get pleasure from receiving bouquets alongside their edibles, and the neighborhood has supporting the farm and different nonprofits via further gross sales.
At a sale I had final fall – “Purchase the flowers earlier than the frost kills them!” – a ladies who bought a bouquet turned me onto Lisa Mason Ziegler’s work. Along with her treatise on companion planting talked about above, she has a ton of assets on extending the flower rising season. She even partnered with Johnny’s Seeds, like Eliot Coleman earlier than her, to supply tutorials and proposals on seeds and different provides for rising Cool Flowers.
This season we’re attempting a few of Ziegler’s strategies for jump-starting the flower season, and following a few of her suggestions on varieties to develop. A few of these will likely be out there at our fifth Annual Pollinator Lovers’ Plant Sale and Open Home on Might 1st.
I’m not prepared to surrender rising greens and tomatoes for flowers, however I’ve discovered discovered my love for them. And I look ahead to sharing with you.