Even before the end of summer draws to a close, the planning for next year begins. I keep a notebook in the RTV that I use to jot down ideas during the growing season and also names of plants that might be nice to add to the collection.
Growing cut flowers is a juggling act of several factors: types of flowers and foliage, bloom times, textural elements and of course, color. All of these are pieces that will make a great bouquet or arrangement. And then there is the question of how many pieces? Ask any experienced flower farmer how much you should grow and the answer is always, more than you think you will need! So the dilemma begins, is there enough room to grow everything I want to grow?
For flowers especially even more specific information is needed. Is it a flower that keeps blooming after being cut? Or is it a cut and done flower such as the single stem sunflowers. With those types, succession planting is needed. Add to that the planting timing, conditions and spacing, there are a lots of factors to consider.
For me, I look at what I have grown during the season, consider all the factors and see how well the plant has grown. Then evaluate if it is one that I will grow again. Next I look at the bigger picture and consider what is blooming when and with what other flowers and foliage. Together, do they combine to make a beautiful bouquet or a stunning arrangement? How can I make it better? And what can I grow to make this happen?
As the seed catalogs arrive in the mail, the real planning begins. The lists are made, the numbers are crunched and the rows get drawn. (I like the visual.) I look at pictures of bouquets and arrangements for more ideas. Always asking, can I grow that flower, foliage or textural element?
It is a work in progress and one that I enjoy immensely. As the days become shorter and winter shows signs of settling in, my mind is full of color. Visions of flowers, foliage, textures and greens fill my thoughts in anticipation of another season and brightens my day.
"If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment." -Georgia O'Keeffe