Secret Pleasures of a Flower Farmer a.k.a. the Perks of the Job

 Could use a whiff of lilies right about now.

Could use a whiff of lilies right about now.

It's that time of year when every seasonal flower farmer is truly missing the flowers. Sure, there are seed orders to fine tune, equipment repairs to be made and all the rest. It is not as though I am not busy every day. In fact, there is little time off in this job, especially for a farmer florist, who also does floral designs, weddings and events, as well as grow flowers. As I think back to the season past, I feel the need to reveal some of the perks of the job - weird as they may be - and which I so miss as I look out the window on a rainy December day. Today I'll just point to a few. 

In no particular order, here goes. I am in my flower rows everyday of the growing season and many days before flowers appear, as well as after they are gone. It doesn't feel right to not be out there. Maybe I don't love it when it is raining on me or super cold or really windy when I am trying to do some jobs, which in do not in any way, shape or form require wind as a helper, and I don't love having my hair whipped around my face and totally messed p by wind, but I love being outside. I love smelling fresh, clean air. I love smelling air after it rains. I love smelling air on hot, humid summer days. I love smelling warm soil inside a plastic low tunnel when there is snow on the ground outside the tunnel. I hugely love the many fragrances of blooming stock and tuberose and lilies. How can flowers have so many different scents? Even chrysanthemums, which I have typically considered somewhat acrid-scented, have a very soft, subtle, sweet scent when coming out of my gardens.

 Five types of scented geraniums shown here. Boy, do I ever miss these, but makes them even more special when in season.

Five types of scented geraniums shown here. Boy, do I ever miss these, but makes them even more special when in season.

Speaking of scents, I love, love, love running a hose to spray the basil!

Have you ever been totally surrounded by basil fragrance?

I mean TOTALLY surrounded, as in infused?

Grow some basil (or a few rows of it) and give it a hand watering! Wow!

The really cool thing is I grow a bunch of different varieties and they all have unique fragrances! Wahoo. I am in Heaven. I know I am.

And, by the way, anyone else around here missing the glorious scents of our scented geraniums? Ummm, yeah.

 

 Love the smell of honey these hydrangeas drag in!

Love the smell of honey these hydrangeas drag in!

 

 

Here's another scent I really like - the scent of

honey. Yep, honey. When my hydrangeas are

blooming and bees are visiting, standing next

to these great big balls of flowers is like

sitting on the edge of a honey jar. It

practically bowls me over.

 

 

 

The same thing happens with goldenrod. One cultivated variety, in particular, blooms a bit later than all the rest so is a star bee attractant. the great thing about the great honey caper is the scent comes with the flowers.

 Three bumble bees loving the goldenrod.

Three bumble bees loving the goldenrod.

 

So, when I cut them for an arrangement,

people's houses and event spaces can smell of

both flowers and honey. So sweet!

 

The big black blobs in the goldenrod photo to

the left are bees. It does make cutting a bit

awkward! Usually have bumble bees, honey

bees and others at the same time.

 

 

 Perfume factories!

Perfume factories!

Finally, since I am speaking of scents, I'll share another secret obsession of mine: opening the cooler door when it is full of flowers. Well, I don't mean opening too often because I DO want to keep them cool, with that being the idea of the cooler afterall. Any visitors to Butternut Gardens definitely get "the open door" treatment, which consists of my opening the cooler door, standing back and partaking, with my visitors, in the glorious cool waves of mixed flower "perfume." Ahhhh. could do it forever.  In fact, I think I'll take a walk now in this nor'easter of a rain storm just to see what it smells like out there, see what's growing, and give myself some hope for spring.