Ok... it's been a bit busy around here... and it's going to get busier

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Hello, flower lovers. As many of you know, I have been quite lax with blog posts and have been relying on my newsletter to keep you all up to date with flower happenings here at Butternut Gardens. I don’t exactly have a stellar record with getting out many newsletters this year, either, but that is another matter. I hope to get back to blogging because I miss it, and I have heard that many of the Butternut Gardens flower lovers “out there” also miss it. Time is always the limiting factor. Well, this year, rain was a bit of a limiting factor as well. I am not sure I am ready to talk rain just yet. Today had to be one of the first sunny days in months. Boy, did I love it! I have been soggy all season, except for a few weeks sometime in the mix.

So, what’s new here? I did not install the drip irrigation this year. Oh, that’s right, I wasn’t going to talk about rain, but it was such a big factor this season, I seem to have ended up on the subject again. Moving on.. we ventured into corporate pop up shops this year, and had such a fun time bringing wonderfully fresh flowers to a workplace. Imagine walking into a corporate conference room or cafeteria and seeing tables of flowers blasting color and fragrance in every direction! Yahoo. Even better, as purchases were made, gorgeous blooms “wandered” into personal office space and, after work, into homes. I loved it! Totally made my heart soar. Sharing flowers really makes me happy. I keep saying, if others did not enjoy Butternut Gardens flowers and designs as much as I do, I could not have nearly so much fun growing nearly so many flowers or varieties of flowers. So, thank you, one and all, for your continued support (and for your great taste in flowers). If any readers in the Butternut Gardens region (say an hour’s drive to hour and a half’s drive or less) want to have a pop up shop at their work space, please contact me through the contact us page of this website.

A recent pop up shop came with an extra bonus, as new autumn wreath designs were debuted. In the next week or so you will find some totally awesome handmade wreaths - with dried flowers and “silk” - available for purchase through the Butternut Gardens website, and also at some of our retail partners. Each one will be unique. We can ship anywhere in the United States. This is truly exciting from my end as it enables another area of creativity to emerge. Items will be limited this year as we gear up this area of design, but many of you know already how beautiful they are through workshops we have given. Check the website in another week or so for offerings. Also, on Sunday, October 14th, Butternut Gardens will be a vendor at the Fairfield CT Fall Harvest Festival at Fairfield Town Hall Green (10 AM to 4 PM) and these gorgeous new wreaths will be a big part of our display, and will be available for purchase.

Also new this year, Butternut Gardens will again create beautiful handmade winter holiday wreaths. It has been several years since we offered these. Some of you still have magnolia wreaths created by Butternut Gardens years ago. i am most happy to offer these again. Like the autumn wreaths, these will be available online through this Butternut Gardens website and also through some of our retail partners. Please check back here in a week or so and, hopefully, we will be up and running. A few other surprises are also in the offing - can you say, “winter bulbs” to brighten those short-day months? Yes!

Piggybacking on the corporate flower popup shops, Butternut Gardens is working on some in-home flower parties as well. Stay tuned for details.

This year, we have added several “flower partners” to our little flower operation. That means more flowers being grown and more customers having access to our farm fresh flowers. Needless to say, that takes time and lots of hard work. Definitely fun and worth it, but definitively cut into blog time this year. Weddings, too, kept up pace with former years, and kept my communications limited.

All in all, it has been another wonderful flower-filled growing season. It is not over yet. The dahlias are blooming their little heads off right now, and some specialty mums are just about ready to get started. It is, however, coming to a close sooner than later. That does not mean the work ends. It simply means the work changes. Lots of garden cleanup lies ahead. There will come a day when the season officially ends, and I always meet that day with very mixed feelings, but that day is still a couple of months away.

I want to wish you all the best in your gardens for the rest of this season. Enjoy the time in the sun, fresh air and soil. It is very special to have this all at our fingertips.

Slow Flowers movement continues to grow

 As it says, "Love a Farmer!"

As it says, "Love a Farmer!"

I am thrilled that Debra Prinzing invited Butternut Gardens to be part of her wonderful article on the local cut flower movement - or Slow Flowers movement - that is included in the recently-released issue of Southern Farm and Garden magazine. Debra is a major advocate for American flower farming and locally-grown flowers. For years, among other things, she has offered weekly podcasts related to the Field to Vase movement. Southern Farm and Garden is an absolutely gorgeous publication - one you want to read and view time and time again. It is available through subscription or at Barnes and Nobel stores. Please look for it.

Flower Subscriptions going strong

 A spring subscription delivery with tulips, allium, iris and lilac, among others.

A spring subscription delivery with tulips, allium, iris and lilac, among others.

One of the joys of flower farming is following all the changes that take place during the course of a growing season and seeing "what's going to come next."

Through the Butternut Gardens Subscription Service, many loyal customers also share in the joy of new flowers every week and the joy of anticipating "what's going to come next."

I am happy to offer several types of subscriptions to meet individual interests and budgets. 

 An early summer selection.

An early summer selection.

 

Quite a few subscribers receive flowers every week.

Some choose to have fully-made bouquets delivered.

Others choose the 'bucket' option and create their own arrangements from a mixture of loose flowers.

I often hear that a number of flowers make it into the second week, although others, we know, are expectedly more fleeting.

There are many times when I would love to see how  the 'bucket' subscribers choose to display their floral bounty.

Bi-weekly subscriptions are also popular. As just mentioned, a number of flowers last longer than a week, although I would not count on that for the majority of blooms.

Flowers delivered every other week can also come as fully-prepared bouquets or as 'bucket' subscriptions.

One of the most fun parts of subscriptions is that you really do NOT know what is coming next!

Sure, it might be the time of year when Phlox is bountiful, but with what will it be paired? Will it be a monochromatic offering with all lavender or all pink or all white blooms? Will it be sheer Phlox ecstasy - purple, pink, white, deep pink, pink and white swirled phlox all bunched together? What special little accent flower shall I add this week? Mountain mint, perhaps?  Flower subscriptions are truly gifts and surprises!

 August bouquet

August bouquet

The third season-long subscription option is the monthly option. Every month fresh flowers arrive at your doorstep.

This seems to be the perfect floral pick-me-up for many subscribers. It is also a very popular gift item - just enough, but not too much - and a full season's worth! For many, it makes their month.

Going from one month to the next, subscribers see the biggest difference in blooms, because what a difference a month makes in the gardens.

It is the difference between peonies and tulips to phlox, iris and daisies; the jump from sunflowers and zinnias to dahlias and chrysanthemums. 

For those who are not certain about receiving flowers regularly, I also offer a one-month trial of four bouquets. This is another perfect gift item. Generally, the biggest concern about flower subscriptions is, "What happens if I want to take vacation?"  I try to be as flexible as possible, and change delivery weeks or double up on flowers other weeks, to best accommodate.  Somehow it all works! Many thanks to my flower subscription customers. I love growing your flowers and surprising you with what comes next.



Instagram! Such a great way to see our flowers and designs

 My second Instagram post.  Such a great dahlia display! Just love it!

My second Instagram post.  Such a great dahlia display! Just love it!

I am super happy to report that Butternut Gardens now has an Instagram account.

This is a new social media format that seems extremely well-suited to share the many beautiful flowers and designs, which come off my farm and design studio.  

To find Butternut Gardens on Instagram, look for user name butternutgardensflowers.

I first heard of Instagram back in May. Knowing the speed with which I seek out social media (slower than a snail's pace) it has taken until now for me to sign up and get started. I think I am going to love it! For those of you not familiar, Instagram lets you take photos with your phone, or use photos from your phone, add a caption if you wish, edit the photo (or not)  and post.  The beauty of Instagram is how easy it is to use and how quickly you can share and view photos. You can also add hashtags, which help categorize your photo, and you can like other photos and comment on other photos. 

I am looking forward to using Instagram frequently as a way to share pix of flowers, designs, the  gardens, farmers' markets, specific plants, you name it. The sky is the limit.

For a direct link to the Butternut Gardens Instagram site, just click on the camera icon on the Butternut Gardens homepage: http://butternutgardens.com/

 

 

 

Daffodils make such a lovely houseguest

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Daffodils heralding spring!

Daffodils come in so many varieties it is sometimes hard to choose a favorite.  Most people think of the standard yellow, which of course warms our hearts with hopes of sunshine.  But take a look at this lovely little bouquet.  You'll see the big yellow trumpets.  Also included are white daffodils with a softer yellow cup or center.  Look on top, and you'll see one of my favorites - a white with stunning orange center.  Notice I have added some other spring favorites.  Forsythia always brightens up a room.  Just a few sprigs adds a bit of airiness to the bunch. Look carefully and you will see the amazingly gorgeous buds of our star magnolia, another one I LOVE to incorporate.  They are the soft pink buds at the very top of the bouquet and slightly lower and to the right.  Love this look!