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Alpine Blooms

tulip farm wanaka

Autumn 2023

We are in the first couple of days of May and it feels like we have been shut down for ages already. This year we had a very abrupt end to the season and if felt like we were not ready for it all to end so fast! At the end of March, we had 2 killer frosts one after the other that completely wiped out all blooms (even hardy ones). Compare this to the year before when we have dahlias still going strong on the 20th April. The frosts were hardy enough to go through the frost cloths and all those lovely summer blooms were gone in one night. Even things like marigolds and cosmos that usually don’t mind a wee frost were wiped out. Since then we had mild autumn with nice warm days but definitely a few more frosts at night. Even chrysanthemums were damaged by frost which is crazy!

So, what have we been up to then? Well most of March was spent in a mad cut and sell rush with orders coming in thick and fast from our lovely florists. In fact, we had to cancel quite a few orders after the frost hit as wedding season was not stopping or slowing down till about now.

Then in April we actually took some time to get over the shock of loosing all the blooms so suddenly. We were still trying to fill last orders of little DIY brides and florist orders with whatever we could find. Japanese anemones, chrysanthemums and daisies with scabiosa were our main ingredients for pretty much all orders. After about a week of sulking and walking around the flower patch hoping to see some blooms, we actually finally came to the conclusion that it is time to start the clean-up and getting ready for spring. When this realisation came the annuals started to come out and be chucked into the compost heap. When the clean-up process started it was easier to get over the loss of blooms and definitely easier to start planning for the 2023/2024 season.

tulip farm wanakaThe arrival of tulip bulbs (just after Easter) also helped as we got stuck right back into it and planted the lot as soon as we could. Spring 2023 is going to look absolutely amazing! We are also now seeing ranunculus, anemones and Dutch irises peaking though which is early but it happens every year for us, they sit in the ground all winter long and soak up that sun and fertiliser to then bloom abundantly (hopefully) in spring. And last job that we have been onto this autumn is dried blooms. It is quite cool to be able to have time to sit down and create with dried flowers. We for sure didn’t have time to do it last winter and therefore ended up with some things done and sold but also quite a few dried blooms wasted. This time around we dried less (just because we sold a tonne fresh and had no stock to dry) and dried it properly. We are also storing everything well and in a designated shed where we can see how much is there and what we can use. And we also have space for the creations to hang out till they go out to the stall or to somebodies’ house. So dried blooms have definitely been a bit more of a priority this autumn.

working on flower farm

May has only just began but we have heaps to do including Mother’s Day coming up. We unfortunately will only have max 10 fresh flower bouquets at our stall but we are aiming to have plenty of dried blooms available as well as little lavender bags and other goodies. After that celebration is over we will continue tidying things up and putting our patch to sleep for the winter as well as sowing seeds for next season. We are absolutely determined to have a good succession planting plan this coming season and for that to happen we need to get organised and get sowing so that all of our early annuals are ready to be planted out as soon as the weather permits.

In winter there will be time to have a wee holiday and get away for a while as well as plan and prep for spring. We have a very busy season ahead with new arrival to the family due right before the madness of flowers begins so doing as much prep and planning now as possible is a priority for sure.

We are all looking forward to spring and all that it brings with it and can’t wait to see all the beautiful events of 2023/2024 season. Enjoy the down time if you have any during winter and we will see you all in spring with gorgeous tulips and other spring favourites!