It’s a wild ride!
After a crazy busy summer we finally got a minute to breath out and think about what happened as well as plan for next spring. In this update we will chat about our summer season as well as tell you a few new things at the plot. Buckle up: it has been a wild ride!
2021/2022 season! Started steady with loads of dreams and as usual a lot of seeds sown and seedlings in the tunnel house desperately needing to go out and be planted and of course not enough time to do that. Then the tulips came in October… And just like every crazy family we decided to go away for couple of weeks and leave all the tulips to bloom without us! Yes, lesson learned: no more holidays from October till May! We loved it though and had a lovely friend harvesting sorting and storing all the tulips for us.
After tulips were over we got a little feel for the season ahead. Loads of orders, loads of DIY brides contacting us and even more new florists. It was amazing to see our collaboration with 3 other flower farms @threevalleysflowerfarms bloom and become busier and busier. November been and gone and we didn’t even notice it in the midst of all the orders and peonies blooming as well as planting and sorting all of our seedlings.
Then came summer and wedding season. We had weddings booked and cancelled (due to COVID). We had orders and we had flowers, boatloads of flowers! Every week we send a boot-full of blooms and sometimes not just the boot but the whole car or two cars to Queenstown. Wanaka florists were also on board and we would deliver to them weekly and in some cases daily, Cromwell joined the party too and we were busier then ever with loads and loads of picking and not much more weeding and pruning and so on. All I can say is “Thank God for automatic irrigation!”
December and January are a blur and February is even more so with it being the busiest month on record. Valentines day helped… I’ve made bouquets, created wee bunches for the stall, delivered subscription bunches and picked for florists. The support from the community has been unreal and we are very thankful for all of you who bought bunches at the stall, ordered from local florists or contacted us to make your event that little bit more special. Summer was busy and we loved every minute of it! Now that we know how busy we can be we are planting more things and going to try and be a bit more organised with succession plantings.
Autumn came but really did not feel like autumn apart from all the colourful wedding orders. Weather was amazingly warm. Frosts came but only mild and we kept harvesting flowers all the way till Mother’s Day! The abundance was gone about mid-April but it was amazing to see flowers still producing and still enjoying that little bit of sun. Next year we will try and do the same but in a different way. We are going to try and have cool weather flowers planted in summer so they can bloom in autumn, fingers crossed we have time/space/energy/memory to do that.
We are closing 2021/2022 flower season and saying goodbye to our lovely florists and customers till the next time we see them in spring 2022. The shed will stay open with dried flowers and produce strictly while it lasts. And we should see first blooms appear back in the stall around the end of August. Thank you once again for all your support and for following us on this adventure. We sure hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
And now the grand reveal! Well not really… We’d just like to tell you about a few things happening around the farm. One big thing and if you follow us on Instagram @alpine_blooms_farm you would have seen it; we are tidying things up on our fence line. Instead of old poplars and rowans (they are all gone now) we will have a shed for dried blooms, storage of tools and a little crash pad for our wee boy. As well as a shed there will be loads of new trees and shrubs coming in. We are hoping for flowering spring brunches like flowering cherries, Maples for autumn foliage and shrubs like viburnum for flowers and foliage all through the seasons. We will also be planting biennials like fox gloves and perennials like peonies through the shrub line to utilise the space as much as possible. I am personally extremely excited about this wee project as its awesome to tidy this area up after 3 years of battling with poplar roots and shade I’m looking forward to a year of full sun and future foliage to harvest.
Another wee project and this one is my partners new play area… is our berry patch! We are planting a wee area right next to the flower patch full of our favourite berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and maybe a couple of currants). All this will be under bird netting and will provide a welcome little hang out spot for all the brothers and cousins as well as potentially a wee separate income for the stall.
And last but not least is of course more rows for flowers. We have dug up and planted 6 more rows at the end of our patch and are looking forward to seeing them bloom. They are currently occupied by spring blooms like tulips, anemones, ranunculi’s and ixia but we are hoping to have them have their second succession with summer annuals as soon as the spring blooms are done. The plan overall is to get our spring blooms finished as soon as possible then cover them with compost and plant straight on top of them (apart from tulips as we pull them out). This will give us a tad more space as well as time for spring annuals like snapdragons to finish flowering and be replanted with autumn successions.
Overall, this winter is going to be very busy prepping for a big year ahead. We look forward to all the business and to be honest actually looking forward to seeing our wee plot empty and mulched and ready for busy spring. There is something very satisfying in seeing each row get empty and tidy, knowing that all the weeds are gone, pea straw is protecting the soil from new weeds coming up as well as fertilising it, mulch is keeping our perennials warm and tidy, paths in between the rows are weed free and ready for us to walk all over them a 1000 times, roses are pruned, seeds are getting sown and hoop house is getting fuller and fuller with seedlings till its time for them to come out.
So let’s enjoy the winter for the quite season it is and we hope to update you with a burst of spring blooms very soon. Thank you again for joining us and taking time to read this update. We’ll see you in spring.