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Alpine Blooms

Season Sum Up for 2023-2024

2023/2024 Flower season! As you can tell by the lack of articles since last winter, we have been busy! Thanks to all the local regular buyers from our small roadside stall, DIY brides and of course our lovely florists! We had an absolute blast growing this season and only just slowing down and starting to tidy things up/getting ready for next season. We are extremely grateful for all your support and encouragements.

So let’s sum up our season and see what next season is going to bring. 2023/2024 season started with the big arrival of our baby girl Valerie in late August. She graced us with her presence right on time for all the spring blooms to start flooding into our chiller. Spring is the busiest time on the farm as we sow seeds, plant seedlings, harvest spring blooms, weed the rows, till rows that have been sleeping all winter and of course look after our chicken friends. Doing all that with a newborn was a bit of a challenge but we have a happy wee girl who preferred to be outdoors so that worked in our favor for sure.

Spring flew by very fast with orders from florists mainly keeping us quite busy. DIY brides had a good chunk of our time as well but florist orders definitely dominated the spring market for us. We grew an insane (for a small flower grower anyway) number of tulips roughly around 8000. But unfortunately, not all of them have flowered and performed as we wanted them to. So we probably only sold about 6000 tulips which is still a massive number. This coming season 2024/2025 we are looking at growing fewer tulips but should still reach about 4000. We are narrowing our growing to facilitate our florists more with whites mainly but also have quite a bit of colour coming through for the stall customers and brides that love colour! So as we sit here typing this article we are also ordering soil and compost for tulip crates and they should all be in their beds/crates by the end of May.

Other stand out this spring was our daffodil patch! We had an absolute explosion of  Bridal crown daffodils as well as big fancy doubles that were amazingly tall and buds were massive too. And of course Peonies, now that we are entering 5th year with our original patch of peonies they are absolutely pumping blooms out and we love having buckets and buckets of blooms in our chiller to share with our local market. Also in spring we have attended our first market “The Gather Market” and although it was a one off event it was extremely successful and we can’t wait to attend it again this coming spring. We loved the atmosphere, meeting people for the first time as well as meeting people who have been regulars at our roadside stall. We definitely hope we can do a few more markets in the future.

Summer time! Wowsers that was busy! Some days we felt like we’ve cut everything to the ground to try and keep with the demand but garden has bounced back remarkably and we just kept going and going. December was probably the quiet month out of the lot as we didn’t quite have summer blooms out yet and spring blooms were already done. So we had a little breather then and went all guns blazing into January. It is crazy to think that we are already getting inquiries about weddings for next January but also reassuring that we are not growing everything just for bees.

February was definitely the biggest month of the season as we were right in the heat of the wedding season with 2-3 DIY weddings a week + florist orders and stall. And of course Valentines day to top the month off. We got our little stall at On the Spot Northlake set up and had a great success supplying our bouquets to this little community as well as supporting another local business. We are definitely returning to On The Spot Northlake as soon as we have flowers to share again.

This summer we definitely learned that we need to grow more focal flowers like dahlias and zinnias as well as more greenery that can go into bouquets. We also learned that DIY market has risen hugely and we again need to grow a bit more big ticket items for our brides as dahlias this season had to be sourced from our floral friends frequently as we kept selling out. We also learned that we should be limiting ourselves to 3 DIY weddings a week simply due to the logistics and availability of flowers. So if you are a 2024/2025 season bride please get in touch soon as we are starting to fill our calendar up already (November is already pretty full).

Also this summer we ventured into the world of elopements and weddings with a few elopement bouquets made and delivered as well as 2 weddings catered for. When we say weddings we mean full on bouquets, button hole flowers, arches and table flowers. We normally don’t do weddings as we are not trained and don’t want to stress ourselves or the lucky couple if something doesn’t look like their vision. But this summer there were couple of friends who got married as well as a very brave bride who trust us to make her wedding blooms. It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to create something for these lovely people but I must say that it was very nerve wracking and we are definitely not advertising these services just yet as we try and master the floral arrangement art a bit better.

As always autumn followed summer and this year frosts came very early. We had damage on our dahlias and zinnias right from the beginning of March which threw a spanner in the works unfortunately. But yet again it was a valuable lesson as we now know to try and frost fight right from the early March. Our flower patch has kept up with bloom production all the way till Mothers day though. Thanks to our Kale patch, fever few and chrysanthemums we had lovely bunches of blooms in our stall for all the lucky mums out there. But again, we must admit that we need to dig out our chrysanthemums and plant them in a much more sheltered spot as a lot of them got damaged by frosts. We also need to work on our Kale growing technique as we planted a bit too early and had some monsters out in the patch that were not very usable as they were too huge. But over all autumn was another hit and we managed to have flowers for everyone who wanted them. We do look forward to expanding our autumnal offering though with some more perennial blooms hopefully establishing themselves by 2025.

We are now in full on clean-up mode where all beds are getting put to sleep and paths and rows getting mulched and fertilized. We have planted all the spring bulbs and corms and can’t wait for the spring blooms to show their faces again.

We would like to thank everyone who have bought flowers from us this season and say a huge congratulations to all the brides and grooms we have worked with this season! It has been a blast, went too fast and we can’t wait to do it all again next season. We’ve bought the seeds, planted the bulbs and are going to start sowing as soon as we get back from a well needed holiday.
Have an absolutely awesome winter everyone and we will see you all again in 2024/2025 growing  season.