lupins queenstown

Alpine Blooms

Spring is here!

Spring is here!

Firstly I would like to apologise that I missed last month’s article. For everyone who are reading these, you are much appreciated and your feedback is listened. I am sorry I missed August but it seems to be the month of random events for me.

One thing that happened and we are still recovering from it is a huge storm went through lower South Island. I was at the McKenzie country during the time storm ripped through the farm and did some considerable damage. McKenzie country saw gale force winds as well and unfortunately a fire as well that spread fast burning precious protected plants and habitats. I hope all farmers that have experienced loss (big or small) due to this storm are now recovering and getting things back together.

For us the damage was minimal but still expensive. All of our small hoops were ripped out of the ground leaving plastic covers to flop in the wind and pick up anything that they wanted. This included a couple of rose bushes that got tangled in the plastic and ripped out of the ground and tossed over the fence. Little seedlings that were under a couple of tunnels got a bit of damage as well as we were not there to cover them back up and frost + wind got them.

Even though we got a couple of bad news the spring was here! We saw the arrival of Hellebores in bulk and what a site they are at the moment! I have one row full of blooms and bees love these guys! We got our booth back and you can get your flowers on Camp Hill road from now on. And first bucket of Blooms went out to our local florist to do their magic! I love spring, it has always been my favourite time of the year (probably has something to do with the fact I was born in spring). But it is just so good to see the colour back as well as the sun.

We are now sowing seeds like crazy and then transplanting seedlings even faster. This coming weekend I will be transplanting 4 trays of seedlings out into the open and putting new hoops on them (fingers crossed we are done with crazy winds). I have already direct sown Nigella and larkspur as well as cornflower in the ground. And the first succession of cornflower is about to flower! We also have pansies back on the eatable menu so let your restaurant friends know! Ranunculus are finally in bud as well as first Anemones flowering already. Anemones will take a few more weeks before they will be the right height for us but I am just so excited to see their beautiful faces on our farm. Daffodils are going crazy and new varieties are popping up all over the show. I always thought of daffodil as unsellable flower but I still planted thousands of them around the farm as they are that first spring reminder and they cheer me right up. My beautiful tulips are also coming up. We now have a sea of green leaves everywhere as tulips pop up and struggle through the straw. I am hoping they are going to be on the taller side this season as last time a few varieties were super short and just did not sell. But either way I am going to enjoy seeing these guys open (first buds are already forming), we should see first flowers in about 2-3 weeks (weather permitting).

What else has been going well? Larkspur! These seeds are amazing; they self-seeded everywhere on the farm from the last lot, and the little seed packet that I got this year all sprouted and is all ready to go! I can’t wait to see the colours that will come up this year. We were also successful with delphinium from seed this year and although I am not holding my breath for flowers this year I hope we can get blooms from these plants in the next season.

To sum up we had a very busy spring and are only getting busier as we go. At this stage we are hoping to have business as usual and ignore the Covid-19 situation entirely. There will be flowers for everyone in the booth for self-service and bunches for special occasions. And we are going to still be supplying to DIY brides and florists around the region. We might have a few flowers spare due to the demand being slower but at the same time this might give us a bit more time to work on the farm and improve the quality of blooms we provide. I am also doing a sneaky vege garden at the back of the farm this year so look out for home grown produce in the booth as well.