CSA pick-up: week 4, August 9th

This week, I cut most of your flowers from Laughing Lady Flower Farm located in Doylestown.  The owner, Kate, manages 2.5 acres of perennial and annual cut flowers.  She does floral design for weddings, does local flower deliveries, sells wholesale to floral designers, maintains a summer csa of her own, and sells buckets of bulk flowers to wedding clients.  She also has a little studio on site where she hosts wedding clients, letting them rent out the space hourly to create their own arrangements and wedding personals while she gives them basic instruction on how to design and assemble everything!  She’s a hilarious, unique and ambitious lady and I definitely recommend her for your bulk flower needs.

The strawflower, celosia, and zinnias came from CHICORY at their Roxborough site.  The owners Erica & Andrew are a smart, funny, complementary pair with a big vision.  Being able to source from them this year has really rocked my world as their varietal selection and growings skills are on point.  You have them to thank for the heaping amounts of lisianthus over the past 3 weeks!

In your bouquet this week:

Zinnia – 

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Strawflower –

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Lisianthus –

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Celosia –

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There are three different types of celosia: crested (aka cockscomb), plumed, and spiked.  The celosia in your bouquet this week is a crested celosia and I think it might be my favorite type of celosia. Some of the cockscomb stems can grow to be very large and thick with dense clusters of ripples, that look like a little brain. When I worked at the flower farm in Doylestown, the celosia always took off despite weather conditions or even very good soil conditions.  I definitely recommend growing it for anyone wanting to beautify your outside space, without any growing experience.

Hydrangea (“Pinky Winky”) –

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I know, it’s kind of a silly varietal name, but Pinky Winky is one of my favorite paniculata varieties of hydrangea.  It starts out white in the spring, then slowly fades to a light pink in the summer, and then turns a deep, rich rose color in the fall. (Hopefully, I’ll be able to share its autumnal version with all you members in it for the long haul through September!)

Cosmos –

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Here is another surprisingly hardy and prolific cut flower for anyone wanting to add some color and shape to their yard. There are many different varieties.  This particular one is a ‘picotee’ variety.  Some of my favorite varieties include ‘double click’ and ‘seashells’.  (in case you happen to be at a garden store and are faced with the tough decision of choosing) Cosmos is really at it’s best in the fall time because its stems seem to grow hardier with the help of cooler mornings and evenings.  

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium)-

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JPW is so special because of its creamy pink/purple hue and also because it’s native to the US and Canada and pollinators LOVE it.  I also have to be pretty careful when I cut JPW because there’s always a bumble bee or two on one of the stems.

Rudbeckia (“Henry Eilers”) –

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I visited Kate’s farm last week for a night of designing flowers, and saw this was in bloom. I knew I had to come back this week and get it for the csa.  I really love all varieties of Rudbeckia, in a garden or as a cut flower because it’s so hardy and comes in such rich yellow and burgundy red tones. This particular variety is a particularly unique Rudbeckia because of its skinny, hollow petals.  Definitely take a few minutes to get a closer look at this one.

Gomphrena – (or globe amaranth)

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Gomphrena reminds me a lot of clover, but its stem is very hard and sturdy. It comes in the light pink color in your bouquet this week, and also in a strawberry red, deep pink, and white. I always loved cutting and stripping these flowers because when you break off their side shoots, they make a very satisfying crunchy sound!

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As a floral designer, I often get requests that the bridal flowers palette be soft, pastel, and blushy.  It’s a treat for me when a bride requests the contrasting “jewel-toned” palette. Your bouquets this week definitely reach into the jewel tones, with the deeper pink celosia and rose lisianthus.  This week, if you haven’t already explored re-purposing/preserving your flowers, this is a good week to do it.  The strawflower is a really great flower to preserve because it’s practically already preserved and dried up right after it’s cut.  Here is a sweet example of one way that a csa member re-purposed her strawflower:

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Another great flower to re-use are the small florets on the hydrangea.  I like to cut off the little heads and just glue them (I usually use floral glue, but super glue or hot glue should work just as well) onto wrapped gifts or cards. Here are a few photos to get you started:

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After I cut the little heads off, I like to flip them over and press them down to flatten them out.

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Just a small dab of glue should work..

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Voila!

My last example of preserving your flowers, is to hang your lisianthus upside down to dry. I’ve found that if you want to do this, with the flower looking as in tact as possible, you should take them out of water and hang them up shortly after being cut. What’s nice about preserving lisianthus is that it has a very similar look as a rose, but its petals are drier and heartier than rose petals, so it more easily keeps its shape when preserved.  Here is one example of pretty stems I’m drying right now:

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Here is an example of me going over board (which i think makes a pretty decoration on its own):

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I hope you enjoy your flowers this week! And feel free to share your own preservation and re-purposing ideas with me. I may ask you if I can share those ideas with the rest of the members!

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One Comment

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  1. Amazing color on the lisianthus, and it looks incredible with the Joe Pye weed.

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