Spring is finally starting to feel real and there are a TON of things to do around here! The ducks are so happy to be out and about again after a long winter of being weary about walking on snow. With all the melt going on they can actually swim in parts of our yard. They take daily walks/waddles to the stream which is running full, and when they are feeling a little less ambitious they just make mud puddles in my gardens! Meanwhile we have been busy tapping new greenhouses, repairing fence, starting seedlings, raking beds, planting perennials, pruning raspberries and so much more!
Maine Flower Farmer
Someone recently asked me, why I grow flowers when at this point in my business I could easily get by with incoming wholesale product and blooms from many nearby farms. After all, farming is a LOT of work, on top of organizing, planning, meeting with clients and designing weddings.
There are the obvious reasons, local, organically grown, sustainable flowers are, of course, preferable to shipments from South America, Europe or California. And I do try to grow what I cannot find from suppliers; flowers that don’t transport well, things that are not in high enough demand or are not easy to grow on a commercial scale. These varieties allow me to add textures, colors, and shapes that I would not otherwise necessarily have access to, so that is a major win in the home-grown category.
But in all honestly I continue to grow for a much more visceral reason. Basically I just love the smell of that potting mix in spring, while snow is still falling outdoors. I am fascinated by tiny green leaves emerging from tiny dried seeds and then one day turning into 12ft amaranths dripping with color and goodness in the garden. And I love that it all takes time!
We live in a very fast-passed world. Instant gratification is our new reality.
When I was growing up there was no Amazon, no text messaging or email, no internet or social media (and I’m not even old!). You had to wait for replies, and things to arrive, and phone calls from overseas. You had to have a conversation to get to know someone. And that made those things more exciting! I remember how fun it was to get a package in the mail, now I can track what I order by the hour and I get restless if it’s a day late. We have become largely desensitized to our surroundings and the way things work.
On some level, this is why I love the garden. Its grounding. Flowers don’t happen over night, they are pampered from March until September; watered, fertilized, pinched and planted. I have to watch them for disease, protect them from the wild critters in the woods, feed them, weed them, and all of this takes time, effort and awareness. I love that I cannot turn the garden off, ignore it, or use an app to grow it!
As an extremely restless and impatient person, the garden gives me purpose and slows me down. It is beautiful, alive and operates completely on its own time!
Its almost March on a Maine micro flower farm. Seed starting begins soon, the sun is staying out a little later, and spring is finally starting to feel tangible again. For now, though, I am still stuck inside most days, watching my duck flock out the window, having questionably in-depth conversations with my cat, experimenting with sourdough recipes and basically just drumming my fingers until this snow melts away. As cabin fever starts to really get the best of me, I am reminded of how everyone keeps telling me to blog, so I guess now is as good a time to start as any!
Let’s begin with, How I Became a Farmer Florist, or more aptly, That Time I Bought a House and Never Wanted to Leave:
Several years ago my husband and I moved to Maine from Thailand because we were looking to establish a more permanent home-base for our nomadic, SCUBA-bum lifestyle (more on that later). Our intention was to buy a small house, get “nesting” out of the way, and then resume our life of weird experiences, delicious street food and diving with manta rays.
Only a few weeks into our property search, on a whim, I convinced our real estate agent to let me check out a house that was not at all in our budget and the complete opposite of what we were looking for; namely a nice, small, maintenance free, low mortgage payment! But one of my favorite things has always been snooping through new spaces, so we looked, just for fun!
Long story short, we now call that house, which was not in our budget and the complete opposite of what we were looking for, home!
Due to some unforeseen factors, it turned out to be not as out-of-our-budget as we initially thought. As fate would have it, we suddenly found ourselves the proud, slightly bewildered (and mildly terrified) owners of an adorable 1816 farmhouse, 30 acres of woodland and a lawn that is unimaginably expensive to mow.
This was all a bit overwhelming and definitely a change of pace from what we were used to. My husband, who is British, hadn’t lived in the “first world” for any significant length of time in almost two decades and I had only fleetingly tried my hand at “real life” some years earlier in Seattle. Our comfort zone tends to be any environment in which we are totally unfamiliar, so I guess in that respect, homeownership actually kind of fit the bill!
But what happens when you are in search of a starter home and instead end up with something kind of akin to your dream? You never want to leave, that’s what! Also, side note, the vision you once had of your “dream home” suddenly changes drastically and you begin to have delusions of Martha Stewart level grandeur, conversely, home repairs are no joke… but those are stories for another time!
And so, in a quest to never leave the property, but also not end up delinquent on a mortgage payment, I dug up the back yard and a flower “farm” was born!
And that’s pretty much how it happened…
Rachel and Joe got married on the most beautifully foggy day at Gray Haven’s Inn in Georgetown, Maine and here are the photos from Jill Hoyle Photography to prove it!
How absolutely adorable are these two?
photos by Emily MacCabe Photography!
Its January and that means that this years issue of Southern New England Weddings is going to be out on shelves soon! This year we had the pleasure of taking part in one of their editorial shoots designed by Cristen & Co. Events and shot by Move Mountains Co. at Tops'l Farm in Waldoboro Maine!
Nettie and Jackman look amazing in their woodland boho wedding shoot!!!! Flowers foraged from the land!
We just got these photos back from Katelyn Mallett Photography who we collaborated with this past October. This gorgeous shoot took place on the most perfect autumn day and we think its came out amazingly! Thanks to The Bar Association, Little Ivy Paper Goods, Bubbe and Bestemore, Landry's Confections, Reel Maine videographers, AE Ceramics, Steindry and all who helped bring this thing together!
We are happy to share some lovely photos from Revolution Summer Photography of this gorgeous October wedding we had the pleasure of preparing flowers for! It was a beautiful day wit ha beautiful couple and some super adorable flowers!
We recently worked on this GORGEOUS video with a bunch of our nearest and dearest Maine wedding vendors! Check them all out, there is some incredible talent going on here! And isn't this video just fantastic! Bring on the dark flowers and unusual wedding ideas! We love this!
Tis the season for bold colors, browns, reds, orange! Loving the autumn Maine wedding season so far!
We had the pleasure of doing flowers for this gorgeous coastal wedding earlier this month at Grey Havens Inn in Georgetown, Maine. The day was perfect, the flowers were amazing, the bride was radiant and photographer Cait Bourgault of Cait Bourgault Photography, www.caitbourgaultphotography.com, captured these fantastic photos! Check out her website to see more!