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July in the Garden: Bouquets

This has been such an exciting summer to see our little farm growing. The abundance of June rain sure helped our plants get taller and fuller, and the July sun has helped those lanky stems give way to some of the most gorgeous blooms we've ever seen! There has been so much sun, and keeping the garden watered is certainly a full time job: we're talking watering cans, hoses, sprinklers, and a soaker hose system! We have to harvest in the early morning or evening to protect the delicate flowers, not to mention ourselves--we wilt almost just as quickly as they do!!

sherwood's peach dahlia
A new dahlia for us this year (supposed to be "Hercules", seems a lot more like "Sherwood's Peach"

We mulled very long and hard about what we wanted to grow this year. So many factors went into these decisions. Obviously we wanted to keep a lot of what we already had: our hostas, peonies, sage, butterfly weed, and coneflowers definitely secured their places in this year's beds. We decided to stick with some zinnias again, but tried some different varieties like Queen Lime Blush and Benary's Giant Wine from Floret Flower Farm. Of course the dahlias we saved from last year also made the cut to replant, we are so crazy about them we even named the cat Dahlia!! Olivia loves cosmos, so we planted way more of them this season. We tried a lot more "filler" flowers this year as well--cute little green and yellow bupleurum are finally working their way up with the rest of the gang, and purple verbena has been a surprise hit. Finally, we added a handful of new perennials to the mix, like the "Cherry Brandy" rudbeckia and fluffy "French Vanilla" mums that look just like dahlias!

A lot of thought went into planning the garden, and even more work goes into planting and caring for it. But all the hard pays off when we get to make bouquets for the markets and our CSA customers! Nothing is more satisfying than both seeing all of our plants flourish, and go together beautifully. We have such a beautiful range of colors blooming in our yard, we fall in love with every two stems we put together. Here are some pictures of July bouquets that have captured our eyes, and our hearts.

garden bouquet with zinnias
Queen Lime zinnia goes with everything!

garden bouquet with black eyed susan
Using basil as foliage is not only stunning, but leaves a lovely smell on your hands!

garden bouquet with basil
Here you can see "Dark Opal" basil and purple meadow sage, which we love to use to add hits of deeper purple next to brighter colors.

garden bouquet with smoke bush
Smoke bush foliage gives a great, strong form to a hand wrapped bouquet, and fluffy orange black eyed susans are showstoppers.

Finally, here is our favorite Dahlia, flaunting her escape by the basement door.

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