Updated: Apr 16, 2022
Some of the Many Lessons I have learned from Flower Farming
Making mistakes is part of learning and growing! Throughout the years of working in my garden, I have killed a lot of plants….I have planted them in the wrong place, not given them enough water, given them too much water, have gotten distracted with other things and ignored them for too long….etc…etc…. I know I am not the only one. I know this sounds familiar to many of you. I am happy that maybe because of my own life path and my own experiences growing up, or maybe because of my temperament… I have not allowed those experiences to dictate who I am as a gardener. Yes, I am not all knowing, I am not
perfect and I fail…a lot! But, I do not walk away from what I love, from what makes me happy, from a connection that is meaningful and important to me.
I know that just like learning to walk, falling down is an important step towards mastering a very important skill and I am willing to do that as many times as it is needed. Flowers, working in the garden with my hands in the dirt, being immersed in the creative process of manifesting my dreams, interacting with all the magic and life forces
emanating from the earth is what inspires me to keep going. I will not give up and I know this helps me and those around me as well.
2. Perseverance. A good example of how my garden has taught me perseverance comes from my relationship to a beautiful flower called “Kiss me under the garden gate”.
I saw it in a seed packet at my local garden store many years ago and I was very curious about it. One of the ladies at the store told me she had so many of them in her garden because they self-seeded and were doing beautifully and she harvested a lot of flowers from them every summer. I bought the packet of seeds right away and attempted to grow them with no luck. I forgot about it and next spring, once again, I tried it again, but this time I read a little more about it. I found out, that if I put the seeds in the refrigerator, that then, I would have more success with germination because they needed that. So… I went ahead and followed the instructions…..except, I forgot about them after two or three weeks. Perhaps I made more important cultivating my relationship with my young boys at the time and that was the flower I wanted to nurture and feed more than anything in the world; and I ignored many things back then... (I am so glad I did that). Fast forward a few years and I read some more about this flower once more ….this time. I finally got
them to germinate!!! Hurray! I was smitten…the bush grew and I got one flower!
That was huge progress…and I was inspired to grow more to get more of those beautiful flowers. Luckily, I didn’t have to do that, Mother Nature rewarded me ten-fold….the following year, I had so many plants and more flowers than I could harvest. A true gift for me! And a true lesson to go for what I want!
3. Patience. My dahlias have been a constant source of inspiration for me in so many ways. Patience is definitely one of the biggest gifts from this flower.
I am working with this flower all year long. In the fall, I dig up all of my tubers to store them in my basement…not a small task by any means! Then, in the winter, when their tubers are stored in my basement… I am checking on them on a regular basis, making sure they are not moldy, or dried up. They do take a while to fully wake up from their
winter rest. That in itself is to me, a great opportunity for my mind who is so used to instant gratification, who is used to getting all the information it wants at the click of a button. Thank you dear Dahlia! They do require more attention, more constant
monitoring. It starts early in the season with making sure the early spring rain is draining well and they are not rotting before they wake up. Then, as it starts to warm up and they start sending shoots, I make sure they get pinched when they are young to encourage the plant to produce more blooms in the summer. I usually give them a good amount of compost in the spring and continue to foliage feed them throughout the season with
compost tea and flower essences. They are vigorous plants and can get quite tall, so having a good support is necessary to make sure they don’t topple over and brake. I am found frequently during the summer months early in the morning, out in the
dahlia patch going through the rows, making sure they are disbudded, looking happy, they have enough water, enough stakes to support them, plenty of compost and loving presence from me.
They are my grounding rock!!