Flowers are a big part of our farm decor, and they have been extra beautiful this year! We recently took some time to talk to MaryJane, our own Master Gardener (if you want the whole interview – you can view here), about how she chooses plants and cares for our flower gardens. MaryJane has been a certified Master Gardener for four years, and through volunteer efforts and continuing education classes, she is constantly improving her skills, which is definitely something we benefit from!
The planting of the flower beds usually starts in May if the weather is good and the soil is warm enough, although MaryJane starts seeds inside her home in March and April. Soil temperatures were cold this year, so we had a slightly late start, but you would never know it to look at our gardens! MaryJane changes aspects of the flower beds every year, so they always look different, and this year her focus has been on adding unusual container gardens to the yards. We have two bicycles, a toppled wheelbarrow, little red wagons, and old shoes and boots filled with gorgeous bursts of color!
MaryJane reports that her favorite color to work with this year has been shades of purple, and she has also been experimenting with ornamental grasses, vegetables like kale and chard, and herbs in her containers and flower beds. Many of these are pretty as well as edible, and add a new dimension to the gardens. MaryJane’s budget is fixed, so she is challenged to find new things to add, and loves to work with cuttings donated by family and friends. Her very green thumb allows her to start those cuttings on their way to being beautiful additions to the farm! She is busy all of the time, and spends 15 to 20 hours each week watering, fertilizing, weeding, and dividing and planting new plants! I know our guests have been thrilled with her efforts!