Matt and I have a rule that if one of us sees something worth stopping for on a road trip, we'll always make time to pull-over. Once, several years ago, we were both struck by the miles and miles of sunflower fields that lined the highway as we drove through South Dakota. But we didn't stop. By the time we made our way back in that direction, the flowers had begun to fade, and we both held onto the feeling that we had let an opportunity pass us by. I think that's why we both agreed it would be worth it to drive nearly an hour to go see the Treasured Haven Farms Sunflower Field this past Labor Day.
I don't know what it is about a field full of flowers in full bloom. It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect. And although there were plenty of other people there, we could wade into the rows of flowers and feel almost like we had the place to ourselves.
It was about this time last year that I came across Cut Flower Garden by Erin Benzakein and started to imagine growing fields of flowers of my own. Autumn Meadow Farm was always going to have a garden and a few animals, but I've started to dream of flowers too, my own addition to our little "someday" homestead.
I experimented with growing different flowers from seed this year, including Sweet Peas, Tulips, Zinnias, Cosmos, Snapdragons, and Larkspur, and learned a little bit about myself as a flower gardener and A LOT about flowers and cultivating them in my own yard. For example, Sweet Peas have the sweetest smell and DO NOT like to be transplanted, Cosmos take their time to bloom, and, apparently, Snapdragons and Larkspur prefer to be watered so they can actually germinate.
I'm interested to see if my tulip bulbs will survive another winter and flower again in the spring. The bulbs I got from Floret Flower, Erin Benzakein's family farm, are absolutely stunning. I was disappointed that they bloomed when the rest of the yard was still recovering from the winter, but it was a good excuse to arrange them into a bouquet and enjoy them inside. They lasted for quite a while too!
Annie has loved checking in on the "pretty flowers" everyday, and I have never appreciated new growth or fresh blooms more! But I think when it comes to Autumn Meadow Farm, I'll just pick a couple of varieties to focus on. Probably flowers that can also serve a purpose in addition to their beauty? Right now I have visions of Lavender and maybe Sunflowers. Until then, I have plenty of time to learn!