February 2020 - Life on the Funny Farm

Ramblings of a Flower Farmer

Michigan Flower Farm

Love (and spring )is in the air!


February 2020

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day! I know this is one of the biggest months for many of you, spreading all that love around is a big job!

Despite the weather, things begin gearing up on the farm. November brings absolute resolve “to cut back next year”. In February that goes out the window as I pine away for spring and it's blossoms! Seed and plant catalogs tend to add to the excitement; my resolution to “cut back” seems to have gone the wayside for another year as our variety count heads back up towards 300. Flowers Anonymous here I come! We did lose a lot of perennials over the winter of 2019, so we'll replace the plants in many of our perennial beds. And of course, just had to add a few new lovelies also. (0:

Perennial Added/Replaced:
Allium - replaced.
Campanula – Takion Series Blue and White. We grew this lovely variety several years ago and are bringing it back again.
Clematis – New! A lovely bush variety with blue bell-shaped flowers and attractive seed heads that should also make a nice foliage plant.
Delphinium elatum– We stopped growing delphinium several years ago, but felt the pull to replant these tall, stately flowers again. White, sky blue, and pink.
Eryngium – Blue Glitter – an old stand-by that’s needed to be replaced.
Heuchera (coral bells) – New! A lovely rosy pink variety.
Oregano – Greek –  A foliage plant.
Spigelia- This is new to us and in the “we’ll see” category. It will grow in partial shade, and we have a lot of that here. It is a bright red, a color we lack early in the season. It will be planted out this fall.

Annuals – New or renewed this season
Apple of Peru/Shoo-fly - Nicandra physalodes  A foliage plant. (Depsite the name, this plant is not edible)
Artichoke – We’ve never had much luck getting significant blooms in the past, but we’re going to try a faster maturing variety this season.
Bachelor Buttons – Definately a love/hate relationship. Added back the pink and burgundy, along with blue.
Bee Balm – Lambada
Celosia – Terracotta - A "must have" color in bronzy shades described as “salmon”.
Globe Amaranth (gomphrena) Audray White, along with the purples, pinks, reds, and oranges.
Grass – Bunny Tails
Hibiscus – Mahogany Splendor – A foliage plant.
Shiso – Red –  Herb. Foliage plant.
Strawberry Spinach/Sticks (Chenopodium Foliosum) – A curiosity I’ve wanted to try. Edible.
Tomatillo - I just adore these to add some spunk to arrangements. Edible.
Wheat – (Triticale aestivum) Black Wheat

We have cut back on some varieties this season, mainly some incredibly labor intensive varieties. The decision to not grow lisianthus this season is haunting me – they are one of my favorites, but I felt I needed a break from them this season. I miss them already! I’m sure they’ll be back next year.

Seed starting continues, nose pressed to the ground looking for those first early sprouts. The critters all have cabin fever and have enjoyed a few days out in the sun. Spring is coming!

A lot of office work continues through February. Nobody’s favorite thing, but not a bad job when the temps dip into the teens. We’ve seen the hoop house get into the 90’s, the days are getting longer, and winter is close to being behind us.