It is New Year’s Eve and I am sitting here reflecting on the past year. My family was healthy and happy, which is all I could ask for.
It was a great year of learning and experimenting with the garden and flowers. I started the year off just wanting to expand my English cottage garden and it slowly turned into the love of flowers and making bouquets with my blooms.I started to experiment with growing many types of flowers and expanding the garden from grass to flower beds.
The summer was plentiful with flowers and I started thinking maybe I could turn my hobby into a business. I bought all sorts of books on the topic and started following other flower farmers to get inspiration and to grow my knowledge. By the end of summer I had named my flower farm, made a logo, and bought a flower cart, as well as endless farming supplies. I was planning on selling fresh cut flowers from my driveway in 2024.
As Fall rolled around and the flowers went away, I started experimenting with dried flowers. I made a beautiful arrangement in an urn to keep in my entryway, where I had been displaying my fresh flower bouquets. Months later it is still there giving me beauty to enjoy. I think it is my favorite arrangement I have made. I love that I can enjoy dried flowers in the off season. I also went with my mom to a dried flower wreath class, to learn how to make one. I just love how it turned out and can have it on my wall for years to come.
By the end of the Fall I have switched my business plan for next year, from fresh cut flowers to dried. I am planning to grow lots of flowers but rather than sell them as a cut flower, I am going to dry them. I plan to sell dried bouquets, as well as make crafts with the flowers, such as earrings, necklaces, coasters, trays, ornaments, and shadowboxes. I plan to sell my goods at my work, Schuh Farms, as well as local craft markets, with my cart. I like the idea of dried flowers better than fresh for many reasons. There is less pressure to sell them right away when they are freshly cut. I can take my time creating crafts with the flowers. Dried flowers last longer, months or even years so you are making a keepsake product rather than a perishable one.
This winter I have been experimenting with different ways to dry flowers. I have used silica gel and hang drying. The silica gel has had mixed results, I think it just depends on the type of flower you are preserving. Hang drying is the easiest, but my cat likes to bat at them lol. For Christmas my husband bought me a flower press and a microwavable flower press. So I will test those out next. I am having to buy flowers from the grocery store to experiment with. I can’t wait until I have my own flowers to work with. Another present from my hubby was resin molds. I am going to try making some earrings and coasters to start with and see how it goes. When I have my flowers I plan to make a bunch to sell and to gift.
The next thing on the to do list is to organize all my seeds and start planning the schedule of when to start my seeds. I know January is the month to start cool hardy annuals, just have to decide which I want to do, keeping in mind that they will be dried. I have also been looking for flowers with small blooms for the crafts that I want to make.
On January 5th I will start the Floret Online Workshop. I am so excited to be a part of this learning community. The class goes for 6 weeks and will be a lot of information to take in. Luckily my work closes down for 11 weeks in the winter, so I will be able to give it my all. I am hopeful and looking forward to 2024. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me and has followed along this journey with me. Happy New Year!