One of the most common comments people make when they learn I grow cut flowers is, "Your yard must be lovely." This is a myth. My commercial gardens are nothing like show gardens. Yet there are some lovely moments.
These are my garden helpers. They eat bugs, slugs and my veggies. I'm going to have to build an ugly pen around the bean bed to keep them out of the green beans. They ate all my asparagus this year. I don't have bugs in my garden. They also mix poop with their straw bedding, which is wonderful fertilizer for roses, if I can keep hubby from spreading it around the fruit trees.
I need a better camera. This is a red dragon fly sitting on the beak of a heron sculpture by the pond. I was afraid to try to get closer and get a better angle. I've been watching this dragonfly. This is his favorite perch. I may get a better picture yet. It is just cool to see him perched on the heron's beak. The heron sculpture is attractive but it's function was supposed to be to keep the wild blue herons from eating the fish in my pond. The wild blue heron likes the sculpture and rests beside him between snacking in the pond.
This is another heavily scented English rose. Before I sell these, I trim off the spent blooms and tidy up each bud by taking off the guard petals. I take the leaves off to give them better vase life. I also clip the tip off of each thorn. Roses are a little labor intensive, but my heavy scented roses fill the whole garden with fragrance.
Here is a close up of the pink foxglove from the previous picture. I wait until they are two thirds bloomed out before harvesting. The bigger ones will go in wedding or church arrangements. Note in the background you can see my deer fence. It's eight feet tall. We just replaced this section this past winter. Unfortunately deer don't eat foxglove. They do decimate roses and fruit trees.
I grow multiple plants in the same space. This is one of my favorite irises with feverfew. The feverfew volunteers. Iris are tricky as a cut flower because the blooms dissolve as they age. The spent blooms need to be picked off as they wilt. I sell my iris when they have a second bloom ready to replace the first.
My yellow daisies, sunshine, are just coming on. This plant will be a mound of color just before I harvest. It is growing next to Lemon Balm, which I use as a cut green. I also use Lemon Balm in pot pourrii to keep flies and spiders out of the house and greenhouse. Using my pot pourrii, I don't have pests in my greenhouse.
This was taken about six in the morning with the sun peaking through the trees. The soft colors and textures seemed to flow into each other. From here I have a ground cover rose getting ready to bloom. It will be used as a filler. The lime green evergreen is used for foliage year round, especially for Christmas. Going farther back I have a honeysuckle on an arbor and beyond that roses on an arch. The enchanted forest, full of hungry deer, lurks just outside the fence.
Delinda McCann is a social psychologist, author, avid organic gardener and amateur musician.