Summer Sunset Wedding at the Warfield House Inn in Charlemont

The theme of the wedding was sunset and the night skies. The day of the wedding was the day of a solar eclipse. The flowers followed suit: sunset colors of oranges, pinks, and pops of purples went into their personal flowers. So fun! So romantic!

Location: The Warfield House Inn, Charlemont, Massachusetts. August.
Photography: Lauren P. Wadsworth Photography Continue reading “Summer Sunset Wedding at the Warfield House Inn in Charlemont”

About

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved plants and gardens. In middle school I planted a vegetable garden in the weeds in our yard, giving myself an intense case of poison ivy in the process. In high school I had a garden of houseplants lined up in front of my window. During college, I supplemented my publishing internship working at a plant nursery and florist, which I enjoyed much more than filing book jackets and answering the phones .

I went on to teach high school, work as a librarian, start a non-profit, freelance in publishing, advocate and speak about parenting children with special needs, and write books, but it never occurred to me to follow my original passion until circumstances led me to manage a farmers’ market. I saw first-hand how people were making a living from their land, honoring all things local, and creating lives connected to nature. I resolved to do the same.

In 2015 my family moved to western Massachusetts after 21 years in central North Carolina. The move meant a lot of things to us: better opportunities for my younger son, who has a neurobehavioral disorder, a change in employment (for the better) for my husband, and for me, learning a new climate that included a harsher winter than I was used to, understanding native plants, invasives, and trying to make new connections in my community.

Our rustic little house came with a barn, a shed, an outhouse (!) and almost 3 acres of sandy, but fertile soil. I set to work.

The result is Passalongs Farm and Florist. I started out selling at local farmers’ markets, added a roadside cart in 2016, and in 2017 set up a 4-season floristry design studio, specializing in personal, thoughtful floral design for special events, weddings, and special occasions.

 

Late summer/fall Flower share!

I am so excited to offer a second flower share CSA this season! The first share, which started in July, was a great success, and based on the flower situation I will have about triple the flowers the end of the season that I’ve had the first half!

Think DAHLIAS, people.

The flower share works like this:

You choose either farm/market pick-up OR delivery, and each week I’ll have a gorgeous, very generous bunch of flowers for you! These are about twice as large as my farmers’ market /roadside flower bunches, but less than twice the price even if you include delivery! You and I will decide on a mutually agreeable pick-up or delivery day, and you don’t have to be home for me to drop them off.

The flower share lasts 6 weeks, and will run from August 27 – October 1.

Pick-up at farm or market is $80

Delivery (anywhere in greater Northampton and Easthampton, including Florence, Leeds, Williamsburg, and even parts of Westhampton): $110

I can take cash or a check but I prefer Paypal.  To ORDER: please visit my FLOWER SHARE PAGE.

Year 2: flowers I’m loving, flowers I’m not

This is half a note to myself for next year, half a blog post!

Now that I’m smack dab in the middle of year 2 of my little flower farm, I’ve developed some clear favorites and discovered some flowers that simply were not worth space or money. Some are too fiddly and not very impressive, some are kind of ugly, and some simply aren’t worth the bed space.

Plants I grew this year that I could do without:

delphinium. I know! It’s gorgeous! Its blooms make a nice flower crown. But in the kind of arrangements and bouquets I’m doing right now it’s too tall to use effectively and it flops over. Plus, when I started the seeds a mouse ate all but 10, then out of the 10 only 2 did much, then the ones that grew were gorgeous, but like I said, not practical for what I do.

statice. I have really mixed feelings about this stuff. I think it’s ugly, but it provides good stiff structure for some of my floppier flowers. It grew really easily from seed, though, so that’s a plus.

celosia. I bought celosia plugs and they’re doing awesome, but they are very, very ugly. Maybe I bought the wrong kind (Sunday mix) but every single one is orange or red. There was supposed to be pink and salmon in there, too, but there isn’t. Maybe once the zinnias and dahlia start popping and I have more hot flowers I will like them, but for now they don’t go well with anything I have.

allium. Gorgeous, I know, but the chipmunks or whatever garden rats are out there ate every single one. Same with the anenome and the ranunculus. They are expensive but if I have to grow them in individual wire cages they are too fiddly for me.

Things I love (new this year, besides the obvious dahlias and peonies!) or wish I’d grown again this year:

orlaya. Brilliant overwintered hardy annual. Will definitely plant again in the fall.

garland chrysanthemum. I didn’t grow it this year but really wish I had. It was such a nice little flower to add to arrangements, it smelled sweet, and it grew from seed super easily. The foliage was pretty, too, and added some airiness and green to bouquets. I might start some now to try to get some for fall. I had hoped I would get volunteers but I didn’t.

ageratum. Blue! Study stems! super easy to start!

clary sage. So easy to grow and while the flowers are small, they add a really nice pop of color, they started early, and the foliage was one of the earliest fillers I had.

nigella. I don’t know why I fight the nigella! I should just give in to its hoop house domination and grow as much as possible. The flowers are gorgeous as are the pods, and the only thing I’ll change for next year it to provide support, because flopped over and bent it’s not much use.

More filler! And preferably something perennial. I’m definitely investing in some mountain mint plugs for next year, and while I like the scented geranium it is not holding up well at the roadside cart as it sometimes gets full sun.

There’s a pattern here: more small, useful, hardy filler flowers and greens, especially those that I can easily grow from seed or find in plug form, and fewer fiddly, expensive corms and bulbs and focus flowers.