While many of us (me) are wringing our hands over all the cold, snowy, icy weather—cool flowers are proving to be the cool customers that I’ve come to know and love. They survive winter in spite of my doubts—even after 18 years of witnessing their amazing qualities of surviving cold.
My annual doubts have become almost comical as I repeat the same routine year after year. I start off strong supporting they will be fine, then as temperatures drop I begin standing at the window and wondering. Then the speculation starts. If they all die—it will bring certain death to our spring business or worse it will kill the moral of the whole season and thus my mind runs away with me.
But guess what? They have always survived. In spite of last year’s grueling single digit temperatures with no snow protection, lots of rain and hammering wind, they lived. This year has been extra fun with lots of snow, ice and bitter cold. But so far, all is well. Because I couldn’t stand it any longer, I just ventured out and pried up a couple of frozen row covers to have a peek. No surprise, they live on! I use row covers for winter protection from wind and deer grazing.
Perhaps our daily lives are being pushed further behind by all this weather—but there is good news. If you planted Cool Flowers, spring is out there just waiting for you.
While I am patiently waiting on spring, we are gearing up for big seed starting to commence here on the farm. Next week is our official seed starting time for many of our summer flowers. Kelly will begin to start tens of thousands of plants in soil blocks. So, the next 4- 6 weeks are some of the most enjoyable times for me as I tend to sprouting baby plants in our warm plant room and I dream of spring.
Lisa Mason Ziegler is a commercial cut-flower farmer in Newport News, Virginia; she lectures and writes about organic and sustainable gardening. You can email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org, call her at 757-877-7159 or visit her website www.shoptgw.com.
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