Here we are finally at the end of January. I don’t know about you, but I feel like January and February are the most difficult months of the year. The daylight goes by too quickly and the weather swings toy with my emotions. While I spend the nicer days basking in the sun like a lizard, I use the extra-long dark hours to look back on the successes of the past growing season and plan for all the beautiful flowers I want to grow. This year I thought I’d share my look forward so that we can dream of colorful flowers together.
March, April, and May
Spring blooms are the favorite of many flower lovers. This is undoubtedly because we are all ready to see some green growth and bright colors break up the steady palette of brown that is the New Mexican winter. The first flowers that start blooming for me are the classic white anemones followed by ranunculus in an explosion of ALL THE COLORS! Friends, this is because I cannot get enough ranunculus and I would grow every color possible if I only had the space to do so.
Outside of the protection of the hoop house, the daffodils start opening and make a wonderful procession from late March through early May. Tulips, the little divas, will eventually make an appearance whenever they feel like it, and I am always grateful when they finally decided to bloom.
Fun fact: You may know that tulips, daffodils, and alliums are all grown from bulbs. Unlike those grown in the landscape, tulips grown specifically for cut flowers are harvested with the bulb still attached and are cut off when ready to use. The bulbs are then composted because they are not able to grow another flower. Daffodils and alliums both perennialize which means they will come back every year if I treat them right.
May, June, and early-July
June can be a difficult month for growing flowers because it is too hot for spring blooms and the heat loving plants are still getting established. The past few years have had somewhat successful experiments with lilies, sweet peas, and Iceland poppies which I plan to continue this year. Seasonal classics for me are are berry-colored yarrow, delightfully aromatic and fluffy snap dragons, and my favorite from 2022, foxgloves! Foxgloves (below on the far left) have delicate, bell-shaped florets and are amazing in a vase all on their own.
July, August, and September
This is finally the time when the heat lovers (and those that just tolerate it) are coming into bloom! The peak of the summer season for me is when the lisianthus are so full of ruffly blooms that they weigh down the netting used to keep their stems straight. This is quickly followed by rows and rows of dahlias with their stunning geometric designs and the vast array of colors. I will keep true to ranunculus being my favorite flower, but dahlia season tests this belief every year. I was crazy enough to plant 700 dahlia tubers in 2022 and I promise that this year will be no less. Have I mentioned that I want all the colors?!
Of course, we cannot forget cosmos, sunflowers, and zinnias. These are the tried-and-true summer flowers and are the most forgiving to grow. If you are interested in starting your own cut flower garden, I highly recommend starting with these three flower types. My favorite colors are the wine colored zinnias and cosmos (below) and a dream sunflower called ‘White Nite’.
By this time of year, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. Most plants are setting fewer flowers and I am grateful for the season to be winding down. This is the time when marigolds are in high demand, and we transition to rich fall colors. I am excited to say that this year I will be experimenting with fancy chrysanthemums! I don’t have any pictures yet, but I guarantee they will be a spectacular addition to fall bouquets. In fact, the goal is that they extend the growing season by a few weeks. I can’t wait to see how they do!
Are you ready?
I hope you have enjoyed this peek into seasonal flowers and are excited as I am for the upcoming year. As I head into my fourth year growing flowers, I know enough to say that I know nothing for sure. Many things will not go as planned and I will kill several plants, but I know that 2023 will be full of joyful moments, wonderful people, and so many gorgeous flowers!