Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin

Here is it the middle of the season, and I’m definitely feeling the postharvest blues. After years of attempting to grow certain crops, I’m finding that they’re still difficult to hydrate and I really question whether they are suitable for cut flower production.

Filipendula rubra
 (Queen of the Prairie) comes to mind because I’m harvesting it as I write. Even with watering the night before, buckets waiting at the base of the plant with proper doses of hydrating solution, and cutting early in the morning, this thing seems to wilt just at the sight of the clippers.

I think I’m resigning myself to stop beating a dead horse. Some flowers just aren’t going to make the cut. I always feel like the phone is going to ring, and the exact answer that I need to make these flowers work will come the day after I till them under. It is time to let go. Let go of this crop, astilbe, and any others that make me sweat bullets hoping they’ll hold in that florist arrangement.

As I get older and more refined, I’m finding that I want to narrow my focus. When I began flower farming, I wanted and often did try a lot of things and just didn’t understand or have an interest in the folks I thought were too narrowly fo-cused. Now I see their genius. There is true value in not spreading ourselves too thin; trying to grow a wide variety is important but when is the point of tipping the scale?

The Midwest Regional Meeting will be Monday, August 23rd at Sherman’s Nursery in Charles City, Iowa. If you haven’t gotten your brochure in the mail, you can view it at or call the office for a paper copy. We’re going to have a great time and hope to see all of you there.