Another year gone! Another farm season in the books. A milestone season for us, as we also moved the farm to its new permanent home this year!
The last month has been full of winter projects. In the downtime, I’ve been reflecting on the flowers that we grew this year.
I love year-end round-ups, so here’s our very own Sea Change Farm version: our 10 favorite flowers from 2021. Let’s see if you agree with our choices!
1. “Cloud” Larkspur
Planted on a whim because the name sounded cool, this early summer flower was a real winner for us. Abundant, healthy, sparkly, wilt-proof and long-lived, Cloud larkspur was a favorite for mixing into bouquets, and was beloved by our florist friends as well.
Seed for this flower is scarce, but if I can get my mitts on some we will absolutely grow it again. Note to self: save seed next year!!
2. China Aster ‘Lady Coral Chamois’
We love these fluffy peachy blooms. Our asters were sadly plagued by fusarium wilt (a fungal plant infection) this year: you can see it in the slight brown leaf tips in the photo above. So our aster harvest was limited and plants were short and stunted–and even still, Lady Coral Chamois blew us away with her beauty!
These asters will return to our field next year armed with new anti-fusarium growing tactics. Imagine the full force of this fluffy perfection!
3. Fritillaria persica
We have some hardcore purple fans here at Sea Change, and these violet bell-shaped blooms charmed the socks off of us. Wild and fun, we love Fritillaria persica and have added more to our field already, along with other new members of the Fritillaria family.
4. Lisianthus ‘Esprit Light Pink’
Picking a single lisianthus variety to spotlight here is always a tough decision! Lisianthus are just such wonderful flowers for us: they have a beautiful rose-like form, a long vase life, and come in many lovely colors. We love them all!
But this year, we especially loved a new variety called ‘Esprit Light Pink.’ It’s ruffly and peachy-pink and has a smoky dark center that draws you irresistibly in. Definitely a keeper!
Honorable mention lisianthus: Roseanne Brown, Rosita Apricot
5. Tulip ‘Belicia’
Wow oh wow was Belicia an amazing tulip! With her creamy white coloring, charming pink edging, full-flowered form, and multiple blooms per stem, we could not get enough. Sadly our Belicia bulb order was cancelled due to supply shortages. Here’s to hoping we can grow her next year.
Honorable mention tulips: Columbus, Sensual Touch
6. Dahlia ‘Chewy’ / ‘Gitty Up’ / ‘Koko Puff’
We love dahlias so much that they would take up all 10 slots on this list if I allowed them to. So, I decided to limit us to one spot per farmer for dahlias! ‘Chewy’ was my favorite this year, ‘Gitty Up’ was Emily’s, and ‘Koko Puff’ was Censi’s. We’re hoarding tubers of these three varieties to build our stock, so we won’t have them in our tuber sale this winter.
Honorable mention dahlias: Omega, Caitlin’s Joy, Diva
7. Lemon Verbena
This herb smelled sooooo good! We loved mixing this one into bouquets as a foliage, even though its stems were on the short side. As a bonus, it also makes a fantastic tea. I dried a big bunch of the stuff and will be brewing it aaaall winter long.
8. Peony “Green Lotus”
I freaked out over this freaky peony. We only had one bloom this year, and since we’ve just transplanted the peonies to new ground it will probably be about 3-4 years before we see any more. But you can bet that come 2025 I will be waiting on the edge of my seat for a bumper crop of Green Lotus! Y’all know I love the weirdos best of all.
It’s too hard to pick just one color! So I won’t. Ranunculus are great. They’re all wonderful. Though Chia-Li especially recommends the pink picotee ones!
This year I feel like we finally cracked the code on growing big, juicy, primo ranunculus blooms, and I hope that trend continues.
Standout varieties: Pink Picotee, Purple Jean, Salmon
Wiggly, wonderful, textural Veronica was a real MVP for us this year. We grew several different colors and they were all great additions to our bouquets! We’ve put in hundreds more plants for next year in blue, pink, and white.
Clockwise from top left: ornamental sage, geum, forget-me-nots, “Chocolate” scented geranium.
Did you have a favorite flower this year that we didn’t list? Let me know! I’m excited to welcome all of these, and many more, back to our fields.
Happy happy New Year! Fingers crossed for 2022, may it be full of new beginnings and nice surprises.
Samantha is the owner of Sea Change Farm & Flower.
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