It’s been a super busy couple of weeks with a full schedule of photography shoots for clients and projects, so I haven’t been doing much DIY. But I did make time to enjoy a tour of a local flower farm this past weekend, since I skipped the Willow garden tours this year. I’ve followed All Dahlia’d Up, which is run by Misty Vanderweele, for a while now, so I was excited when I heard she was offering tours of her farm this summer.
I purchased my tour ticket as a birthday present to myself and I’m sure glad I did. When we arrived at the farm we were greeted in the driveway so we could sign in and got our name tags. Once the tour began we were escorted to the backyard where this pretty table set-up greeted us.
It was the perfect garden party spread! The table was right in Misty’s backyard and was situated next to her original dahlia garden, which now also has a row of sweet pea. I noticed she had a purple door on her house, just like mine – and I’m totally loving those purple chairs too! Perhaps the ones I have by the greenhouse need a new coat of paint! 😉
The group was led to the back area of the yard, past another larger garden to where the property opens to her father-in-law’s crop fields and an amazing view of Pioneer Peak. She uses this area to host small wedding ceremonies during the summer.
She gave us a bit of history about how she started the farm after her son’s passing due to Muscular dystrophy and how he was the inspiration for the farm. He had brought her home a feeble dahlia plant one year for Mother’s Day courtesy of a class project. She wasn’t sure it would even survive, but it did and it produced lovely purple blooms, which is her favorite color. The farm idea took off when she gave a local bride a bouquet of flowers one summer and soon had multiple requests for more. She did a bit of research and realized that flower farming was indeed a ‘thing’ and decided to run with it. six years later she has a well-known thriving Alaska Grown business that shares her joy with others near and far.
After the quick presentation we walked across the road to her newest flower patch, located in one of her father-in-law’s fields. It was a little hike, but it was well worth it. Here she explained the various types of flowers she grows for bouquets and arrangements. She chooses flowers that bloom continuously all summer so she can cut from them multiple times.
She turned us loose in the flower patch for a few minutes to take in all the varieties she’s growing. Some of the most recognizable were bachelor buttons, sweet pea, dianthus, poppies and snap dragons.
She also had a few veggies growing in the back corner of the garden including pumpkins and these pretty flowering kale.
These huge poppy pods were a big hit with several of us on the tour. They looked like something right out of a Dr. Seuss story, but produced one of the prettiest poppies I’ve seen in a long time.
This pink sunflower was also a favorite of the tour guests. I’d never seen one this color but really liked the variation.
My favorite area of the garden was the sweet pea row. I’m considering doing something like this around our bee hive area next summer. It would provide a nice screen to disguise the hive and provide a bit of wind block, plus I could cut flowers from it for arrangements. And I’m pretty sure the bees would like it too. I’m not sure I’d do this variety of colors but it was fun to see all the varieties together.
The view of Pioneer Peak was fantastic from this spot too. It’d certainly give me an extra reason to be in the garden all day!
We trekked back across the road to the gardens in her yard where she clipped several blooming dahlias for us to use in arrangements. There were all types of varieties and colors, including some unique spikey ones!
On the side of the larger garden she’s created a sweet pea tunnel, which we got to walk through and squeezed in to do a group picture. She had a local photographer on the tour taking photos, so I’ll share a link to those when she posts them.
Next we went to the prep tent where we created individual arrangements using the dahlia’s she had cut as the centerpiece. We had a variety of snap dragons, sweet peas, white dill and stock to add to our bouquets.
I decided to use a variety of purple and pink tones to create a monochromatic backdrop for my pink and white dahlia. And I chose a seat that had more purple blooms to add to the arrangement.
Once everyone placed their arrangements on the table it really came to life. Everyone had fun getting pictures of their arrangements and their neighbors!
We wrapped up the tour with a yummy dinner of Alaska grown produce, and local salmon. I didn’t get any pictures of the food because I was quite hungry and too busy chatting with the ladies seated around me at the table – but I’ll tell you that it was all very delicious!
I’m so glad that I decided to take the tour. I got to learn a bit more about this local business and the woman who leads it. Plus I got to take home a beautiful arrangement of local blooms with a full belly, plus a yummy truffle that I saved to enjoy the next day. If you get a chance to enjoy the tour I highly recommend it!