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What’s Flowering?

Posted on August 5, 2015 BY Kelly


I wait all year for this time. I know there are so many plants that have already been flowering in the garden but there is nothing, and I mean NOTH-ING like dahlias in bloom.

This year I have quite a new new dahlias in my trial gardens, and this Mystery Day is one of them. 

Mystery Day Dahlia

And while this new butterflies-in-the-tummy feeling I’m getting from getting my first look at MD, I know my one, true love is on its way. 

Yes, you know who I mean …

The Cafe au Lait. 

Growing Dahlias

But I can’t help but share with you my (minor) disappointment in seeing her first bloom is more pinky than blush. 

I know there is variation within these tubers so I’ll just have to wait another week for the rest of them begin to open and (hopefully) surprise me with lots of creamy loveliness.

It seems like my dahlias are a bit behind this year, not exactly sure why. But I’m thinking (and this is just a guess here) that we had a really chilly spring and start to summer and that is why they are so slow to bloom. But who cares?! They’re starting to flower now so I will forget all my worry and disappointment from the past two weeks of no dahlias.

In the meantime I will take heart in how the scented geraniums are coming along in the hoop house. It never ceases to amaze me the difference a few weeks makes …

Growing Scented Geraniums

Even the Verbena Boriensis I planted on one side of the greenhouse is happy .

Verbena Boriensis

So I will leave you with thoughts of blooming summer flowers …. 



Happenings Here on the Farm

Posted on July 14, 2015 BY Kelly


Things have been super busy here for us … I don’t even know where the Spring went. But it felt like we never really had much a a Spring anyway – we went …. Winter, Winter, Winter, Boom Summer. 

But that certainly didn’t stop us from growing (in more ways than one) this season. So our biggest and newest (and let’s be honest – most AWE-SOME!) addition to the farm is our Hoop House! We put it up in about 3.5 hours with the help of my husband and my sister’s boyfriend, who all did not believe me that those 10 24-foot steel tubes would turn into the gloriousness that is now our brand-spanky-new 50 foot hoop house.

Isn’t it beautiful?!


Bowery Beach Farm | Hanley Hoop House


And we dressed it up with some fancy landscape fabric.


Bowery Beach Farm | Greenhouse Fabric


Which I promptly burnt holes into so I could sow seed and transplant my seedlings. And I will share this with you because we are so close – I really should have burned the holes before I laid the fabric down flat … as it appears the torch goes out when you point it down. Making that a much more time consuming step. 

Next went down the drip line – which again, I will lay down first before I lay the fabric next year. It’s all working out okay since the fabric is permeable and the plants seem to really be loving the cool slow drink from the tubing. And before long … voilá! Big happy plants! All 350 of them in the greenhouse.


Bowery Beach Farm | Growing Dahlias


And the propagation house has also been bustling with activity since March.


Bowery Beach Farm | Growing Herbs


For which I have learned the very, very, very important task of crop scheduling. I know this sounds like a boring activity, but without it our market table would look quite sad. So there is an never-ending weekly dance of sowing, propagating, transplanting, planting, pruning, fertilizing and then … repeat. All the while keeping in mind how many plants are headed to the field or greenhouse for harvesting, and those to market for sale.


Bowery Beach Farm | Potting Bench


The planning may not be the most fun job, but it gets me to the best part of the job … the growing! 

My favorite way to pass the time in the greenhouse vacillates between sowing and taking cuttings. I love to start things from scratch, but I also love making scented geranium babies from the mommy plant. I find it very cathartic and peaceful. Sometimes I save this task for the end if I can so I have something to motivate me to move faster (which is always helpful since I have more of a sedentary personality).


Bowery Beach Farm | Attar Of Rose Scented Gernaium


When I look at my scented geranium table I feel so ridiculously happy that everyone’s growing and healthy. 


Bowery Beach Farm | Scented Geraniums


And that doesn’t even take into account the raised beds and field of herbs ready for harvest. 

 Bowery Beach Farm | Caraway


I will also share that I get incredibly excited when plants that take a few years to mature before they can be harvested are ready. I’ve waited 2 years and now I’m rewarded with lots of delicious caraway seed. I think I should make some bread with it … you know, just to test it out first. 🙂

Sowing and a Growing!

Posted on April 9, 2015 BY Kelly

I must be the luckiest girl in the world … because right now I get to sow and grow all day long. All day. Everyday.

It really is not boring.

But that may be because I bring a small DVD player into the greenhouse and play 80’s movies to keep me company. (And it’s not at all weird that I share my favorite movie lines with my little seedlings expecting for them to enjoy them as much as I do.)

Soaking Sweet Pea SeedsBasil SeedlingsPropagating Seeds - Bowery Beach Farm |© Kelly Orzel Photography

So my world now consists of seeds, dirt and water. And patience.

Patience is something I’ve never been especially good at. Which is strange that my chosen profession involves quite a bit of patience.

Propagating SeedsBowery Beach Farm |© Kelly Orzel Photography

But each time I am rewarded with these little green seedlings I feel like a master of the universe (did you just pick up on one of my guilty-pleasures 80’s movie reference?)

Bowery Beach Farm Greenhouse in April |© Kelly Orzel Photography

I’m amazed that we started sowing in January and even though we have lots to show for it, but there is still so much to do. We’ll be sowing every week until July. And once we reach May it will be time to add outdoor and hoop house garden tasks.

Prepping the garden beds. Laying drip tape. Laying landscape fabric. Transplanting.

Watering (of course). Thinning. Pinching-back. And Harvesting. (I’m getting tired just thinking about it).

Bowery Beach Farm Greenhouse in April |© Kelly Orzel Photography

And in between all the seeding, I keep cutting back my scented geraniums. Making new baby scented geraniums. Now that is true magic! One day you just have this sad small leaf, and in 6 weeks you’re amazed it’s grown so much. I think that must be how parents feel when when dropping their babies off to kindergarden.

And that’s why I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I get to do what I love!

Happy Spring

Posted on March 20, 2015 BY Kelly


The snow has not gotten the hint yet that it is finally Spring, and no one wants to play with him anymore. It’s not that I don’t like him … it’s just that I’ve had my fill till next year and am ready to play with my plants.


Lately I’ve been trying to trick myself into thinking that winter is over. I’ve been forcing bulbs galore, and then there is daylight savings time and of course the seeding that has been going on since late January. But my mind is not in the mood to be swayed. No matter what it knew it was still cold. It was still snowy. And it was still winter.

But now no more!


Spring is actually here!




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Posted on September 30, 2014 BY Kelly

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