Tagged: Outdoor Living

Notes from the Field: Early Summer with Love 'n Fresh Flowers

Have you ever received a bouquet of flowers or bought fresh cut blooms at the market and thought about where those flowers came from? In our latest installment of Notes from the Field, we’re taking a peek at life on a local flower farm as spring turns to summer. Specializing in “seed to centerpiece designs,” as well as workshops and a budding Plant Share program, Love 'n Fresh Flowers is not only a thriving florist, but a full-fledged flower farm as well. Owner Jennie Love will be checking in with us throughout the year to share what life on the farm is really like. Read on to learn more about what Jennie is up to during the farm’s peak season! 

terrain: What time did you start your day?

Jennie: Still rising and shining around 6 AM these days, though with the unseasonable heat wave we've been having here in Philadelphia, we're getting started earlier and earlier in the field to get our harvests done before it's too hot. 

terrain: What color is most prevalent in the fields at the moment?

Jennie: There are a lot of citrus tones-- yellow, orange, peach, and coral-- since those are the predominant colors in the poppies, ranunculus, and baptisia. There’s a fair amount of purple, too. 

terrain: What's blooming right now?

Jennie: We're about a week into peony season now, and it's already one of the best I've seen! We're also at peak bloom for our Icelandic poppies. The bearded iris is coming on nicely, and baptisia in shades of purple and yellow are in full force. We've got about a week left of ranunculus and anemones before we pull them out and plant another crop in their place. It was an amazing year for both flowers, and I'll be sad to see them go. Viburnum and spirea are just about to finish up, too. Their season is never long enough! Bachelor buttons, lupine, cerinthe, and agrostemma have all just had their first harvests, with many more to come over the next several weeks. 

terrain: What's about to bloom?

Jennie: Feverfew, larkspur, buplerum, and dianthus are budded up. The sweet peas have put out a few blooms already, but they'll really get going in the next week or two. Several more varieties of peonies will pop, too. While not a "bloom," we'll start harvesting baby peaches and plums on the branch to use in centerpieces. They're so cute!

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In early spring, our Narrative Photographer Isa S. visited Charleston, South Carolina to catch up with friends in the city where she attended college. “I love how lush and green Charleston is,” says Isa. “In May, jasmine takes over the city and the scent is intoxicating. Rose bushes grow everywhere, the water catches on the breeze. It’s all very magical and vibrant. My favorite thing to do is relax on the old porch where I used to live and watch a thunderstorm roll in. There’s lots of creativity and inspiration to be found in Charleston, which maintains its Southern charm amidst diverse entrepreneurs from all over the country. Sugar Bake shop, founded by folks from NYC, is one of my favorite stops.”

During her visit, Isa explored downtown Charleston, took a day trip to Savannah, and stayed at a friend’s farmhouse on John’s Island. She tells us, “It’s nice spending time downtown, but it was so quiet and peaceful on the farm. We stayed in my friend’s historic family home on Church Creek. The property was filled with blooming camellia bushes, chickens, and even a neighborhood 'swamp dog' who was best friends with my friend’s family dog.” Despite being a bit overcast and rainy during Isa’s trip, she says the weather made the environment all the more beautiful. “Since it was early spring, everything became all the more green and lush. The colors seemed to pop even more. It was very relaxing.”

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1l, 2: Phlox subulata; 3l: Carex; 3r: Salvia

This summer, we're keeping things simple in shoreside gardens with plantings of single specimens in textured, all-weather vessels like our classic Barnacle collection. Each monoculture planting is pretty enough to stand alone, but they're even better when grouped together to form a colorful container garden for the deck or porch. Read on to learn more about the beachfront blooms we're loving this year.

Phlox subulata: Also known as "moss phlox," this spring-blooming perennial can flower in shades of red, violet, pink, and white. A native species in the eastern US, it prefers full sun and can tolerate hot, dry conditions better than most phlox varieties. Its low-growing habit makes it an excellent choice for ground cover, while clusters of fragrant blooms attract butterflies to the garden. 

Carex: A perennial sedge variety, this tufted grass adds texture and color to the garden with spiky foliage in a vivid shade of green. With almost 2,000 species in the Carex genus, these dense grasses can be found across the globe, from wetlands to alpine climates. Most varieties prefer consistent soil moisture and partial shade, and can be evergreen in warm, southern regions.

Salvia: Part of the mint family, this woody herb enjoys a long blooming season with tall spikes of cheerful, lavender blossoms. Most varieties are drought tolerant and grow best in full sun areas with well-drained soil. Resistant to deer and rabbits, these low-maintenance blooms attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds throughout the summer. 

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A few weeks ago, terrain's photo team got an early start on shore season when they headed to Peconic, NY to shoot our Summer Living lookbook. On the shores of Long Island Sound, this idyllic hamlet provided the perfect beach backdrop for our favorite outdoor furniture, lights, and summertime essentials. Once home to a 19th-century artists' colony, this coastal locale remains peaceful and inspiring. Take a peek, above, at some favorite behind-the-scenes moments from our shoot.

Art Director Laura T. says, "We chose Peconic because it has a feel that's specific to coasts of Long Island and New England. The beach is covered in white stone instead of sand, and the rocky shoreline made a beautiful backdrop. We loved the weathered shingle siding of the houses in the area, as well as the solitude of the beach. The colors were also amazing-- the water was a deep, rich blue and the beach was dotted with bleached driftwood and shells in vivid shades of orange and yellow." 

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“How does your garden grow?” With this question in mind, we’re sitting down with terrain’s own avid gardeners to find out what they’re digging throughout the seasons. Each month, our experts will provide their essentials for spending a Sunday in the garden. With Mother's Day just around the corner, we're chatting with terrain's Community Manager, Cat K., who spent last Sunday in the garden with her little ones.

Cat says, "A long, cold winter like the one we just had can definitely result in some serious cabin fever, so as soon as the temperature climbed above freezing this spring, we went outside and haven't been indoors much since. We moved into a house just outside the city last fall, and the woman who lived here before us was an incredible gardener. The outdoor space is just a tiny postage stamp of lawn and garden, but she was resourceful in how she maximized every square foot, intermixing ornamental and edible plants for a space that's both functional and beautiful.

Right now, everything is coming into bloom and my kids are beyond excited about it. Every morning is like a treasure hunt-- we get to go outside and try to find what opened up since we last looked. The only hard part is trying to convince them not to pull up every beautiful thing we find. My four-year-old son came into the house last week proudly gifting me a fist full of pansies freshly yanked from the containers I had just planted, and I recently caught him eyeing up some delicate, new muscari for the same reason.

Last weekend, as an early Mother's Day gift, the kids "helped" my husband and I put the first plants into the raised beds in our back patio. I find that gardening with little ones forces me to go with the flow a bit more than I would otherwise, definitely in a good way. Our rows aren't very tidy this year, more than one arugula starter was buried by a toddler footprint, and an entire pack of radish seeds ended up into one of the beds. Still, I think we made out okay in the end and now everyone is excited to see the plants grow. The kids are always much more open to trying new foods when they find them growing in the garden. My daughter put away her weight in cherry tomatoes pulled from the vine last summer, and my son - oddly - loves to munch on handfuls of lemon thyme from our herb bed. And they both go crazy when the raspberries start coming in on the sunny trellis behind our house."

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Have you ever received a bouquet of flowers or bought fresh cut blooms at the market and thought about where those flowers came from? In our latest installment of Notes from the Field, we’re taking a peek at life on a local flower farm when spring is in full swing. Specializing in “seed to centerpiece designs,” as well as workshops and a budding Plant Share program, Love 'n Fresh Flowers is not only a thriving florist, but a full-fledged flower farm as well. Owner Jennie Love will be checking in with us throughout the year to share what life on the farm is really like. Read on to learn more about what Jennie is up to this time of year!

terrain: What time did you start your day?

Jennie: The sun is coming up earlier and earlier these days, so I'm up and rolling by around 6 AM.

terrain: What color is most prevalent in the fields at the moment?

Jennie: The grass is finally lush green, so the field looks alive again. All the spring flowering trees are bursting with colors. The cherry, apple, and pear trees are all pink and white, while the dogwoods that surround the field are a buttery yellow at the moment. The tulips are at their peak, adding even more color, including cheerful yellow, intense coral, and the palest of blush and spring green. The hoop houses are bursting with anemone and ranunculus blooms in deep orange, vibrant blue-purple, rich merlot, plum, and soft peach. The fritillaria and hellebores are in smoky purples and antiqued greens. Long story short: we are in living color these days!

terrain: What's blooming right now?

Jennie: So much! Tulips, muscari, hellebore, fritillaria, flowering branches galore, ranunculus, anemones, narcissus, hyacinth, and the very first hummingbird poppies. No matter how many seasons I've been doing this flower farming thing, I'm forever amazed at how quickly we can go from zero to sixty with blooms in spring.

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