A few weekends ago, I got the chance to visit one of my favorite flower sellers, 3 Porch Farm, on their open farm day.
If you're looking for an activity or DIY project to make over the long weekend, we've been working on some small desk planters that you can 3D print at home! The planters measure 3" wide and deep by 3" tall, and they're perfect for holding small plants on your windowsill, or also useful as small desk organizers. Print out a few, and you can have a small botanical garden on your desk!
You can find the files for free to download on Thingiverse. If you don't have access to a 3D printer, you may be able to access one at your local library, find a local printer at 3Dhubs.com, or use a printing service such as Shapeways.com.
Tucked away in Northern New Jersey, about an hour from New York City, is the Historic Meadowburn Farm. We were lucky enough to get to visit and tour the gardens and farms last month at the end of summer and right at the peak of dahlia season.
Meadowburn Farm was founded in the 1750s on the border between New York and New Jersey and was a homestead for many years. It was later broken into parcels, one of which became the farm that exists today. The farm was later the country home of Helena Rutherfurd Ely, a New York socialite and an influential garden writer.
Today the farm is a historic garden open for tours and still ha a working dairy. Most of the garden still follows Helena Rutherfurd Ely's original design and is in the process of being restored to its former glory. The garden is broken into a series of smaller gardens as it was in the past, and many of the original fountains, stonework, and wooden fences still stand. The garden is beautiful not only for its rows and rows of lovely flower and plants, but for its peak into its past.
Not only did we get to tour the spectacular gardens, but we made a trip to their dairy as well, and took home some of the farm's homemade cheddar. The farm is also a protected historic farm and home to some very happy to Jersey cows.
If you want to learn more about Meadowburn Farm or plan a trip, you can visit their website at http://www.meadowburnfarm.com/.
Hidden on 38th street in New York between 6th and 7th avenue is a small green oasis within a concrete jungle. On this block is something know as the New York flower market, full of vendors and stores selling fresh cut flowers, plants, and other floral supplies. The market is not one individual store, but a street full of small shops all specializing in something different. On my recent trip to New York, I decided to check out the shops there and share with you some of the wonder found on this small block.
If you're going to look for flowers, the earlier you get there the better. You don't have to wake up as early as the florists who shop the market before sunrise, but if you are there before 9 or 10 am, there will still be a good selection of flowers and plants to choose from. You don't want to arrive there too late though, some shops close around noon and most close before 3pm.
Wholesale flower shops are where florists and businesses can buy plants and flowers directly from the flower wholesalers. Here you'll find much more variety than the usual roses and carnations that you'll see at most grocery stores and retail florists. Prices per stem and per plant are usually lower, but you may be required to buy more stems of a specific flower than you would at a regular florist's shop.
I went to the wholesale flower market one morning while on my trip to New York. I arrived there around 8:30 am, and there was still a lot of selection of flowers and plants. The streets were bustling with deliverymen loading cars and shopkeepers preparing large orders to go out. I was absolutely blown away by the color and the selection of what I found while I was there. I had visited the market before in the middle of winter, and had gone in search of succulents and tropical plants instead of stopping to smell the flowers (very literally!). Since it is nearing the end of summer, most stores were teeming with seasonal blooms like dahlias and sunflowers!
If you plan to visit the Flower Market, there are a few things that you want to remember before you go. Most stores will sell to the public, but some of the stores I went into require you to set up an account with a business license, so be sure to check before you pick out your flowers and dream of possible arrangements. Not all stores will take credit and debit cards, so carrying some cash will help you make sure that you can buy everything that you want. Also, one thing most new buyers won't know is that some wholesale florists are kept really cold! Sometimes their stock will even be stored in walk-in coolers. If you're someone who doesn't like the cold, bring a sweater!
Shopping at wholesale florists is not only a fun adventure to see a side of the flower business most don't know about, but it is also a great way to buy flowers in bulk. If you have an event or wedding that you need to purchase flowers for, buying them wholesale and then arranging them yourself is much less expensive (but more work) than buying them through a florist. Wholesalers like these are also not unique to New York, and you can find flower wholesalers in most cities.
The holidays are here, which means its time for holiday parties and festivities with friends and family! We're coming up on New Year's Eve, and I wanted to wear this new planter to some of the fun events that I get to attend. We chose to search for something to pair with our new Tall Vase Necklace and pair with darker colors that I like to wear this time of year. This planter works well with picked flowers, so we chose button mums, astrantia, and wax flowers that we found at our local independent flower store, Candler Park Flower Market to pair with this necklace.
One of the best things about working with plants and flowers is that I get to learn about flowers and find some unexpected and unusual blooms, I had seen mums before, but button mums are something completely new to me. Astrantia is a flower that I've used before, but never knew the name of until now.
Next week we'll be showing off some more seasonal picks to match with our bike planters! If you have any suggestions, or would like to share what you're wearing in your planter, tweet us at @wearplants on twitter.
Last week we exhibited at Maker Faire with our friends Oscar Eastwood. We took some instax images of ourselves in between looking at cool projects and helping people make circuit kits.