Almost a year ago, Dave and I began seriously working to buy the Shiloh Morning Inn. At that time, we started dreaming about what it would be like…what we would do once we were the Innkeepers. One of the things we dreamed of was fresh flowers throughout the Inn and on the dining room tables at breakfast.
Recognizing that we knew nothing about flowers, I bought several books on flower arranging. One of these books was an old publication by Martha Stewart called, “Arranging Flowers, How to Create Beautiful Bouquets in Every Season”. Although the photos in this book were amazing and Martha’s tips on flower arranging were very helpful, she had one idea that stood out…one idea that totally changed my way of thinking about flowers and the Inn: the idea to create a ‘cutting garden’.
Martha explains, “When a flower gardener starts thinking like a vegetable gardener, what results is a cutting garden…. Unlike the conventional bed, meant to be appreciated as part of the landscape, the payoff of a cutting garden comes when the blooms are picked, brought indoors, and placed in just the right vase….Once you have established a cutting garden or patch and arranged it in a way that allows you to see the flowers as an actual crop, you’ll learn that what seemed too perfect to pluck from the main garden can be picked free of guilt.”
Although gardening had never really interested me before, the idea of planting flowers only for the purpose of making flower arrangements sounded fun. The idea of a cutting garden resonated in me.
Therefore, a couple of weeks after we took over the Inn, I planted flower seeds — sunflowers; mexican sunflowers; black-eyed susans, snapdragons, foxglove. Using the Inn’s greenhouse, I nurtured them as best as I could. After the last freeze, I planted the saplings. Now 5 months later, the flowers are starting to bloom. My first ‘cutting garden’ bouquets are now on the tables!!
What fun it is to decide to do something that feels a little crazy at the time and then have it – in the end – not only meet your expectations, but exceeding them!
Until Next Time, ~ Jessica