I’ve been planting flowers for over 35 years… designing and nurturing blooming gardens on rooftops, small suburban plots and where ever I could imagine on the five acres of Patina Farm.
Although the weather conditions at Patina Meadow in Tennessee are quite different from the temperate California climate that I have grown accustom, I am determined to continue and deepen my relationship with flora.
This time, my guide will be our nature loving daughter, Leila, who is taking the lead in creating what we have decided to call The Bloomerie at Patina Meadow.
The Bloomerie will be comprised of an expansive garden with raised planter beds, and two 15x24 greenhouses, separated by a drying room. We are adding a large table in the middle for community events, framed by fruit trees.
The entire Bloomerie will be surrounded by berry vines, and berry picking celebrations will occur every spring and summer, and apple pickings will occur in late summer into the fall.
With the help of our biodynamic consultant, Andrew Beedy and our always helpful contractor, Decker Housley, Leila, Steve and I are starting the design of our greenhouses and planter bed gardens where our seedlings will become a living and ever evolving bouquet for humans and pollinators to enjoy.
We’ve placed the Bloomerie between our log house and the site where our new event barn and Potterie will be built, creating a floral garden that will be seen from both structures.
As visitors walk through our front gate, the beauty of the garden will greet them on their path towards our home.
As a parent nothing bring me more joy than working on this with Leila… our roles as student and teacher switch back and forth.. her face lights up with excitement while she patiently explains to me her recent discoveries… the healing powers of the medicinal herbs she wants to sow and the biodynamic practices she wants to implement. We both get giddy chatting on and on about the varieties of sweet peas, dahlias, and more that she has found to plant.
Although the greenhouses have just arrived, preparation began months ago.
In early October, Leila and Andrew spent a morning making barrel compost; which they prepared by mixing cow manure from our Highland fold, eggshells, basalt powder, and biodynamic compost preparations together and burying it in a brick lined hole. This month, after spending the winter buried in the ground, Leila will unearth the result; a potent compost that, when mixed with water and sprayed on the soil, will help enrich the earth with beneficial microbes and fungi which will encourage mineral movement in the ground.
Seed sowing began in February with one of Leila's favorite hardy annuals, Sweet Peas. Tucked beneath the porch of Patina Home & Garden, over a hundred sweet pea seeds from Floret Flowers began their journey. Leila cared for them daily, and they are patiently preparing for the day that will be planted out as the first official flowers in the Bloomerie.
We can't wait to share more of our journey as it unfolds, and are excited to welcome you to the Bloomerie sometime soon.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments, Leila and I would be happy to answer them.