All About Roses!

It’s been a crazy week, full of lots of rose pruning and TLC. There as sooo many roses here at PepperHarrow, because they’re one of my favorite flowers. They don’t make particularly good cut flowers, because they just don’t have a very long vase life, but they just look absolutely gorgeous in weddings. They also have such a divine fragrance!

Admittedly, I have a lot of David Austin garden roses, here at PepperHarrow. I love all the varieties of old fashion, English roses they have available. Also, the fragrance is remarkable. David Austin roses are know for their romance and whimsy. However, now that I’m getting mature with my rose growing, I see that there are other cultivars that perform better for us, here in zone 5B, Central Iowa.


One of these varieties is Kordes. KOR-anything, as a general rule, are welcome here on our farm. They are extremely disease resistant and do really well with our extreme weather—really, really hot and really, really. cold. One of my favorite Kordes varieties are Madam Annisette and First Crush. Not only do they produce a prolific amount of blooms, but I can also enjoy their gorgeous foliage. Also, the blooms feel thicker and less likely to shatter after they’ve been cut.


Another favorite rose cultivar is anything from J Griffith Buck. These roses are known for their hardiness here in the midwest and perform amazingly! Quietness is one that I have growing at the flower farm. I have her front stage and center, outside of my house, in the cottage garden. Such a magnificent fragrance, fragile beauty, and great performer!


Special Flower Additions for 2019

Adam and I just got back from a needed trip away from the farm and met up with our dearest flower friends.. It was an incredible weekend of full of collaboration, best practice sharing, and lots of time was spent geeking out with other flower lovers over new plant varieties we’re growing this year. It’s funny to me that others obsess over flowers like I do, but I guess it’s not all that surprising. #plantaddictsunite

As a part of our meet-up, we held an Instagram live feed with ‘ask the flower farmer anything’. It was great to hear some of the thoughtful questions fellow plant enthusiasts have out there and I was thrilled to have an opportunity to respond to them. One of the questions that stuck with me in particular was a question about the new/special flowers that are being added to the flower farm this year. I told you that I ‘geek out’ and get excited about flowers, so I wanted to take an opportunity to address this in more detail and share some of the new things we’re trying this year.


I’m not sure I need to write anything more about this flower. It’s just one of the loveliest, most fragrant flowers ever! The smell of these lovely plants is enough for me, but the added bonus of their gorgeous blooms just sends me over the edge. Can you imagine what a mass-planting of thousands of lavender plants is going to look like at maturity?



These are not your momma’s pansies! We’re growing a variety specifically for cut flower cultivation, so the stems are long enough to go into a bouquet. These adorable blooms are going to grace early spring bouquets we will be selling on the farm and at farmer’s market. If all goes well, we’ll add them to the line-up and will continue to provide them in spring bouquets. Why spring only? Pansies are a cool weather loving flower, so as soon as the heat sets in, they fizzle out a bit.


Such a crazy name for a pretty simple vine. This is one of the vines that florists use for weddings. It hold up pretty well out of water and looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ll admit, I’m a little intimidated by this one (starting from seed), because many other flower farmers told me the seedlings are pretty moody. Say a little prayer for me, that I can keep them alive. I’d love to have this available to share locally with other event florists and designers.

Bush Clematis

Where do I start with clematis? It’s so delicate and beautiful and floral design work. There are little things that differentiate a design and this is one of them. I sourced plugs in on this one instead of starting from seed, because they take a lot of time to grow. I’ll be trellising them, allowing them some support for their 5’ max height. They grow as a bush, so the plant will also have itself for a bit of support as it grows. Be on the lookout for pictures of this one, because I’m pretty sure it’ll be one of the first things I cut!


Okay, so maybe not the best name ever, but trust me, GOOGLE it! Admittedly, I just had to go grab the seed packet, because I couldn’t remember its other name. It’s also know as: Greater Burnet Saxifrage. This looks like it’s related to one of my favorite filler flowers, Ammi. I’m growing ‘Rosea’, which I soured from Select Seeds and I can’t wait to use them to add a little airiness to my bouquets. It’s going to add that perfect touch of that wildflower look everyone is craving.

Every year we add a few things that are different and interesting. It’s fun to experiment to see what does well, or what doesn’t. We always grow more of the things that thrive and are easy to grow on our flower farm. For those things that don’t, we don’t ever keep them in the line up for the following year. As they say, variety is the spice of life, right?!

What are you growing this year that you’re excited about? Anything different and exciting, or maybe just something new to you that you haven’t grown before? Leave your comments below. We love flowers and can’t wait to hear from you!