Why Fresh Flowers and Such a Big Garden?

As most of you know or have seen, my husband and I grow a big garden every year at our house in the Historic Quapaw neighborhood of Downtown Little Rock. We live next door to our Governor's Mansion, and instead of the big historic home with no yard, we opted for a small 1960's style home with a big back yard for our garden. 

 
Matt came by growing a garden honestly. His parents grow a huge garden (appx 1/4 acre) on their land in Marion Co. Matt's mother cans and freezes a lot of the Summer bounty. It is very inspiring. And, my mother and grandmother taught me the bulk of what I know about growing flowers. So each summer we combine our knowledge and also expand it to grow our yearly garden. 


This year, we expanded the garden and added 3 raised beds to our front yard. These beds were added with the intention of growing all new flowers in them. Its been a dream of mine to offer fresh flowers in my shop since the day I opened it. So while this year is all about learning, I have had fresh bouquets every week since May. My goal is to have them on Tuesdays and Fridays or Saturdays. Some weeks we sell out, and some weeks we don't. The bouquets are $15 each and are a mix of whatever is blooming. Lately it has been fresh herbs, gomphrena, zinnias, queen annes lace, gladiolas, marigolds, and purple cone flower. 


The 3 raised beds are as big as I want my flower farm to get. This is a huge lesson I have learned this summer. Gardening and growing things is my hobby and I want to keep it my hobby and not a job, for now. So, if I am only able to offer 6-8 bouquets a week, Im totally fine with that. That is what I will offer. Im definitely not going in to the flower business. At least not yet. And not in the middle of downtown Little Rock. :)

I keep a garden journal and am really excited for next years garden already. I will plan harder and grow smarter if that makes sense. I plan to be more intentional about where I plant certain flowers based on their height. We will probably try to do some Fall flowers and crops too. Still deciding on that as I am pretty busy with Bella Vita right now so it is hard to devote too much time to the flower farm. 


Our veggie garden is mostly dedicated to our back yard. I grow some veggies in the front beds, but the majority grow in the back. Matt tends to this section mostly. I help pull weeds and pick vegetables. His favorite things to grow are insanely hot peppers. Right now we have a new one to us called a Death Spiral, Carolina Reapers, Ghosts, Serranos, Jalapeños, and Habaneros. In addition to the hot peppers, we grow okra, cucumbers, lots of varieties of tomatoes -- mostly cherry tomatoes, eggplant, squash, zucchini, peas, bell peppers, raspberries, blackberries, goose berries, and figs. We eat and preserve what we can and then share the rest with friends and neighbors. 


I'd love to know if you grow a garden and what your favorite things to grow are! And please let me know if you'd like to buy a bouquet! I do custom bouquets as well as my weekly bouquets that I sell in the shop. So far, I've done birthday flowers, surprise flowers, and funeral flowers. Its been a busy Summer! Enjoy these pictures of our garden and if you would like to follow my garden posts, check out my personal instagram page - @brandymcnair !!

All photos by Allie Atkisson. 

All photos by Allie Atkisson
 

 


6 comments

  • I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I found this during my hunt for something relating to this. I would love to recommend you this site https://www.edenhorticulture.co.uk/ if you need gardening tools to hope this could help you have a nice day.

    Lewis
  • So beautiful, Brandy! Gardening has been one of my loves in life-greenhouse especially. Maybe you could build a little one in your backyard one of these days. You can have the the glass louvered windows I saved from mine when it came down years ago.

    My niche has been herbs and everlastings. Yarrow would be a great perennial addition.

    I’m happy you’ve revived the blog😉

    Cathy
  • Beautiful pictures & story. Love seeing your beautiful gardens, especially the flowers. You two are amazing!

    Aunt Trisha
  • You’ve said before that you think marigolds smell good. Earlier, I wouldn’t have agreed with you but the plant I got from Dunbar Garden has made me a convert. Thank you for feeding the bees!

    Lindsey
  • I love this so much!!!! It is amazing to see what people can create in their urban spaces. Keep it up!!!!

    Bev Kinley

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