Our Flower Farm’s History
My husband and I worked at UC Davis for decades. He worked forty years as a professor while I worked 25 years in administration. As I looked forward to retirement, I knew I wanted to continue working but doing something very different and preferably an activity that included very few meetings and no politics. I wanted to be around happy people doing fun things.
Ultimately, I decided I would love to grow cut flowers commercially. What could be better than growing beautiful flowers and making people happy with your product!
As I began my exploration, I visited a local flower farmer. I was horrified by what I saw. The little farm was completely out of control with way too much work for one person. I saw how much effort it took to run this type of small business. A big bucket of reality water was poured on my dream. However, as I considered other options, I realized that everything has its challenges and hard work, and I ultimately stuck with my flower dream.
Next, I called an agricultural specialist to ask a few questions about growing flowers in Placer County. It was immediately clear that many other people call the specialist with my same dream. “I want to get out of the rat race and grow flowers (or fruits or vegetables or nuts or cows or sheep or chickens, etc.) She’d heard it all before and figured me to be another yahoo from the city who didn’t truly appreciate the hard work that is required to make a small agri-business successful. She dumped another bucket of reality water on my dream but I also heard some important messages that I took to heart.
I then decided to set up an informational interview with a local florist and flower wholesaler. When I told him my story and what I wanted to grow, he kindly told me there was no market for those flowers. For every flower I identified, he had the same reply, “No market; can’t make any money”. I finally asked, “Is there any flower you wish you had more of?”. He replied, “Peonies and lilac.” While I got another bucket of reality water, I also received the gift of a new idea I had not previously considered.
Now the average (or should I say normal) person would probably have quit right there and started looking through some travel magazines. But not me. I had received my buckets of reality water and now had a better idea of what I was in for. And I decided to focus on peonies.
The Start of Our Peonies
With my husband’s help, we fenced one quarter acre at our ranch and set about planting 165 peonies. He made the mistake of saying that if the plants lived through the fall, I could have as many peonies as I wanted. Well, guess what? They all lived! Nine years later, I have 820 peonies and 1200 ranunculus planted on a one acre plot.
I have learned a lot through trial and error, making some good decisions and some bad ones. I better understand the importance of taking risks because this is the only way to excel in the flower business. I more fully embrace the fact that success and failure are an inherent part of flower farming (and life generally).
I have a peony named Charles Burgess, which is a beautiful, burgundy Japanese variety. It is not your typical peony style, and many florists don’t buy them and wholesalers will have nothing to do them. But when I bring this flower to the farmers market, it is one of my most popular flowers.
With my flower farm, I want to offer peonies and ranunculus that I know will be popular while also offering unusual varieties, such as Charles Burgess, that people don’t typically have the opportunity to experience.
Remarkable, Outstanding Flowers ~ That’s Bodacious Blooms
Beautiful Gifts of Nature
Peonies and ranunculus are amazing, colorful, beautiful gifts of nature and it is a pleasure to share them with you. I hope you have fun exploring my website and more importantly, that you have the opportunity to personally enjoy the fabulous beauty of peonies and ranunculus.
Ranunculus are available during the month of April and into early May. Peonies are available from mid-April through late-May.