I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the holiday season. I had great intentions of getting this newsletter out much earlier, but time has a tendency to just slip through our fingers in the month of December, no?
I cut the last of the flowers in October, but have been busier than ever with Piper’s Lane. I emptied, purged and cleaned my garage (circa 1926) and built myself a walk-in flower cooler! It is a free standing structure in the garage: framing with tons of insulation sheets and an A/C unit that we will externally override to maintain the perfect flower temperature. I started out very eagerly with my plans and was exhausted and grateful when I finally finished. Believe me, it is not pretty. A real carpenter would rather poke her eyes with a rusty screwdriver upon close inspection of my work. But no matter; it is done, it will work and I did it! My project also involved creating a bigger workspace and storage area. I am so excited to use it!
The other big thing I did was revamp my website. I’ve updated the flow of it with new photos (thanks, Jenn Piccolo Photography!) and added more services and products. In addition to flower subscriptions, I will offer seasonal wreaths, floral jewelry, gift certificates and Flower Bars.
Please check out the details at piperslaneflowers.com.
A Flower Bar works like this: a small group (5-10 folks) come to my place, have some nibbles and drinks and, (with a bit of instruction from me along the way), create a beautiful flower arrangement from buckets of freshly harvested ingredients. The atmosphere will be festive and fun while still outdoors and distanced from each other, if need be.
For those of you who know me well, you know that I love to entertain and I obviously love flowers, so this may be the perfect set-up! Let me know if you are interested… I am picturing a fun girls afternoon, kids making bouquets for Mother’s Day or just a drop-in session with like-minded flower lovers who you’ve yet to meet!
Thanks to all who have already signed up for flowers in 2021! I’ve said it before and I will say it again, (because I really, really mean it) I appreciate your support and encouragement of my budding business. I don’t think many of us are sad to see 2020 behind us and are more than ready to look ahead to brighter times. As my cousin said, may 2021 be happy, healthy and completely and totally precedented.
Take Care and Best Wishes,
Dear Flower Lovers of America,
Happy Fall to you all! (First day was yesterday). Although the temperatures are still in the 90’s, you can feel a difference in the air, see a change in the quality and angle of light and, if you’re like me, get surprised when seemingly overnight, the leaves start to change and the landscape glows with yellows, orange and reds. I do love Fall.
In the garden, what’s going to happen is happening and aside from planting a few cold hardy annuals and more than a few Spring flowering bulbs, much of the work for the season is completed. It is a time to assess what worked, to learn from what didn’t work and to start planning for next season! I am already excited about next year and thinking of ways to expand my growing spaces....
This week ends the subscriptions that many of you received for all or part of the last 18 weeks. I truly enjoyed creating bouquets for you every week and appreciated hearing your kind sentiments and how much you all love flowers! They really do brighten the room/day/mood for most of us. A few weeks back in EARLY September, when we had that freakish few days of freezing weather, (which hasn’t happened this early in 20+ years ....thanks again, 2020), I was going bonkers layering frost cloth and plastic with ingenuity that would’ve made MacGyver proud! I was freaking out not knowing WHAT I would give you all for the next month if my whole garden froze to death!! Luckily, most everything survived and all is well. (Whew!)
In fact, I have MANY dahlias in bud, snapdragons and zinnias still churning out blooms while celosia and amaranth are just hitting their stride. I am thinking of offering a pop-up flower stand (on my porch!) weekly or bi-weekly until the cold weather really takes things out. Folks could pop over if the mood strikes and choose a $10-$20 arrangement and then just Venmo me. What do you all think? I’ll keep you posted. You are also always welcome to reach out to me to order arrangements any time of year (my flowers or wholesale, I am happy to design something for you!)
I took a fun opportunity to get involved with a boutique downtown called Scout and Molly's. (In the Denver Pavillions). I made lighted wreaths using dried florals from my garden (see photos on right). It was a very fun, creative endeavor and thrilling to see my work displayed publicly in their window and in their cute shop. If any of you are interested in wreaths for the upcoming months, I am collecting and drying materials and would love to make one for you.
Thanks again for all of your support and business and encouragement. I picked a super weird time to start this endeavor, but all of you have made it a wonderful and rewarding experience thus far.
Hello Flower Lovers!
I hope this newsletter finds you all well and adjusting to the “new normal” way of life right now and enjoying summer. Like many of us lately, I have been thinking more than ever about the concept of community and what that means. I actually like that sense of connectedness and feel that, even under the duress in this time in history, we can see it as a chance for greater sense of belonging and responsibility.
I am beyond lucky to have a very supportive community behind Piper’s Lane Flowers. I have several wonderful neighbor friends who let me plant and cut in their yards. (I am the unkempt lady prowling the neighborhood with clippers and trowel in hand)! When needed, my Mom happily drives from Greeley with buckets full of raspberry greens, mint and spurge to fill in my bouquets. I have traded flowers for graphic design help, and photography. I’ve collected countless bottles and vases from co-workers and friends, and convinced my stepdad that it would be a “fun” project to build me a compost tea brewer out of a trash can and help me construct the giant planter in my back alley to create more growing space. (3rd picture down). Truly, one of the most satisfying parts of this whole thing is feeling people’s enthusiasm, generosity and appreciation for what I am doing. That, and flowers make people happy.
Several of you have asked to see some “behind the scenes” pictures of my yard. I am the first one to tell you, you all have much lovelier yards than I, since I cut EVERYTHING! My space is set up for producing as many flowers as possible while keeping the company namesake, (my dog Piper), out of the beds! The concept of small scale/high intensity micro-farming is to tightly space plants to force flowers to reach for the sun and grow longer stems. Therefore, I’ve got horizontal netting to support the stems and most of the time, I’ve got hail netting up, strung across walkways with a maze of bungee cords that makes my husband run the gauntlet while attempting to get the mower to the front yard.
The first picture below is a snapshot of a bed that’s blooming most right now. If zinnias don’t scream summer, I don’t know what does. The staked plants are about 15 types of dahlias that will come into their own in the coming weeks. The sunflower picture really shows that I use every inch in my urban garden. (They are literally growing in the cracks between my flagstone path along the house)!
Now is when things really get rolling in the garden. Zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers, celosia, amaranth, snapdragons, cosmos, rudbeckia, mint, basil, pincushion, gomphrena and all sorts of vines are all blooming! If you want in on this riot of color, I still have a few slots left for Fall Shares from now until first frost (8 weeks for $160 or 4 weeks for $84). As always, reach out if you just need an occasional flower arrangement. We are still delivering arrangements to your doorstep, compliments of my two, newly minted 16 year old drivers in the house! (fair warning has been issued)!
Thanks for being part of the Piper’s Lane community.
This is my workspace in the garage. Table given to me by our neighbor friend, vintage 1960’s fridge (“flower cooler” in my world) is off Craig’s List, found the painting in the alley. See? What a great community we have!
Happy first day of Summer! I think we can all agree that so far 2020 has been more than a little unusual, to say the least, but the signs of summer are always the same....sounds of early morning sprinklers, the ice cream truck, (that I was certain just circled my block when the kids were little!) late dinners on the back porch when it finally cools off, smell of freshly mowed grass...I could go on and on. I am sure you all have your personal signs of summer as well. (Would love to hear them!)
A new season is always welcome to me. Spring is by far the most labor intensive time in the garden: prepping the soil with lots of compost, propagating seed, hardening off seedlings, then getting hundreds of them planted in beds, fixing irrigation and so on and so on. Early Summer, on the other hand, is when you wait and water and weed! All those seedlings started way back when and carefully planted in Spring are about to explode! I am already getting lots of early summer blooms. Below is a cut of each flower in bloom tonight. I tucked them all in one vase thinking I’d do an “inventory” shot, but I ended up liking it as a sweet little arrangement. If you are in need or want of flowers, this is what I have right now. Next up to bat are snapdragons, nigella, calendula and I see the zinnias and hydrangea gearing up too....
I am excited to say I am now part of the Floret Farmer-Florist Collective. Floret is a flower farm in Washington state that I have been obsessed with for about two years now. She grows the most beautiful flowers using a high intensity, small scale method. I took her professional course online last year to learn the tricks of the trade to move from home landscape gardener to flower farmer! If you go to her website, you will see I am listed with other flower growers across the globe. Makes me feel just a little bit legit! I thought you might like to know where I have gotten some of my training. (As well as Emily Griffith School of Opportunity floral design classes for two years)! I know I learn a little something new about growing and caring for plants just about everyday. Maybe that is why people garden for decades and not get bored?
I hope you enjoy the days of summer now that the kids are home from school (wait, oops, that’s been happening since March...) and the weather begs you to go outside and appreciate the loveliness of the season.
Blooming now: sweet peas, yarrow, bells of Ireland, drumstick allium, bachelors buttons, feverfew, Queen Anne’s lace, larkspur, Chinese forget me nots, daisy, corncockle and garden rose
Here’s what’s blooming at the moment
Happy Mayday! Was it just my family, or does anyone else remember delivering little posies of flowers and treats to friend’s doorsteps, ditching the doorbell and running for it? Fun memory...don’t know if anyone does that anymore?! I hope this email finds you all doing well.
Plants are growing like crazy (thanks to my home brewed compost tea!) and I am so excited for the early summer’s crop of larkspur, anemones, love in a mist, and snapdragons and more to start blooming! I am getting ahead of myself though, as there are still lots of tulips, narcissus, allium and lilacs blooming everyday. I’ve got a few extra bouquets this week if anyone needs a little pick me up. (See attached photos. Take a peek at my Instagram or Facebook page for photos if there are extras each week).
Next weekend is Mother’s Day, so please let me know if you’d like to order any flowers for the holiday. If your mom or other important woman in your life is in love with roses or lillies or another flower that isn’t in season here yet, I can certainly purchase wholesale and mix in with my locally grown flowers. Just let me know!
Many of you are Moms yourselves and I want to personally wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day. We are all Mommin’ it hard these days with the house full and so much cooking! If you want flowers for yourself and want to surreptitiously drop your husband or teenagers a hint, I am happy to email them if you send me their email address...
Please take care and enjoy this lovely Spring weather.
April 14, 2020
Hello Flower Lovers,
Since today is National Gardening Day, it seemed like a great time for an update from Piper’s Lane Flowers! Since first writing to you all, just a few short weeks ago, much has changed in our world. I hope you all are doing well, staying healthy and sane. Although our everyday activities have come to a screeching halt, Mother Nature marches on. Hundreds of bulbs are coming up and starting to bloom. I have tons of plants in the ground for summer bouquets and many more seedlings starting inside. There is no time to do puzzles for this gal!
Thanks to those of you who have signed up for subscriptions…first deliveries of early tulips, narcissus and grape hyacinth will be happening this week! (The photo features some of the cuts from this week).
Despite the current pandemic, or because of it, the natural beauty of flowers may be even more necessary than ever, I will continue to grow an offer flowers as planned. However, my original pick up spot on South Pearl Street is closed, so I will happily deliver to your porch. If you are new to this distribution list, welcome and thank you for your interest! If you are feeling cooped up and the walls of your house are closing in on you, perhaps a little bouquet of flowers is just what you need! Email me if you are interested in a subscription or just an occasional pick me up posy…
Just a note that I have recently started a Facebook page for Piper’s Lane so you can check in there for updates on what’s blooming. If you’ve got too much in your inbox and would like to be removed from this distribution list, just let me know. Please take care and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
I am writing to you today because: 1). you are a known lover of beautiful things 2). You appreciate quality and good value. 3). You have proven yourself to be a supportive entity in my life! (And you’re totally cool too.) As you know, I have been a gardener/flower fiend for over 20 years. I have decided (finally!) to make my love of flowers legit and start a business. Piper’s Lane is an urban farmette growing heirloom flowers locally to provide unusual varieties that cannot be purchased at stores. These flowers are the old-fashioned, fragrant types that have not been created and treated to ship well from South America. I start the flowers from seed and use only natural fertilizers to make them flourish. Absolutely no chemicals involved.
To spread the beauty and love of flowers, I am offering a flower subscription service. (Think produce CSA, but instead of rutabagas, you’ll get snapdragons and tulips!) I will offer Spring, Summer and/or Fall shares. You will receive the freshest possible flowers (handpicked the day before) that are blooming at that moment. Each arrangement will be presented in a vase and available for pick-up on Thursdays at Common Threads at 1575 S Pearl Street, weekly or every other week. Pay me before each season by Venmo, Zelle or check and then enjoy weeks of gorgeous flowers and/or buy as a gift for someone you really like. (”One for you, one for me”… An adage I follow often while shopping!) Below are the general dates and prices for each share as well as which flowers to expect (please note that bloom times vary and not all flowers listed are guaranteed for, or limited to, the season listed. These are my best predictions. I’m at the mercy of Mother Nature!)
Spring share: mid-April (hopefully will be blooming in time for Easter!) through mid-May (Mother’s Day): 6 weeks What’s blooming: heirloom narcissus (fancy, whirling and whimsical specialty daffodils. Not the bright yellows from the supermarket. Think corals, pink, creamy whites and pale yellows in ruffled layers.) Tulips (double blossoms, parrots, fringed and everything in between, in colors ranging from the darkest purple to corals tinged with orange, pinks of all values, and buttery yellows. Tulips are magical in the vase as they continue to grow and age beautifully. Each day the arrangement takes on a new look. Love! Purple, spherical allium are quite striking and modern looking. Additional flowers and unusual greenery will be tucked in to make a lovely bouquet each week. Prices: 6 week: $120 3 week: $63
Summer Share: June/July: 4 weeks. What’s blooming: azalea snapdragons (tall, fragrant, super-size florets that set these WAY apart from their shorty Home Depot bedding plant counterparts). Light and airy feverfew looks like tiny daisies blooming profusely from each stem. Heirloom, fragrant sweet peas and tall, spiky Larkspur, Love in a Mist, and Bachelor’s Buttons, all in various shades of blue (not many flowers are naturally blue!) Bells of Ireland, poppies, and more! Price: 4 week: $80 2 week: $42
Fall Share: August/September: 8 weeks What’s blooming: Dahlias, the coveted stars of the late summer/early Fall crop. Perfectly shaped in giant dinner plate size to little balls of petal profusion. Imagine colors like café au lait cream with the palest hint of pink, to a purple that is so electric. Celosia, bright yellow and magenta to faded sherbet colors from a vintage palette. Cosmos “Apricot Lemonade,” white, orange, burgundy, and pinks in double, fluted, and ruffled forms. Amaranth, gomphrena, pincushion flower, grasses, zinnias, and of course special sunflowers…the list goes on! Prices: 8 week: $160 4 week: $84
I am offering a limited number of subscriptions for each season. If a subscription is not in the cards for you or I sell out, I will be happy to let you know if I have extra flowers each week that you can buy. I will also offer extra arrangements for sale on holidays (Easter, Mother’s Day, 4th of July) or any of your other moments where flowers will fit the bill! A note on vases. In the spirit of a very minimal carbon footprint by producing very locally, I am planning to use upcycled glass vessels in lieu of plastic sleeves. Each vase/bottle/container will be selected to complement the design of the flower arrangement. If you super love the container, please keep it. If not, there will be a return receptacle at the pickup spot for me to use another week.
If you have friends, neighbors, parents, co-workers or any other flower lovers in your life, I would so appreciate you forwarding this email or sharing my information. Word of mouth is my marketing plan! (I know that’s how I find out about all the good stuff in my life). Please email me with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org Visit my Instagram @piperslaneflowers or website at piperslaneflowers.com for more images and information. I am so excited to do this! Thanks in advance for your support.
Here’s to a flower filled 2020!
(grower and lone arranger)