This is where we were headed, the home of Sarah Nixon and her business My Luscious Backyard. That's Sarah on the right. She and her family live on the "31" side of the brick duplex (
Having made our way into her backyard she's about to talk with us about what it is she does...
Sarah's business model is based on using residential yards around Toronto as "micro farm plots" She grows many of the flowers used in her bouquets (which are delivered weekly to flower subscription recipients across the city and done for weddings and special events) in her neighbor's yards (10 of them, to be exact). She does the work (including starting most of her plants from seed) and the homeowner gets to enjoy an intensively planted garden, without lifting a finger. After Sarah answered questions she did a demonstration for us, and then we walked a couple of blocks to visit one of these micro farm plots. But before then (while the questions were answered) I wandered around, getting a closer look at her garden...
I've no idea what this is but it would be lovely in an arrangement.
In the hours and days to follow Physocarpus (ninebark) and Peonies were to be seen all over town. Little did I know this was just the beginning...
I've never grown Baptisia, but do love the foliage.
Sweat peas and Dahlia tubers just getting started...
I also walked back under that great vine-covered arbor to check out her workspace.
Heck even her compost is interesting!
Inside the greenhouse/shed...where it all begins.
How could I not pause to appreciate this sweet ride? Sarah's adorable daughter was at her side most of the morning, I bet this belongs to her, or maybe a younger sibling.
This incredible tool is used to work the soil.
I do love the Physocarpus foliage!
Now we're watching Sarah put together a bouquet with stems fresh cut that morning. She started with the foliage which helps to stabilize the flowers once they go in.
I didn't manage to get a good shot of the finished product, but it was beautiful. Exactly the sort of loose, "fresh from the garden" type of arrangement I love...
Which brings me to the fact this is the first day of American Flowers Week, running June 29 - July 4, 2015. This, the "inaugural campaign to promote American flowers, foliage and designs," was launched by Deborah Prinzing of slowflowers.com. It's a "week-long celebration of domestic flowers to raise consumer awareness and unite America’s flower farmers with the U.S. floral industry." Of course the fact that I'm highlighting a Canadian florist and then talking about American-grown flowers might seem a little odd to some, but what Sarah is doing with My Luscious Backyard is exactly what the slow flowers moment is all about. Cut flowers from your garden if you can, and if not buy local (local meaning from the U.S.) flowers...they're so much better (fresher) than ones flown-in from far away countries, and you're supporting American workers/farmers.
Now we walk, and I snap photos. You know exploring neighborhoods is one of my favorite things to do.
OMG! So much Bishop's Weed. Turns out it's all over Toronto...
Coffee shop? Second hand store? I was intrigued, but it was just getting open for the day.
I've got a neighbor who exercises this level of control over her trees too.
We've made it to our destination, one of Sarah's growing grounds. Sadly spring came late to the Toronto area so things are just getting started here. I wish we could see it in a another month or so.
The divots around each plant are created to capture rain water. The idea of rains in the summer is so foreign to me, but I guess it happens! This little guy is (I believe) Capsicum annuum 'Black Pearl', a plant Pam has written about multiple times and I keep intending to grow.
I wandered off from the group (yes, I do that a lot) and discovered this wonderful small tree just down the road. Someone identified it for me and I'm sure I wrote the name down. Can't find it now!
It's got to be in the pea family, anyone know?
Remnants from pruning would look lovely in a vase...
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