Thank you for joining us in celebrating National Garden Month this April. We laughed, we cried, we dug and we pruned! But the big question remains—have you started working on your garden yet? For most of the United States, the best time to start is, well, now! Follow along for more about our farms and tips from the gardening team that makes our Enjoy Flowers subscriptions a (pretty) possibility.
Colombia, Mi Encanto
Our sustainable farms are located just outside the bustling capital city of Bogotá, Colombia–yes, the same farms that your fresh flower subscription comes directly from! Did you know that around 70% of cut flowers sold in the US come from Colombia? And 73% of all flower production in Colombia takes place right here in the Bogotá savanna?
But why is Colombia such a major flower producer? Colombia’s vast lands offer the perfect conditions for flower production all year (you know the endless winter you’re still pushing through? There’s none of that here!). The savanna region has a prime climate, high altitude, rich soils, bountiful water sources, continual rainfall, and sunlight all year. When it comes to growing flowers, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Meet the Gardening Pros at Enjoy Flowers
Our Colombian farms are run by an incredible team of 1,500 employees that manages the planting, tilling, pruning, recycling, quality control, designing, packaging, logistics, customer service, and more! We proudly employ an equal number of women as men on our farms and offer above-average wages and benefits. And just as we strive to care for our team and their families (our housing fund has helped 4,500 families buy or improve their homes), we are also dedicated to protecting the environment. On our Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, we collect up to 96% of rainwater for use in irrigation. Plus, we recycle 24,000 tons of vegetable waste into 10,000 tons of compost yearly. We continue to develop new sustainable procedures to minimize our impact on the earth.
So now that you know a bit more about our farms, our philosophy, and our team, here are 4 gardening tips (featuring 4 different gardening phases) from the people behind your monthly Fresh Flowers subscriptions!
The Joy of Gardening
If you’re new to gardening, you may think that the best part of gardening is cutting your fresh flowers and displaying them in your home. That part is excellent, we agree. But you’ll soon see that the whole process, from seedling to blooming, is rewarding and relaxing. So don’t rush it! Enjoy each step as it comes because it will make the final product that much more beautiful.
Tip 1: Soil and Mulch
The health of your plant relies heavily on the quality of your soil. The better your soil, the better your garden. Before planting in a new area, make sure that you till the soil and add organic materials, such as compost. While you can buy compost at your local gardening supply store, you can create your own at home! How? Use eggshells, coffee grounds, fallen leaves, newspaper, fruit, or vegetable scraps. Making your own compost is good for your garden and good for the environment—a win, win!
Tip 2: Preparing to Plant
Preparing the hole for planting is key to increasing your chances of success when gardening. To properly welcome plants to your garden, make sure that you dig a hole that’s 2x as wide and the same height as the root ball of the plant. This gives the roots ample room to spread and take hold. Once planted, you must maintain good moisture levels for the first few weeks so that the roots further embed themselves.
Tip 3: Pruning
Pruning is the process of trimming a plant, bush, or shrubbery by cutting away dead or overgrown stems. Most plants will survive without pruning, but it helps them live longer, healthier lives and increases fruitfulness and growth. It’s important to note that not all flowers should be pruned at the same time. For spring-flowering plants, prune them right after they flower. For most summer-flowering plants, the best time is late winter/early spring, before they flower.
There are two types of pruning: heading and thinning. The method you should choose depends on the condition of and your goals with the said plant.
Heading: Involves pinching or cutting off dead foliage back to a bud, which encourages the growth of new stems and flowers.
Thinning: Involves cutting entire stems to the base of the plant in overcrowded areas where you find discoloration or dead leaves.
Pruning can be a very involved process in and of itself, so if you’d like a full series on pruning, leave a comment below!
Tip 4: Sun
All plants require sunlight to grow but each one differs in the amount and intensity of light needed. Before you choose where to plant any blooms, consider how much sunlight they will get in each section of your garden. The rule of (green) thumb is that most plants need three to six hours of sun to thrive, but check your plant labels to identify the correct amount of sun required. Plant labels identify this information as full sun, partial sun, partial shade, or full shade.
“Full sun” means at least six hours of sun per day (note that some vegetables need eight to ten hours a day). “Partial sun” or “partial shade” means that the plant needs three to six hours of direct sun per day. “Partial sun” typically refers to the afternoon sun, whereas partial shade usually refers to the midday sun.“Full shade” doesn’t mean “no sun” because nearly all plants need some sunlight to survive (outside of mushrooms). Instead, full shade typically means fewer than four hours of sunlight in the morning or late afternoon.
The Best Part of Gardening
As we said, the best part of gardening is the whole part. From digging to pruning to wilting and starting all over again, we’ve learned some of life’s most beautiful lessons knee-deep in soil in our gardens. As famed British horticulturist, Gertrude Jekyll once said: “A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” Trust in the process. And trust us in saying that you’re going to love it!