News and blog
With the start of August we are harvesting more new flower varieties on a weekly basis. Some of these are in the pictures below.
Our Zinnias this month have been just " Fantastic " if I may say and our positive comments from our customers at Urbana's Market at the Square have been many. They (customers) are getting 7 days or more vase life on the Zinnias. The colors of the Ziinnias are so vivid and they are a people magnet for the market patrons walking by who are not yet regular customers of ours.
Speaking of SUNFLOWERS this month,our newest addition to the varieties that we offer " COCONUT ICE " is a big hit. We brought 20 bunches in on the first market in August and they were gone by 9:30 in the morning. If you are not familiar with this variety it has creamy white petals with a dark center disc. Coconut Ice is another pollenless variety we grow. So this past Saturday ( 10th ) I brought 25 bunches and they were the first variety to be wiped out. Our other novelty variety we grow is Ring of Fire.
Our colored Hydrangea are a very popular item at our market. They are in limited quanities the past several weeks. Customers are purchasing them every week and getting are averaging 10 days in the vases in their homes.About one more week we will have them at the market and then another variety of hydrangea will in abundace thru September . " LIMELIGHT " Hydrangea is very popular for weddings and home decorating. It's a white conical blooms are long lasting.
ZINNIA AT THE MARKET
ZINNIA DISPLAY AT MARKET
RING OF FIRE AND COCONUT ICE SUNFLOWERS
COCONUT ICE SUNFLOWERS
COCONUT ICE SUNFLOWERS
HYDRANGEAS - purple, blue and pink shades
With the sta
The first week this month started off very busy with continuing construction with the High Tunnel . This unseasonable weather we are having has helped greatly in the progress moving along with our timetable.
The majority of our seed orders have arrived and working on which varieties and dates ( calender) for sowing.
Valentines Day product ( Red Curly , Purple Heirloom & Japanese Fantail Willows) are being shipped out to Wichita, Kansas and Mid West wholesale florists. Kansas is the furthest west our willows have gone to floral designers to use for the holiday.
We are still making wreaths ( Red Curly and Euonymus ) this month. Illinois Willows will be participating in an event next month and are gearing up with wreaths and fresh cut bunches of willows, dogwood,etc. More on the event to follow.
Later this week , I will be traveling to Raleigh, N.C. to attend a board meeting of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. It is our Spring board meeting. This is going to be my first meeting on the board, recently started (January ) as the Mid-West Regional Director.
In January of 2012 , Illinois Willows has started contruction of our first Hoop House ( High Tunnel ). We have chosen a 30' x 72' house. We plan to finish by mid March weather permitting . The first year we plan to grow Celosia, Rosemary, Ageratum, Delphinum , Lisianthus, Ornamental Peppers, Basil to name a few. The first year I will try several varieties to see what produces the best results. It's looking like a definite learning curve this spring.
We are using the Hoop House in a fairly new program with the NRCS, ( Natural Resources Conservation Service ) , its a 3 year program to improve plant health,vigor and production .This program will extend our growing season. What plants and numbers are inside, matching numbers will need to be planted outside for the comparison . The tunnel will provide earlier plantings and a later harvest of flowers than those grown in the field.