Chicago flower farm in June

March 19, 2021


The goddess photographer Nancy Beale of Studio This Is dropped by last summer to shoot the flowers from our Chicago flower farm. Nancy is like the John Singer Sargent of wedding photography, an alchemist of light.

In an effort to get myself off of my phone this winter, I signed up for every flower and seed catalog I could find. On cold winter nights, I would curl up in front of the fire and leaf through these glossy pages, brimming with self-satisfaction that I had outsmarted the data-mining instrument that is my *smart phone*. The joke was on me though when I ended up ordering thousands of dollars more in plants than I had planned for.

It’s always so interesting to see what cut flowers are actually useful and which ones just look good in these catalogues or on instagram. Didiscus, this lavender Queen Anne’s lace type-flower is incredibly beautiful in photos but the head size we got was underwhelming at just about 2”. It may have been our growing conditions, but ultimately these are not worth the bed space. Flower farming in the city of Chicago forces you to be very careful with what you plant. We planted this Rudbeckia hirta Sahara as well, but I really only loved the pale bi-color yellow shades, not so much the brown shades which were especially un-useful in Summer bouquets. Apparently it is a great flower for natural-dye techniques though, so we plan on having some fashion students come and explore that if it self seeds and comes back this year. Basic though it may seem, this bi-color lavender Phlox paniculata ‘Katherine’ going on it’s 2nd year was wildly useful and productive. I would plant beds and beds of it if I had the space.