Here at the flower shop we receive lots of locally grown flowers from small independent farms. We prefer to choose local in season flowers when available because they are often more beautiful and unique while simultaneously supporting jobs and families in our community. In the Pacific Northwest, where our shop and this blog calls home, local fields are typically blooming beginning in April and on through October.
What this means is that there is a limited window of time to obtain the freshest, most beautiful and unique local flowers. Many flowers are greenhouse grown locally, or available imported from high quality farms in other regions. This is just to say the peak local growing season is a somewhat brief opportunity to get the really good stuff.
Tulips first, and peonies are early season flowers. They most commonly peak in April and May and are widely available lasting for a month or so. Tulips are so prolific there is a very popular annual festival we have posted about before. This year the late winter and early spring weather has shifted the seasons a few weeks later. This year, peonies which are often gone by mid-May were harvested beginning in May and lasted into early July!
The peak of the beautiful northwest begins in June and by July is almost always sunny and hot. This prime dry and warm season provides stunning blooms as mainstay Dahlias and Sunflowers arrive. More uncommon, and showy Scabiosa and Montbretia are bountiful. And my personal favorite exotic looking Allium and Foxtail lily are showstoppers this time of year. If you’re out for a drive or a neighborhood walk you might see lots of these flowers growing in neighborhood gardens. After all, as the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers — although this year at least, in northwestern Oregon, Spring showers brought summer flowers.
Many northwest flowers continue to bloom late summer into the fall, but the most common locally grown flowers this time of year are Dahlia, Sunflower and Zinnias. They are great warm season flowers, super colorful and hardy.
Roses are a special category of seasonal flower. Especially here in Portland, otherwise known as the Rose City, you may expect local roses to be a prominent flower. And they are. Normally blooming in late spring, Portland hosts a region-wide festival in honor of the Rose. And we have a world-famous rose test garden. However, most rose varieties found in florist shops are greenhouse grown and bred long stem roses. Local roses are stunningly beautiful, but usually special buys or for wedding events.
Now what do we do with all this summer goodness? Each season is vastly different for local flowers. For summer flowers, the time is now. When you see your favorite farm or florist Instagram bursting with color, don’t delay, it’s time to act before they’re gone. Get them arranged in a vase, dense, lush and bursting with color is my thinking. Our shop or your local florist can pick the best currently in season flowers and deliver a lot of bang for your buck. Or visit a shop and choose your own for a cut-wrapped bouquet. Give the ends a fresh cut, and into a mason jar they go. Spread the love. Get some of these immaculate summer vibes for yourself or a friend.