Tara Bone, contributing writer
Just outside of Preston, Idaho there is a plot of land where Lexie and Dan Genho of Floral Woods Farm have made their dreams of creating a specialty cut flower farm a reality. A place where dreams, flowers, and children all grow together. Their enthusiasm for connecting with the earth and bringing the beauty of mother nature indoors is contagious.
Floral Woods Farm is in its third official season, and has been a labor of love for the entire Genho family. When it comes to “family matters” at the Gehno home, for Lexie and Dan it’s all about raising their four boys, who are all under 7 years old, and … flowers! Lexie’s love for gardening started while helping in her grandmother’s garden as a child and has blossomed through Dan’s encouragement to build their business.
The farm is truly a family venture. Lexie says her boys, or as she calls them, “my flower children,” have been around flowers their entire lives and enjoy helping in all aspects of raising them, from planting to arranging. Dan and Lexie homeschool their boys and Lexie sees the earth as an amazing teacher.
“The flower farm is where we do our most exciting learning!” Lexie said. “Math, science, biology, exercise, genetics, art, horticulture, reproductive science, oh my goodness, I could go on! My kids soak it up like sponges.”
Lexie also shares her passion for nature through educational workshops. She encourages anyone interested in growing more flowers in their yard to go for it! She believes growing flowers will give back in unexpected ways.
“Flowers in particular have a way of grounding us and creating memories and connections, making hard things beautiful, and helping us remember what matters most,” Lexie said. “They are a beautiful representation of life and I learn from the flowers the beauty of change, of season, of hardship, and of struggle. They are great teachers.”
Floral Woods Farm sells wholesale to florists, and DIY buckets of blooms and subscription bouquets directly to the public. See floralwoodsfarm.com for additional information.
START YOUR OWN CUTTING GARDEN:
Grow Beautiful Blooms with Tips from Floral Woods Farm
If you’re thinking about starting a cutting garden, or just planting more flowers in your yard for arrangements, Lexie from Floral Woods Farms says, “be ready to learn, be ready to fail, and be ready to experience some struggles that pay back with glorious and beautiful rewards!”
Lexie’s number one suggestion: “Grow what you love and enjoy every moment that your garden and flowers have to offer during their season! You will not regret the time you spend and lessons you’ll learn in the beautiful company of your flowers.”
Select location(s): If you’re designating an area for a cutting garden, make sure there’s plenty of sun. Remember, the benefit of a cutting garden is the plants are designed to be cut — it doesn’t need to look aesthetically pleasing constantly. The flowers can be grown in rows. If you don’t have a large area, use the space beside the garage or an empty corner. A 3-by-6-foot bed can hold about 20 plants.
Select flowers: Start with something simple like sunflowers. Research which flowers grow best in your area and each plant’s needs. Annuals are inexpensive to start from seed. Lexie purchases seeds online from Johnny’s Selected Seeds, or cut flower seeds can be purchased locally from Anderson’s Seed and Garden.
Lexie’s favorite perennials include peonies, garden roses, astilbe, hydrangea, irises, and spring bulbs. Again, know the plant’s requirements and mature size before purchasing.
Plant: If you want to get serious, take soil samples to Utah State University (USU) for testing prior to planting so you can amend soil as needed. USU has amazing educational resources. Know your plants’ needs, care for them accordingly, and watch them grow!
Flower cutting tips: Cut during the coolest times of the day; early morning is preferable. Place stems directly into cold water as you’re cutting. Most flowers last longest if cut before they open enough for bees to pollinate them, however there are exceptions such as Zinnias which need to be ripe before harvesting (Google search if you’re unsure). Be aware of flowers that secrete sap when cut and will kill other flowers in an arrangement; Daffodils are an example of this. If they do secret sap, sear stem ends with near boiling water, or pass a flame at stem ends and don’t recut. Have a good pair of gloves and know which plant varieties are toxic if you have kids or pets.