Flower Farming In Zone 2B

Ep.16: Blooming in the Cold: How to Grow a Vibrant Cut Flower Garden in Zone 2B

In this episode of the Backyard Bouquet Podcast, Madeline Cooper shares her inspiring journey from glam to garden, showcasing how she turned her love for pink blooms and sweet peas into a flourishing flower lover’s dream of flower farming in zone 2b in cold Alberta, Canada

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Madeline’s Journey to Flower Farming in Zone 2b

Madeline’s story is one of transformation and passion. Originally from Washington State, she found herself in Alberta, Canada, in pursuit of a new adventure. What started as a way to meet new people and bring joy to her community blossomed into the creation of Fraiche Flower Farm. Madeline’s love for flowers and her desire to connect with others led her down the path of becoming a successful flower farmer in a unique and challenging climate.

Adjusting to a New Growing Climate

Moving from a milder climate in Washington State to the colder growing zone 2B of Alberta presented Madeline with new challenges and opportunities. She shares her experiences of adjusting to the shorter growing season, late frosts, and extreme winter temperatures. Despite the hurdles, Madeline’s passion for flowers and determination to succeed have allowed her to thrive in her new environment.

Land Utilization and Flower Farming Challenges

With 12 acres of land, Madeline faces the challenge of utilizing her space effectively for flower farming while also accommodating other aspects of her farm, such as horses and natural landscape features. The rolling hills and limited flat ground present unique challenges for growing flowers, but Madeline’s creativity and dedication have allowed her to overcome these obstacles and create a flourishing flower farm.

Tips For Growing Flowers In A Short Growing Season in Zone 2B

Navigating a short growing season in Zone 2B requires careful planning and strategic planting. Madeline shares valuable tips for fellow flower enthusiasts looking to succeed in colder climates. From researching cool flowers to experimenting with overwintering techniques, Madeline’s expertise offers a roadmap for cultivating a vibrant garden even in challenging conditions.

Overwintering Flowers in Zone 2B

Overwintering flowers in Zone 2B can be a daunting task, but Madeline’s experience and knowledge have led to successful outcomes. She shares her insights on overwintering delicate blooms like Rudbeckia and Yarrow, as well as the joys of cultivating a thriving peony patch that thrives in the cold climate.

Madeline’s Peony Collection

Madeline’s peony collection, features unique and hard-to-find varieties that thrive in Alberta’s challenging climate. With over 200 peonies gracing her farm, Madeline’s love for these exquisite blooms shines through, offering a glimpse into the beauty and diversity of her floral landscape. Her passion for cultivating peonies showcases her dedication to growing stunning and resilient flowers in a challenging environment.

Importing Plants to Canada

In this episode, Madeline share her experiences navigating the complexities of importing plants to Canada. Madeline has sourced unique flower varieties and has overcome the challenges of bringing plants across the U.S. Canada border. By collaborating with specialized growers like Unicorn Blooms, Madeline enriches her farm with rare and exquisite plants, adding a touch of elegance to Fraiche Flower Farm. Her dedication to sourcing and importing plants showcases her commitment to expanding the floral diversity on her farm.

Protecting Roses Over Winter

As a flower farmer in a cold climate, protecting roses over winter is essential for ensuring their survival and health. Madeline shares her methods for insulating roses, using techniques like mulching, straw-filled cages, and frost cloth to shield her plants from harsh winter conditions. By taking proactive measures, Madeline ensures her roses thrive year after year.

Growing Cool Flowers Like Sweet Peas

Sweet peas and pink flowers are Madeline’s specialties, and she shares her secrets for growing these delicate blooms in a cool climate. From starting sweet peas early to providing the right conditions for optimal growth, Madeline’s expertise shines through in her lush and vibrant flower patches.

Impact of Drought on the Farm

As Fraiche Flower Farm faces its fourth year of drought, Madeline shares the challenges and adaptations required to sustain her floral haven in the face of water scarcity. From pumping water uphill to combatting dry conditions, Madeline’s resilience and commitment to her farm exemplify the dedication and care required to nurture a thriving flower farm in challenging environmental conditions. Her experiences with managing drought conditions highlight the importance of resourcefulness and adaptability in flower farming.

Pulse Watering Technique

Pulse watering is a game-changing technique that allows flower farmers to optimize water usage and promote healthy plant growth. Madeline and Jennifer discuss pulse watering, sharing insights on timing, frequency, and the benefits of this method for ensuring plants receive the right amount of water at the right time. By incorporating pulse watering into farm practices, farmers can enhance the resilience and vitality of their flower crops.

Sweet Peas and Pink Flowers

Sweet peas and pink flowers hold a special place in Madeline’s heart, evoking memories of her childhood and her love for all things pink. She shares her passion for growing sweet peas and pink blooms, highlighting the beauty and fragrance that these flowers bring to her farm. By infusing her farm with the essence of sweet peas and pink flowers, Madeline creates a magical and enchanting environment that captivates all who visit.

Breeding Cosmos

Madeline’s foray into breeding cosmos showcases her creativity and dedication to cultivating unique flower varieties. By experimenting with different cosmos strains and hand-pollinating specific plants, Madeline explores the art of flower breeding and the joy of discovering new and distinctive blooms. Her commitment to innovation and exploration in the world of flowers shines through in her cosmos breeding endeavors.

Madeline is passionate about breeding Cosmos. These are some of the cosmo seeds she sells through her storefront.

Using Hi-Brix Molasses

Hi-Brix molasses is a powerful tool for enhancing plant health and deterring pests in the garden. Madeline shares her experience with using Hi-Brix molasses as a foliar spray, discussing its benefits for increasing sugar levels in plants and creating a less desirable environment for pests like aphids. By incorporating Hi-Brix molasses into her farm practices, Madeline elevates the health and vitality of her flowers, promoting robust growth and natural pest resistance.

Hosting Events on the Farm

Madeline’s love for cooking, baking, and festive decorating extends to her farm events, where she welcomes guests to experience the beauty and joy of flower farming. From dessert with dahlias to bubbles and blooms, Madeline’s events offer a unique opportunity to connect with nature, indulge in delicious treats, and create lasting memories in a picturesque farm setting. By blending her passions for flowers and festivities, Madeline creates a warm and inviting space for guests to enjoy the magic of farm life.

Integrating Other Passions with Flower Farming

Integrating other passions like cooking, baking, and festive decorating into flower farming allows Madeline to express her creativity and share her love for beauty and celebration with others. By combining her diverse interests and talents, Madeline creates a multi-dimensional farm experience that delights and inspires visitors. Through events, workshops, and personal touches, Madeline infuses her flower farm with a sense of warmth, charm, and hospitality that resonates with all who visit.

Madeline Cooper, Fraiche Flower Farm

Conclusion

Madeline Cooper’s journey as a flower farmer is a testament to passion, perseverance, and creativity. From navigating challenging climates to cultivating unique blooms and hosting enchanting events, Madeline’s dedication to flowers and festivities shines through in every aspect of her farm life. By sharing her experiences, insights, and tips, Madeline inspires others to embrace the beauty of flower farming and celebrate the joy of nature, community, and creativity. Tune in to the Backyard Bouquet Podcast to learn more about Madeline’s inspiring journey and discover the magic of Fraiche Flower Farm.

In this episode, you’ll hear about: 

  • 00:02:25 – Madeline’s Journey to Flower Farming
  • 00:04:10 – Adjusting to a New Climate
  • 00:06:04 – Land Utilization and Challenges
  • 00:08:04 – Tips For Growing Flowers In A Short Growing Season in Zone 2B
  • 00:10:39 – Overwintering Flowers in Zone 2B
  • 00:13:27 – Madeline’s Peony Collection
  • 00:14:52 – Importing Plants to Canada
  • 00:16:29 – Protecting Roses Over Winter
  • 00:18:34 – Growing Cool Flowers Like Sweet Peas
  • 00:20:09 – Impact of Drought on the Farm
  • 00:21:13 – Pulse Watering Technique
  • 00:22:48 – Sweet Peas and Pink Flowers
  • 00:28:57 – Breeding Cosmos
  • 00:31:20 – The Story Behind Fresh Flower Farm’s Name
  • 00:39:17 – Using Hi-Brix Molasses
  • 00:41:58 – Hosting Events on the Farm
  • 00:43:04 – Integrating Other Passions with Flower Farming

Learn more about Madeline Cooper and Fraiche Flower Farm:

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