Intertwining Music and Farming Harmoniously with Serenade Farm

Ep.22 Breeding Dahlias and Cultivating Curiosity with Bec McConnell

Have you ever wondered what happens when a passion for music and farming intertwine to create a symphony of nature and artistry? In Episode 22 of the Backyard Bouquet Podcast, we journey down South to Tamborine Mountain in the Gold Coast of Australia to meet the remarkable Bec McConnell of Serenade Farm.

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Introduction to Serenade Farm

Located in the picturesque setting of Tambourine Mountain in the Gold Coast of Australia, Serenade Farm is a unique blend of nature, craftsmanship, and music. The farm, owned by Bec McConnell, is a harmonious symphony of organic dahlias that bloom vibrantly, reflecting the melody of her music.

Bec McConnell, the owner of Serenade Farm, has transformed her passion for music and nature into a flourishing flower farm on Tambourine Mountain. With a background in music and a deep connection to the land, Bec’s journey into flower farming is a tale of dedication and creativity.

Bec’s Journey into Flower Farming

Bec’s journey into flower farming is a testament to her lifelong love for nature and agriculture. From childhood memories of her grandparents’ garden to backpacking through organic farms in England, Bec’s path led her to Serenade Farm, where she now cultivates vibrant dahlias that reflect her passion for beauty and harmony.

Location and Climate of Serenade Farm

Serenade Farm is nestled in the Gold Coast hinterland, offering a subtropical climate that is ideal for growing dahlias. With mild winters and humid summers, the farm enjoys a long growing season, allowing for the cultivation of vibrant and diverse dahlias. The rich rainforest soil and proximity to the beach create a paradise for flower farming.

Serenade Moondance

Hybridizing Dahlias

Bec’s passion for breeding dahlias shines through as she shares her journey of hybridizing unique and vibrant varieties. From experimenting with over 2000 seeds in the first year to growing over 600 seedlings in subsequent years, Bec’s dedication to creating new and exquisite dahlias is evident.

1st Year Serenade Seedling

Assessing and Selecting Dahlias

The process of assessing and selecting dahlias is a meticulous task that requires attention to detail and a keen eye for quality. Bec shares her criteria for choosing dahlias, focusing on factors like bloom quantity, cut flower suitability, and unique color combinations.

Breeding Progress and Future Plans

While Bec has not released any dahlias to the public yet, she has made significant progress in her breeding program. With the prefix “Serenade” for her cultivars, Bec aims to continue breeding dahlias that are well-suited for the Australian climate and floristry work. Her future plans include expanding her collection and eventually releasing her unique creations to the world.

2nd Year Unnamed Seedling

Naming Dahlias and Breeder Prefix

The names of Bec’s dahlias reflect her love for music and personal connections. From “Serenade Curiosity” to “Serenade Moondance,” each cultivar carries a special meaning and pays tribute to loved ones. The breeder prefix “Serenade” ties back to the farm’s musical roots and serves as a symbol of the harmonious blend of nature and artistry.

Serenade Curiosity

Connecting with Other Breeders

Bec emphasizes the importance of collaboration and community within the dahlia breeding world. By sharing knowledge and experiences with other breeders, she has been able to expand her breeding program and learn from like-minded individuals. The supportive and inclusive nature of the dahlia community has been a driving force behind her breeding endeavors.

Impact of Social Media and Community

Social media has played a significant role in connecting Bec with fellow breeders and enthusiasts worldwide. The ability to share photos, ideas, and experiences has enriched her journey and provided valuable insights into the world of dahlia breeding. The sense of community and camaraderie within the dahlia community has been a source of inspiration and encouragement for Bec.

Sharing Dahlia Names and Inspirations

The process of naming dahlias is a personal and meaningful one for Bec. Drawing inspiration from music, loved ones, and personal values, each dahlia name carries a story and a connection to something special. By infusing her cultivars with personal significance, Bec adds an extra layer of depth and meaning to her breeding program.

Serenade Whimsy

Challenges and Benefits of Breeding Dahlias

While breeding dahlias comes with its challenges, such as the need for patience and meticulous selection, the rewards are immeasurable. The joy of creating new and unique varieties, the satisfaction of seeing a seedling bloom for the first time, and the opportunity to contribute to the dahlia community are just some of the benefits that make the breeding process worthwhile for Bec.

Conclusion

As the petals of Serenade Farm’s dahlias bloom in harmony with the melody of nature and music, Bec McConnell’s journey into flower farming unfolds with passion and dedication. From hybridizing unique dahlias to connecting with a vibrant community of breeders, Bec’s story is a testament to the beauty and creativity found in the world of dahlia breeding.

To delve deeper into Bec’s inspiring journey and learn more about the art of breeding dahlias, tune into the full episode of the Backyard Bouquet Podcast on your favorite podcast platform. Discover the magic of Serenade Farm and immerse yourself in the symphony of nature, craftsmanship, and music that flourishes in the heart of Tambourine Mountain. Join us as we explore the beauty and joy that dahlias bring to Bec’s life and the world of flower farming.

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

  • 00:01:19-00:01:30 Introduction to Serenade Farm
  • 00:02:36-00:03:29 Bec’s Journey into Flower Farming
  • 00:09:16-00:09:27 Location and Climate of Serenade Farm
  • 00:10:00-00:10:11 End of the Growing Season
  • 00:10:59-00:11:09 Hybridizing Dahlias
  • 00:15:21-00:15:32 Assessing and Selecting Dahlias
  • 00:31:47-00:32:08 Breeding Progress and Future Plans
  • 00:39:09-00:39:19 Naming Dahlias and Breeder Prefix
  • 00:32:39-00:32:50 Connecting with Other Breeders
  • 00:33:40-00:33:50 Impact of Social Media and Community
  • 00:40:18-00:40:29 Sharing Dahlia Names and Inspirations
  • 00:42:01-00:42:12 Challenges and Benefits of Breeding Dahlias

Learn more about Bec McConnell & Serenade Farm

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New episodes are coming every Tuesday to help keep your garden blooming!

Designing With Dried Flowers

Designing With Dried Flowers

Have you ever wondered about the art of drying flowers and creating stunning arrangements that last a lifetime? In this episode of the Backyard Bouquet Podcast, we have the pleasure of hearing from Hannah Muller, a cut flower farmer located in the beautiful Capay Valley of Northern California. Hannah shares her journey from growing up on Full Belly Farm to becoming a wedding farmer-florist to shifting her focus to dried flowers. We explore the process of drying flowers, the best conditions for drying, and the importance of harvesting at the right stage.

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