Photos provided by Dahlia May Flower Farm.
When we think of seasonality and agriculture, we tend to think of food: the fall harvest, abundant with root vegetables caked in soil. Flowers, however, also follow a seasonal timeline, with autumn producing blooms with deep red and tawny yellow hues that mimic the changing tree leaves.
My newfound obsession with flowers (and my new-ish job) led to my discovery of Dahlia May Flower Farm, just north of Trenton on a gravel road in the gently rolling hills of the Quinte countryside. When I walked up for the first time earlier this spring, my eyes were immediately drawn to the quaint farm stand, enveloped in stacks of florals, herbs and ferns.
Stepping inside revealed beautifully arranged pots lining the small walls of the stand, an intimate space made comfortable by the welcoming smiles of the staff, including owner Melanie Harrington. She was very kind and invited us to take a walk around the farm to explore the field and greenhouse.
During the spring months, her roadside stand boasts dusty pink peonies and ranunculus carefully wrapped in parchment; they contrast the autumn bounty of earthy, orange pumpkin centrepieces (see right) for Thanksgiving and the forest-green wreaths for the winter holidays. (Psssst: You can craft your very own handmade winter wreath with freshly harvested evergreens, berries, cones, pods, eucalyptus and other natural elements at one of Melanie’s workshops).
If you ever thought flower farming was for the faint of heart, think again. The beautiful imagery that you double tap and scroll past on social media doesn’t tell the full story, but Melanie’s captions do. I recommend pausing every so often to read her thoughtful insights into the labour, worry and intense care that goes into these beautiful bouquets.