Saturday, March 31, 2007


We grow standards and mini's - some florists seldom buy mini's and other florists use a lot of them.

They grow well - just as the standards, and often there are more flowers per plant than the standards, which helps make up for their lower price at the markets.

We only have about 8 colours of mini's - which seems to be enough for our small operation.

They are good to pick - most grow strong with tall stems. We do have two varieties that are not so wonderful and the stems tend to be short or wobbly - but all in all it was a good investment to put them in.

The grandchildren

As the Gerbera Farm is on the property of our daughter and her husband, their two girls have been involved in the working of the farm almost all their lives.

They both earn picket money - perhaps by getting the buckets ready, bunching the flowers, or other small tasks that can be safely done by two little girls.

Miss Z prepared the buckets today - without supervision, which we have learned is not a good idea. Each bucket needs exactly two litres of water, and two of the tablets which help keep the flowers fresh. Probably to save time, Miss Z didn't measure the water as she was told, and the task had to be done all over again.

Miss A came up to the shed with a floral decoration she had done herself. It was quite a primitive thing to start with but in the end she did a fine job of hiding the workings of her arrangement. She completed a second one, and I went with her across the busy road to the couple who live opposite, and she gave them the arrangement she had made for them.

She went to take a photo with her digital camera - but the batteries were flat - so I loaned her mine from my camera, while she took a photo.

We had a wonderful pick this morning - both the standards and the mini's are producing well - perhaps it was the flush through of clean water (without nutrients) during the week. They seem to like a good flush through occasionally.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A bunch of Popovs

When I posted a photo of a closeup of the Popov flowers I promised to post a photo of a bunch of them. These are standard gerberas - quite big flowers really, and wonderful pink hues int he centre, and on some flowers the pink extends through the white petals.

Popov flower

One of our most popular flowers is the variety Popov - it is currently producing massive quantities of quality flowers. Some varieties seem to have "favourite" weather conditions and it seems the cooler weather has inspired Popov to flower more prolifically.
It's great in a bunch (and I'll post a photo of a mass of these flowers later), but as a single flower in a small vase, it is most impressive.
I like having these in my bathroom vase - just one single flower as I have no room for a larger vase.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Close up of gerbera

This is a close up of a gerbera flower. This flower has several rows of stamens - we like to pick when there is one or two rows, as they are "ready" or "ripe" and will last well. If picked too early they are not ready, and sometimes they tend to "age" very quickly and we discard them too.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Flowers cupped and ready

We "cup" our flowers - they are little triangular plastic (with non-slip inner surface) cups and we hand insert each flower stem into them. The cups are then slipped up to sit around the flower thus reducing damage during transit.

There is a machine that does it - but we have always done it by hand. In a bigger operation the machine would be wonderful.

Good flowers

Officially it is autumn and while we are still experiencing very hot weather, it is dry and just a little cooler at night, we have wonderful flowers right now.

The quality is excellent.

We had the whole family helping out with the pick this morning (although one granddaughter did not appear) but the rest of us worked hard including little Miss 4 year old - who is very good.

She can prepare the buckets and she helps Poppy but getting five stems of the same variety together and passing them to Poppy who checks the quality, and then bunches them and puts them in the buckets ready for counting and putting in the cold room.

She's an excellent worker and very keen to earn pocket money by doing this. Both of the girls have worked hard with the flowers but they don't have a great capacity to keep working until the job is done. We don't complain - any help is wonderful, and we'd never want them to feel obligated to work.

Miss 6 has not had her flower stall recently - mother has been working longer hours, so not able to supervise the flower stall which is of course necessary for such young girls.

Maybe next week.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

My new garden

I often think that we spend a lot of time creating our gardens, but we don’t spend much time IN them. And that requires a bit of planning to ensure that the garden is easy to be in. Not many gardens have a seat in the garden like the “old” days. An attractive timber seat that is always there, waiting for someone to come and sit on should be in every garden, and it will be in my new garden.

Sitting in the garden, under a tree reading a book would be a wonderful past time, but without the seat sitting waiting, one tends not to do it. If the seat was there, I’d stop and sit and ponder the splendour of my garden, or plan my next gardening task, or just read a book for a while and enjoy the fresh air and the vista.

My home garden is filled with heliconias mainly – I’ve lost count of the varieties I have and they often have a bloom within their heavy greenery. Seemingly out of place in the garden are my two pots of Gerberas. It is the flower that I have on my business card, the flower that I love, the one that I rescued from the flower farm when it and the others were being discarded because they were no longer producing heavily.

I love that flower and I nurture it. I’m glad it is in a pot – giving it a chance to survive when we move.

My new garden will have some additional features – the seat, and some solar powered lights. (I’ll not put them in the front yard any more as the ones I had were stolen), and I like the idea of pebbles that glow at night and light up the path.

A timber seat so that I can sit and ponder the world, solar powered lights dottign the garden, lights through the trees so that I create a fairyland at night, and the glow pebbles to light my new pathway.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Quality is up

The quality of the blooms has improved, but we now have spider mite. We expected that as the chemical we used to kill the moths, also killed off our good bugs, so we will have to get more of them in.

Ariana is still running her flower stall on Thursdays, though last week only sold 13 bunches. Still that's not bad to earn $26 - she is only 6!
We do not have this orange coloured variety in the hot house any more, but I have two pots of them at home. They have done very well recently and have been constantly in flower. Unfortanately I haven't been home all the time, but they keep the garden bright.
My current house sit finishes this Friday so I will be back home. Diary of a House Sitter.