Hope in those flowers

Stephanie Ziebarth

We wound in and through and around Green Grove Gardens until the helpful signs indicated that we had arrived at our destination: Hope Valley Gardens. Little did we know that there was a flower farm within the well-known Green Grove Gardens. But there is, and it's lovely.

My daughter Anna and I arrived at Hope Valley Gardens on a recent drizzly day in order to participate in a homeschool field trip. Because of the rain, only two families showed up, but all participants decided the experience was well worth any inconvenience.

Gardeners can work rain or shine, so Darlanna Biesecker was there to meet us. Umbrellas in tow, we followed her around the gardens for a very enjoyable and informative tour.

Not only did we walk paths between rows and rows of beautiful flowers in their early stages, but we entered the little cooling house, where cut flowers can last for months.

We learned that a flower's stem is like a vein. If it gets clogged, the flower dies more rapidly. It's crucial that cut flowers not only be put only in clean water, but in spotless vessels.

We saw the huge variety of flowers and other accent plants grown both indoors and outdoors. We saw Biesecker's diligent helpers hard at work maintaining the gardens.

We also learned about 'Pick Your Own' days, which have been a hit for Hope Valley Gardens. The day we visited was the day prior to 2016's first 'Pick Your Own' day, and Biesecker was expecting two brides to show up promptly at the opening hour. One of 'Pick Your Own's' key customers is, indeed, the bride who wants to pick her own flowers. This can be a very affordable option, with 'Pick Your Own' prices ranging from $7 for a small container (which will not be enough for a wedding) to $45 for an extra large. Last year, Hope Valley Gardens provided flowers for at least 72 'do-it-yourself' weddings, not to mention the ones for which Hope Valley Gardens provided for the full-service floral needs.

'Pick Your Own' hours are noon until dusk on Thursdays and 8 AM until noon on Fridays.

Hope Valley Gardens does provide more than 'Pick Your Own' days. Their full service listing may be found here: http://hopevalleygardens.com/.

As for my daughter and me, we greatly enjoyed our first visit to Hope Valley Gardens, and we already have ideas about when and with whom we might want to return.