I took these on April 25, 2020. It was one of the last days for earmuffs and sweaters. The dew on the row cover was heavy and ice-cold running over my wrists, but underneath the snapdragons were big and full and green. The rest of the world was on stay-at-home lockdown, but you wouldn’t have known it standing there alone in the lower field.
Meanwhile, inside the high tunnel the ranunculus were still coming on hard. Those yellows! The orange! These flowers take the cake for spring.
We still had tulips then, too. I miss their big, sexy blooms but I don’t miss stripping and washing stems.
These are so nice in an arrangement, airy and full.
These flowers are magic!
It wasn’t even noon when the storm hit. We’d frantically netted the young snapdragons earlier that morning, but we didn’t have a chance to get the row cover over them before the hail came.
I was harvesting ranunculus under the high tunnel when the wind picked up, the aluminum supports waving and snaking under the gale force pressure. Thunder boomed and rain pelted the plastic, the sound a roar. I stood there in the middle of the fury, warm and dry. The tunnel filled with fog and the flowers stood perfectly still.
After we pull the tulips from the field, we haul them in crates to the workshop to be clipped, stripped, washed, and wrapped. Some go to storage, and the others we set out for bouquets.
We lay the blooms out on the table by color, looking for any hidden dirt or torn leaves.
And then we combine them with ranunculus, anemones, poppies, and daffodils, hopefully to the delight of Clara’s customers.