Welcome to my first Porch Talk!

I’m Laura, founder and CEO of The Marmalade Lily!

Today, I’m sharing what I’ve been up to during these winter months…even though there’s a hush in the gardens and facilities, The Lily Crew office is bustling with planning!

This is the most favorite part of my job since I’m a visionary! Getting into the details is difficult for me though, so I’m challenging myself to get organized. I’m always trying to document all these ideas swirling through my head so we can execute them better this year!

A lot of people ask me “How do you come up with the vision and where do I begin?” The truth is, I really don’t wrap my head around the vision until I collect information.

Lately, I’ve been jumping on my stationary bike, looking up YouTube videos and planning out where I want to go next with the property and weddings.

One of the people I’ve discovered is Laura with Garden Answer who’s been out there a while…but I hadn’t crossed the bridge between from listening to her and actually implementing all the gems she has to offer. Such a fun channel to watch!

Another wonderful channel we’ve been following is Nicole with Flower Hill Farm! She has some amazing tips for u-cut flowers and for developing the garden.

And finally, you have to meet Serena at You Can’t Eat the Grass. Just trust me!

Developing the vision starts with just learning and collecting the information…that’s what I’ve been doing all December and January.

Moving forward, the next step that I’ve taken is going through a TON of catalogues from different companies. I’ve used a variety of sources, but this year I’m going to try going a little more niche-y with Farmer Bailey, Leo Berbee, and just exploring the little guys to really see what’s out there!

As I’m planning what’s going in the garden, I’ve made some observations: perennials are extremely valuable since they serve multiple purposes for us. Part of the charm of the venue is the landscaping. With weddings going on here, not only do the plants have to produce flowers for us in arrangements, but they must provide beautiful landscape for the weddings. I’m thinking about Nandina, Smoke Bush, I’m going to be adding quite a bit of astrantia, a filler flower, and it comes in GORGEOUS colors…Star of Beauty astrantia is evena a fuschia pink!

Any flower that cuts down on labor and enhances the landscape is a MUST!

We’re also interested in creating more privacy. Last year we added Ginko and White Pines to cozy in our venue.

Another area for growth is in the variety of greenery we grow. Since we’re in the wedding biz and try to grow as many of the flowers onsite as possible, the challenge is always finding new perennials that will provide greenery. We have Diablo Ninebark that we cut from continually all year long. We’ve looked at a new plan called Plectranthus, a blue grey greenery we’d like to add to our collection. Kirigami Oregano is also a fabulous new addition that will add a lot of dimension to bouquets. On top of this we will be adding gladiolus: they’re a statement piece, very fun, very colorful, and great for u-cut fans! We’ll be adding some lilies (yay!). We have a lot of split-rail fences, so we’re adding double multi blue, Ernest Markham and John Paul II clematis ranging from a blue to a fuschia to a light pink.

So as we go forward in the year, we’ll be adding more and more new plants and varieties to our gardens as well as cozying it up with larger perennials. However, this all starts during the winter months and I then look forward to getting the product in the spring and finally get everything in the ground.

Once I get these spreadsheets done, I will be meeting with our lead garden designer and I’ll touch base with you as to how everything is going!

Thanks for joining me on my porch!