Gretchen O’Neil’s love affair with flowers began as a child, enamored by the confetti-colored tulips that sprawled across her grandfather’s yard. Flower growing became more than just a family pastime for O’Neil in 2002, when she started working on a small farm in the mountains of Vermont. After moving to Austin in 2003, it took the native New Englander about five years to acclimate to the sweltering heat before she could even begin to consider growing cut flowers in the Central Texas climate.
You see, many of the flowers O’Neil remembers from her youth simply won’t grow here. She gradually embraced a new genre of gardening that included sun-worshipping plants like agave, and concepts such as “xeriscaping.” Eventually, she discovered that–with enough planning–her fantasy of growing an abundance of blooms could be actualized. [Read more…]