Dahlia Camp 2020

When I think back over this year’s flower season at Triple Wren, I find myself catching my breath a little at the range of emotions that washes over me. From early season when we had all kinds of Flower Camp + glamping plans, a slate of weddings, and plans for our biggest crew ever — to March and April when, like the rest of the globe, all our plans were changed. Glamping canceled; home school ON; large gatherings restricted; weddings canceled; Stay Home, Stay Safe meant: warehouse crew not allowed during tuber shipping. Just when Steve and I were beginning to learn to really work “on” our business more than “in” it, the tables were turned, and we found ourselves wearing all the hats once again.

In the middle of all the chaos, somehow I had the presence of mind to take a weekend off in late spring and just re-focus on what really mattered. I asked myself to remember why we were doing what we were doing, and to take stock of what was most important in our family, to me personally, and see how our farm business fit into that framework. Everything couldn’t proceed as planned, partly because of limited resources (help, budget, Covid restrictions, and time) but some things could… the questions were: What did we want to put our energy towards? What was most important to us?

This amounted to a major business plan adjustment in the middle of the season, but in so many ways, the challenges of 2020 forced us into a unique period of clarifying growth as leaders of our business. We had to cut things out – we had to choose what was most important. So I started with the big picture and then worked backwards to the small details (the foundation of our business planning framework!), and once again this system served me well. I have so much more to say about this… but I’ll save it because today I really want to share with you one of the things I’m most thankful we left in our summer 2020 plans: our fantastic Dahlia Camp.

Due to Covid restrictions in our county/state, we had to cancel all of our overnight retreats that would have come before August 31, but we tried to consolidate the most important parts of Farmer-Florist Camp with our September Dahlia Camp, and despite several Flower Campers who had to cancel their reservations, and despite our tiny Triple Wren Crew, we were able to move forward with a sweet group of women from all over the U.S. who shared a love for dahlias, floral design, and flower farming, and pull off a really wonderful Dahlia Camp.

My sister-in-law Sarah created amazing farm-to-table meals for us, so we were pampered and well-fed, and we spent three days together immersed in the dahlias, learning new design skills, practicing familiar ones, discussing color and texture and dahlia culture, and we parted on Saturday as new friends, with much more in common than our love for beautiful blooms.

I’ll share tomorrow more about Day Two at Dahlia Camp, including the fabulous creation of two new Dahlia Dresses, but for now I want to leave you with these beautiful, glowy photos from photographer Kiana Lindsey so that you can see for yourself the lush beauty we enjoyed.

Sometimes, when we are in the thick of decision-making, elements-battling, soil-building, tractor-fixing, customer-serving, family-living, putting out all the fires, and running from one task to the next trying to pretend like our hair is not on fire… it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture of what we’re really doing at Triple Wren.

We’re working hard to Share Beauty, and moments like these are bright, shining pin-points of light when we realize that our hard work has paid off. When we see others enjoying the beauty of the farm, growing personally from the lessons we can teach, being refreshed and catching a vision for how they can in turn share beauty, it’s a beautiful feeling of satisfaction. Investing in the lives of those around us is absolutely worth it all.