WILMINGTON — Do you ever wish you had the flowers your grandmother grew in her yard? Well, maybe you could find some uniquely memorable flowers near Clarksville.
Nellie Ashmore, of That Girl’s Flowers, began her company in 2013, and she now has a patch of woody perennials, hoop houses with foliage plants, and countless beds of annuals.
“I like to grow flowers that jog people’s memories — of their grandmothers’ gardens,” she said.
One of those favorite flowers is nigella, or “love in a mist.” Nellie admits, “When the flower blooms, I see the shape of a jester’s hat. Every bloom is exciting.”
In fact, “whatever is blooming” becomes her favorite flower.
That Girl’s Flowers is a certified organic flower farm. Flowers are grown on That Guy’s Family Farm, owned by Guy and Sandy Ashmore, Nellie’s parents. From May through October, seasonal blooms such as zinnias, larkspur and millet adorn the fields.
“People don’t ordinarily think organic flowers are special or necessary, but we are around flowers, touching them and breathing their aromas,” said Nellie. “Similar to the food we eat.”
Nellie has always loved working with flowers, and as a young girl she watched her parents sell flowers when they sold their produce. Even then she knew she wanted to grow flowers: “I was really lucky that my parents already had the farm and the equipment.”
At a very young age she got her start weeding, gathering eggs and produce from the field, and pulling wagonloads of corn to the farm stand at the road. She made a tally mark for each wagonload she delivered to the stand. She was paid 10 cents a load, but that education was priceless.
Dorothy Lane Market (all three locations) and Pipkin’s Market, in Cincinnati, sell That Girl’s Flowers. Visit the website, thatgirlsflowers.com, and watch the video made by Dorothy Lane’s marketing crew. It features the sunflowers, a best seller. Her flowers can also be found at the Farmers’ Market in Deerfield Township.
Nellie enjoys going to market because she gets to see “who is getting her flowers,” and she enjoys the personal interaction, especially with repeat customers. She also has a CSA (community supported agriculture), and 11 customers have signed up this season. Customers come to the farm on a monthly, bi-weekly or weekly basis. The website explains the CSA, but it also explains the movement toward buying local flowers that are always picked several times a week to insure high quality. While investigating the website, see the documentary by the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers (ASCFG). It details the importance of buying local flowers.
Weddings are becoming a large part of Nellie’s business, and she is happy to provide the full service of growing requested flowers, arranging bouquets and centerpieces, and working at the venue. Some “DIY Brides” want to create arrangements themselves, though, so Nellie grows flowers and offers advice. Her “flowers by the bucket” are easy to pick up at the farm, and buckets do not have to be returned.
Hours at the farm begin around 7:30 each morning, but Nellie doesn’t seem to mind working nine hours a day on her flowers. Her goal is to eventually hire a full-time employee. “I like the fact that my business is continually changing—wholesale, the CSA, and weddings.”
The next important wedding is already being planned: Nellie’s own Fall wedding. She is growing the flowers, but explains, “A florist friend is arranging all the flowers. I may have other things to do that day!”