Zoe and Sue… They are the wonderful mother/daughter duo who make up the lovely, lovely, Field of Roses. I found Zoe (the daughter, and face of the business) when I was perusing different farmer-florist websites. I have always felt convicted in the depths of my soul that I am supposed to do something on land…what, exactly, is the million dollar question. Decisions decisions. Being a farmer-florist who grows cut flowers for farmers markets, florists, weddings, café tables, etc., is one of the many “land” ideas I have considered. So I started corresponding via email with Zoe many months ago, asking her all kinds of questions about flower farming, and she basically said, “Hey, Mum and I are gonna need help when the summer flush comes in. Wanna come help us and learn some stuff in the process?” To which I looked up from my computer, scratched my head, and had this thought bubble…YES.

Zoe Field
Sue Field

Since my first day out to the farm, Zoe and Sue (their last name is Field, by the way. How perfect for the name of their business, eh? Field of Roses? They are meant to be in the flower biz) have been an absolute joy to work with. They grow fifty-two varieties of glorious roses…creams, every shade of pink God created, yellow, apricot…some so luscious with layers and layers of petals unfurling, some so classically elegant with just one layer of ever-so fragile, scalloped petals, and each variety with a different scent. They have a big cut flower garden as well, full of annuals to choose from…larkspur, nigella, cosmos, enormous dahlias, zinnias, scabiosa, sweet peas, poppies, and about thirty others! Nestled between rolling hills and pine forest, it’s quite heavenly. I have to slap myself every morning on the beautiful drive out there, because I just can’t believe I’m getting to do this. I have already learned so much from them, and not just about flowers, but about life. Their relationship is as lovely, fun, and whimsical as the flowers they grow. Zoe has a graceful, quiet spirit, and Sue has a vibrant energy and bee-bops around the farm doing whatever work is needed. Roly (Roland), the dad, is a behind-the-scenes kind of man, but very much a part of the operation. Quite a skilled handy man. Enjoys a good beer and some Roseanne Cash. It’s A LOT of work for just three people, but somehow they manage. I’m so impressed.

Needy Alfie

And then there are the dogs…Theo, Alfie, and Ollie (Zoe’s puppy). Alfie is quite attached to Sue and demands to be held at regular intervals. They follow us everywhere we go in the garden, find the nearest plot of shade, and plop down to watch us until we move to the next area. The cats, Lou and Millie, are like all cats, and could care less about us.

So, yeah, can you tell I love Field of Roses? It’s gorgeous, but Zoe and Sue are what make it really wonderful. I feel so blessed that I’m getting to do this. I’m really not much help to them at all because I’m such a novice, so they are very gracious to have me. I don’t know if I’ll end up being a flower farmer, but I’m learning and growing and budding…pun intended. To learn more about what all they do, check out their website! http://www.fieldofroses.co.nz

The sign posted at the entrance of the Field’s driveway. Charming, eh?
This was taken going down their driveway, away from their house. Agapanthus grows like kudzu EVERYWHERE here. It is so glorious.
Macmama and Macdaddy got me this AWESOME, hand-made, leather tool belt for Christmas. Wheeler Munroe of Wheeler Munroe Leather Company in North Carolina makes them. If you garden a lot and hate holding everything, I highly suggest ordering one! Thanks Mom and Dad! I also be rockin’ my McNutt tweed apron I got in Downings, Ireland (home of my McNutt ancestors). Hat and sunscreen are extremely important in New Zealand. There is no ozone layer, so the sun is very, very intense.
There is beauty in dying. Especially if you are a rose.
The timing of when you pick each variety of rose is of the utmost importance. Those thorns are boogers too, by the way.
Forget the beautiful flowers here. How awesome is that old Land Rover defender in the background? I want. Sadly, it is basically a decoration at this point…pretty sure there are bushes growing in it now.
I want Zoe’s apron. Then I can pretend that I’m Daisy in the scullery at Downton Abbey.
Scabiosa pods make a beautiful dried flower.
For such a petite woman, she can carry an enormous amount of flowers at one time. My favorite words she says with her New Zealand accent are, “Totally!!”, “Jolly good”, and “Right-e-o”.
I love strawflowers (the ones at the bottom of the pile)! They also make a great dried flower bouquet.
Flowers do make you happier. Put just one in a glass jar by your bed. You will feel better upon waking and seeing it. Mom taught me when I was young, “One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” She got that from Hans Christian Andersen, but it’s one of the best quotes out there.
Teamwork before the Auckland flower market! That is where many of their flowers are shipped.
I love Zoe.
And I love Sue too. And that snapdragon in the foreground.
Purdy.
Who knew flowers were so funny?!
Theo
Magic hour light. It is beautiful here between 7-9 pm.
Brought to you courtesy of God, the Master Gardener.
More Scabiosa pods!
Nigella! Larkspur is behind her. Very English cottage flower garden type flower.
Such a hard life, being a dog living at Field of Roses.
Trying to get them stems all lined up before wrapping the rubber band around em.
More strawflowers. They are one of my new favorite flowers.
She was probably nicely laughing at how I cut the Scabiosas WAY shorter than I was supposed to. I have learned that the longer the stem, the more money you will make on it at the flower markets. They are very nice to me when I mess up. For example, the other day I was feeling around in the soil for a big weed I wanted to pull out of the cosmos bed, and accidentally ripped out an entire cosmos plant. Zoe said, “Oh no worries. It’s actually growing from a tuber, so it will come back.” Still though, for now there is a gaping hole. Whoopsies.
Heaven, right?
Zoe arranging a bride’s bouquet, as well as the bridesmaids’ bouquets. She tried to teach me. I had no idea how hard it is! Zoe makes it look easy. Very talented and creative, that girl.
So feminine and soft.
Watching, not helping.
I love this photo.
After watching Zoe, I got to fill my bucket with water, pick all the flowers I love, and attempt a bouquet. This is what came about. I dedicate my first bouquet to the memory and honor of Clay’s wonderful Aunt Cathy. She LOVED flowers. This bouquet is as cheerful and bright as she was.