By Shari Harris, Publisher
Sonshine Gardens, located seven miles north of Licking on Highway C, has provided the area with bedding plants and produce at the Farmers Market for the last few years. Many have become accustomed to the quality plants, bouquets of flowers, and delicious vegetables offered by Dave and Lucinda Smith. This year, customers can make their own floral selections at the Smiths’ U-Pick Flower Garden.
With dahlias, zinnias, marigolds, gladioli, snapdragons, asters, and more, Sonshine Gardens offers a colorful selection of blooms. Customers may bring a quart jar and fill it with cut flowers for $8, or the Smiths have jars available for an extra $2. The U-Pick Flower Garden will be open on Monday evenings, 4:30 – 8 p.m., and Saturday mornings, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., beginning Saturday, July 15, until the flowers stop blooming, likely in September. Other flowers include cosmos, celosia, salvia, gomphrenia, statice (good for drying), and pincushions.
The U-Pick Flower Garden offers another benefit, the simple pleasure of strolling through beds of flowers, looking for those blooms that are just what you were seeking, while sharing time with butterflies and other flower-lovers. Taking a few minutes to slow down, smell the flowers, and pick out a few favorites to grace your table can be replenishing to the soul.
Martin Luther believed, “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” Perhaps that is so, because watching the butterflies flit from bloom to bloom and enjoying the beautiful flowers made for a great start to this reporter’s day.
Nearby Lucinda Smith’s flower beds are some raised vegetable beds, and more produce is grown in another garden area. A table of local produce will also be offered on the U-Pick days, including tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers and onions.
If you love flowers, but aren’t able to pick your own, you can order a pre-made bouquet by contacting Lucinda at Sonshine Gardens, or My Little Cupcake in Licking sells pint jar bouquets of Sonshine Gardens flowers on Saturday mornings, for $5 each.
Sonshine Gardens has a Facebook page for those interested in seeing more pictures of the flower beds. It is located at 14711 Highway C, Licking, a few houses south of the Highway CC and Highway C intersection in Maples. Call 573-453-8225 for more information or directions.
Photos by Shari Harris