The other day I traveled up to Mount Vernon, which is about an hour north of Seattle, and spent the afternoon with Jesalyn of Mossy Gate Flower Farm. I was on the hunt for aster flowers and was told by another Flower Farmer to check with Jesalyn. The aster flower is one of September’s birth flowers. This year I have been spending a lot of time photographing flowers in order to practice my photography skills. I have learned over the years that as a small business owner it’s imperative that you photograph your own work. In an effort to push myself to produce better images I have been gifting some of my flower photos to friends and family members for their birthdays. With a handful of September birthdays marked on my calendar, finding beautiful aster flowers was on my to-do list.
Jesalyn started Mossy Gate Flower Farm in 2015. The name for her flower business came about one day while staring at the old farm fence at the rental home where Jesalyn’s flower journey started. The need for a unique name, paired with her love for moss and cottage gardens, was realized upon seeing that gate. Her mountain man boyfriend, as she refers to, then crafted (initially as inspiration) THE Mossy Gate Flower Farm gate – the image you now see depicted in the Mossy Gate logo and in all of Jesalyn’s branding.
Mossy Gate Flower Farm currently covers two acres of land, which is divided up among three different plots. In Jesalyn’s front yard, where she grows some of her flowers, is the Mossy Gate roadside flower stand where you can grab a bunch of home-grown fresh flowers. This flower stand was crafted out of an old vintage truck bed with a custom wood canopy, also built by her mountain man boyfriend.
When she first moved into her house, Jesalyn said her front yard was covered entirely in thick blackberry bushes. The pictures she showed me of the blackberry removal didn’t lie – those were some gnarly bushes. The land today, though, is a a gently sloping grass hill with her flower stand and growing blooms at the bottom. The feverfew that Jesalyn cut while we chatted were some of the tallest stems I have seen.
Back behind her house stand a structure where Jesalyn propagates flower plants from seeds. She watered her plants while I snapped some more photos.
Jesalyn’s yard used to have more of her flower crops planted there. Last year, however, she found another piece of land and decided to expand her flower farm, which included moving some of her flower varieties to this new space. A big sunflower still remained in her home-base plot, however, and I watched in amazement as Jesalyn made a smiley face by pulling out the seed heads. So of course I snapped more photos – how fun! Her two geese, Moxie and Pippin, also though so, too. Although, in retrospect, I think they were actually more suspicious of this new person with a camera.
After walking around her home-base property, Jesalyn rounded up her two adorable sons and I followed them to the most recently acquired Mossy Gate Flower Farm plot (plot number 3). This was a flat piece of land in the Mount Vernon valley. Super straight rows of flower crops were dotted by pops of colorful zinnias.
Our final stop for the afternoon was Jesalyn’s second plot where she grows a big majority of her flowers. The Bonita and Masumoto asters were in full bloom – pink, purple, and white ones. There were also big, beautiful dahlias. I loved buying dahlias locally back in Colorado, which made me happy to find such a wonderful farm here in Washington. Jesalyn also had a variety of flower that I have never actually used in any of my design work – dianthus or ‘Sweet William’. The color of these burgundy blooms was so rich and the fragrance was incredible! I will definitely use dianthus in the future. Move over peonies!
Jesalyn rounded up my requested aster flowers, but she also threw in a big bunch of other beautiful blooms for me to play around with. Can I just say how fun it is to design with a heaping full of locally grown super colorful flowers??
I visited Mossy Gate Flower Farm in search of aster flowers and not only did I find what I was looking for, but I left with a bucket full of beautiful flowers, some cute cards which Jesalyn sells on her website, and a heart full of gratitude. It was an afternoon spent with great company in beautiful surroundings. Jesalyn has grown her flower farm in the five years since she started. Her ideal size of land to farm on is five acres and she is well on her way to getting there. I can’t wait to see what she grows next!
Jesalyn sells her flowers at her roadside flower stand and at Northwest Wholesale (for Florists), but you can also pre-order buckets of flowers or opt in to a CSA floral subscription. To find out what Jesalyn is currently up to you can follow her on Instagram at mossygateflowerfarm.