Business in Bloom: More than 60 varieties of blooms available at Shady Bluff Flower Farm
A myriad of colorful blossoms decorate several rows on the east side of Berry Hill Farm, located along Highway 75, one mile north of Sabetha — and you can pick a bouquet for yourself. Shady Bluff Flower Farm grows and sells 60 to 70 varieties of cut flowers.
Heidi and Corbin Anliker began Shady Bluff Flower Farm in 2018 when Heidi’s parents — Tim and Charleen Hartter, owners of Berry Hill Farm — offered spare irrigated rows to the Anlikers to grow something if they would like to.
The Anlikers took the opportunity to shape their own business — and thus began growing Shady Bluff Flower Farm.
“We have always enjoyed flowers and growing plants, and were interested in finding something for our family to work together on as our children grow,” Heidi said. “Another farmer introduced us to cut flower farms, so we started looking into them.”
Since then, Heidi estimates they have grown flowers “somewhere in the thousands.”
Shady Bluff features several familiar varieties such as sunflowers, dahlias, zinnias and gladiolus. Additionally, there are a number of ornamental grasses and plants available.
“Some flowers such as snapdragons and larkspur are cold tolerant so they start producing first,” Heidi said. “Others, like dahlias and celosia prefer the heat and are a step later in producing blooms.”
The Anlikers have four children who also help with the flower farm.
“They [the children] are a good help with planting, weeding and harvesting for florists,” she said. “They also like to take the flowers to Farmer’s Market.”
How it Works
Shady Bluff is one of many flower farms planted throughout the United States. Every flower farm has a different focus for outlets of where they go with their flowers, Heidi said.
“Ours is currently to florists and to the local area by selling them at the farm,” she said. “Along with that, every farm has their individual blend of varieties they grow.”
“When there are design needs for large events such as weddings, we work with Valerie Keim of The Iron Gate, as she can incorporate flower varieties that we do not grow, along with offering vase rentals,” Heidi said.
“I was excited that Heidi reached out to me. Floral designing has become a big part of my wedding\event rental business,” Keim said.
Along with working with florists, Shady Bluff offers U-Pick, where individuals can come and pick their own assortment of flowers.
If customers want to pick their own flowers, it is recommended they bring their own bucket, vase or container to take flowers home in so they can stay in water.
U-Pick customers can fill Shady Bluff’s pitchers and buckets, but the flowers will either be transferred to your container or wrapped in paper to take home. Shady Bluff provides clippers to cut the flowers.
In the retail area of the barn, Heidi has fresh “Kansas Garden Bouquets” in clear plastic sleeves available for quick pick up.
“So far we have enjoyed serving the local area with fresh cut flowers and would like to continue this in the coming years,” Heidi said. “We haven’t yet determined what new varieties we will try next year, but likely there will be some.”
Heidi said they also anticipate that the perennials that were started this year will have increased production next year.
“Flowers will wilt if picked in the heat, so we avoid picking in the heat of the day,” Heidi said.
She also recommended keeping your vase clean and giving the flowers fresh water every few days. Additionally, snipping the end of the stem before placing them back in water is helpful and flowers also benefit from flower food.
About the Anlikers
Heidi and Corbin have four children — Ashlyn, 10; Alea, 8; Breanne, 6; and Tanner, 2. Aside from the flower farm, Corbin works at KSi Conveyors and Heidi stays home with their children.
Fresh bouquets and dried flowers are available. U-pick prices are $15 to fill a large pitcher or $40 to fill a five-gallon bucket. Shady Bluffs also accepts orders.
Shady Bluff is open July through September. Hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays; and 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays and Saturdays.
• Open House: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at the farm. Visitors can enjoy refreshments of blackberries and ice cream and cookies. Children 10 and under get a free flower. There also will be a drawing for flowers.
• Create Your Own Bouquet Workshop: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at The Creative Farmhouse. Heidi will teach the basics of proper cutting and care of cut flowers, along with the elements of design. She will teach you how to get the longest vase life out of your flowers, along with arranging tips. Participants can choose from buckets full of flowers to create their own large bouquet. A vase and everything you need is provided. Cost is $75. Stop by the farm, or call or text 815-848-8787 to sign up by Wednesday, July 24.