Rural Business Photo Stories

April Blooms

April Blooms

Fresh flowers. True joy.

Beautiful bouquets are difficult to come by if you do not grow the flowers yourself or live close to a shop that stocks stalks flown in from all over the world. Even those long-refrigerated bundles pale in comparison, however, to the just-picked bounty that the small business April Blooms offers from its Wheatland, Missouri, location in Hickory County, one of the most rural in the state.

The flower venture started as a Covid-19 pandemic project for school teacher and Wheatland resident April Dougherty. April Blooms has since blossomed into a small business serving small communities in Hickory and neighboring rural counties.

Raised garden beds full of assorted varieties grace the landscape just down the hill from the house where Dougherty lives with her husband and young children. Snapdragons, dahlias, sunflowers, ranunculus, zinnias and many other flowers make up a quilt of colors. With summers off from school teaching, Dougherty has been building the seasonal business into another way to stay and thrive in the place that she and family call home.

The cool mornings of summer are best for cutting flowers, pulling weeds and watering the thirsty plants that go into bouquets and arrangements. Afterward is the work of marketing the flowers from April Blooms relatively remote location.

Dougherty has managed to work around this challenging fact by offering flower subscriptions through her online store. Customers sign up for different packages of fresh-cut fun for pick up in Wheatland or Bolivar, 30 minutes to the south. Options range from spring Tulips-only to weeks of summer/fall bouquets or a full growing season option. April Blooms takes special orders, too, and periodically hosts a “flower bar,” when patrons come to select from the local flower bounty and arrange their own bouquets. To meet all these orders, Dougherty also purchases occasionally from other flower gardeners in the area.

When the first freeze arrives, Dougherty is back at school growing young minds at Wheatland High School and, at home, looking through seed catalogs and making next season’s flower garden plans.

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