When I say ‘field of dreams’ you may think of Kevin Costner’s 1989 baseball movie… but step onto Natchez Glen dahlia farm and you’ll get all the feels.
This massive flower farm is about 10 minutes from downtown Franklin right off of Highway 96. I toured the beautiful property that has more than 5,000 dahlias, hundreds of roses and rare trees from around the world. Steve Mydelski and his wife, Laura, own the property.
Here’s how it works: You sign up for a reservation online here then you get to cut your own flowers and take them home! The bouquets are gorgeous, some of the blooms are as big as my face. Seriously.
I picked Steve’s brain about his unique flower farm.
Nikki: You and your family have had quite the journey to TN! How did Natchez Glen come about?
Steve Mydelski: Laura and I moved here in 2003 from Florida. Then we built the home here in 2005. I started a huge vegetable garden in 2007. That was the gateway to getting interested in plants and gardening. I was working with small farms and growers professionally to help them understand how to get their products to market better. In 2008 I was working with a grower who introduced me to the large scale nursery industry in Oregon, and by that time I was … obsessed … with gardening and horticulture.
So, in 2009 I took over sales, marketing, and operations of one of the largest rare tree nurseries in the US. While I had access to some of the most incredible trees on the planet, I began to build the gardens here in Franklin. Primarily I was on the road almost 200 days a year on the road visiting horticulture experts and independent garden centers across the country. I ran that nursery until 2014. I was tired of being on the road, and felt as family we needed a new adventure. So at the end of 2015 we bought a Victorian home in Connecticut on acreage that we were going to restore and start a flower farm. Problem, we didn’t like Connecticut. We had kept our home here in Franklin so at the end of 2017 we had decided we would move back. In March we moved back to Franklin full-time.
NB: Have you always had a love of flowers?
SM: No, my family had no history or connection to gardening. In fact, my family moved into the neighborhood and the yard went down hill. The only early memory I have is that there was a citrus tree in the house we lived in when I was about 7. That was really fascinating to me that this tree would make these fruits and I would try to make like perfumes and drinks from them.
NB: What is your favorite flower?
SM: Favorite flower as a group are dahlias, but asking me to pick one if nearly impossible. And I also have a romance with roses that is always going on.
NB: What is something people don’t know about dahlias? Are they hard to grow/maintain?
SM: Dahlias are in the same class as potatoes. Dahlias are really the essential example of what you give is what you get. They do require a good amount of maintenance, but if you know what you’re doing you get huge rewards.
NB: What makes TN unique for growing flowers?
SM: Tennessee is under appreciated as place to grow. The season is so long, especially for dahlias, from June to November. In colder climates you may not even see some bloom before there is a frost.
NB: How many flowers are on your property?
SM: I grow over 6000 plants and cut over 1000 stems a day.
If you want to go – make a reservation online...but they fill up quickly! Basically, if Steve plant’s it, they will come.
Natchez Glen is located at 4117 New Hwy 96 W, Franklin, TN 37064.