Fairfield’s new flower gardener seeks to ‘spread joy, one flower at a time’ with new business

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NEW FAIRFIELD – A local resident decided to turn her lifelong love of flowers into a business.

Jenny Audo has started Cozy Oak Gardens, a new business in town where she grows specialist cut flowers in her garden and sells them at the end of her driveway at 4 Byebrook Court, off Elwell Road.

“Everything I sell is something I grew myself,” she said. “Nothing is airlifted or brought off the property.”

Audo says she has been a gardener all her life.

“When I was a kid, I followed my mom as she planted annuals around our house,” she said. “I started my own gardens when I was growing up, and now I want to share my love of flowers with others.”

Audo said other flower growers inspired her and the COVID-19 pandemic motivated her to create Cozy Oak Gardens.

“I started following Floret Flowers – one of the biggest flower growers in the country – and loved the idea of ​​growing flowers not just for you, but for others,” he said. she declared.

When the pandemic started two years ago, Audo said she couldn’t do much outside of her home as an immunocompromised person – but she thought it would be a good time to explore her interest further. for gardening and start a flower selling business of her own.

“Juggling my health, the pandemic and my new flower dream has been a lot – but I’m so excited to finally be able to share with the world,” she said.

When the pandemic first hit, Audo said people “really needed a big push” and she thought her flower business could help.

“My motto is to spread joy, one flower at a time,” she said.

After applying for a commercial license for Cozy Oak Gardens in 2020, Audo immersed herself in learning how to grow flowers on a larger scale.

“I’ve been a teacher for 10 years and I love to learn, so I thought I’d take the first year and a half of this dream to learn as much as possible,” she said.

In addition to taking floriculture classes online, Audo said she follows flower growers on social media and reads as much as she can about starting a small floriculture business.

With the help of a local landscaping company, Audo said a 5,600-square-foot cut flower garden was built outside her home and she started preparing seeds for it. the garden last January.

“Our basement looks like a beautiful green jungle right now,” she said. “I have trays upon trays of seedlings that I’ve given birth to since January/February and need to get out and plant soon. It’s a full-time job.”

Audo said she has between 8,000 and 10,000 seedlings ready to go, which hope to flower successfully in time for the upcoming summer season.

Audo says she has planted and will plant a wide variety of “fresh cut country garden flowers” for bouquets.

“The big staples are the tulips in the spring, and the buttercups and anemones come after my tulips,” she said. “Then we hit summer and it’s dahlias, sunflowers, zinnias and snapdragons.”

Audo said that not only are her flowers “grown to be cut” and therefore last longer in a vase, but they are all grown sustainably.

“I follow organic gardening without pesticides – the safest and healthiest way to grow flowers from seed to table,” she said, adding that her flowers are “much healthier than go to Costco or the supermarket and buy a dozen roses covered in toxins. .”

Audo said she hopes to one day incorporate another passion – education – into her business.

As a former teacher, she said her “ultimate dream” was for Cozy Oak Gardens to serve as an educational garden.

“My long-term goal is to share with people not only what I grow, but also what I know,” she said. “I would love to run workshops – whether it’s bouquet making or workshops on starting seeds, selecting and harvesting flowers, or growing your own little cut flower garden at home,” a- she declared.

In the meantime, Audo said she is focused on producing healthy, locally grown fresh-cut flowers and growing her new business, which opened last weekend.

Cozy Oaks Gardens’ first weekend of operation went better than expected, Audo said, and she hoped to get the business started more over Mother’s Day weekend.

Audo planned to have around 4,000 tulips ready to sell over the weekend from her newly built flower stand at the end of her driveway.

“The nice thing about the flower stand is that it’s self-serve,” she said.

Audo said people can purchase its bouquets, which range from around $20 to $25, either electronically through Venmo or PayPal, or with cash.

Although official hours have yet to be set, Audo said she plans to open the flower stand at Cozy Oak Gardens Thursday through Sunday from around 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information about Cozy Oak Gardens, visit cosyoakgardens.com.

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