New cut flower business blooming in Orono

Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 6:32 PM EDT
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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - There’s a new business blooming in Orono.

“Basically, Hidden in Thyme is the result of a hobby that got out of control,” said Riley Van Steenberghe, owner, Hidden in Thyme.

Van Steenberghe has always loved gardening.

“I grew up in a family that loves gardening. My dad was a big gardener. He had his own greenhouse business,” she said.

When she and her husband bought their first home in Orono in 2020, she quickly began filling the backyard beds.

First, with vegetables. Then she found a cut flower account on Instagram.

“It opened a whole new world for me. I was like, this is just beautiful,” she said.

Now, the only vegetables that remain are pumpkins and garlic.

They join beehives, fruit trees, chickens, plus rows and rows of flowers in their backyard oasis.

She says her favorite part is watching the flowers bloom.

“It’s funny because a lot of people think cut flower farm, they think that they’re going to just see all this color. But typically, with cut flowers as soon as something starts to open or bloom, you cut it. So, the consumer has the longest vase life, and they can enjoy that flower when it’s actually blooming and in full color,” Van Steenberghe said.

Hidden in Thyme officially started in 2022, but there’s a lot of planning -- and planting -- that needs to happen off the bat. She finally started selling to the public this year.

“I planted I think 172 different varieties. Yeah. I told myself I was going to plant 40 this year and then I just... I’m telling you I lose my mind!” she said with a laugh.

With all those options, it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite.

“It’s such a hard question for me to answer and I know you were going to ask me! I feel like I have a different favorite flower for each season. Probably if I had to choose one like overall favorite flower would be dahlias,” she said.

You can find Hidden in Thyme most Saturdays at the Orono Farmer’s Market.

You can also connect with Riley on Facebook and Instagram.