By now you’ve probably figured out from my stories about gardens and farm animals that I’m in pursuit of joy and beauty. Some might call this hedonistic, but I call it life saving. In our altered reality, anything that counterbalances the scary news is essential.

On the Vineyard, we’re ridiculously lucky to have beauty at every turn and a million ways to find joy. But one of the simplest — no contact, instant gratification, big bang for the buck — is picking up a fresh bouquet of farm-grown flowers at a roadside farm stand.

Too often we think of fresh flowers as a gift or a party decoration. But I think we deserve to have flowers just for ourselves, whenever we feel we need them. Any day we like, even when the farmers’ market is not happening. Even if we’re growing zinnias in our own backyards, but the beetles are eating them and the stems are short and after all, its still July so who has a million flowers to cut and gather into a big bunch? It’s okay to pull over and spend a little dough.

Robyn Athearn of Morning Glory Farm keeps this West Tisbury stand stocked. — Jeanna Shepard

Ironically, the pandemic has provided us with two new farm stands from longtime Island flower growers, both of whom are offering bunches of flowers at prices designed to be affordable treats for everyone.

I admit I am particularly tickled that Robyn Athearn has filled my old farm stand on Trip Barnes’s property in West Tisbury with a dazzling display of flower bunches, all for $10. Robyn is head of the flower operation at Morning Glory Farm, and she and her crew make beautiful bouquets for Morning Glory’s location in Edgartown.

But when the opportunity arose to fill the little red farm stand on State Road with flowers this year, Robyn decided to do it in the spirit of making affordable flowers available to her West Tisbury neighbors.

Instead of labor-intensive bouquets that command a higher price, for the self-serve farm stand (tucked behind a long stone wall just before the entrance to Island Farms), Robyn is concentrating on bunches of one or just a couple varieties for $10 each. The mason jars and tomato cans of zinnias, cosmos, dahlias, poppies, snapdragons, and cosmos line the slightly sagging shelves in the wooden stand like charms on a necklace or colorful bunting at a birthday party. Hand-painted signs are tacked on the sides; the stand is outfitted with a wooden honor box. The display will absolutely make you smile even before you buy a bunch or two of flowers.

“We wanted to keep things simple,” Robyn said, acknowledging that for many people these days it is much less stressful to pick up a bunch of flowers at an outdoor stand than to venture into a busy store.

Follow the signs. — Jeanna Shepard

“I just hope it makes people happy; that’s what I really want,” she said. “It’s wonderful to be able to interact with our community in this way.”

Robyn is particularly excited about the explosion of sunflowers she’s got coming, grown right on Trip’s property. She’s also growing zinnias and cosmos there, though next year she may simplify and grow just zinnias — which are easiest to cut and bunch — at the State Road location. She’ll still do what she’s doing this year, too — bring many of the flowers in a van over from the West Tisbury flower growing operation that she and husband Simon Athearn, CEO of Morning Glory, created to supply Morning Glory’s farm store.

“It’s been interesting to see what people like,” Robyn told me. “The Icelandic poppies were super popular — cosmos, not so much!”

The other day when I stopped by, I found myself lured in by a clutch of tall pastel snapdragons and soft peachy dahlias. One bunch held a generous amount of flowers so I bought a second bunch for a friend.

Robyn told me she thinks a lot of people are buying two bunches at a time. Those are my kind of shoppers.

While Robyn has been busy outfitting the new stand, another well-known flower grower, Krishana Collins, has just opened a stand at Tea Lane Farm in Chilmark on Middle Road.

For fans of Krishana’s flowers, this is excellent news. Krishana continues to bring her huge range of flowers to the farmers’ market, but for those who are shy about the crowds, she now has the little farm stand just a short hop up the driveway at Tea Lane Farm.

Lillies act as a beacon, encouraging a quick stop. — Jeanna Shepard

For now, the selection at the farm stand isn’t as big as the farmers’ market offerings, but that may evolve as the stand catches on. The good news is that seven days a week, you can buy a bunch of flowers for $15 right off the stand. I went home with some stunning white lilies the day I stopped to see Krishana.

I asked her why this was the year she decided to open a farm stand (she has been at Tea Lane Farm since 2012), and she told me it was something she always wanted to do but was too busy with wedding flowers in past years. Of course there are not as many weddings this year.

“I really wanted people to be able to see the farm, so this is a great opportunity,” she told me.

Seeing the farm — the main flower field is right on Middle Road — is certainly a big bonus to stopping at Tea Lane. Gorgeous splashes of color nodding and waving in the breeze make one of the cheeriest scenes you can conjure up, even on a gray day.

But this year, you’re also invited — on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — to go all the way up the driveway to the flower studio. In a rustic farm building that Krishana has converted into a design studio where custom arrangements are made, you can pick and choose flowers — everything from dahlias to sweet peas — for a made-to-order bouquet, priced accordingly. For social distancing, only one customer at a time enters the studio. But waiting outside on the farm is pleasant in and of itself.

Robyn and Krishana’s flower stands may be new this year, but there are plenty more stress-free spots to scoop up a bunch of beauty on the Island. Keep your eyes open. Poke around. Don’t hesitate to pull over. And always buy one bunch for yourself, even if you’re buying for a friend.