Debra Prinzing

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American-grown flowers for our nation’s capitol with Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Farm and Studio (Episode 212)

September 23rd, 2015

Andrea Gagnon, designing with her just-picked Virginia-grown blooms. (c) Linda Blue

Andrea Gagnon, designing with her just-picked Virginia-grown blooms and Eufloria’s California-grown roses (c) Linda Blue

Earlier this month I spent several days at LynnVale Studios, the farm and art studio owned by Andrea and Lou Gagnon.

The couple graciously hosted the Washington, D.C., area Field to Vase Dinner in their Gainsville, Virginia, flower fields on September 3rd.

Not only was the event a spectacular floral and culinary celebration of local agriculture, it also gave me the chance to spend time observing Andrea’s incredible talents as a flower farmer and designer.

I’ve been wanting to interview Andrea for the past few years and somehow the moment never presented itself for us to record a face-to-face conversation for the Slow Flowers Podcast until now.

Let me tell you a bit more about Andrea:

Andrea Gagnon combines her professional design education with her expertise in floriculture to grow premium flowers and design unique arrangements that range from formal to fantastic. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech.

d0b21daa-5d38-4954-8959-82f937b868a0 Andrea was the invited floral designer whose creations decorated the 2015 Congressional Wine Caucus Reception in Washington, D.C., held at the Library of Congress, where her exquisite floristry featured all American-grown flowers and foliage.

Andrea and Lou manage a thriving art and design studio, floral design studio and commercial cut flower garden surrounded by 100 acres of forest, pasture and crop land.

Founded in 2002, LynnVale is dedicated to the cultivation of creativity and the human spirit through alternative agriculture and fine art.

A feast in the flower fields (c) Linda Blue

A feast in the flower fields (c) Linda Blue

From Field to Vase, with LynnVale Farm and Studios' amazing barn in the backdrop (c) Linda Blue

From Field to Vase, with LynnVale Farm and Studios’ amazing barn in the backdrop (c) Linda Blue

Guests of the Field to Vase Dinner on September 3rd followed Andrea on a farm tour to see her dahlias up close and personal (c) Linda Blue

Guests of the Field to Vase Dinner on September 3rd followed Andrea on a farm tour to see her dahlias up close and personal (c) Linda Blue

The heritage farm is nestled in the middle of an eighth generation family homestead in Northern Virginia. They share this on the LynnVale web site:

“We are committed to sustainable horticulture and ethical labor practices. We hire local high school students, university interns, stay at home parents and floral and garden enthusiasts. For events, we work with some of the best floral designers in the region. We thank you for supporting our effort to keep our farmland open and productive and for helping us cultivate a creative community.”

Lou and Andrea Gagnon (c) Linda Blue

Lou and Andrea Gagnon (c) Linda Blue

A LynnVale centerpiece adorned the tables at the Field to Vase Dinner (c) Linda Blue

A LynnVale centerpiece adorned the tables at the Field to Vase Dinner (c) Linda Blue

Each year, LynnVale grows more than 100 varieties of specialty cut flowers, foliages and herbs for sale at farmers markets and to fine florists across the D.C.- metro region.

In addition, with Andrea as the studio’s creative director, LynnVale provides flowers and arrangements, specializing in eco-friendly events and green weddings.

Our interview was recorded inside Andrea’s somewhat noisy delivery van, which happened to be filled with buckets of just-picked hydrangeas, dahlias, celosia and other amazing fresh, local and seasonal blooms.

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Andrea Gagnon’s winter fantasy design for the “Clock Tower,” by photographer Rebekah Murray

I was in on the secret: those flowers were destined for a very special VIP event in our nation’s capitol – I can’t tell you who ultimately enjoyed them but I am definitely in awe of what Andrea pulled off to fulfill the last-minute request from her floral design client.

A dahlia-centric flower farm (c) Linda Blue

A dahlia-centric flower farm (c) Linda Blue

Thanks so much for joining me today. Please enjoy these photographs of the flowers at LynnVale, of Andrea’s gorgeous floral designs, and of the stunning Field to Vase Dinner held in the fields that she and Lou so lovingly farm.

Read my Q&A profile of Andrea on the American Grown Flowers’ blog.

Learn more about Andrea in this wonderful piece on Flirty Fleurs.

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Episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast have been downloaded more than 66,000 times. I thank you and others in the progressive American-grown floral community for supporting this endeavor.

Until next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review. THANK YOU to each and every one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at shellandtree.com.

One Response to “American-grown flowers for our nation’s capitol with Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Farm and Studio (Episode 212)”

  1. Anne Matthews Says:

    Inspiring

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