Debra Prinzing

Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Week 29 // Slow Flowers Challenge

Saturday, July 25th, 2015
Dahlias, zinnias, scabiosa, stock, baby's breath and oakleaf hydrangea foliage

Dahlias, zinnias, scabiosa, stock, baby’s breath and oakleaf hydrangea foliage

Sweetest color; finest texture -- pink baby's breath

Sweetest color; finest texture — pink baby’s breath

It’s so hard to believe we have arrived at Week 29, but the flowers tell us it is so.

Much is blooming early here in the Pacific Northwest. The flower farmers report that their crops are exploding weeks ahead of past seasons. It’s good news for the floral designers who yearn for local dahlias to take center stage in their creations — now through the first frost.

I love the tawny palette that started with this pinky-coral dahlia grown by my friends Diane Szukovathy and Dennis Westphall of Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon., the source of some of the most prolific offerings at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

That pink baby’s breath, which they also grow, literally took away my breath! I had to play with it and I love its blush-pink color echo of the dahlias.

The view from my new urban balcony - a ceramic stool is the ideal pedestal for my summer bouquet

The view from my new urban balcony – a ceramic stool is the ideal pedestal for my summer bouquet

Love how all these berry colors and pastels play together beautifully!

Love how all these berry colors and pastels play together beautifully!

Jello Mold also grows this terrific pale yellow zinnia, part of the Zinderella series of zinnias that produces a dense mound of double petals on top, available in many cool colors.

The rest of this arrangement is equally alluring, given the high-quality, seasonal blooms.

I love having the confidence that each stem was grown by a Salmon Safe-certified flower farmer using sustainable practices!

The remaining ingredients include:

Apricot cactus zinnias (Zinnia elegans ‘Pinca’), grown by Vivian Larson of Everyday Flowers

Pincushion flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Black  Knight’), grown byGonzalo Ojeda of Ojeda Farms

Stock in an ombre range of peach hues, grown by Sarah and Steve Pabody of Triple Wren Farms

Oakleaf hydrangea foliage, clipped from a neighbor’s shrub.

Together these soft colors are feminine and romantic.

Together these soft colors are feminine and romantic.

If you love this pin-striped vase as much as I do, please check out the work of Seattle ceramic artist Kristin Nelson of Kri Kri Studios.

This vase is part of her Vit Ceramics collection and I love that it’s as local and hand-crafted as the flowers it contains! This “Eve” vase is the perfect height and proportions for floral arranging. Click here to read Kristin’s description of how she created this lovely vessel.

Kate's dahlias -- from her garden to my vase

Kate’s dahlias — from her garden to my vase

As I mentioned, Dahlias are peaking here in Seattle. I had to share this delicious bouquet of just-picked dahlias, given to me by my friend (and bookkeeper) Kate Sackett.

After our recent meeting, she invited me to see her dahlias. What a treat to bring some of them home. Aren’t the colors and forms divine?!!!

It’s the Second Anniversary for the Slow Flowers Podcast with American Flowers Booster Kasey Cronquist (Episode 203)

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

second-birthday-cake-with-two-candles-214x300 Today’s episode celebrates the 2nd anniversary of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

This podcast has been downloaded more than 57,000 times during the course of two years — and that means more and more people are hearing the message of American grown flowers and the farmers and florists who bring those blooms to you.

The popularity of this podcast shouldn’t be measured in numbers alone, but here is a telling metric: On our first year anniversary, I remember being thrilled that 15,000 individual episodes had been heard.

In our second year, for the same 12-month period, 42,000 individual episodes have been downloaded — that’s nearly triple the frequency.

I’m honored and humbled that you’re listening today and that so many wonderful voices have agreed to be part of this podcast celebrating American flowers.

Kasey Cronquist, seen here celebrating American Grown Flowers at the Field to Vase Dinner in Monterey Bay, California last month.

Kasey Cronquist, seen here celebrating American Grown Flowers at the Field to Vase Dinner in Monterey Bay, California last month.

I’ve invited Kasey Cronquist to be my 2nd anniversary guest, a role he is repeating after last year’s first anniversary episode.

I joined flower farmer Mike A. Mellano (left) and Kasey Cronquist (right) to celebrate the Field to Vase Dinner at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, Calif., this past April.

I joined flower farmer Mike A. Mellano (left) and Kasey Cronquist (right) to celebrate the Field to Vase Dinner at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, Calif., this past April.

It’s fitting to have you hear from Kasey especially because he’s one of the most significant people in the local flower movement. He has certainly influenced my journey through America’s fields and design studios and he’s been a kindred spirit in the cause about which we care so deeply – saving and nurturing the domestic cut flower industry – from field to vase.

Kasey Cronquist, CEO & Ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission.

Kasey Cronquist, CEO & Ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission.

Kasey is the CEO and Ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission. He’s served in this capacity since 2007. He also administers the Certified American Grown Flowers brand program.

Efforts of Kasey Cronquist and others have led to the creation of this very special national brand for domestic flowers.

Efforts of Kasey Cronquist and others have led to the creation of this very special national brand for domestic flowers.

To learn more about Kasey, listen to our previous recorded interviews:

Episode 107 (September 18, 2013) American Grown Flowers from a California Point of View

Episode 151 (July 23, 2014) An All-American Celebration for our One-Year Anniversary

Here’s where you can find and follow him:

Kasey Cronquist’s Field Position Blog

Twitter: @kaseycronquist and @cagrown

Instagram: @kaseycronquist

TAKE ACTION!!! Here’s how to support the efforts of the Congressional Cut Flower Caucus by asking your own Representative to join!

I’m eager to begin Year Three, sharing more conversations with listeners like you.

THANK YOU for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing as part of the Slow Flowers Community. And a very special thanks to the flower farmers, floral designers, authors, educators and marketers whose voices have appeared on the Slow Flowers Podcast this past year.

F2Vheadergraphic I’m sharing a $35 off promotional discount for you to attend any of the remaining six Field to Vase Dinners in 2015. Reserve your seat at the flower-laden table by clicking here and use the code SLOWFLOWERS.

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.

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.

Week 28 // Slow Flowers Challenge

Monday, July 20th, 2015
Just-picked Colorado-grown flowers at the peak of summer.

Just-picked Colorado-grown flowers at the peak of summer.

Chet Anderson of The Fresh Herb Co., sharing his beautiful and locally-grown bouquets and bunches at Boulder Co. Farmers' Market.

Chet Anderson of The Fresh Herb Co., sharing his beautiful and locally-grown bouquets and bunches at Boulder Co. Farmers’ Market.

Bouquets from The Fresh Herb Co. that caught my eye at the Longmont Farmers' Market, their second venue.

Bouquets from The Fresh Herb Co. that caught my eye at the Longmont Farmers’ Market, their second venue.

Love this beautiful periwinkle blue bachelor button (Centaurea cyanus)

Love this beautiful periwinkle blue bachelor button (Centaurea cyanus)

This week’s Slow Flowers Challenge comes to you from the flower farms of Colorado!

I spent several days last week as a guest of Chet and Kristy Anderson, owners of The Fresh Herb Co., based in Longmont, Colorado. We featured the Andersons and their beautiful farm, flowers and philosophy in The 50 Mile Bouquet – in a chapter called “Rocky Mountain Flowers.”

You can learn more about this couple in our Slow Flowers Podcast episode that aired earlier this year.

Returning to Colorado was a delightful excuse to play with flowers picked from fields just steps away from the back door. I was there to co-host the fourth Field to Vase Dinner of 2015 – farm-to-table dining experiences held on flower farms across the country.

Chet and Kristy graciously welcomed this very special gathering at The Fresh Herb Co. Eighty lucky guests enjoyed a delicious meal, local wine and an unparalleled setting next to the gurgling Left Hand Creek. Flowers were on the table and the conversation was all about American grown flowers, the Slow Flowers movement, and the important reasons to focus on domestic, local, seasonal and sustainable flowers. Check out this beautiful and engaging blog post about the dinner from Boulder photographer Kirsten Boyer, “Slow Flowers and Slow Friendships.”

SFC_28_July 2015_Boulder 049

Love the delicate solidago as a textural element that plays off the bolder flower forms, including gladiolas and sunflowers.

When Chet was asked to speak, he uttered a very simple sentence that resonated with me: “Without people buying our flowers, we wouldn’t exist!”

I deeply believe in his statement. And this is what motivates me, to honor and value the lives and work of flower farmers like Chet and Kristy.

I share this lovely bouquet and I really can’t take credit for the design. This is a market bouquet similar to those that they harvest, gather and sell each week at the Boulder and Longmont Farmers’ Markets. 

I combined flowers from two Colorado farms to fill this vase. The Corona clippers are a bonus!

I combined flowers from two Colorado farms to fill this vase. The Corona clippers are a bonus!

Love this t-shirt worn by gladiola flower farmer Matt Carson of 934 Farms LLC

Love this t-shirt worn by gladiola flower farmer Matt Carson of 934 Farms LLC

While in Boulder, I had a fun chance to speak about the Slow Flowers Movement and local, American-grown flowers at an evening sponsored by the Boulder Co. Farmers’ Market.

The Market also promoted the Field to Vase Dinner by giving away two free tickets. The winner was Matt Carson of 934 Farms LLC, based in Milliken, Colorado. A relatively new flower farmer, Matt and his wife Jonie grow gladiolas and also sell them at the Boulder Co. Farmers’ Market.

I couldn’t make it to their farm, about 45 minutes outside Boulder. But I did get to shop at Matt’s stall and purchase some gorgeous glads from him on Saturday morning. It was a treat to add those tall, elegant stems to the bouquet given to me by Nick Anderson, Chet and Kristy’s son.

I’ll try and list all of the flowers included below.

Orangyy zinnias + orangy glads - a perfect combo!

Orangy zinnias + orangy glads – a perfect combo!

Colorado-grown LOCAL and SEASONAL bouquet:

From The Fresh Herb Co.: Oriental lilies, zinnias, goldenrod (Solidago sp.), bachelor’s buttons and MINT!!! Boy, does it smell glorious!

From 934 Farm LLC: Eight variously-hued gladiolas

Christof Berneau of UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology (Episode 202)

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
Christoph Berneau holds in his hands, a bunch of beautiful, organic, just-picked roses from UCSC's flower fields.

Christof Berneau holds in his hands, a bunch of beautiful, organic, just-picked roses from UCSC’s flower fields.

"The Farm" at University of California/Santa Cruz's 33-acre compound.

“The Farm” at University of California/Santa Cruz’s 33-acre compound.

A 2015 Apprentice poses with her just-harvested, just-designed bouquet.

A 2015 Apprentice poses with her just-harvested, just-designed bouquet.

Last month, my travels returned me to one of the most prolific flower growing regions in the U.S. – Monterey Bay, California.

I was there to co-host the Field to Vase Dinner Tour at Pajarosa Roses, a fantastic American flower farm known for luxury roses grown with sustainable practices. I was also able to connect with some other influential people in the cut flower industry in order to record interviews for the Slow Flowers Podcast.

You’ll hear today from one of those voices. Please meet Christof Bernau, the farm garden manager of the UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

A veteran of the UC Santa Cruz program, Christof is a totally hands-on farmer-educator, working closely with the graduate apprentices, undergraduates and members of the public interested in land stewardship through farming.

2015 UCSC Apprentices gather to make beautiful summertime bouquets from flowers picked only moments earlier.

2015 UCSC Apprentices gather to make beautiful summertime bouquets from flowers picked only moments earlier.

Christof, clipping a few UCSC-grown Kordes roses for a custom order.

Christof, clipping a few UCSC-grown Kordes roses for a custom order.

Look how much happiness these American grown flowers spread!

Look how much happiness these American grown flowers spread!

Today's guest, Christof Berneau, is the hands-on educator-farmer at USCS's Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Farming.

Today’s guest, Christof Berneau, is the hands-on educator-farmer at USCS’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

Here’s more about Christof:

Christof has been part of the CASFS since coming to the Santa Cruz area as an Apprentice in 1994. He has been an Apprenticeship instructor since 1999.

Christof has extensive experience in nursery management, propagation, vegetable, and specialty cut flower production.

He is especially interested in floral design with specialty crops, high nutrition crops, small-scale grain production, the cultivation of a wide range of fruit crops, and creating a learning environment where everyone can thrive.

He holds a BA in Asian History from Reed College and an MA in Equity and Social Justice in Adult Education from San Francisco State University.

When not immersed in the farm, Christof cherishes his time with his wife Jennifer and their daughter Eleanor Wren, spending time in the mountains, pursuing wildflowers, studying natural history, water cycles, and local ecology.

Harvest Schedule- Love this!

Harvest Schedule- Love this!

Summer bouquet-making with the 2015 apprentices yields some gorgeous hyper-local arrangements.

Summer bouquet-making with the 2015 apprentices yields some gorgeous and hyper-local arrangements.

And more about the Center:

It is a research, education, and public service program dedicated to increasing ecological sustainability and social justice in the food and agriculture system. And yes, thankfully, flowers are a part of that equation!

The Center operates the 3-acre Alan Chadwick Garden and the 33-acre UCSC Farm, which serve as research, teaching, and training facilities. Proceeds from produce, flower and plant sales support the UCSC Farm & Garden facilities, and the Center’s Apprenticeship training course in organic farming and gardening.

“The Farm,” as it is called, is the hub of activity for the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, which teaches the concepts and practices of organic gardening and small-scale farming.

This full-time, six-month  program includes approximately 300 hours of classroom instruction and 700 hours of in-field training and hands-on experience in the greenhouses, gardens, orchards, and fields.

Buckets of Santa Cruz flowers, ready for designing.

Buckets of Santa Cruz flowers, ready for designing.

Another creative Apprentice with his custom arrangement.

Another creative Apprentice with his custom arrangement.

Since its founding in 1967, the Apprenticeship has developed into an internationally recognized program that blends the virtues of experiential learning with traditional classroom studies.

Topics covered during the six-month course include instruction and daily work experience in organic gardening and farming, focusing on ecological interactions amongst plants, soils, climate, insects, and pathogens.

In a hands-on education approach, apprentices work alongside staff in the greenhouse, gardens, fields, and orchards, as well as attend lectures, demonstrations, and field trips.

Apprentices are exposed to the different aspects of growing plants organically on both a hand-dug garden scale and a tractor-cultivated field scale. The Apprentices selected to attend the course each year are interested in practical training that will prepare them to teach others and/or to run their own operations.

Another fun Apprentice shot - note the lavender sprig in his beard.

Another fun Apprentice shot – note the lavender sprig in his beard.

The goal of the Apprenticeship is to increase the number and diversity of individuals who have a command of the fundamental skills and concepts associated with organic horticulture and agriculture, such that they will be prepared to actively participate in commercial or social service projects that aim to improve human health and environmental quality through organic practices.

If you find yourself traveling to Northern California, the SF Bay Area or Santa Cruz, check out the ways you can connect with the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

For flower farmers and floral designers, something really exciting is coming up at The Farm on Saturday, July 25th: Growing and Designing Special Event Flowers.

Join professional flower grower Zoe Hitchner of Front Porch Farm in Healdsburg, and Sky DeMuro of UCSC’s Alan Chadwick Garden for a day-long workshop on special event flowers. If you are a bride, groom, farmer-florist, or simply love playing with flowers, this workshop will delight and educate.

Zoe and Sky will lead participants in demonstrations and hands-on activities as we make unique, seasonal arrangements that are farm-fresh and elegant. In addition to basic floral design techniques including hand-tied bouquets, centerpieces, corsages, and boutonniers, this workshop will also cover organic growing and selection tips for those who want to grow their own bouquets.

The cost of the all-day workshop is $125 (or $95 for members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden. Discounts available for beginning farmers (see contact information, below, to inquire about discounts). Space is limited to 20 participants and you’ll take home your arrangements. Pre-registration required. Click here to read a lovely profile about Zoe and Front Porch Farm that was featured on the Field to Vase blog.

Check out these Social sites where you can follow year-round activity of The Farm:

The Farm on Instagram

The Farm on Facebook

Application details about the 2016 Apprenticeship program.

You never know, this may be your introduction to a whole new world of sustainable flower and food farming!

Listeners like you have downloaded this podcast nearly 56,000 times. THANK YOU to each and every one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

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.

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.

Week 27 // Slow Flowers Challenge

Sunday, July 12th, 2015
July. Hydrangeas. Boom.

July. Hydrangeas. Boom.

What a week. Our last to enjoy the home and garden we’ve occupied for the past four years. Downsizing is wonderfully aspirational, but boy is it a lot of work. In fact, I’m rushing to post this because the Garden Lovers’ Garage Sale resumes in 1-1/2 hours!

But with only 72 hours left before closing on the sale of our nearly 3,500-square-foot home and moving into a not quite 1,200-square-foot apartment (still in Seattle), I had to take a Slow Flowers Challenge “moment” yesterday.

The cause for my joy? These amazing hydrangeas! I inherited numerous hydrangeas from this home and garden’s previous owners, more than a half-dozen. In one shaded corner beneath the fir and cedar trees, there is a trio clustered between the fence and the driveway. Occasional irrigation; otherwise much neglect.

Still, they are glorious come summertime. Look at these iridescent hues ranging from powder blue to French blue to rosy purple. These flowers do not disappoint – even when there are piles of garage sale junk strewn at their feet.

Ready to be carried to my new home in this amazing steel floral caddy, complete with six jars of hydrangeas.

Ready to be carried to my new home in this amazing steel floral caddy, complete with six jars of hydrangeas.

PS, don’t you LOVE this metal carrier? It was designed and custom fabricated by Silver Lake Farms, the urban flower farm based in Los Angeles’s Silver Lake neighborhood, owned by flower maven Tara Kolla. You can read about Tara in a chapter of my book The 50 Mile Bouquet – and at her beautiful web site here.

Tara designed these carriers so she and her crew can harvest flowers, pop them into the jars of water, and bring them to their various sales outlets. One of the most popular is Hollywood Farmers’ Market, where you can find Silver Lake Farms every Sunday, February through July. You can also join Silver Lake’s FLOWER CSA for custom-picked beauties – straight from Tara’s urban growing fields. And, you might get lucky and be able to purchase a carrier. It’s a perfect tool for gardeners and flower farmers alike!

Week 26 // Slow Flowers Challenge for #Americanflowersweek

Saturday, July 4th, 2015
Here's to a cool, pastel-themed July 4th!

Here’s to a cool, pastel-themed July 4th!

I’ve been preoccupied with thoughts of Patriotism this week, especially with the Slow Flowers launch of American Flowers Week, which runs through today – July 4th.

A sampling of the posts on Instagram and Twitter - all for #americanflowersweek

A sampling of the posts on Instagram and Twitter – all for #americanflowersweek

Hundreds of folks have joined me in making red-white-and-blue floral arrangements and posting photos of their fields, flowers, bouquets and arrangements across the social media spectrum, all tagged with #americanflowersweek.

I’ve had a lot of fun making red-white-and-blue bouquets this week, too!

So, for a softer take on #americanflowersweek, may I present floral patriotism with pastels?

Pink, white and blue!

Peach, white and blue!

That nigella ~ so divine! Grown by Vivian Larson of Everyday Flowers.

That nigella ~ so divine! Grown by Vivian Larson of Everyday Flowers.

I love the distressed quality of this white cast-iron planter, recycled from a Better Homes & Gardens photo shoot from a few years back.

With a plastic liner converting it to a vase, the urn fits right into this week’s restful floral palette. P.S., I used a small flower frog, secured inside – for stabilizing the stems.

From my garden:

  • Dusty Miller foliage ~ intensely white at this time of year

From Seattle Wholesale Growers Market:

 

Destination Weddings in North Michigan, with BLOOM Floral Design (Episode 200)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
Bloom_Floral_Design

Jennifer Haf (left) and Larissa Flynn (right) of BLOOM Floral Design, collaborating on a floral headpiece at a recent Francoise Weeks workshop in Michigan

web_2015AmericanFlowersWeekLogo We are in the middle of celebrating the inaugural American Flowers Week, June 29th through July 4th. We created American Flowers Week as a grass roots education, promotion and advocacy campaign to highlight our nation’s farms, florists, flowers and foliage — and to raise awareness among consumers, the media and policymakers about supporting domestic flowers!

If you haven’t joined in, there is plenty of time to get involved.

The easiest thing you can do is to make a red-white-and-blue bouquet using all American-grown, local and seasonal blooms. Please post that photo on your social sites and tag #americanflowersweek. I believe this effort will grow from a small idea into a significant annual event – and by adding your voice (and creativity) to American Flowers Week, you’re helping sing the praises of our homegrown blooms.

bloomlogo I’m so pleased today to introduce you to Jennifer Haf and Larissa Flynn of BLOOM Floral Design based on the beautiful North Michigan shore, in the communities of Petoskey/Charlevoix.

Jennifer founded BLOOM floral design in 2008 in response to her love for sharing cut garden flowers from her Northern Michigan backyard.

Having since studied under some of the most celebrated designers and with her team executed hundreds of regional and destination events, Jennifer radiates her love for all things natural into the designs BLOOM creates.

With a talented design team, BLOOM offers exclusive services to Northern Michigan and destination wedding clients — in fact, for 65 ceremonies this year alone.

Jennifer Haf, founder of BLOOM Floral Design.

Jennifer Haf, founder of BLOOM Floral Design.

Along with Jennifer, you’ll also meet Larissa Flynn, the creative director for BLOOM.

Trained as a graphic designer and fine artist, with extensive gallery and arts management experience, Larissa joined the floral business several years ago after meeting Jennifer and realizing they were creative kindred spirits.

I love the philosophy of BLOOM, as described on the studio’s web site:

We believe that flowers are most beautiful in their natural state.  When combined with other blooms in a customized palette, color and texture create a distinctive design that exudes the feeling you wish to create.  BLOOM sources flowers from only the finest growers, sourcing as much as we can locally and domestically.  Hand selected from tried and true varieties of the highest standards, our blooms will be sure to please.

Behind the scenes our creative team works meticulously at our production design studio where all of the magic happens the week leading up to your event.  Hand processing all of our flowers and prepping and designing each arrangement per event, our designs will charm and delight you and your guests.

Larissa Flynn, BLOOM's creative director.

Larissa Flynn, BLOOM’s creative director.

As you will hear in our conversation, I recorded the interview with Jennifer and Larissa rather spontaneously – at a gathering hosted by Lisa Waud of pot and box and Detroit’s The Flower House, a prior guest of this podcast.

I had flown to Detroit for a 24-hour visit to attend the preview for this amazing art installation, which will be held over the weekend of October 16-18.

Jennifer and Larissa will create the florals for one of the rooms at The Flower House and I can’t wait to see what kind of botanical magic they conjure up.

Please follow links to all of BLOOM’s social sites, shared below. These are talented Slow Flowers floristas you will want to follow:

BLOOM on Facebook

BLOOM on Twitter

BLOOM on Pinterest

BLOOM on Instagram

Here’s a gallery of the beautiful design work from BLOOM Floral Design, used with their permission. These gorgeous images give me a keen sense of place and an appreciation for the character of their region’s landscape, climate and flora. A large percentage of their floral elements are local, Michigan-grown flowers. You’ll want to visit Northern Michigan at the peak of the season to see these lovelies yourself!

Bloom4

Bloom5

Bloom9

Bloom7

Bloom10

Bloom11

Bloom14

Bloom15

Bloom17

Bloom13

Listeners like you have downloaded this podcast more than 54,000 times. THANK YOU to each and every one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

Please join the American Flowers Week excitement and check out these resources to help your efforts. With your involvement, I believe this public awareness campaign will gain momentum and become an established annual event in the floral industry.

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.

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.

Week 25 // Slow Flowers Challenge

Monday, June 29th, 2015
A red-white-and-blue, All-American bouquet!

A red-white-and-blue, All-American bouquet! (c) Tim Gleason

Floral Fireworks for July 4th (c) Tim Gleason

Floral Fireworks for July 4th (c) Tim Gleason

Happy Independence Day!

We have so many opportunities to celebrate local, seasonal and beautiful flowers and there’s no better one than welcoming Week 25 of the  Slow Flowers Challenge which coincides with the July 4th holiday.

Join me in clipping and arranging red-white-and-blue botanicals to honor the holiday.

I am so excited that all of the flowers in this week’s stellar arrangement came from one of my favorite flower farms,Charles Little & Co. of Eugene, Oregon. I visited this past week and received permission from Bethany Little to harvest to my heart’s content. Thank you, Bethany!

Tomorrow begins the inaugural American Flowers Weekcampaign, a tribute to the farmers who grow flowers in all 50 states, and to the artisans who interpret those flowers in bouquets, arrangements and other botanical beauty.

You are invited to take part in American Flowers Week by posting the flowers you grow and arrange on all social platforms with the hash-tag #americanflowersweek.

web_2015AmericanFlowersWeekLogo

Learn more and download this lovely logo by clicking here.

Here are a few more details about this week’s bouquet:

A profusion of red, white and blue annuals and perennials for July 4th (c) Tim Gleason

A profusion of red, white and blue annuals and perennials for July 4th (c) Tim Gleason

web_June_27_2015_DSC_4366 White flowers:

  • Variegated green-white sedum as foliage (which you can barely see!)
  • Centranthus
  • Queen Anne’s lace
  • Nigella
  • Double-white Yarrow (Achillea ptarmica ‘Angel’s Breath’)
  • Obedient Plant (Psysostegia virginiana)

Blue flowers:

  • Delphinium – pale and dark blue
  • Scabiosa
  • Cornflower/Bachelor’s Button (Centaurea cyanus)
  • Sea Holly (Eryngium sp.)

Red flowers:

  • Crocosmia
  • Geum

 

Please enjoy this  Snapshot of an All-American flower farm:

Charles Little & Co., Eugene, Oregon:

Flower farmer Bethany Little, of Charles Little & Co.

Flower farmer Bethany Little, of Charles Little & Co.

At the foot of Mount Pisgah in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Flower farming is hard work, but this daily view makes it worth it!

At the foot of Mount Pisgah in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Flower farming is hard work, but this daily view makes it worth it!

Farmhouse (left) and Flower Barn (right) at Charles Little & Co.

Farmhouse (left) and Flower Barn (right) at Charles Little & Co.

Farmstand Sign offers American-grown Lovelies and more!

Farmstand Sign offers American-grown Lovelies and more!

Week 24 // Slow Flowers Challenge

Sunday, June 21st, 2015
A garden-sourced Father's Day bouquet for my husband, Bruce

A garden-sourced Father’s Day bouquet for my husband, Bruce

A bucket filled with lovelies from my garden.

A bucket filled with lovelies from my garden.

Greetings and here’s to SUMMER’S arrival today, June 21st! I couldn’t be more inspired to celebrate the Solstice than to take a walk in the garden. I clipped each stem for today’s Slow Flowers Challenge from my Seattle yard this morning and spent a glorious (and blissfully meditative) hour or so arranging.

And since it’s Father’s Day, I’m using the arrangement for tonight’s dinner we’re preparing for Bruce, my husband and the father of our two boys.

I’ve always loved pairing lime and wine colors together, in garden borders and beds, as well as in container gardens. No surprise that the deep burgundy Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’) looks terrific with the acid green Lady’s Mantle ( Alchemilla mollis). Stems from those two create the textural and high-contrast foundation for this design.

Steps one and two: Insert foliage to create the foundation.

Steps one and two: Insert foliage to create the foundation.

By the way, this is a vintage Haeger American-made vessel, a creamy ivory piece that I brought home with me from a trip to Iowa a few years ago. I love the proportions – perfect for a centerpiece. (Here’s a similar one on Etsy  – they’re not too difficult to find.)

To create this design, I placed a large cage-style metal flower frog (also vintage) in the bottom of the bowl. The grid has 5/8-inch openings, ideal for a combination of woody and herbaceous stems as I’m using here.

Steps three and four: Adding garden roses, a sweet pairing of a peachy-pink rose with a bicolored white-ruby rose. I inherited these two unknown roses when we moved to this garden four years ago.

Steps three and four: Adding garden roses, a sweet pairing of a peachy-pink rose with a bicolored white-ruby rose. I inherited these two unknown roses when we moved to this garden four years ago.

After I added the roses, I wanted to take advantage of some wispy pieces to bring a playful dimension to the design. I incorporated a beautiful, mauve-colored Astrantia and several stems of a burgundy-petaled tickseed with great yellow centers ( Coreopsis sp.).

Steps five and six: Astrantia and Coreopsis for their wispy textures.

Steps five and six: Astrantia and Coreopsis for their wispy textures.

Two final and rather unexpected touches utilize other garden stalwarts: Crocosmia in bud – love the strong lines of it at this stage; and bronze fennel. Now some may argue that bronze fennel is a garden thug, and it is. But the flouncy, lacy texture is pretty fantastic in an arrangement, so I always allow a few stems of it to remain after weeding out the volunteers.

Steps seven and eight: Crocosmia buds and bronze fennel stems.

Steps seven and eight: Crocosmia buds and bronze fennel stems.

British Flowers Week – Days 3 & 4

Thursday, June 18th, 2015
A Trunkful of Alliums by Bloomsbury Flowers L-0368

A Trunkful of Alliums by Bloomsbury Flowers (c) Julian Winslow

It’s a busy week and I wanted to devote yesterday’s blog post to our podcast interview with Sarah Statham of Simply by Arrangement.

So here, for Thursday, June 18th, are beautiful British-grown flowers in the hands of top floral designers! The New Covent Garden Flower Market commissioned these stars of British floral design to interpret and create designs using the best domestic crops available.

Thanks to the team behind British Flowers Week for sharing these gorgeous (and inspiring) creations:

DAY THREE June 17th

Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks of Bloomsbury Flowers (c) Julian Winslow

Mark Welford and Stephen Wicks of Bloomsbury Flowers (c) Julian Winslow

Welcome to Day Three of British Flowers Week 2015, the third year of the industry-wide, nationwide campaign in support of British cut flowers, founded and organised by New Covent Garden Flower Market.

Please enjoy the work of Stephen Wicks and Mark Welford of Bloomsbury Flowers, using British alliums.

Clouds of Alliums by Bloomsbury Flowers (c) Julian WInslow

Clouds of Alliums by Bloomsbury Flowers (c) Julian Winslow

There is a distinct sense of the theatrical in the work of Stephen Wicks and Mark Welford of Bloomsbury Flowers. They celebrate the natural, organic beauty of flowers with their unpretentious design style with masculine twist. (c) Julian Winslow

There is a distinct sense of the theatrical in the work of Stephen Wicks and Mark Welford of Bloomsbury Flowers. They celebrate the natural, organic beauty of flowers with their unpretentious design style with masculine twist. (c) Julian Winslow

DAY FOUR June 18th

Portrait of Jay Archer (c) Julian Winslow

Portrait of Jay Archer (c) Julian Winslow

Jay Archer of Jay Archer Floral Design and the British Lupin are the fourth sweethearts of British Flowers Week. Jay has created three wonderful designs exclusively for this pro-British Flowers campaign:

Rockin' the Lupin (c) Julian Winslow

Rockin’ the Lupin (c) Julian Winslow

The Wedding Bouquet by Jay Archer (c) Julian Winslow

The Wedding Bouquet by Jay Archer (c) Julian Winslow

Ceremonial Arch (c) Julian Winslow

Ceremonial Arch (c) Julian Winslow