Debra Prinzing

Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Episode 240: Williams Wildflowers – Growing and Designing with Native and Wild Plants in New York and Florida

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

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The "wild" design work of Annie Schiller (Florida, left) and Rachel Andre (New York, right)

The “wild” design work of Annie Schiller (Florida, left) and Rachel Andre (New York, right)

I first met Annie Schiller of William’s Wildflowers when she introduced herself via email in 2013. The subject line: Slow Flowers in South Florida.

The note continued:

I’m reaching out to you to say hello and to say thanks for your work. Our award-winning native plant nursery in south Florida, Florida Native Plants has just expanded to offer wildflower bouquets featuring Florida native and Florida-friendly wildflowers that we grow ourselves. We are growing them sustainably, without irrigation, pesticides or chemical fertilizers. We want to provide the bouquets already arranged for clients. I’m just writing to see if you can list us on your upcoming search website for locating locally-sourced flowers or anywhere else you might have a list of resources?

This is our website: www.williamswildflowers.com.

We are really excited about this new venture, and could use any advise you might have for start-up slow flower businesses.

A lovely Williams Wildflowers infographic used to educate customers and wedding clients.

A lovely Williams Wildflowers infographic used to educate customers and wedding clients.

Our conversation continued and Annie connected me with an extension agent for the Sarasota, Florida, area who was working on a Florida Small Farms Conference. He planned to feature Slow Flowers at the conference and noted that “we love the concept of Slow Flowers as it’s the perfect complement to our conference’s emphasis on local foods, producers, advocates and systems.”

A flower girl's floral crown in New York

A flower girl’s floral crown in New York

Annie and her sister Rachel Andre were early supporters of the Slow Flowers Indiegogo campaign, which ultimately meant their Williams Wildflowers design studios appeared on Slowflowers.com when it launched in 2014.

I’ve been wanting to feature Rachel and Annie on a podcast and we finally found time to schedule an interview when they were together rather than thousands of miles apart. We recorded this episode when I was in St. Louis a few weeks ago and Rachel had traveled to Sarasota, from upstate New York to help Annie with a wedding. We had some audio difficulties due to  recording over Skype, but hopefully you’ll forget about them as you’re drawn into the conversation, the laughter and the  fabulous story these two young designers will share.

A Williams Wildflowers (Florida) wedding bouquet (c) Brenna Foster

A Williams Wildflowers (Florida) wedding bouquet (c) Brenna Foster

As a design studio, Williams Wildflowers specializes in sustainably and locally-grown, eco-friendly floral arrangements featuring native plants and wildflowers for weddings and special events of all types and sizes. Williams Wildflowers grows, forages and sources local material to create custom and artistically designed floral arrangements directly inspired by the seasons and the local environment. Annie and Rachel’s designs are truly farm to table, with a fresh, one-of-a-kind floral palette.

A centerpiece created by Rachel for Williams Wildflowers New York.

A centerpiece created by Rachel for Williams Wildflowers New York.

The types of cultivated wildflowers and native plants that Rachel and Annie use in their designs are unique to their regions, but there is some overlap, which really surprised me. As they point out, many varieties are native to the eastern part of North America, covering a huge geographic range. Think of black-eyed Susans, white mountain aster, goldenrod, coneflower, bergamot, Queen Anne’s lace, phlox, wild marjoram, yarrow, joe pye weed, sunflowers, bee balm, fleabane, and so many more. See this lovely gallery of flowers from the Williams Wildflowers website:

New York Wildflowers

Florida Wildflowers

Rachel Andre in New York

Rachel Andre in New York

One half of Williams Wildflowers is operated by Rachel Andre, who is based in the Rensselaerville, NY. Her upstate New York studio is located about 150 miles from NYC. She is a graduate of Hunter College in New York City with a background in art history and sculptural design. Rachel has worked as a horticultural intern at Florida Native Plants Nursery and was a volunteer for SF’s Golden Gate Park Botanical Garden. She has a passion for all wildlife with a particular interest in floral design, edible gardening and promoting native flora for sustainable environments. Rachel is currently designing for, managing and establishing the upstate NY location for William’s Wildflowers.

Annie at Williams Wildflowers Florida

Annie at Williams Wildflowers Florida

The other half of Williams Wildflowers is operated by her sister, Annie Schiller. Annie has worked at Florida Native Plants Nursery in Sarasota, Florida, for four years, but she was born in the Bronx and raised in both Chicago and in Florida. She designs butterfly gardens, grows and maintains native and Florida-friendly plants, designs and maintains social and print media (including Williams Wildflowers’ web site) and that of Florida Native Plants. She is interested in wildlife and edible gardening, permaculture, homesteading, vermicompost, sustainable practices, eco art, and floral design. Annie has a background in visual art, art history and graphic design from Florida State University and from her years spent living and working in New York City. Annie currently designs ‘growing bowls’ and arranges and designs wildflower bouquets for the Florida branch of William’s Wildflowers.

Their Mom Laurel Schiller is a wildlife biologist with an extensive background in higher education and in the Native Plant world. She runs Florida Native Wildlife Nursery.

Grandpa Bill, inspiration for Williams Wildflowers, his grand-daughters' floral ventures.

Grandpa Bill, inspiration for Williams Wildflowers, his grand-daughters’ floral ventures.

The William of Williams Wildflowers was Dr. William E. Keller, Annie and Rachel’s grandfather. Thirty years ago he turned the pasture next to their upstate NY home into a wildflower meadow.

All who walked by stopped to admire it. Grandchildren chased each other down the paths. Weddings took place there. The meadow of wildflowers remains a living legacy to “Grandpa Bill,” a passionate gardener.

I know you’ll be inspired to incorporate regional wildflowers and native plants from your state into your design language.

Follow Williams Wildflowers Florida on Facebook

Follow Williams Wildflowers New York on Facebook

Find Williams Wildflowers on Pinterest

Follow Williams Wildflowers New York on Instagram

Follow Williams Wildflowers Florida on Instagram

Williams Wildflowers New York (left) and Williams Wildflowers Florida (right)

Williams Wildflowers New York (left) and Williams Wildflowers Florida (right)

Thanks for joining today’s podcast.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 90,000 times by listeners like you. THANK YOU to each 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.

 

Episode 239: Flora Organica Designs and Faye Krause at the Arcata, CA Field to Vase Dinner

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

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On March 12th the first of several Field to Vase Dinners for 2016 took place inside a state-of-the-art greenhouse in Arcata, California –  Humboldt County, located way, way up north in the Redwoods.

What a stunning installation, transforming a working greenhouse into a glorious dinner party setting at Sun Valley Flower Farm (c) Amy Kumler

What a stunning installation, transforming a working greenhouse into a glorious dinner party setting at Sun Valley Flower Farm (c) Amy Kumler

Faye's concept for the installation was Tulips + Bulbs overhead as the chandelier and color blocked tulips in vases down the center of the table (c) by Amy Kumler

Faye’s concept for the installation was Tulips + Bulbs overhead as the chandelier and color blocked tulips in vases down the center of the table (c) by Amy Kumler

The venue: Sun Valley Flower Farm, a leading grower of cut bulb and field flowers in the United States. According to its web site, Sun Valley chose this area as an ideal environment for growing bulb flowers, due to its mild winters, cool summers, generous humidity and coastally moderated sunlight. The fields surrounding the greenhouses also provide excellent growing conditions for spring, summer and fall iris, and summer flowers including crocosmia, hypericum, and monkshood.

Endless tulips!! (c) by Amy Kumler

Endless tulips!! (c) by Amy Kumler

On March 12th, the celebration was all about American-grown tulips and other-spring flowering bulbs — hundreds of thousands of them in all their colorful glory.

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Episode 238: St. Louis’s Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
A sublime Urban Buds ranunculus, photographed inside the vintage glass greenhouse on March 10th.

A sublime Urban Buds ranunculus, photographed inside the vintage glass greenhouse on March 10th.

 

Mimo Davis and Miranda Duschack of Urban Buds.

Mimo Davis and Miranda Duschack of Urban Buds.

943881_555233521292989_4077588127578733507_n Today’s podcast conversation took its time arriving here. I believe I first met Missouri flower farmer Mimo Davis of Urban Buds in 2012 at the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers annual meeting in Tacoma, where I was a speaker.

We have corresponded over the years and followed what each other was doing. Mimo even once asked me when I might come to St. Louis to speak and visit.

Well, earlier this month, finally, that happened, thanks to the good people at the St. Louis Art Museum who invited me to be a featured speaker for their annual spring extravaganza called Bouquets to Art.

My all-Missouri-grown arrangement on display at Bouquets to Art, where I lectured and demonstrated the Slow Flowers story

My all-Missouri-grown arrangement on display at Bouquets to Art, where I lectured and demonstrated the Slow Flowers story

Bouquets to Art is a celebration of springtime, art and floral design, a tradition found in a number of top art museums across the country.

I was excited to attend and speak during the weekend of activities beginning with a gala opening dinner on March 11th, and followed by lectures, demonstrations and exhibitions from March 12th to 14th, with ticketed events seating audience members in a luxurious theatre with plush chairs and a huge stage and screen.

It was an event complete with a celebrity speaker – this year it was Carolyne Roehme, a native Missouri daughter, fashion industry icon and author of numerous lifestyle books.

I followed Ms. Roehme and presented on the same stage, with  150-or-so floral enthusiasts learning about the Slow Flowers Movement as I created several arrangements.

I was definitely concerned about sourcing local flowers for my floral demonstration because of the time of year.

And fortunately, I had two Missouri sources from which to shop: Urban Buds, owned by Mimo Davis and Miranda Duschack – today’s guests; and Vicki Lander and Jack Oglander of Flower Hill Farm in Beaufort, Missouri.

Tiffany caught this image of me as I sampled (sniffed) the first crop of beautiful stock at Urban Buds

Tiffany caught this image of me as I sampled (sniffed) the first crop of beautiful stock at Urban Buds (c) Tiffany Buckley

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Episode 237: Deadhead ~ The Bindweed Way with Idaho’s Jeriann Sabin and Ralph Thurston

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
Bindweed Farm in Blackfoot, Idaho ~ God's Country

Bindweed Farm in Blackfoot, Idaho ~ God’s Country

The endless scene of field flowers at Bindweed Farm.

The endless scene of field flowers at Bindweed Farm.

Jeriann Sabin and Ralph Thurston of Bindweed Farm

Jeriann Sabin and Ralph Thurston of Bindweed Farm

Where do remote resort communities like Sun Valley, Idaho, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, get their flowers?

These high-desert mountain areas aren’t exactly huge agricultural regions, but today’s guests have built their successful flower farming business on serving these two luxury markets.

Please meet flower farmers Ralph Thurston and Jeriann Sabin. The talented wife-husband duo are the owners of Bindweed Farm in the southeast corner of Idaho.

I invite you to celebrate the recent publication of Deadhead~ the Bindweed Way to Grow Flowers, a new book about the joys and challenges of growing cut flowers for commercial sales.

Located about two hours from both of these upscale destination resort markets, Ralph and Jeriann have created a beautiful lifestyle that is supported by flowers.

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Ralph is known as “il maestro”, the brain and the brawn who plans every detail, ordering all plant material, orchestrating the farm’s intricate planting schedule and irrigation scheme.

He is a genius, a green thumb wizard.  And not only that, he cuts nearly every stem, that’s thousands and thousands each season.

Jeriann is the beauty–as in aesthetics.  As an artist, color and texture are her DNA. Ralph may be responsible for the diverse varieties but Jeriann selects the colors.

Never without her trusty smart phone/camera, she photographs every flower on the farm and loves keeping the Bindweed blog.

She processes every stem–conditioning and packaging each bunch of flowers as they come in from the field.  In charge of sales and delivery, she enjoys meeting and consulting with designers each week.

Passionate about small farms and farmers, Bindweed has been a member of ASCFG, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers for over fifteen years.  Each of them have served on the board of directors and have contributed articles for the Cut Flower Quarterly.

Snapdragons at Bindweed Farm.

Snapdragons at Bindweed Farm.

A Bindweed Farm arrangement.

A Bindweed Farm arrangement.

One morning's harvest.

One morning’s vibrant harvest.

Bindweed occupies five acres in the heart of potato country, the eastern edge of Idaho’s high desert plain.  Surrounded by several mountain ranges and cinder cones—extinct volcanoes—the farm enjoys spectacular 360-degree views, rich soil and a short growing season.

The view from Jeriann and Ralph's office. Wow!

The view from Jeriann and Ralph’s office. Wow!

On clear days the tip of the Grand Teton sits up like a shark’s tooth behind the foothills in the east and the resort, Jackson, Wyoming ,is only two hours away. Equidistance to the west lays Sun Valley.  Famed for skiing and hiking, both resorts are outdoor playgrounds for many of the rich and famous. Extremely popular for conferences, think tanks and destination events, they are the perfect market for our flowers.

Sunflowers - a Bindweed bestselling crop

Sunflowers – a Bindweed bestselling crop

Zinnias and Marigolds at Bindweed.

Zinnias and Marigolds at Bindweed.

"The Rear View" - the van is loaded and ready for delivery!

“The Rear View” – the van is loaded and ready for delivery!

Here’s how to find Jeriann and Ralph on social media:

Bindweed Farm on Facebook

Bindweed Farm on Instagram

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 87,000 times by listeners like you. THANK YOU to each 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.

Episode 236: Anne Bradfield of Seattle’s Floressence Studio

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
Anne Bradfield, owner of Seattle-based Floressence -- captured on the hunt for beautiful and locally-grown Northwest flowers!

Anne Bradfield, owner of Seattle-based Floressence — captured while she was on the hunt for beautiful and locally-grown Northwest flowers!

Love this elevated arrangement!

Love this elevated arrangement!

This week’s conversation is one I’ve wanted to record for a while. You know when you run into someone you really like — and who you want to get to know better, perhaps at the grocery store, or (for me) at the flower market — and you greet one another warmly and say “we should get together for coffee?”

Well that was the case with my friend Anne Bradfield. Owner of a design studio called Floressence, Anne was one of the very first floral designers I found myself chatting with back in 2011 when the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market launched.

A gorgeous Floressence-designed wedding

A gorgeous Floressence-designed wedding

A Floressence Bride

A Floressence Bride

logo1 At the time, I was there frequently, both because I was working on my two books, The 50 Mile Bouquet – which featured the stories of many of the flower farmers and floral designers involved with the market, and Slow Flowers, a project that relied on a steady supply of local blooms for my weekly design projects. And I often ran into Anne, who was there shopping for her major wedding and corporate event clients.

Love the inspiration that Anne shares in today's podcast. (c) Laurel McConnell

Love Anne’s inspiration shared in today’s podcast.

Anne soon invited me to speak at a meeting of the Greater Seattle Floral Association, where I met many of our region’s top wedding, event and retail florists. And we kept bumping into one another. . . both always in a rush, and always promising to get together.

You may recognize Anne’s voice because I recorded it for this podcast a few months ago when I interviewed several designers who participated in Lisa Waud’s hands-on large-scale floral art workshop at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. And that encounter was the impetus for today’s conversation.

Anne studied interdisciplinary visual art at the University of Washington and she will share how her journey led her through a few career stops before she purchased Floressence thirteen years ago, when she was in her late twenties.

READ MORE…

The Flower House Virtual Tour Part 5 with New York floral artists Denise Fasanello and Anne Kilcullen (Episode 234)

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
A Floral Whirlwind, created by Denise Fasanello and Anne Kilcullen, NYC-based floral designers, for The Flower House.

A Floral Whirlwind, created by Denise Fasanello and Anne Kilcullen, NYC-based floral designers, for The Flower House.

Today’s podcast guests conjured up the most amazing room installation at Lisa Waud’s Flower House last October. It was thoroughly mesmerizing and masterful in so many ways, and while I had a chance to meet and share time with Denise Fasanello and Anne Kilcullen during the days leading up to the Flower House opening on October 16th, we never had enough minutes to record a podcast interview. However, when I was in NYC a few weeks ago, the three of us got together to record today’s episode to share with you.

I love this image that I photographed from an adjacent room, looking toward A Floral Whirlwind.

I love this image that I photographed from an adjacent room, looking toward A Floral Whirlwind.

Denise and Anne are the co-creators of “A Floral Whirlwind,” which occupied the upstairs dining room space at The Flower House. Sculpted of foliage, vines and a few botanical surprises, the kinetic whoosh of a gravity-defying, tornado-like experience in the center of the room was pretty darned incredible for everyone who viewed it.

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READ MORE…

Branding A Slow Flowers Philosophy with Gloria Battista Collins of New York’s GBC Style (Episode 233)

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016
A garden-fresh bouquet design by Gloria Battista-Collins of gbc style (c) Karen Hill Photography

A garden-fresh bouquet design by Gloria Battista-Collins of gbc style (c) Karen Hill Photography

Today's Slow Flowers Podcast guest, Gloria Battista-Collins

Today’s Slow Flowers Podcast guest, Gloria Battista-Collins

I’m so pleased to introduce you today to Gloria Battista-Collins, owner of gbc style, a design studio based in Montebello, New York.

I first met Gloria in 2014 when Holly Heider Chapple invited me to make a presentation about the Slow Flowers/American Grown Movement to the Chapel Designers Conference in New York.

At least 75 florists from around the country were gathered and I was grateful to have the platform for introducing them to American Grown values and the Slow Flowers approach.

To be truthful, I worried a little that my message would be received as something novel or just a “fringe” concept.

However, I was so pleased that Holly’s instincts were right – many wedding and event florists who make up the Chapel Designers’ membership were interested in learning how to rebrand themselves with a local and seasonal story.

I reunited with Gloria (left) and flower farmer Ellen Lee of Butternut Gardens (center), a Connecticut-based Slow Flowers member, at the Field to Vase Dinner held last September in Brooklyn.

I reunited with Gloria (left) and flower farmer Ellen Lee of Butternut Gardens (center), a Connecticut-based Slow Flowers member, at the Field to Vase Dinner held last September in Brooklyn. (c) Linda Blue Photograph

Gloria was one of those in the room with whom I felt an instant connection. And in the two subsequent years, we’ve had some meaningful conversations about how she has successfully repositioned her studio, GBC Style, with a local sensibility.

A gorgeous, all-local wedding bouquet by Gloria Battista-Collins

A gorgeous, all-local wedding bouquet by Gloria Battista-Collins

Having trained with some of floristry’s top instructors, Gloria received all the technical and mechanical essentials as she developed her craft. But when it comes to sourcing botanicals, she has had to re-imagine the New York traditions of “just shopping in the 28th Street Flower District” especially when that does not align with her commitment to using only local flowers.

Certainly that’s easier said than done. And for a designer whose garden is located in USDA Zone 6b (with average minimum temperatures from zero to minus 5 degrees), winter months are challenges.

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Design Lessons from Former White House Florist Laura Dowling

Saturday, February 13th, 2016
Students at FlowerSchool New York were enthralled by the chance to work directly with Laura Dowling at an early February 2016 workshop.

Students at FlowerSchool New York were inspired by the chance to work directly with Laura Dowling at an early February 2016 workshop.

I’ve been eager to meet Laura Dowling ever since I first read about her appointment as White House Florist in 2009. I remember being so enthralled with the New York Times story about Laura’s choices for decorating her first State Dinner (it was the Obama’s first State Dinner, too), for India’s Prime Minister in November of that year.

whiteHouseStateDinner2009

(c) New York Times

Here’s an excerpt of that report:

New York Times (November 25, 2009): “Old Standards with Modern Flourishes as Obamas Host First State Dinner,” by Rachel L. Swarns

” . . . at their first state dinner on Tuesday night, President Obama and his wife, Michelle, made sure to infuse the glittering gala with distinctive touches.

“They hired a new florist, Laura Dowling, who bedecked the tented outdoor dining room with locally grown, sustainably harvested magnolias and ivy.”

Of course, I seized on the language: “locally grown, sustainably harvested,” and ever since I’ve watched closely for signs of Ms. Dowling’s preferences toward the flowers grown near her in Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and those that may be further away but still from domestic U.S. Farms.

(c) Washington Post image of California irises and Florida tropical foliage.

(c) Washington Post image of California irises and Florida tropical foliage.

The Slow Flowers Movement enjoyed a subsequent “win” for the cause in February 2014, when the State Dinner for French President Francois Holland yielded the White House’s most public acknowlegement to date about using all-American blooms. There was so much enthusiasm for that public support of American grown flowers that when USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden blogged about the news, it generated more than 150 comments.

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The Flower House Virtual Tour Part 4 with David Beahm and Daevid Reed (Episode 232)

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
Daevid Reed (l), Lisa Waud (c) and David Beahm (r), captured in a moment of sheer joy by photographer Heather Saunders at the Field to Vase Dinner, The Flower House, Detroit.

Daevid Reed (l), Lisa Waud (c) and David Beahm (r), captured in a moment of sheer joy by photographer Heather Saunders at the Field to Vase Dinner, The Flower House, Detroit.

Another view of the hanging pieces

The Seattle floral design community’s reimagined, Flower House-inspired botanical art installation

I have two cool Flower House-related segments to share with you today.

First, I want to share a short conversation with photographer Andrew Buchanan of Subtle Light Photography as we discuss his innovative idea to document the sculptural floral art installation at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, which was led by Lisa Waud of The Flower House for the Seattle design community on January 19th. I featured highlights of the January 19th installation day in an earlier episode here.

Enjoy my quick interview that I recorded with Andrew and then view the amazing time-lapse movie that he filmed and edited – shown below. I’m amazed by the power of visual storytelling through this medium and applaud Andrew’s artistry and generosity. I’m honored and grateful that he volunteered his talents for everyone to enjoy!

Based in Seattle, Andrew Buchanan specializes in architectural photography, interiors photography, helicopter aerial photography, land design photography, and hotel and resort photography in Seattle and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Andrew offers photography of architecture, interiors, commercial and public spaces, and other built environments to design and marketing professionals, hotels and resorts, developers, magazines, and advertisers needing compelling, graphic photos of The Spaces Where We Live, Work, and Play. Please start on a Gallery page to see some of Andrew’s work or download his PDF portfolio to keep with youRead more about Andrew here.

ENJOY THIS FABULOUS VIDEO, COURTESY OF ANDREW BUCHANAN:

SeattleWholesaleGrowersMarket-LisaWaud-16Jan from Andrew Buchanan on Vimeo.

You can find the video and all of Andrew’s “motion” work at his online gallery here.

READ MORE…

Verde & Co.: Meridith Isaacson’s Journey from Floral Studio to Retail Flower Shop (Episode 231)

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
Meridith Isaacson of Seattle's Verde & Co.

Meridith Isaacson of Seattle’s Verde & Co.

This week’s guest is Meridith Isaacson of Seattle-based Verde & Co., and I know you’ll find her story inspiring.

What’s particularly intriguing to me is learning that Meridith will be opening her retail flower shop very soon. In a world that has witnessed the rapid decline of brick-and-mortar floral retail, here’s a woman who is bucking the system.

You’ll learn why having a retail presence is important to Meridith’s business plan and gain insights from her fascinating journey from one creative medium to another. Those personal experiences have shaped her own aesthetic and her business philosophy.

Meridith and I got together last week to record this pre-Valentine’s Day interview. You’ll want to follow along on her crazy, whirlwind schedule as she races to open the doors of Verde & Co. less than a week before February 14th and the peak of American floral gift-giving holiday.

The architect's rendering of the new Verde & Co. retail shop in Seattle.

The architect’s rendering of the new Verde & Co. retail shop in Seattle.

The new Verde & Co. retail space is designed by Strata Architects of Seattle. You can find the store at 400 Fairview Avenue in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

Here’s a little more about Meridith:

Meridith posed in front of her new shop for me last week.

Meridith posed in front of her new shop for me last week.

Originally from New York, Meridith moved to Seattle in 2007 and dove head first into her floral design career working for one of Seattle’s premier floral studios.

Verde & Co., is a labor of love for Meridith as she grew up in a family business that was founded in 1913 by her great-grandfather. Growing up she gravitated towards helping her Mom set the holiday dinner table, going to work with her Dad and collecting unicorns. She thinks of designing as a dance. Executing each floral with great technique, infused with a true sense of artistry, she lets the arch of the branch or direction of the bloom dictate where the floral may take her.

As an avid collector of unique and vintage vessels, she is always on the hunt for ways to create a personal experience for her clients.

When not in her studio, Meridith enjoys cooking, spending time with her husband and their two dogs Toby & Stella. They often find themselves cuddled up on the couch with a good movie or out and about for a long walk around town.

A romantic Verde & Co. arrangement

A romantic Verde & Co. arrangement

Verde & Co. in a vase~ beautiful!

Verde & Co. in a vase~ beautiful!

Verde & Co.'s take on calla lilies ~ lovely!

Verde & Co.’s take on calla lilies ~ lovely!

original (1) And check out the innovative campaign that Verde & Co. has just launched on Seattle’s Community Sourced Capital.This is not a crowd-funding effort but instead a sustainable business financing model that uses a community of supporters to make interest-free loans to socially-minded entrepreneurs.

Meridith also shared these vendor links:

Photographer
http://www.hariskenjar.com
Contractor
http://www.metisconstructioninc.com
Architect
http://www.strataarchitects.com
Developer-SKANSKA
http://verdeseattle.com/blog/brick-mortar/
One more stunning piece by Meridith!

One more stunning piece by Meridith!

I have two announcements before we conclude:

First, two weeks ago our Podcast guest was Anne Graves, marketing director of Syndicate Sales, who discussed American manufacturing and the American made collection of vases from Syndicate’s Kokomo, Indiana, factory.

Syndicate graciously donated a $100 shopping spree to one listener and we have drawn a name from those of you who took the time to comment at the show notes page of Debraprinzing.com . . . the prize goes to Cara Gilmartin of Cross Street Flower Farm of Norwell, Massachusetts, located on the South Shore, south of Boston.

Here’s what Cara wrote in an email after I notified her of her win:

Get out of town!!  I never win anything and I was just filling in my business partner, Nikki Bartley on Syndicate’s products just yesterday.  Anne, I look forward to talking to you!  

We are obviously HUGE fans of Slow Flowers.  Cross Street shares the same mission and vision to be able to provide really awesome flowers for our community and educate about the importance of local agriculture.   We look forward to joining the Slow Flowers family! 

Thank you so much for this amazing gift!!

Cara Gilmartin
Cross Street Flower Farm

Congratulations Cara and Nikki! I, too, look forward to Cross Street Flower Farm joining the SlowFlowers.com community very very soon!

ES 2016 cover (1) Second, for those of you who love beautiful and inspiring magazines, I want to introduce you to GARDEN DESIGN.

I’ve written for Garden Design for many years, including serving as Contributing Editor in 2009-2010 when I was based in Los Angeles.

Many people feared that the best magazine for horticulture, plants and landscape design was about to disappear when former owner Bonnier Corp. folded the title in 2013.

Not much later, though, a white knight arrived with Jim Peterson.

Jim is a green industry entrepreneur and the creator of two online membership communities very similar (and much, much larger) to Slowflowers.com. One is called Concrete Network and the other is called Landscape Network.

So Jim and his team acquired the Garden Design brand and have published six gorgeous editions of Garden Design magazine since 2014.

These plump bookazines  are ones that you’ll have on your shelf forever.

What’s notable is that Garden Design is now ad-free, with 148 pages of vivid, high-quality photography printed on excellent paper stock. Not only am I a big supporter of Garden Design, the magazine’s staff has been super supportive of Slow Flowers and our mission.

In fact, publisher Jim Peterson and I have just cemented an agreement that allows us to showcase the design work of Slow Flowers members on the magazine’s web site and its well-read newsletter four times throughout the coming year.

As a special thank you to Slow Flowers members and listeners of this Podcast, Garden Design has a subscription gift for you. Follow this link to receive one free issue when you subscribe to one year of the magazine.

And if you subscribe now, you’ll receive the early spring issue which contains a feature story written by me! Photographed by Claire Takas, my story is titled: “GEOMETRIC IMPACT” — it’s all about a Brandon Tyson-designed Bay Area landscape. The tagline reads: Wild yet tame, old yet new, a Mediterranean landscape uses lush, colorful, and geometric-inspired plantings to entice an active Bay Area family outdoors.

And I have to add a fun note, a comment from Jim Peterson. He recently wrote: “Debra, taking a cue from you, maybe we should be the ‘slow magazine’? We’re American made, printed in the US, and offer high quality for those that appreciate and relish the tactile experience” of holding a beautiful magazine in their hands.” I couldn’t agree more!

Subscribe to Garden Design here. Preview the next issue here.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 81,000 times by listeners like you and we wrapped up January 2016 as the 2nd highest month of listenership in this Podcast’s 2-1/2 year history, with 4,600 downloads — a great start to the New Year. 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.