Debra Prinzing

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SLOW FLOWERS Receives Two Silver Medals of Achievement from 2018 GWA Media Awards

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

[June 21, 2018]

Debra Prinzing received the 2018 Media Awards’ Silver Medal of Achievement for Podcasting and Special Trade Projects, presented by GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators.

This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications.

The 2018 competition had more than 260 entries in 56 categories.  Recipients of the Silver Medal represent the top winners each competition category and will now compete for best of group in the areas of writing, photography, digital media, broadcast media, publishing and trade.

Debra Prinzing, Podcaster, Writer, Editor and Slow Flowers Founder (c) Mary Grace Long Photography

Prinzing received the Silver Medal of Achievement for the Slow Flowers Podcast and for the August 2017 debut issue of Slow Flowers Journal in Florists’ Review Magazine.

“The GWA Media Awards showcase the writers, photographers, editors, publishers and trade companies that have pursued excellence in gardening communication in print or electronic communications,” says Becky Heath, president of GWA.  “The Media Award winners have been judged by industry experts and show significant distinction and merits that exemplify exceptional work.”

Prinzing launched the Slow Flowers Podcast in 2013, which has since aired weekly for 255 episodes. Listeners and flower fans have downloaded episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast more than 330,000 times. “Our content is about American flowers and the people who grow and design with them. It’s a hub of conversation about the sustainable and progressive changes in domestic floral agriculture and mindful floral design,” she explains.

In 2017, Prinzing launched the online magazine, Slow Flowers Journal.

Subsequently, Florists’ Review, the leading trade magazine in the floral industry, invited her to bring the digital project to its print platform, which debuted in the magazine’s August 2017 issue as a standalone issue.

Slow Flowers Journal delivers news, features, profiles, Q&As, opinion pieces and gorgeous floral photography.

“By producing dense, substantial, well-reported and well-written editorial pieces, I believe this content is changing attitudes and further engaging readers on topics of domestic and local flowers,” Prinzing explains.

 

Since the early 1980s, the GWA Media Awards program has recognized outstanding writing, photography, graphic design and illustration for books, newspaper stories, magazine articles and other works focused on gardening. In recent years, the awards program has expanded to include on-air talent, production and direction for radio, television, video, Internet and other electronic media.

Prinzing is a past Gold Award and three-time Silver Award winner of the GWA Media Awards.

To view all the 2018 GWA Media Award recipients, visit www.gardenwriters.org.

For more information about this award, contact Crystal Goodremote 212.297.2198 or cgoodremote@kellencompany.com.

About GWA

GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators, formerly the Garden Writers Association, is an organization of professional communicators in the green industry including book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GWA members. Learn more at www.gardenwriters.org.

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Episode 353: Flower School Portland founder LauraLee Symes of Sellwood Flower Co. on Floral Synergies and Spinoffs

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

Love this jumbo red-white-and-blue array, and if you look closely, LauraLee is peering out from behind it!

Today’s guest is LauraLee Symes, co-owner with her husband Bill Symes of the Sellwood Flower Co., based in  Portland, Oregon. LauraLee is a past guest of this podcast — you may remember our wonderful conversation two years ago when we discussed her foray into floral retailing after a successful profession as a consulting and expert on what makes people happy.

Love the black-and-white awning stripes, which are part of Sellwood Flower Co.’s visual brand evoking a Parisian flower shop.

The Sellwood Flower Co. is located in the Portland neighborhood of the same name — Sellwood, on the eastern edge of the famous Willamette River.

As fate has it when people with a dream set out on grand adventures, LauraLee’s search for the perfect shop-front led to a charming 1902 Victorian in the middle of town where she has operated The Sellwood Flower Co. for the past three years.

The Sellwood Flower Co. is Portland’s destination for fresh, local flowers and plants, European and garden style floral design, and unique gifts from around the world.

There, outside the century-old Victorian house on Sellwood’s Antique Row, you’ll find LauraLee and her staff tending their local and seasonal blooms in the cutting garden.

A seasonal spring bouquet by Sellwood Flower Co.

In addition to ongoing classes, workshops, events, and the latest fun ideas in floral design, Sellwood Flower Co. offers a wide variety of fresh floral arrangements, French wines, Smith Tea, Moon Struck Chocolate, and custom gift baskets.

Upon opening she says, “we set out to be THE flower design house that provides the most inspired, professional , and freshest, floral designs in the Pacific Northwest,” LauraLee says. “Our European, garden-inspired, aesthetic sources just- harvested, locally-grown flowers, greens, fruits, and vegetables to create chic, loose, and romantic floral arrangements in Portland, Oregon.

“We create beautiful, romantic, natural floral arrangements and deliver them for all occasions — a Sunday brunch, birthday bash, retirement party, engagement, wedding, baby shower, condolences, congratulations, job well done, thank you and I love you,” she says.

Today, we’re talking specifically about LauraLee’s news — the launch of a second venture called FlowerSchool Portland. “We’re offering an innovative way to learn,” she says. “This is about bringing together a community of subject matter experts.”

You’ll hear about the ideas and inspiration that motivated LauraLee to open a floral design education center tailored to specific audiences: floral enthusiasts, professionals and aspiring florists.

Our conversation is a teaser for the June 15th launch of FlowerSchool Portland. That’s when LauraLee will post the full calendar of upcoming workshops and three special celebrity floral design instructors who have agreed to teach at the school.

You can find and follow Sellwood Flower Co. at these social places:

Sellwood Flower Co. on Facebook

Sellwood Flower Co. on Instagram

Sellwood Flower Co. on Twitter

Sellwood Flower Co. on Pinterest

You can find and follow Flower School Portland at these social places:

Flower School Portland on Facebook

Flower School Portland on Instagram

Thank you so much for joining me today. Please join me in getting ready for American Flowers Week, coming up June 28-through-July 4th.

You can find all the free resources and inspiring ideas for participating at Americanflowersweek.com, including visual content to use and share in your own promotions and tips from flower farmers and florists who have created successful events and campaigns in past seasons. I can’t wait to see what you plan and product — and I’ll be searching for your stories and posts with the hashtag #americanflowersweek.

As you’ve heard me discuss for months, the Slow Flowers Summit is our LIVE celebration of American Flowers Week, scheduled for Friday, June 29th in Washington, D.C.

That’s less than two weeks away and you can still take advantage of last-minute ticket promotions, including our plus-one discounted ticket — buy yours and bring a friend along at a special rate — share the day with a colleague and your ideas will multiply! I promise you an inspiring lineup of speakers, gorgeous flowers, fun and interactive design activities and of course, a chance to stretch your imagination in a thought-provoking and stimulating environment.

Support comes from the most surprising places, like this readerboard at O’Donal’s Nursery in Gorham, Maine!

I am grateful to all our entire community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement.

As our cause gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious.

I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities.

You can find the donate button at debraprinzing.com in the right column.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 326,000 times by listeners like you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening, commenting, liking and sharing! It means so much.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs:

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2018, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special offer for a free trial issue here.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.

Photographed at All My Thyme rose farm, by Tammy Myers, First & Bloom.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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 Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Chapel Donder; Feathersoft; The Wooden Platform
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from:

audionautix.com

Episode 351: Full Bloom Flower Farm & Floral Design’s Hedda Brorstrom and our kickoff for American Flowers Week 2018

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Hedda’s beautiful dahlia dress for American Flowers Week 2018, featuring foliages and herbs from her own Full Bloom Farm and 350 dahlias from Aztec Dahlias, where the dress was photographed last October.

Hedda Brorstrom of Full Bloom Flower Farm.

I’ve invited Hedda Brorstrom of Full Bloom Flower Farm & Floral Design to return to the Slow Flowers Podcast as today’s guest for a number of reasons.

You may recall that she was part of my series on the North Bay Flower Collective community a few years ago when I interviewed Hedda along with Seth Chapin of Evermore Flowers and Daniele Strawn of JoLee Blooms, Episode 242.

That interview was primarily focused on the origins of the North Bay Flower Collective, of which Hedda is one of the founders.

Recently, Hedda joined the American Flowers Week campaign as a featured designer for this year’s floral fashion collection.

I want you to hear her story, learn more about how she became a farmer-florist in California’s Sonoma County, and her creative process designing a wearable fashion.

Model Sophia Lane wears Hedda’s dahlia dress to perfection, showcasing the flowers grown by Kate Rowe and Omar Duran of Aztec Dahlias (c) Becca Henry Photography.

As American Flowers Week kicks off soon, I want you to hear Hedda’s story as a flower farmer, environmental educator, floral designer and ecology activites, as we share the “big reveal” of the incredible Dahlia Dress that she designed last fall in collaboration with flower farmers Kate Rowe and Omar Duran of Aztec Dahlias.

These behind-the-scenes photos from last year reveal what the team endured to create such beauty!

As a way to raise awareness of flower farming and sustainable floral design, I started the floral fashion series with one amazing look in 2016 for American Flowers Week — a red-white-and-blue floral ‘fro from Susan McLeary of Passionflower.

That was followed by five wearable floral looks for the 2017 campaign and again, for 2018, five original floral wearable looks. You’ll hear from all the designers in the coming weeks, beginning today with Hedda.

Here’s Hedda, flower harvesting with one of her young nephews

Hedda shares this personal statement on her web site:

Farming started for me growing up on Wiggle Worm Bait Farm in Graton, Ca. My parents tended rich worm beds with the motto, “We like them fat and lively!” and I got to be a wild worm loving farm kid. One of my farm chores growing up was to create floral arrangements around the house. Little bud vases of daphne and violets sat above the kitchen sink in February, big vases of bearded iris and mock orange graced the bathroom in late Spring and bedside posies of rattle snake grass and yarrow made nights feel special through the summer. I bent willows into crowns, weeded my mom’s gardens, and munched on fresh green miners lettuce and asian pears from the neighbor’s farm. The puff ball viburnum and cabbage roses that I use in my floral crowns are from the same plants I used to have petal fights with as we waited for the school bus. It wasn’t until I was studying agroecology at UC Berkeley, however, that I realized Sonoma County is an agricultural gem and I was blessed to grow up a bit wild and plant loving.

Hedda during harvest at her farm in Sonoma County

After college I spent six years teaching gardening and ecology in the San Francisco school district and working as an environmental educator at the Academy of Sciences and Save the Bay. Wanting to dive deeper into growing I attended the UC Santa Cruz Ecological Horticulture program where my interest in flowers turned from a childhood memory into a full blown, full bloom obsession. I learned about variety selection, post harvest handing, and farm management. A love of art coupled with farming moved me into floral design making me a true farmer florist. The shape, texture and movement of each bloom allows me to paint with flowers like I never could on a canvas. The dirt and grit of cultivation and beauty of putting it all together is two jobs. Sometimes these jobs feel like being a chef who grows their own food, but who better to make a dish than the one who loved it from seed? In 2012 I could no longer contain my flower passion so I moved home to my wormy roots, to my childhood plants, and I started Full Bloom Flower Farm. After a year in production I enrolled in the wonderful California School of Herbal Studies where I gained my certificate in herbalism. In the plant world, learning is never-ending and I am happy to infuse plant magic into all the arrangements. Full Bloom is a mighty one acre flower farm providing endless beauty, medicine and life to the community. I am proud to be a farmer and a florist; it is my greatest joy to bring plant art to ceremonies and I hope to share my joy with others.

I couldn’t resist creating this fantastic gallery of all the ways Hedda shows off her flowers.

Hedda’s endless curiosity is inspiring and I loved having this time to catch up with her. She describes her aesthetic as “flower-full,” perhaps the inspiration for her business name, Full Bloom. I know you’ll enjoy her story, too.

Two more gorgeous views of Sophia Lane wearing the dahlia dress to celebrate American Flowers Week 2018 (c) Becca Henry Photograpy.

Thank you so much for joining me today. I know seeing the dahlia dress that Hedda designed and made for American Flowers week will inspire you and get your creative juices flowing. Who knows? Maybe you’ll dream up a wearable look of your own — and I hope you share it with me when you do! Use the hashtag #americanflowersweek when you post.

To help you further, I’ve recently written “9 Ways to Participate in American Flowers Week” — a guide to the many ways you can jump onboard this campaign — from simple and low-cost to ambitious and expansive. I hope you’re inspired by what others have done in the past few years.

In addition to gearing up to celebrate American Flowers Week, it’s also time to grab your ticket to the Slow Flowers Summit. The second annual Slow Flowers Summit is again set to take place in the heart of American Flowers Week – and we are getting close to finalizing all the details.

Please grab your ticket now to join us — you’ll be helping me tremendously by committing now so that my event manager Karen Thornton and I can make sure everything’s ready for a successful event. You can find all the details at Slowflowerssummit.com.

When farmers and florists coming together, everyone benefits! This is a gathering of the Hudson Valley Flower Growers Network during American Flowers Week 2017.

Take the Pledge!!!

I am grateful to all our entire community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button at debraprinzing.com in the right column.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 320,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening, commenting, liking and sharing! It means so much.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs.

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special offer for a free trial issue

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

Certified American Grown Flowers. The Certified American-Grown program and label provide a guarantee for designers and consumers on the source of their flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers.  To learn more visit americangrownflowers.org.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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 Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Turning On the Lights; Pat Dog; Sage the Hunter (Rhythmic)
by Blue Dot Sessions

SLOWFLOWERS.COM Unveils New 2.0 Online and Mobile Platforms

Monday, May 21st, 2018


SLOWFLOWERS.COM MARKS FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS LAUNCH
WITH NEW 2.0 ONLINE AND MOBILE PLATFORMS

Debra Prinzing’s SLOWFLOWERS.COM, a free online directory
to find American flowers, famers, designers and retailers
reveals new look and functionality

SEATTLE, WA (May 21, 2018) — In conjunction with the fourth anniversary of Slowflowers.com, founder Debra Prinzing unveiled Slowflowers.com 2.0 – a visually updated and user-friendly web site for consumers in search of American-grown flowers.

Since its launch in 2014, Slowflowers.com has provided floral consumers with a one-stop address for “slow” flowers and foliage, wedding and event designers and myriad options for gifting local and seasonal flowers. Participation among floral professionals has grown from 250 vendors to more than 700 vendors across the U.S. and Canada. The site averages 29k unique users and 191k page views annually.

The new platform features clean graphics and easy-to-use navigation for desktop, smart devices and mobile.

“With the upgrade, I believe the Slow Flowers Community will experience higher engagement and interaction with floral consumers,” Prinzing said.

“I started Slowflowers.com with a simple mission, one that continues to be as important today as it was when the idea for this project originated five years ago:

To promote American-grown flowers, to make it easy for flower consumers to connect with florists, shops, studios and farms who provide American-grown flowers, and to encourage truthful and transparent country-of-origin labeling in the floral industry.

“My goal with the project is that when someone wishes to purchase or send flowers, they stop and ask themselves: Can those flowers be American grown? Slowflowers.com provides that answer.

Prinzing redesigned Slowflowers.com 2.0 with Robert Meador of Seattle-based Metric Media, creator of the original site. All the favorite features carried over to the new platform, including easy-to-search tools for finding vendors in several floral categories, including retail flower shops, studio florists, wedding/event designers, and farm-direct producers. Wholesalers of American floral and foliage product, as well as farms and florists who ship flowers and arrangements overnight – anywhere in the U.S. – are included. All members of Slowflowers.com pledge to supply their customers with local, regional and American-grown flowers.

“We added mobile functionality to serve consumers and upgraded account/dashboard experience for our members,” Prinzing continued. “Our members manage their own content, listings and pages, so ease of use is important.”

The customer “review” feature was originally only a benefit for Premium Level members. With 2.0, Standard Level members now can invite their customers and clients to post reviews. “This is an important feature that adds value for members and consumers alike,” Prinzing added.

Ongoing support from Slowflowers.com’ floral and green industry sponsors and hundreds of subscribing members made the upgrade possible. Sponsors include Florists’ Review magazine, Longfield Gardens, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Syndicate Sales, Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and Certified American Grown.

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About Debra Prinzing:

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American Grown Flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that stimulates consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases.

Debra is the producer of SlowFlowers.com, the online directory to American grown farms, florists, shops and studios who supply domestic and local flowers. Each Wednesday, approximately 2,500 listeners tune into Debra’s “Slow Flowers Podcast,” available for free downloads at her web site, debraprinzing.com, or on iTunes and via other podcast services. She is the author of 10 books, including Slow Flowers and The 50 Mile Bouquet. 

About Slow Flowers:

Slowflowers.com is part of a multichannel brand producing content that promotes American flowers and the people who grow and design with them. The Slow Flowers Movement began as a response to the disconnect between humans and flowers in the modern era. It aspires to reclaim the act of growing flowers, recognizing flower farming as a relevant and respected branch of domestic agriculture. Slow Flowers connects consumers with the source of their flowers and believes that the value of local, seasonal and sustainably-grown flowers is heightened when there is transparent labeling of all botanicals sold to consumers and florists.

 

 

Debra Prinzing, Slow Flowers Pioneer, Wins AHS’s Great American Gardener Award

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

I’m so touched that my friends at Florists’ Review magazine included an article in the upcoming June 2018 issue about the American Horticultural Society recognizing me with its Frances Jones Poetker Award in honor of achievement in the field of floral design.

The award highlights my work advocating for and promoting domestic flowers and recognizes significant contributions to floral design in publications, on the platform, and to the public.

You can read the entire article, “Slow Flowers Pioneer,” written by Jane M. Markley, here.

Episode 347: Flowers and Beer with April Lemly of Kamama Flowers and the Flower Bar

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

Today’s guest is April Lemly of Kamama Flowers, pictured in the doorway of her new “Flower Bar,” co-located with Peninsula Taproom in Sequim, Washington.

Last week I announced the winner of the Slow Flowers Summit’s ticket sales promotion called the Slow Flowers Luxury Package. Yesterday, on May 1st, I announced the next ticket sales promotion — and I’d love to share it with you here.


Now through Sunday, May 20th, all new registrants for the Slow Flowers Summit will be entered into a drawing for one Dream Designer Package — to join me on Sunday evening, July 1st at an exclusive gathering with Laura Dowling, author and former White House Florist. This private event benefits the AIFD Foundation and I’m going to bring one of you with me to attend and enjoy a dazzling and unforgettable evening.

So if you’ve been thinking about attending the Slow Flowers Summit, this promotion might just be your incentive — check out details and find registration information here. It promises to be a fantastic day of networking, inspiration and personal growth. I can’t wait to see you there!

The Flower Bar space at the Peninsula Taproom in Sequim.

Flowers and Beer (left), including the signature growler with the Peninsula Taproom logo; April and Sean in the doorway (right).

I’m so pleased to share today’s conversation with April Lemly of Kamama Flowers. Through Slow Flowers, we’ve reconnected and renewed a 20-year friendship that began at Seattle Infant Development Center where April was a pre-K teacher and my son Benjamin was one of her 5-year-old students. It is so fascinating to see the journey she has taken from teaching to graphic design and small business consulting to a love of flower growing and floral design. So this is a special episode in so many ways.

When April and I first reconnected in 2014, she and her partner Sean O’Neill were living in Portland, both engaged in other professions. Last summer, they up and moved to Agnew, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula, about halfway between Port Angeles and Sequim. They bought land, allowing April for the first time to expand from an urban backyard flower grower to small-scale agriculture. They also opened Peninsula Taproom, which is a fantastic place for connoisseurs of regional beer, wine, cider and food — a true gathering place for locals and tourists, with a fun vibe.

Taproom patrons love the floral-filled surroundings. (photo courtesy Kamama Flowers)

As you’ll hear in our conversation, April has found a way to weave flowers into the culture at Peninsula Taproom. In fact, she has just opened a connected flower studio-classroom-retail space, shared with the taproom. So by day, it’s all about flowers. By night, it’s still all about flowers, but the Taproom patrons are invited to sit at the large work table, including being able to reserve it for groups. And no surprise, many of them pick up a bouquet or bunch of blooms to take home along with a growler of ale.

April (left) planting peonies at her new property in Agnew, Wash.; the “bonus” farm land at nearby Gray Wolf View Farm, where the owner has invited April to expand her operations (right).

April shares this on her “about” page:

Flowers at a recent design workshop, held at the Flower Bar.

We are a small organic flower farm and full service studio located in Agnew, Washington on the beautiful Northern Olympic Peninsula.

I started Kamama Flowers in 2014 from a few urban gardens in Portland, Oregon where we ran a flower CSA, delivering arrangements to local homes and businesses.

In 2017 we moved the farm to Agnew so we could spread out, grow more flowers and be in the peaceful, sunny country-side. In 2018 we are expanding to a surprise retail space!​

Moving from Portland and starting their life in Sequim, has been a lot of hard work with new ground, a new community and a new climate. One of the first things April and Sean did was cover 1,000 square feet in black plastic in order to kill the meadow mix and prep the site for growing organic flowers.

She describes it as “a lovely, flat, south-facing acre with minimal rocks.” She feels lucky that the former dairy farm land is in such good shape. Summer passed and last fall they tilled the soil to about 6 inches. Soil test results revealed that the sandy clay loam needed to be amended with lime, which has already been incorporated before planting dozens of peonies.

April Lemly of Kamama Flowers.

Since moving mid-summer 2017, April enjoyed a lovely wedding season with 4 boutique weddings in gorgeous outdoor settings where Kamama’s organic flowers graced beautiful brides.

She writes this about the name Kamama Flowers: Kamama is the Cherokee word for butterfly. The name is an homage to the strong women in my life; my Grandma, Sara, and my mom, Karen, the women who showed me the peace in the garden.

Thank you so much for joining me today and hearing April’s story of a new chapter that incorporates flower farming, floral design and retail flowers — it’s a vertical floral business model that is proving to be more relevant than ever before.

Find and follow Kamama Flowers at these social places:

Kamama Flowers on Facebook

Kamama Flowers on Instagram

Kamama Flowers on Pinterest

And I’m so happy to tell you that the Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 312,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious.

I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the right column.


Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018

Our lead Sponsor, Florists’ Review  magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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 Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:

Wingspan; Lanky; The Big Ten
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from:

audionautix.com

Episode 346: The Genius of British Floral Artist Joseph Massie

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Joseph Massie

Slow Flowers Summit logo We’ve been running a special promotion called the Slow Flowers Luxury Package — offering anyone who registers for the Slow Flowers Summit this coming June 29th a bit of encouragement to register early.

The promotion ended on Sunday, April 22nd — Earth Day. And I’m excited to announce our winner, chosen in a blind drawing: Marian Purviance of What Cheer Flower Farm in Providence, Rhode Island. Marian, we’re so happy to award you with the $400 gift package, which includes a full year Premium membership in Slow Flowers and one night’s stay at the Marriott Wardman Park, the Summit hotel. Marian will receive the gift package valued at $400, which includes one year Premium membership in Slow Flowers and one night’s stay at the Marriott Wardman Park, the Summit hotel. Congratulations!

There will be a new Summit promotion announced next week, so if you missed this chance, tune in for more details to enter. Please join us for what promised to be a fantastic day of networking, inspirational presentations and personal growth. I can’t wait to see you there!

A Joseph Massie creation.

Today’s guest is British floral designer Joseph Massie, a featured instructor at Tobey Nelson’s recent Whidbey Flower Workshop.

I have been so eager to interview Joseph in anticipation of my joining the other instructors at the Whidbey Flower Workshop.

Our paths crossed there and Joseph graciously agreed to let me turn on the recorder for a lovely conversation.

Take a look at this floral ceiling!

He may never remember our having met two years ago during Detroit Flower Week, when of course I made sure to introduce myself and congratulate him for the amazing floral installation that he and students created for the final dinner, hosted by another genius floral friend, Lisa Waud of pot & box.

I was eager to see and learn from Joseph, especially thanks to Tobey’s workshop billing that promised Joseph would “guide us through all the layers of designing and engineering large-scale, foam-free floral installations.” You can see photographs of some of the highlights of the Workshop here:

Here’s more about Joseph:

Frequently referred to by the media as ‘the floral artist of his generation,’ Joseph Massie is widely regarded as one of Europe’s top botanical artists.  Aged just fourteen, Joseph desperately wanted a weekend job, and after successfully applying to the local flower stall, he began spending his weekends working in his hometown of Liverpool, UK. Perhaps to some it was an uncommon interest for a fourteen year old boy, but Joseph quickly found his vocation amongst the buckets of blossoms and buds.

Taking steps to pursue his passion, Joseph self funded his education and began to hone his practice and develop a creative ethos, participating in intense training sessions with top international designers and artists. To further build his artistic vocabulary, Joseph began to participate firstly in regional, followed by national, floral design competitions, and aged nineteen, won his first national design competition, the BFA Young Florist of the Year 2007.

Following his national title victory, Joseph took his first steps onto the world stage at Eurofleurs (Belgium, Brussels, ‘08). European success was followed in quick succession by competing at the highly regarded 40th WorldSkills Competition (Calgary, Canada, ‘09) where he became the first and only UK Competitor to ever take home a Bronze Medal, (ranked 3rd Worldwide) in Floristry.   Joseph completed his extraordinary international run by finishing Silver Medal (ranked 2nd in Europe) at Eurofleurs, the European Youth Championships (Manchester, UK) in 2010.Whilst experiencing humbling international success, his achievements were proudly echoed on home soil, winning seventeen national & international competitions and awards, including five consecutive RHS Gold Medals – and four Best in Show awards – at the world renown RHS Chelsea Flower Show (‘09/’10/’11/’12/’13).  Joseph is the youngest person ever to achieve this feat.

Joseph’s studio has three creative divisions: the first is Joseph Massie Botanical Art, which includes major installations and commissions for public and private clients and venues; the second is Joseph Massie Flowers, his full-service wedding and events service, and the third is the UK School of Floristry.

A Joseph Massie green living room, commissioned for a project in Singapore

Follow Joseph at these social places:

Joseph Massie on Instagram

Joseph Massie Flowers on Instagram

 

“I’ve never wanted an average life,” Joseph Massie.

Thank you so much for joining me today as we immersed ourselves in flowers as an art form in so many ways. Here are a few images from the Whidbey Flower Workshop that took place last week, including an epic, one-day installation blitz with Joseph Massie and 15 designers:

Joseph’s incredible vision inspired a giant “tree” built on a base of chicken wire.

Left: A rose petal curtain; Right: A floating, elongated “cloud,” made from branches and white statice.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 309,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the right column.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018

Our lead Sponsor, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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 Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Turning on the Lights; Wingspan
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from:

audionautix.com

 

Episode 345: Modern Macramé with Artist-Entrepreneur Emily Katz

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

Today’s featured guest is Portland-based artist and community-builder Emily Katz — learn all about her new book, Modern Macramé. Author photo (c) Nicolle Clemetson

Peak of Summer 2017 — getting ready to see what this year’s Slow Flowers Cutting Garden produces!

Before I share macramé maven Emily Katz’s story with you, I want to briefly share what’s happening in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed some recent stories about the prep work taking place for my soon-to-arrive greenhouse.

I’m really jazzed because adding the structure will complete the third area of our one-year old garden! I’m focusing on this season’s cutting garden planting plans, and that means annuals and dahlias.

To see what I’m doing, follow the link to my recent story, “Spring in the Cutting Garden,” where I begin to sketch out my plans.

I’m especially excited about the cutting garden planting plan that Longfield Gardens designed for my raised beds — Check it out — and be sure to follow links to order your flower seeds and dahlia tubers. You’ll find what annuals, dahlias and companions I’m planning to grow, too.

Emily Katz, at Detroit Flower Week (c) Heather Saunders

Now, let’s turn to Emily Katz of Modern Macramé. I first met Emily at Lisa Waud’s Detroit Flower Week in 2016, where she invited Emily to present and also design a beautiful macrame curtain during the conference.

Emily and I struck up a friendship in our hotel lobby while waiting for our ride one morning and realized we were both from the Pacific Northwest. I have been so impressed and fascinated by how she has revived the 1970s art of macramé — for many reasons, not the least of which it brings back memories of a job as a teenager making macramé straps and hangers for a hippy pottery studio in 1975. Tragically, for me, that was a few years before our friend Emily Katz was born! Oh well, age is a state of mind and in my mind, I’m not much older than that 15-year-old girl who once knew all the macramé knots.

More of Heather Saunders’ beautiful images of Emily’s macramé-floral curtain from Detroit Flower Week (c) Heather Saunders.

Perhaps that’s partly why I was drawn to Emily, but her story is enough to draw in anyone. As an artist, Emily has worked on numerous fashion and interiors projects, including owning two women’s fashion lines, Bonnie Heart Clyde and her eponymous collection of sustainable clothing for women. She has studied fiber and printmaking in Florence, Italy; attended the Maryland Institute College of Art, with a focus on printmaking, and is currently traveling the world teaching macrame workshops, learning about energy healing, art directing and styling photo shoots, hosting dinners and events, collaborating on interior design projects and products, and dreaming up the next adventure.

Amazing banners and hangings (and how to make them) are featured projects in Modern Macramé. Left and right — two installations of Emily’s Celebration Garland. (c) Nicole Franzen

You’ll want to check out her new book — Modern Macramé : 33 Stylish Projects for Your Handmade Home, which will be released on May 15th It’s the ultimate guide to creating and styling modern macramé projects in the home.

The book’s instructions are easy to follow and replicate — from basic to complex knotting techniques and more.

I know I said Macramé—the fine art of knotting— dates back in my memory to the 1970s, but in fact, it is an age-old craft that’s undergoing a contemporary renaissance. At the heart of this resurgence is Emily, a lifestyle icon and artist who teaches sold-out macramé workshops around the world and creates swoon-worthy aspirational interiors with her custom hand-knotted pieces.

A kitchen ceiling installation with hanging macramé planters (c) Nicole Franzen from Modern Macramé

The book Modern Macramé is a stylish, contemporary guide to the traditional art and craft of macramé, including 33 how-to projects, from driftwood wall art and bohemian light fixtures to macramé rugs and headboards. The projects are showcased in easy to follow, well-photographed project layouts, guiding both the novice and the more experienced crafter in a highly achievable way.

The images and projects I selected to share here are particularly applicable to floral installations – and you’ll love them and want to try your own hand at making or adapting Emily’s designs for your clients and projects. Modern Macramé is published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Text and tutorial photographs (c) 2018 by Emily Katz; Interior design photographs (c) 2018 byNicole Franzen

A lovely detail of Emily’s hands as she knots and ties cotton rope (c) Heather Saunders

Sisters of Moon Wall Hanging by Emily Katz, featured in her book, Modern Macramé (c) Nicole Franzen

The audio you’ll hear in today’s episode is from a December workshop I attended when Emily came to Seattle right before the holidays. I recorded (with Emily’s permission) her personal story shared at the beginning of the evening, during which tells how macramé became so important in her life.

I was gathered with a dozen or so women and one man to learn how to make a small wall-hanging using natural jute and a number of knotting techniques. As I listened to Emily, I realized how effective she is at using art as a metaphor for life. She truly wants to inspire others to be better versions of themselves.

Emily views macramé as a communal act, one that can bring people together, and you’ll hear more about that in her remarks.

Emily’s brand of macramé employs a rhythmic, repetitive, ritual of wrapping and looping rope to create a textile piece.

For those of us in the floral industry, there is a beautiful connection between fresh flowers and woven rope. The organic common language is so relevant. That’s obviously what Lisa Waud saw in Emily’s artwork — enough to invite and include macramé in Detroit Flower Week.

Here’s how to find and learn from Emily — on her social places:

Modern Macrame on Instagram

Modern Macrame on Facebook

Modern Macrame on Pinterest

Follow this map to Emily’s Modern Macramé Summer Book Tour

Find more details about Emily’s appearances here and follow along as she crisscrosses the country all summer long, sharing her passion and expertise for Macramé.

This is the final week to enter The Slow Flowers Luxury Package promotion, which ends on Sunday, April 22nd — Earth Day. If you register for the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit conference by that date, you’ll be entered into a random drawing to receive a $400 gift package — I can’t wait to see you there!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 306,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious.

I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities.

You can find the donate button in the right column.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2018, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review.

It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Click here to take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com.

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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 Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Uplifting Pop; Whistle While You Pod
by Sounds Like an Earful

Episode 344: Meet Connecticut-based Wedding & Event Designer Carrie Wilcox

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Jenn and Adam O’Neal of PepperHarrow Farm just announced their first extended Flower Farmer Workshop — and I’ll be there!

PepperHarrow’s farm, flowers and wedding design techniques are featured in this month’s Country Gardens.

Before I introduce you to today’s featured guest, floral designer Carrie Wilcox, I want to share a short audio recording with Jenn and Adam O’Neal of PepperHarrow Farm, based in Winterset, Iowa.

They’re past guests of this podcast and we’re all excited about the new Spring issue of Country Gardens magazine, out on newsstands now, because it features a beautiful article I produced and wrote about the O’Neals — called “Bridal Botanicals.”

We are reuniting this coming September because Jenn and Adam have invited me to join their Flower Farmer Workshop on Saturday, September 8 and Sunday, September 9. Check out all the details here — and please join us for two days focused on flower farming, floral design and creative writing to share your stories.

A love for flowers infuses Carrie Wilcox’s bubbly personality!

Okay, Now, please meet Carrie Wilcox. Carrie is a longtime Slow Flowers member and supporter who I was able to spend a few days with recently at the Team Flower Conference in Orlando. We managed to grab 30 minutes for me to record a fun conversation with a very fun-loving woman. Here’s a bit more about Carrie: 

She even wears flowers!

Carrie Wilcox is the owner of Carrie Wilcox Floral Design based in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Carrie has been a designer with several flower shops as well as some of the most highly regarded floral and event studios.

In 2012, she earned the European Masters Certification after studying in Bruges, Belgium, and is currently a candidate for the A.I.F.D. designation. Carrie also enjoys entering floral design competitions all over the United States. 

She writes: “For me, flowers are the most simple but expressive things in life. They share in your happiness during festive times and console you in moments of sorrow.  

Some of my most special memories are punctuated with flowers.  

Memories of my grandmother and I picking flowers from her garden to use on the dinner table and the frilly and fragrant lily of the valley from my bridal bouquet when I married the man of my dreams.

A Carrie Wilcox wedding

Flowers have always had a special place in my heart.  Growing up in coastal Fairfield County, Connecticut, the summer was always filled with bushes of electric blue hydrangea and the kaleidoscope of colors brought to life by the tea roses in my mother’s garden.  I’ve been designing and decorating with flowers from an early age, when I joined my mother and sister working at a local flower shop.  Now, I share my love of flowers and including them in all kinds of life events with my own teenage daughter.  I also enjoy sharing my knowledge of the floral industry including decorating with and arranging flowers through teaching and speaking engagements all over New England.” 

Inspiring wedding design by Connecticut-based Carrie Wilcox.

Love this ceiling installation by Carrie, featuring greenery, tulips and votives.

Truly seasonal, dahlias and their companions for a late-summer wedding by Carrie Wilcox.

You can find and follow Carrie Wilcox on Instagram here.

Here is the link to Hanah Silk, a favorite source of Carrie’s for USA-made source for custom-dyed velvet ribbons.

Muddy Feet Flower Farm, one of Carrie’s favorite sources for local flowers.


Thanks so much for joining me today. The Slow Flowers Luxury Package promotion continues now through April 22nd — Earth Day. If you register for the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit conference by that date, you’ll be entered into a random drawing to receive a $400 gift package.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 303,500 times by listeners like you. Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much. And thank you to Mayesh Wholesale for recently listing the Slow Flowers Podcast in its blog post: “The Floral Podcasts You Should be Listening to Right Now.” We’re included in some great company.

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2018, Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for the new Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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 Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Turning on the Lights; Betty Dear; Tiny Putty
by Blue Dot Sessions

Episode 343: Florist Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas of Sacramento-based Flourish on her California-grown sourcing practices

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

This past week the American Horticultural Society announced that I am the 2018 recipient of a Great American Gardener Award, one of 12 such awards given this year.

What’s really special is the specific award — named for Frances Jones Poetker, a floral designer, author and lecturer. First given in 1988, the award recognizes significant contributions to floral design in publications, on the platform, and to the public.

Frances Jones Poetker, First Lady of Flowers

Who is Frances Jones Poetker? I thought it important to meet her!

Frances Jones Poetker was born on April 14, 1913 and grew up in Walnut Hills, Ohio. She later earned a degree in botany from Vassar College. She also attended the University of Cincinnati and received her master’s degree in plant ecology. Frances’s family owned Jones the Florist and operated floral shops in Ohio and Kentucky for more than a century. She was proud of her lineage, as her ancestors were originally named Jonaz, a floral dynasty dating to the early 1500s when they provided flowers to the courts of Holland.

Frances was a remarkable woman, known as “First Lady of Flowers” in the floral industry, both locally in Ohio and internationally. She received numerous awards and recognitions over her lifetime for her achievements as a botanist and horticulturist. She wrote a book titled Receiving God’s Gifts: Flowers, Herbs, Grasses, Trees and Water; she co-authored a prize-winning ecological book, Wild Wealth, had a syndicated column called “Fun with Flowers,” and presented a nationally syndicated TV course on plant ecology.

She also received an Olympic medal as co-chair of floral decorations at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics and was named to the Floriculture Hall of Fame in 1967, which is the industry’s highest honor. In addition, her antique posey-holder collection is displayed in a permanent position at the Smithsonian. She died in March 2008, a decade ago.

Why am I so excited about receiving this recognition?! To me, the award legitimizes all of the efforts of the Slow Flowers Community as we work tirelessly to change the floral landscape in the U.S.

I have no idea whether Frances Jones Poetker was a Slow Flowers kindred spirit, but I like to imagine that she was, if only because of the decades that her career encompassed. I have to think she was a Constance Spry type of florist, one who relied on local flower growers and greenhouses to stock her Cincinnati flower shop.

At any rate, this is OUR award, for the entire Slow Flowers Community, and its existence moves what many consider a “fringe” movement to the mainstream where the consideration of seasonal, local and sustainable flowers is top of mind. It’s merely a piece of paper that I can frame, but I’m honored to accept it and share it with you.

Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas, Flourish

Okay, on to today’s guest. I am so pleased to introduce Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas of Sacramento-based Flourish. Shannon and I figured out that we met through Chapel Designers when Holly Chapple invited me to speak to one of her New York conferences several years ago.

Shannon (right) and I met up at the 2016 SF Flower & Garden Show and I loved the textural arrangement she demonstrated!

Later, when I was producing the Floral Stage at the San Francisco Flower Garden Show in 2016, I put out a call to all Slow Flowers members in California to propose presentations. Shannon did just that and she came to San Francisco to teach at the Show. I actually found a few photos taken of us together and featuring her beautiful floral arrangement that was part of the demonstration (see above).

The award-winning peony “boa” designed by Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas. This look won the “Best Art for Arts Sake: Unique Design” category in last year’s Alaska Peony Marketing Group/Florists’ Review

Here’s a bit more about Shannon, excerpted from her web site:

I started Flourish with the belief that every wedding should be a unique reflection of the couple.  Every couple has a story and that story is beautiful.  Using the freshest, seasonal and local flowers to inspire, amaze and to tell that story is my passion.

My husband Jim and I were married in 1994.  Aside from having everyone we loved in attendance, we knew a few things needed to happen for our wedding to feel authentic to us as a couple.  I wanted a wedding gown that was simple and classic.

Jim, a musician, wanted to choose all the music, and I absolutely had to carry peonies down the aisle. I wore a floral brocade gown and carried Sarah Bernhardt peonies. We danced the night away, with our closest friends, to such gems as “The Groove is in the Heart” and “Friday I’m in Love”.

I could fill this space with how I have been designing in flowers for 26 years and my designs have been published in national magazines and wedding blogs…etc.  Experience matters, but that is not the reason you should choose Flourish to design your wedding flowers.  The reason you should choose Flourish is, designing flowers is my passion.  Sharing that passion with my clients is what I love.

When I design flowers for a wedding, I am as invested in those flowers as I was in 1994 and I placed those precious peonies in my own bridal bouquet.  Every time I see a pink peony I think back to that day in May.  Your wedding flowers should be just as perfect and just as meaningful.

We believe that the beauty we are honored to work with every day should be available for our children and children’s children to enjoy.  What that means is using sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, whenever possible.

These are some of the steps we have taken to make operations at Flourish more environmentally friendly:

*We use locally grown and seasonally available flowers whenever possible (We are proud to be a member of Slow Flowers.).

*We have added a new cutting garden to the grounds outside our workshop.  Our cutting garden will allow us to add unique touches to our designs without having to truck those stems and blooms to our facility.

*We compost all organic waste for use in our cutting garden.

*All paper, glass and cardboard are recycled.

*Whenever possible, we use vases, containers and props for multiple events.

*We limit the amount of non-biodegradable Oasis foam we use in our arrangements

*Excess water from the design studio is used to water the plants in our cutting garden.

*We have asked our suppliers to limit the amount of paperwork, invoices and extra packing materials sent to us.

*Many of our vases and containers are made from recycled materials.

*All of our estimates, invoices, contracts and other communications are done electronically so there is no paper waste.

*We use limited paper marketing materials to reduce waste. What we do use, business cards and gift bags, are made from recycled materials.

*We limit the amount of packing materials we use in the transportation and presentation of flowers.

*Floral designs left over after the event are donated to a senior center where the  flowers can continue to bring joy after the event is over.

I love that Shannon has proclaimed specific practices on her web site, clearly underscoring her brand and values that she wants to share with her clients.

Enjoy these photos of Shannon and her beautiful flowers!

You can follow Shannon at these social places:

Flourish Designs on Facebook

Flourish Designs on Instagram

Read Sacramento Magazine’s recent article about Shannon’s “slow flowers” practices. Download PDF here: Flourish-SacMag2 (1)


Thanks so much for joining me today. The Slow Flowers Luxury Package promotion continues now through April 20th. If you register for the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit conference by that date, you’ll be entered into a random drawing to receive a $400 gift package — all the details are available here.


The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 300,000 times by listeners like you. In fact, March 2018 was our all-time highest month of listenership — at more than 12,200 downloads! Thank you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing — it means so much.

Take the Pledge!!!

As the Slow Flowers Movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the right column.

Thank you to our sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week, the Slowflowers.com online directory to American grown flowers, as well as our new channels, Slow Flowers Journal and the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit.

They are:

Florists’ Review magazine, for which I serve as Contributing Editor for the new Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of passionate family farms in the heart of Alaska providing bigger, better peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies.com

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com

Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Visit them at longfield-gardens.com.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at syndicatesales.com.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at johnnysseeds.com.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. 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 Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
Sage the Hunger (Rhythmic); Thannoid
by Blue Dot Sessions
Music from:

audionautix.com