Debra Prinzing

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Nature as inspiration for your floral designs with Nancy Ross Hugo (Episode 164)

Saturday, October 18th, 2014
Paperwhite foliage (left) and a fatsia leaf (right) provide a study in contrasts. Design and photo by Nancy Ross Hugo.

Paperwhite foliage (left) and a fatsia leaf (right) provide a study in contrasts. Design and photo by Nancy Ross Hugo.

Before I introduce you to today’s guest, I wanted to reach into the letter bag and share some of the notes that arrived this week.

Emily Watson, a farmer-florist who owns Stems Cut Flowers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a member of Slowflowers.com, writes:

“I have been listening to your podcasts and after every single one I think I should write you a thank you but neither of us has time for that! So here it is one big thank you for all of them. Some weeks I hear pieces of my own story, some weeks inspiration for where I want to go, some weeks I just feel grateful that there are people like you and Kasey Cronquist and the Field to Vase  project making good things happen. At the ASCFG conference that I went to in DC a a few years ago I remember an ice breaker session where you were supposed to tell the people at your table where you though your business would be next year. And at that time I was not even sure that my business was going to be around the following year. I was tired, emotionally, financially, and physically exhausted. After four long growing seasons I started to feel like maybe I should just cut my losses and return to the “normal” workforce. But then I saw things starting to happen on the bigger scale, people bringing awareness to the issues that mattered to me and my business, people connecting the dots for all the small businesses like mine.”

Since then my business has evolved a bit and I am on the verge of another transformation. One that I feel like I will have support for and a community which I can draw on for ideas and information. And you have been a big part of making this happen so thank you very much.”

And here’s one from Tobey Nelson, a floral, wedding & event designer who owns Vases Wild in Langley, Washington, on beautiful Whidbey Island – a wedding destination:

“I have been listening to your podcasts in an OCD fashion lately – love them!  And I really appreciate all the work you are doing for Slow Flowers and (the) American grown (movement). So great. Do you know that just this year we have had three professional flower growers sprout up on Whidbey Island? It makes me happy!”

Thank YOU, Tobey and Emily ~ your encouragement for this endeavor means a lot. It’s easier to promote American grown flowers when I have such talented farmers and florists as my partners!

ST LYNN'S WINDOWSILL ART CVR Anyone listening today knows that flowers can be a huge source of comfort, encouragement, celebration and serenity – depending on the time and place and occasion.

Today’s guest, Nancy Ross Hugo, brings the macro world of nature, landscape, the garden or the flower farm down to the micro world of the windowsill. And in doing so, she offers us a simple ritual, a moment, a meditation on the botanical beauty around us

The author of a new book called “Windowsill Art: Create One-of-a-kind Natural Arrangements to Celebrate the Season,” Nancy writes about gardening, trees, and floral design from her home in Ashland, Virginia and her family’s small farm in Howardsville, Virginia.

Her love of trees has led her to tree habitats all over the world, but her real passion is celebrating the common wildflowers, weeds, trees, and everyday plants that are often overlooked in ordinary backyards.

Naturalist, designer, artist, educator and author Nancy Hugo Ross. Photo (c) Robert Llewellyn

Naturalist, designer, artist, educator and author Nancy Hugo Ross. Photo (c) Robert Llewellyn

Nancy loves reading old natural history books, writing new ones, and exploring the creative process through flower arranging and nature journaling.

Through nature journaling and blogging about the “windowsill arrangements” she creates every day, she says she keeps her creative muscles exercised, her thoughts straight, and her eyes open to all things wild and wonderful.

Nancy has authored five books and hundreds of articles about nature and the outdoors, She is the former garden columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch and education manager at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. She travels the country speaking on the two topics closest to her heart: observing trees carefully and celebrating the seasons through daily, simple flower arranging.

Rustic boxes filled with an immature sunflower head (left) and stacked marigold blossoms (right). Nancy writes: "Marigolds will last longer than you think out of water."

Rustic boxes filled with an immature sunflower head (left) and stacked marigold blossoms (right). Nancy writes: “Marigolds will last longer than you think out of water.”

I met Nancy through St. Lynn’s Press, our shared publisher. It seems that at the same time I was working on Slow Flowers – a book about creating a local and seasonal floral arrangement every week of the year with only what I cut from my own garden or sourced from local flower farmers, Nancy was working on Windowsill Art, engaging in a similar method of marking the seasons in nature with floral arranging.

Violas in stone cube with "gumball."

Violas in stone cube with “gumball.”

The difference is that of simplicity and spontaneity. Nancy’s practice is so “of the moment” and I greatly admire her artistry and approach. You might think a windowsill would constrain the creativity – but that’s anything but the case.

A beet displayed beside a jug of coleus. "I realized I could turn (the beet) upside down and support it on its leaf stems . . . showcasing the part of the beet I like best - its tapering root."

A beet displayed beside a jug of coleus. “I realized I could turn (the beet) upside down and support it on its leaf stems . . . showcasing the part of the beet I like best – its tapering root.”

In May 2011, Nancy began a blog on which she posted a photo of a small flower arrangement (or just a conglomeration of natural materials) every day. Assembled on the windowsill, these simple displays celebrate the seasons and chronicle Nancy’s love affair with local wildflowers, weeds, and garden flowers as well as her discovery of new and exciting ways to display them. They also demonstrate why practicing this easy art form is so valuable as a form of nature journaling and rewarding as a personal creative practice. You can see more than 800 arrangements at windowsillarranging.blogspot.com.

Sweet William, wild mustard, and Chinese temple bell (Moricandia avensis) flowers.

Sweet William, wild mustard, and Chinese temple bell (Moricandia avensis) flowers — in Nancy’s favorite bud vases.

As Nancy points out, almost everyone does it – puts a little something on the windowsill to watch it ripen, root, or just sit there looking pretty. To this gifted woman, the windowsill can serve as a stage for more intentional arranging – a personal, freewheeling kind of art. A catalyst for creativity.

The compound leaves of nandina emerge copper-colored in spring and are arranged here in a row of test tubes.

The compound leaves of nandina emerge copper-colored in spring and are arranged here in a row of test tubes.

She writes, “for me, windowsill arranging is almost a spiritual practice. Where I am looking for materials to display and placing them . . . I feel more like a poet placing words in a haiku than a floral designer placing stems in a vase. I love the limited space, the double connection to the outdoors (through the window and my materials), and the structure that repeating the same activity over and over provides.”

Gifts from the kitchen and herb garden compose a lovely still-life on Nancy's windowsill.

Gifts from the kitchen and herb garden compose a lovely still-life on Nancy’s windowsill.

As we enter the more dormant period of the year in our gardens and on our farms, I challenge you to pick up Nancy’s approach to observing nature’s gifts and seeing each pod, branch, stem or vine (or fruits and vegetables) as an artistic element. It may be a gift to give yourself this season.

Thanks for joining today’s conversation. Listeners like you have downloaded the Slow Flowers Podcast more than 23,000 times. If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.

My personal goal is to put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. I promise that when you tune in next week, you’ll hear another insightful and educational episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

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

Note: Many of the supplies Nancy uses can be ordered from The Arranger’s Market: vases, clippers, bottle brushes, and other floral design equipment.

All photos in this post copyrighted to Nancy Ross Hugo, used by permission of St. Lynn’s Press.

SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Floral Microlending with Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers (Episode 163)

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

This episode is dedicated to a sweet little girl named Shylah who’s dealing with some scary medical challenges. Please say a quiet prayer or send your sentiments into the universe for her healing, for her parents and brothers, and for the physicians who are caring for her.

I also want to share a special announcement:

We’ve reached our 400th member to join the Slowflowers.com online directory.

Here's a peek at The FloraCultural Society's storefront on College Ave. in Oakland - our 400th Member of Slowflowers.com.

Here’s a peek at The FloraCultural Society’s storefront on College Ave. in Oakland – our 400th Member of Slowflowers.com.

Thanks to Anna Campbell of  The FloraCultural Society in Oakland, for listing her urban flower farm, design studio and charming retail shop with our site. I was introduced to Anna by Stephanie Hughes, who I met at a Little Flower School workshop last spring – she’s now a director with The FloraCultural Society.

Expect to hear more from this creative team. I recently visited them in Oakland and have already scheduled a future Slow Flowers podcast episode about Anna’s creative business model, which will run later in the fall.

More than a year ago I hosted Baltimore-based floral designer Ellen Frost of Local Color Flowers, aka Lo-Co-Flo, as a guest of this podcast. I’ve been wanting to have Ellen back on the show due in large part to the innovative work she and her team are doing to support American flower farmers, while also promoting their mission to Local Color Flowers’ customers and the media.

Ellen and her husband Eric Moller, along with a savvy design and production team, specialize in weddings & events. They also lead hands-on workshops and classes and are vocal advocates for American grown flowers. I can’t tell you how impressed I am – continually – with all they are doing. And how often I hear from others in the Slow Flowers movement who wish to model their floral businesses on what Ellen and Eric are doing.

The Local Color Flowers design team - Ellen Frost is in the center.

The Local Color Flowers design team – Ellen Frost is in the center.

A few months back I heard from another florist friend that the duo had begun to invest in “flower futures” with some of their small grower-suppliers. The more I learned about LoCoFlo’s  micro-lending program, the more intrigued I was to hear from Ellen myself.

American Grown Floral Visionary, Ellen Frost.

American Grown Floral Visionary, Ellen Frost.

So when I had a chance to meet up with Ellen in August, at a very special field-to-vase dinner that Jennie Love hosted at Love ‘N Fresh Flower Farm in Philadelphia, I grabbed the recorder and asked Ellen for an update.

You will be inspired and her innovative thinking. If you are a florist who is in search of very special and/or hard-to-locate botanicals for your design work, this interview may prompt you to similarly invest in a flower farmer near you.

And if you’re a flower farmer, why not approach your florist-customers and invite them to brainstorm with you about what to grow for next season? Who knows? Maybe that will lead to a collaborative partnership of your own — one in which florists pre-purchase next year’s crops, giving the farmer up-front capital to buy bulbs, seeds and starts — all with the knowledge that those flowers will go for a fair price in the marketplace?

Emerging flower farmers recently attended the "Flower Power Hour," hosted by Local Color Flowers.

Emerging flower farmers recently attended the “Flower Power Hour,” hosted by Local Color Flowers.

My personal goal is to put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. I promise that when you tune in next week, you’ll hear another insightful and educational episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

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

SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Kelly Norris on the must-have bearded iris for flower farmers and floral designers (Episode 162)

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
'Jack's Pick' - a miniature tall bearded iris with gorgeous tawny petals.

‘Jack’s Pick’ – a miniature tall bearded iris with gorgeous tawny petals.

It’s not unusual to find a clump of purple-flowering bearded irises in the beds and borders surrounding many older American homes. For decades they’ve been forgotten or dismissed as a “grandmother’s garden flower,” but bearded irises are enjoying a renaissance of sorts.

Kelly Norris, plantsman, writer, horticultural visionary and iris expert.

Kelly Norris, plantsman, writer, horticultural visionary and iris expert.

It’s thanks in part to the activities of today’s guest, Kelly Norris, a 20-something horticultural rock star whose obsession with bearded irises dates back to his 12-yr-old curiosity.

The breeding and hybridizing efforts of Kelly and others has greatly broadened the palette of these unique flowers which bear a set of upright petals (called the ‘standard’) offset by an equal number of downward cascading petals (described as the ‘fall’).

According to Kelly, late summer to early fall is the best time to plant bearded iris rhizomes- so that means you have a few more weeks to add some of these beauties to your cutting garden. And if you’ve never before considered growing or designing with bearded iris, I promise that my interview with Kelly will inspire you to do so!

Kelly D. Norris is the award-winning author and plantsman from Iowa and the first horticulture manager at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, a newly revitalized 14-acre public garden in Des Moines, Iowa.

Want to know more about bearded irises? Check out Kelly's award-winning book.

Want to know more about bearded irises? Check out Kelly’s award-winning book.

He’s popularly known for his book A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts from Timber Press, which won the 2013 American Horticultural Society Book Award. He’s at work on his next project tentatively titled Dig This: Stylish Gardening with Kickass Plants.

As a speaker, Kelly has garnered acclaim for his high-energy, zealous presentations on the national stage, leading many to call him one of the rising stars of American horticulture.

Kelly’s unique 10 years of experience in the industry began at age 15 when he talked his parents into buying a nursery (Rainbow Iris Farm), and in that time he’s become one of the few gurus on marketing horticulture to emerging demographics.

At the Botanical Garden, Kelly directs and manages a team of horticultural professionals in all aspects of design, curation, programming, and garden maintenance and has a principal leadership role in the $12 million renovation and expansion currently underway.  He is also the editorial director for the organization’s award-winning member magazine Bloom, leads several programming initiatives aimed at fulfilling the Garden’s mission of “exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants,” and is the artistic director of the newly minted Spring Garden Festival which had its debut in May 2014.

Kelly Norris

Kelly Norris

Kelly is the youngest person to receive the Iowa State Horticultural Society’s Presidential Citation, Award of Merit and Honor Award in the organization’s 150 year history, awards that exemplify service and contributions to horticulture in Iowa.

In 2011, he was also honored by the Perennial Plant Association with the Young Professional Award, recognizing early contributions to the advancement of herbaceous perennials in American horticulture.

In 2013, he won the Iowa Author Award for Special Interest Writing, the youngest Iowan to be recognized in the history of the awards program.

I caught up with Kelly at the Garden Writers Association symposium in Pittsburgh several weeks ago.

'Red Rock Princess' - another favorite Miniature Tall Bearded Iris.

‘Red Rock Princess’ – another favorite Miniature Tall Bearded Iris.

'Hot News" - love this color bloom!

‘Hot News” – love this color bloom!

Our topic: miniature tall bearded irises. That sounds like an oxymoron, but in the interview we’ll learn why Kelly believes this iris classification is ideal for cut flower farms to grow and floral designers to request.

According to the American Iris Society, the MTB classification, as this type is called, is also known as ‘table iris’ or ‘bouquet iris,’ terms that give you a clue about their suitability for floral design. With bloom stalks measuring 16 inches to 27.5 inches, the flower is far daintier and has a more slender bloom than the more prevalent tall bearded iris flower.

Love this one: 'Apricot Drops'

Love this one: ‘Apricot Drops’

'Rayos Adentro', a sultry MTB iris.

‘Rayos Adentro’, a sultry MTB iris.

Garden writer Ken Druse wrote this of Kelly in an article for Organic Gardening Magazine:

“People tend to say yes to Norris due to his confidence, positive attitude, and infectious enthusiasm . . . he is a modern-day Andy Hardy, rallying friends and admirers to get excited about his latest enterprise . . . .”

'Cedar Waxwing'

‘Cedar Waxwing’

I couldn’t agree more. I hope you’ve been inspired to check out the beautiful options of Miniature tall bearded irises, including some gorgeous ones you can find at Rainbow Iris Farm, the Norris family’s mail order company.

Listeners like you have downloaded the Slow Flowers Podcast more than 22,000 times. If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.

My personal goal is to put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. I promise that when you tune in next week, you’ll hear another insightful and educational episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

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

Slow Flowers on Toxic Free Talk Radio

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

It was a blast today to meet another Debra – Debra Lynn Dadd – aka “The Queen of Green,” the leading voice in toxic-free living and host of “Toxic Free Talk Radio.”

I joined her today on the air for a lively hour discussing what’s “green” and “not green” about the floral industry. You can listen to the entire interview here.

FLA-Grown - yes, it's good to know the source of your flowers and greens!

FLA-Grown – yes, it’s good to know the source of your flowers and greens!

Debra is based in Clearwater, Florida, so I wanted to send her something locally-grown for her vase. A huge thanks to Erik Hagstrom, of Albin Hagstrom & Sons,, a Florida-based foliage farm located just north of Orlando, for getting in on the act.

A member of Slowflowers.com, he offered to send some of his farm’s gorgeous and lush greenery to Debra.

Something awesome happened, and it was completely unscripted: The box from Albin Hagstrom arrived during our on-air interview and Debra went a little bonkers (in a good way) raving about the goodies she received.

That was the perfect way to demonstrate what American grown is all about.

Here’s how Debra arranged the foliage after we wrapped up the interview:

A 100% Florida-Grown Bouquet

A 100% Florida-Grown Bouquet

And here are the American-grown, Florida-grown botanicals she received – thanks Erik Hagstrom and everyone at Albin Hagstrom & Sons:

Magnolia and varietgated Leyland cypress wreath.

Magnolia and varietgated Leyland cypress wreath.

Greenery grown in Florida!

Greenery grown in Florida!

More greenery . . .

More greenery . . .

Even more . . .

Even more . . .

get-attachment

PS, Albin Hagstrom & Sons is also a charter member of the Certified American Grown labeling program – so proud to be associated with this All-American flower farm!

 

 

Local Flowers Inspired by Local Art

Sunday, October 5th, 2014
We had so many gorgeous blooms to use as the design elements for our bouquets. Photographed at Kirkland Art Center overlooking the main gallery.

We had so many gorgeous blooms to use as the design elements for our bouquets. Photographed at Kirkland Art Center overlooking the main gallery.

Here are some photos to share after yesterday’s successful workshop at the Kirkland Art Center: “From Art to Vase.”

The participants were all so talented and willing to experiment with their newfound skills, color sensibilities and approach to floral design.

Thanks so much to Susan Melrath, who curated the beautiful show, Inflorescence and invited me to teach this workshop. And a huge thanks to Anna Braden, the exhibition manager, who helped out so much yesterday! Surrounded by artwork and inspired by color, forms, patterns – and all locally-grown flowers – we were insured of a hugely successful event.

My friend Caroline Bombar-Kaplan shared many of these photos – thanks so much to her, too!

I spent some time discussing the options of local flowers available - and introducing the designers to the flower farms that grew each bloom.

I spent some time discussing the options of local flowers available – and introducing the designers to the flower farms that grew each bloom.

Flowers and art in juxtaposition. In the background, the paintings of Liz Tran.

Flowers and art in juxtaposition. In the background, the paintings of Liz Tran.

Bouquet designed by Kristin Johnsen

Bouquet designed by Kristin Johnsen

Bouquet designed by Caroline Bombar-Kaplan.

Bouquet designed by Caroline Bombar-Kaplan.

Arrangement designed by Marjorie Bombar

Arrangement designed by Marjorie Bombar

Another piece by Marjorie Bombar

Another piece by Marjorie Bombar

A beautiful centerpiece designed by Keita Horn

A beautiful centerpiece designed by Keita Horn

Caroline snapped this shot of my demo bouquet . . . which I brought home to finish last night. So check out the next photo to see how I completed the bouquet.

Caroline snapped this shot of my demo bouquet . . . which I brought home to finish last night. So check out the next photo to see how I completed the bouquet.

It’s always hard to know when a floral arrangement is actually completed, but I knew the piece you see above needed some more elements. After I returned home last night, I used some of the leftover flowers to add those finishing touches:

An early October celebration of local flowers - dahlias, zinnias, lilies, ornamental cabbage, snowberry, ornamental peppers and scented geranium

An early October celebration of local flowers – dahlias, zinnias, lilies, ornamental cabbage, snowberry, ornamental peppers and scented geranium

 

 

SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Flowers as Food for the Soul — Transitioning from food-farming to flower-farming, with Goose Creek Gardens (Episode 161)

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

a visit to Goose Creek I’m so pleased to share this week’s interview with you, a conversation with mother and daughter duo — Margie Dagnal and Kate Dagnal of Goose Creek Gardens in Oakdale, Pennsylvania, a boutique specialty cut flower farm just outside Pittsburgh.

Margie led us on a tour through the farm, including a stop at the Limelight Hydrangeas.

Margie led us on a tour through the farm, including a stop at the Limelight Hydrangeas.

I first met Margie virtually, when she contributed to the Slow Flowers campaign on Indiegogo earlier this year.

And then, if that wasn’t enough, she gave me an incredible gift by contributing flowers that two other Slowflowers.com friends Jimmy Lohr and Jonathan Weber of Green Sinner incorporated into a lovely floral arrangement for my Pittsburgh-based publisher St. Lynn’s Press. PS, Jimmy, Jonathan and Margie refused to take a penny from me either. These people are all so generous!

When I visited Pittsburgh in August, I had arranged to spend a morning at Green Sinner, touring the very cool urban cutting garden and floral studio that Jonathan and Jimmy own (you can hear our podcast interview here).

Here's that lovely Green Sinner arrangement featuring Goose Creek Gardens flowers, an Indiegogo "perk" for St. Lynn's Press offices in Pittsburgh.

Here’s that lovely Green Sinner arrangement featuring Goose Creek Gardens flowers, an Indiegogo “perk” for St. Lynn’s Press offices in Pittsburgh.

Those two cooked up a delightful surprise and arranged for Kate and Margie to make their Goose Creek Gardens “delivery” during my visit. It was a Thursday morning and while I knew I was about to be part of a weekend conference, a little voice in my head was saying: “You can’t leave Pittsburgh without making a visit to Goose Creek Gardens.”

And lo and behold, Jonathan and Sam Rose, who tends to the Green Sinner cutting garden, offered to pick me up and drive me out to Goose Creek Gardens for a weekend visit. We toured the farm, wandered down to the bottom of the property, along the paths, into the high tunnels and more, all the while chatting constantly about this beautiful bloom and that one.

Katie and Margie are super passionate about growing flowers. Flowers were once a secondary crop to Goose Creek’s main endeavor – growing veggies and herbs. For years, while Margie and her husband Mark, a landscaper, produced salad greens and other delicacies for Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance, young Katie grew flowers.

The flower fields at Goose Creek Gardens.

The flower fields at Goose Creek Gardens.

The Geese of Goose Creek Gardens...livin' the good life!

The Geese of Goose Creek Gardens…livin’ the good life!

This year, things have changed, thanks to several issues: From pressure on farmers’ market food prices to seasonal flooding that affected some of Goose Creek’s fields, not to mention Kate’s lifelong obsession with growing cut flowers . . . all these incidents gave them several signs to move into flowers 100 percent of the time.

Katie is now a grownup – a young mom who works side-by-side with her parents running Goose Creek Gardens as a cut flower farm.

Katie and Margie shared photographs of some of their “Friday Night Romance” bouquets for you to enjoy. These are part of an ongoing series of bouquets that Katie creates at the end of each week, to share with her followers and other #farmerflorist friends on Facebook and Instagram. I think they are pretty darned romantic – and beautiful!

 

Friday Night Romance from September 26th

Friday Night Romance from September 26th

Friday Night Romance on denim.

Springtime Friday Night Romance on denim.

Friday Night Romance from July 25th

Friday Night Romance from July 25th

A lovely dahlia takes center stage.

A lovely dahlia takes center stage.

Intense hues add up to a gorgeous Friday Night Romance bouquet.

Intense hues add up to a gorgeous Friday Night Romance bouquet.

I hope you learn as much as I did by hearing this interview. And here’s how you can follow Goose Creek on other social platforms:

Goose Creek Gardens on Facebook

Goose Creek Gardens on Instagram

Up next week: a conversation with the inimitable Kelly Norris, who shares his passion – and genius – about a lesser-known category of his favorite flower: The miniature tall bearded iris. Kelly is the award-winning author of A Guide to Bearded Irises and I’m so excited to introduce him to you in a very lively conversation.

Listeners like you have downloaded the Slow Flowers Podcast more than 21,000 times. If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review. My personal goal is to put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. I promise that when you tune in next week, you’ll hear another insightful and educational episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

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

Fall Dahlia Season

Sunday, September 28th, 2014
The vivid "hot" bouquet that I brought home with me today - $10 by JoAnn Mahaffey, who works for Dan's Dahlias booth.

The vivid “hot” bouquet that I brought home with me today – $10 by JoAnn Mahaffey, who works for Dan’s Dahlias booth.

Dan Pearson of Dan's Dahlias, with his 8-yr-old daughter Alyssa.

Dan Pearson of Dan’s Dahlias, with his 8-yr-old daughter Alyssa.

This morning, bright and early, we drove to the Olympia Farmers’ Market to shop for dahlias.

Yes, there are dahlias available closer to me in Seattle, but I wanted to see what dahlia farmer Dan Pearson was up to at this market. You see, he is nearly 41 years old and he has been growing and selling dahlias at this market for 31 years.

YES, you read that correctly. Dan’s Dahlias is a long-established cut flower farms that so many others emulate. The Olympian newspaper recently called him the “Dahli Lama of cut flower growers” in this story.

In the winter and spring, Dan runs his very successful online Dahlia Tuber store (and PS, I find his web to be user-friendly with easy searches by petal color, flower size, and may other variables).

In the summer and fall, he sells cut dahlias to loyal customers at the Olympia Farmers’ Market and to the floral community through the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

I’ve known Dan personally for the past three years, but anyone who shops at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show or the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show has been drawn into the colorful and highly organized Dan’s Dahlia booth – where you see gorgeous photos of hundreds of dahlia varieties, each one aligned with pre-bagged tubers to take home and grow yourself.

Add in a few zinnias and you have an incredibly eye-pleasing floral palette.

Add in a few zinnias and you have an incredibly eye-pleasing floral palette.

Just wanted to share these luscious photos as they represent just a small portion of the incredible variety of forms and colors available from Dan. And here’s a story I wrote about Dan for Pacific Horticulture magazine – from 2012:

Dan Pearson, dahlia expert, flower farmer, tuber marketer. Plus, he designs a pretty sweet bouquet!

Dan Pearson, dahlia expert, flower farmer, tuber marketer. Plus, he designs a pretty sweet bouquet!

BLOOM TIME FOR A CUT FLOWER FARMER
Growing dahlias began as a childhood hobby and evolved into one man’s livelihood 

You might say Dan Pearson is a poster child for the young farmers’ movement. Except that he started earlier than most of his contemporaries, growing and selling one-dollar bunches of dazzling red, pink, orange, and purple dahlias to customers who drove past the family dairy farm in Oakville, Washington, when he was just ten.

Sales of the alluring flower eventually put Dan through college and set the course of his career. 

Why are we wooed by dahlias? Perhaps it’s their amazing diversity in color, form, petal shape and size, Dan speculates, a grin spreading across his face. “They vary in size from less than two inches to ten inches. People are drawn to those dinner-plate-sized flowers for the wow factor, but soon they realize that the smaller to medium-sized flowers are useful for bouquets.”

As a boy, Dan demonstrated his affection for the flowers that his father, Clarence Pearson, planted along the edge of the vegetable garden by memorizing the names of more than 30 varieties. In 1984, when he was 11, Dan’s folks helped him open a flower stall at the Olympia Farmers Market. “My mother, Colleen, hand-painted a sign that simply read Dan’s Dahlias,” he recalls.

JoAnn Mahaffey designs flowers in Dan's Dahlias stall at the Olympia Farmers' Market.

JoAnn Mahaffey designs flowers in Dan’s Dahlias stall at the Olympia Farmers’ Market.

Today, if he’s not harvesting flowers from more than 600 varieties of luscious dahlias, you can still find Dan at the Olympia Farmers Market, Thursday through Sunday. His bunches of dahlias mixed with summer annuals go for the bargain price of $9, satisfying an endless stream of regulars and market visitors. Dan likes this market’s philosophy, which mandates that all farm products must be locally grown within a five-county area. Operating year-round, it is the state’s second-largest after Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market.

Dan Pearson' Washington-grown dahlias on display at the Seattle Wholesale Growers' Market -- from farmer to florist.

Dan Pearson’ Washington-grown dahlias on display at the Seattle Wholesale Growers’ Market — from farmer to florist.

A lot has been written about young farmers and the growth of America’s small family farm. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently began documenting this demographic, in recognition of the increasing ranks of young women and men who are leaving cities for a rural life on the land. Earlier this year, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency announced a nationwide drive to recruit up to 100,000 new farmers with resources including a “Start2Farm” web site, as well as farm loans and grant programs.

Dan is atypical, however, in that he’s not an urban escapee, but a fourth-generation farmer. He was raised by educators who also ran an 80-acre dairy farm in Washington’s Grays Harbor County, southwest of Olympia.

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This lovely mix of gold, orange and red dahlias was a gift from Dan when I was working on “Slow Flowers,” the book. I added fountain grass, crocosmia and millet to the bouquet.

Todays Dahlias

The season for dahlias is almost over, but these vivid selections are a reminder of how much we LOVE this amazing flower.

“My great-grandfather and grandfather were both loggers and dairy farmers,” Dan says. “My father was a dairy farmer and a teacher. My children are the first in our family not raised on a dairy farm. I have fond memories of the experience of growing up on a dairy farm but eventually the transition to a different livelihood had to be made. I have no regrets about transitioning my family to raising dahlia flowers and bulbs. This area is where I chose to raise my family, and I hope if there are the economic means, my children can do the same.”

Encouraged to attend college, Dan earned a landscape architecture degree from Washington State University. Then he spent seven years on the staff of a large architecture-engineering firm in Olympia.

“But I like to grow things,” Dan explains, shoving his hands in his jean pockets and gazing out across four acres of land where in late July (thanks to a wet, cold spring), the first dahlia buds were only starting to open—a few weeks behind schedule. “Even when I was working as a landscape architect, I was growing dahlias on my evenings and weekends–getting my hands in the dirt.”

In 2002, Dan’s dahlia business was so demanding he quit his landscape architecture practice. The timing coincided with marrying his wife Mieke (“a woman from the city who’s moderated my workaholism,” he contends). It also took place as the Internet began to explode, allowing www.dansdahlias.com, Dan’s nascent web site, to reach a world of customers: gardeners, flower farmers, hobby growers, and members of the American Dahlia Society. Tubers represent 85 percent of his annual sales, while seasonal cut flower sales make up the balance.

With their two young children, Dan and Mieke live one mile from their growing fields. His farming practices are partly old-fashioned and partly modern. For example, Dan does nearly everything by hand with the help of a small, seasonal farm crew. He solves problems the way farmers have done for centuries, using a cash-free barter system when possible. Dan has expanded his dahlia plantings on two acres of his neighbor’s land in exchange for allowing the neighbor to harvest hay from his acreage that’s not suitable for dahlia crops.

When his flower production began to outpace farmers’ market capacity, Dan made a timely choice to join a collective of like-minded specialty cut flower growers in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska in 2011. More than a dozen growers formed the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a year-round, farmer-to-florist wholesale market in Seattle’s hip Georgetown neighborhood. There, in a turn-of-the-century brick warehouse near artist studios, bistros, and vintage furniture stores, the region’s healthiest, just-picked blooms bypass middlemen and are eagerly snatched up by florists, event and wedding planners, restaurants, supermarket floral buyers, and other design-savvy customers who value fresh, local, and sustainably grown flowers.

“The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market came along at the perfect time because it allows me an additional sales outlet,” Dan says. “I just acquired five more acres I’ll plant for Growers Market buyers.”

I can't get enough of this gorgeous flower!

I can’t get enough of this gorgeous flower!

Plant details: Dahlia (Dahlia species and cultivars)
History: The dahlia originated in highland areas of Mexico and Central America. According to experts, centuries after cuttings were brought by plant explorers to Spain, the parentage of tens of thousands of today’s hybrids can be traced to those original plants. The dahlia is a member of the daisy family (Asteraceae). Dahlia tubers, potato-like clumps with an “eye” at one end, are actually modified stems that store nutrients and water underground while producing show-stopping blooms on tall, leafy stems.
Best features: Picture-perfect, symmetrical flowers feature subtle to intense colors in a wide array of forms. Flowers are formed by many petal-like “ray florets” arranged around a center of “disk florets.”
Hardiness: Zones 9-11 “Dahlias can be grown in all fifty states,” Dan says. Dan’s Dahlias ships tubers throughout the United States, as well as to customers in several overseas markets.
Conditions: Full sun, humus-rich, well-drained soil
Bloom time: Late summer to early fall; Dahlias are cut-and-come-again flowers that respond well to frequent harvesting.

SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Meet Mickey Blake, inventor of Floral Soil (TM), the new alternative to floral foam (Episode 160)

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Take the Pledge!!!

Take the Pledge!!!

One of my mentors reminded me recently that it’s inevitable others will disagree with my convictions and portray me as having an “all or nothing” point of view when it comes to helping consumers and florists embrace, design with and purchase American grown flowers — as a way to save the grassroots community of American flower farms.

I truly believe there is an American-grown flower solution for any design challenge – it boils down to desire, innovation and creativity.

I “get” that some in the floral community disagree with this position. A few weeks ago, Holly Chapple and I discussed the idea of hashtagging percentages to indicate the portion of American grown flowers used in a design.

That is a compromise to some, but at least it is a move in the right direction, the “least best” option, but better than not using American grown flowers at all, right?

Hopefully this interim step will nudge even more designers toward using local, seasonal and domestic flowers. And if you choose to promote yourself as having this philosophy, I believe it can be a huge advantage. If you have personally experienced success by taking this path, I want to hear about it because you and your story may be featured on a future episode of this podcast.

Foam_sample Another one of my no-compromise stances is about the use of floral foam, the ubiquitous floral design industry “tool” that is actually formaldehyde-based, toxic, does not break down in landfills and has led to a number of health problems for florists who regularly handle it.

This podcast has featured leaders like Pilar Zuniga, owner of Gorgeous and Green in Berkeley, an early advocate for non-foam design, and I’m constantly intrigued with designers who have a similar philosophy.

But there are so many who have not been able to wean themselves from using this harmful product – harmful to themselves, their customers and the earth.

Sooooo . . . we keep hearing that the conventional floral products industry is working on a solution. But hey people, it’s been 60 years since floral foam has been the so-called industry option for stabilizing stems in vases. Where is the innovation? Where is the corporate social responsibility to do the right thing? What about the lack of transparency about its unsafe attributes and failure to inform those who do use this product?

Enter today’s guests, eco-inventor Mickey Blake and flower shop owner Rebecca Wiswell.

This pleasantly-spongy, soil-colored block of foam is 100% natural and compostable - and it functions exactly like the chemical-based products on the marketplace.....but it's safe and unharmful to  you, your clients, and to the environment.

This pleasantly-spongy, soil-colored block of foam is 100% natural and compostable – and it functions exactly like the chemical-based products on the marketplace…..but it’s safe and unharmful to you, your clients, and to the environment.

Mickey Blake, inventor of Floral Soil.

Mickey Blake, inventor of Floral Soil.

Mickey Blake is a sheer genius, a floral industry outsider who was presented with the challenge of finding a nontoxic, 100 percent plant-based foam for florists to arrange cut flowers and foliage.

In just one year’s time, Mickey has developed, trademarked and has a patent pending innovation called Floral Soil. She explains on her brand new web site:

“We had seven major goals when designing Floral Soil ™ – Support cut flowers, be non-toxic, plant derived, biodegradable, hold water, grow seeds and be safe enough to eat.”

Mickey worked with a select group of beta testers, including Rebecca Wisell, owner of Bellingham, Washington-based Rebecca’s Flower Shoppe. Rebecca’s Flower Shoppe is listed on the Slowflowers.com directory, but she and I don’t know one another personally. My friends Steve and Sarah Pabody of Triple Wren Farms sell their flowers to Rebecca’s – through them, I’ve heard about her support for locally-grown flowers.

Rebecca's Flower Shoppe in Bellingham, Washington, is one of the first "beta" testers of Floral Soil.

Rebecca’s Flower Shoppe in Bellingham, Washington, is one of the first “beta” testers of Floral Soil.

I learned about Floral Soil a few weeks ago, when out of the blue Rebecca reached out to me on Facebook with this note:

“Good morning, Sarah and Steve Pabody are suppliers/friends of our here at Rebecca’s Flower Shoppe in Bellingham. We are a ‘green’ shoppe and were introduced to a new product about a year ago that I thought you might be interested in. It is called Floral Soil and is a replacement for the green foam. It is completely bio-friendly and compostable. We have been trialing it since last fall and think its qualities to retain water and its durability are impressive. I am not selling this product. I just want to get the word out to our floral community that there is a better product that we can all be using to protect us and our environment.”

The day Rebecca emailed me I was on location, working on a photo shoot. So I responded quickly and asked if I could call her later in the week. When I called, Rebecca surprised me by saying, “Oh, the inventor of Floral Soil is here in my shop – do you want to speak with her?”

One of Rebecca Wiswell's samples showing how well flowers of all sizes can be stabilized in Floral Soil (she purposely used a clear glass vase to show the product)

One of Rebecca Wiswell’s samples showing how well flowers of all sizes can be stabilized in Floral Soil (she purposely used a clear glass vase to show the product)

Talk about serendipity! So, I met Mickey Blake by phone and since she is also based in Bellingham, about 90 minutes north of Seattle, it took us a few weeks to get together.

There is so much to wrap your mind around here, so I’m just going to let you listen to my conversation with Mickey, recorded last Friday, September 19th.

Mickey is CEO of Mt. Baker Bio, a life sciences company with this mission: “Using modern science to secure a sustainable future.”

Mt. Baker Bio is a certified woman-owned small business that is focused on creating environmentally sustainable solutions for biomedical laboratories. Through its Green Lab Program the company environmentally friendly alternatives for scientific laboratories, as well as a collapsible silicone lunch box. The innovative company is now turning its attention toward the floral and nursery industries with Floral Soil and other products currently in development.

Look closely and you can see the cocoa fiber textures in the Floral Soil

Look closely and you can see the cocoa fiber textures in the Floral Soil

It’s pretty amazing to watch this dynamo’s eyes light up as she speaks so passionately about changing an ancient business model – from top-down product development where florists have been told they need something (we’re talking about the 1954 invention of floral foam here) to a holistic partnership between inventor and end user – a collaborative approach that has a triple bottom line motivation.

Having spent a few hours with Mickey, and getting my hands on the samples of Floral Soil that she shared with me, I have to say that this product is a major game-changer. It is going to alter forever the practice of using conventional, chemical-based floral foam. [Note, two days after I recorded our podcast interview, one of my floral designer friends was over and I showed her the product samples Mickey gave me. This is a woman whose very successful wedding & event studio has NEVER used conventional floral foam. She was so excited to use the bricks for an upcoming wedding alter design that I gave her three large pieces to use. Photos of that project to come!]

My second guest is Rebecca Wiswell, one of the florists who has been most intimately involved with a year of R&D for Floral Soil. With a 30 year background in the floral industry, Rebecca has the credibility Mickey needed to trial the product day in and day out. I reached out to Rebecca by phone after interviewing Mickey – and recorded our conversation to share with you here.

Here's how the cube of Floral Soil looks from its side, with stems inserted

Here’s how the cube of Floral Soil looks from its side, with stems inserted

Get ready to be wowed and to stop feeling guilty about using a product that you know is damaging to the environment. You may have been dependent on floral foam for some or all of your design work, but no more excuses. Mickey has offered to send a sample to anyone who listens to this podcast

More samples, showing how Floral Soil can be cut into various sizes.

More samples, showing how Floral Soil can be cut into various sizes.

And here are the various ways you can connect with Floral Soil’s via social media.

Floral Soil on Facebook

Mickey Blake on Twitter

I would love to know how you use the product and invite you to send me photos after you’ve played with it.

As she said, Mickey’s goal is to get into full-scale production by the holidays.  I want to close with one of her comments that resonated with me: It is up to each individual to make daily choices and personally responsibility to make our planet better. If you agree with this, I am convinced you will adjust your practices and stop using chemically-based floral foam, especially now that we have an earth-friendly alternative on the marketplace.

Thanks for joining me today to talk about all things American Grown — and American Made.

Listeners like you have downloaded the Slow Flowers Podcast more than 21,000 times. If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.

My personal goal is to put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. I promise that when you tune in next week, you’ll hear another insightful and educational episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

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

Art as Inspiration for Floral Design

Saturday, September 20th, 2014
'Dianthus', by Jean Bradbury.

‘Dianthus’, by Jean Bradbury.

I think all artists and designers love to experiment with new media because it challenges us to think more creatively and with inventiveness.

'Zinnias', by Jean Bradbury

‘Zinnias’, by Jean Bradbury

And that’s what makes me so excited about the upcoming class I’ll be teaching on Saturday, October 4th (1-3 p.m.). “From Art to Vase” is a hands-on floral workshop that takes inspiration from the Inflorescence exhibition at Kirkland Art Center, just across Lake Washington, east of Seattle.

Inflorescence_IMG_1362

Friday night's opening of INFLORESCENCE at Kirkland Arts Center.

Friday night’s opening of INFLORESCENCE at Kirkland Arts Center.

Inflorescence is a terrific new show that opened on September 19th at KAC, curated by Seattle artist Susan Melrath.You can see the show now through November 25th. Click here for gallery hours and address and please note that KAC is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Three of Susan Melrath's pieces, arranged in a verdant triptych.

Three of Susan Melrath’s pieces, arranged in a verdant triptych.

'Green Theory', by Susan Melrath.

‘Green Theory’, by Susan Melrath.

An incredibly gifted artist (and the daughter of a florist) who loves to play with color, texture and scale, Susan dreamed up this show and invited six other Northwest artists to exhibit their works in response to the show’s title. Inflorescence features the work of Jean Bradbury, Lisa Conway, Patty Haller, Stephanie Hargrave, Fred Lisaius and Liz Tran, in addition to Susan Melrath.

So what is “Inflorescence”?

Liz Tran's exuberant still-life's of flowers in their vase.

Liz Tran’s exuberant still-life’s of flowers in their vase.

Think back to your high school botany or college hort science class. Many of you know of the term as it describes a blooming part of a plant. For the purposes of the KAC show Susan uses this definition: “A group or cluster of flowers growing from a common stem in a characteristic arrangement.”

A lovely piece by landscape artist Patty Haller.

A lovely piece by landscape artist Patty Haller.

I love the idea that each work of art in this beautifully curated show is a part of the whole, just like the cluster of flowers that may emerge from a single stem.

Patty Haller's painting  'Whidbey Yarrow' (left); Fred Lisaius painting 'Mossy Log' (right).

Patty Haller’s painting
‘Whidbey Yarrow’ (left); Fred Lisaius painting ‘Mossy Log’ (right).

Each artist is collectively of like mind while also incredibly individual. They use what is seen and experienced through nature as well as the botanical beauty of plants (real or imagined) to express themselves creatively.

When I say the show is beautifully curated, I’m referring to the harmonious way Susan has grouped and hung or placed pieces throughout KAC’s gallery. The works speak to one another with a pleasing rhythm — through various palettes, forms and canvas sizes. Please consider a day trip to Kirkland to observe and admire these works.

Lisa Conway ceramic piece (left) Stephanie Hargrave paintings (right).

Lisa Conway ceramic piece (left) Stephanie Hargrave encaustics (right).

So where do I come in? More than a year ago, Susan sent me a note asking if I would be willing to teach a floral arranging workshop in conjunction with the show she was pulling together.

Inflorescence Postcard Front 1 When I said “sure,” she wrote back:  

I spoke with the Exhibitions Coordinator today and she loved the idea of an education component that wasn’t just another painting class. Floral arranging will bring a new crowd into the arts center. 

And here I have to take a little commercial break for the way social media can bring people together. I met Susan briefly in 2012 when my friend Lorene Edwards Forkner brought me with her to see a prior exhibit featuring Susan’s paintings (and I’m not even sure I know how the two of them originally connected).

We had a brief conversation with the artist, exchanged cards and then began to follow each other on Facebook. I loved seeing Susan’s work via her period newsletters and I suspect she was the recipient of my newsletters. Funny how that works. And I’m so thrilled to be a small part of this amazing show that she dreamed up in her fabulous imagination.

Now it is a reality. I hope you can see how perfect these pieces are for a starting point to create arrangements that express one’s response to the pigments, inks, glazes and washes of color.

More gorgeous forms by ceramic artist Lisa Conway.

More gorgeous forms by ceramic artist Lisa Conway.

There’s still room in the workshop. I’m going to provide all the flowers and instruction. All you have to do is bring a vase, clippers, and an open mind.

Each participant will select a specific work of art as a starting point for their creative arranging. You’ll find just the right piece to inform your floral palette, structure/scale and proportion/form. It’s Art for the Vase!

Cost: $50 Pre-registration required here.

SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Growing Hardy Annuals with “Cool Flowers” author & flower farmer Lisa Mason Ziegler (Episode 159)

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
Lisa Mason Ziegler's new book "Cool Flowers," introduces the concept of planting hardier annuals in the fall - for super-early spring harvest!

Lisa Mason Ziegler’s new book “Cool Flowers,” introduces the concept of planting hardier annuals in the fall – for super-early spring harvest!

I’m so pleased to share today’s conversation with you, recorded in August at the Garden Writers Association symposium in Pittsburgh.

Lisa is a American cut flower farmer, a writer, speaker and garden entrepreneur.

Lisa is a American cut flower farmer, a writer, speaker and garden entrepreneur.

My guest is Lisa Mason Ziegler, owner of The Gardener’s Workshop.

Lisa’s organic flower farm is located in the midst of Newport News, in southeastern Virginia, on a little less than 3 acres. What began as a small cut flower farm in 1998 has grown into a vibrant operation:  The Gardener’s Workshop produces over 10,000 stems a week in season (mid-April to mid-November) and sells to upscale florists, to nearby Colonial Williamsburg, to area supermarkets and direct-to-consumers with a Garden Share program.

Lisa spends her time out of harvest season teaching others about organic gardening and growing cut flowers through lecturing and writing. Her lectures have reached from Texas to New York City—far beyond any dream she ever imagined.  In 2005, Lisa added a shop to her business, offering the tools, supplies and seeds that she uses in her own garden and cut flower farm.

This little book is packed with great tips for the gardener who wishes to have a productive patch for cutting flowers.

This little book is packed with great tips for the gardener who wishes to have a productive patch for cutting flowers.

I first learned of Lisa when I stumbled upon her self-published book, “The Easy Cut-Flower Garden,” a handy 92-page guide to growing a season of fresh-cut flowers from a 3-by-10-foot garden that Lisa wrote and produced in 2011.

I ordered the book and often refer to it, especially when I’m fantasizing about tearing up some of my lawn and add more cutting garden real estate to our yard.

Not too long ago, Lisa’s name popped up again, when my publisher Paul Kelly, owner of St. Lynn’s Press, told me that she was writing a new book for their list.

That’s one reason we were able to connect in Pittsburgh, our publisher’s home base. Lisa’s new book, Cool Flowers,  is all about how to grow and enjoy hardy annuals. In it, she shares her 16-years of growing experiences and the sheer joy of this group of flowers that are often left out of gardens.

Cool Flowers is all about how and when to plant hardy annuals so that spring in the garden will be nothing short of sensational.

A field-to-market bouquet from The Gardener's Workshop.

A field-to-market bouquet from The Gardener’s Workshop.

Once their needs are met, this diverse yet easy group of flowers will change spring in the home garden forever.  The most important thing is to allow them to get established during cool weather. Plant them in the right spot at the right time, nestle their roots deep into rich organic soil, and stand back.  When happy, these hardy annuals need little intervention, other than having someone gaze on their beauty, or perhaps to cut a few for the kitchen table. Some of Lisa’s favorites include snapdragons, Bells of Ireland, sweet peas and sweet William.

Every flower gardener needs this book! Lisa Ziegler’s Cool Flowers brings to flower gardening a brand new point of view that introduced me to all sorts of possibilities for my floral palette – as a gardener and floral designer. Her valuable tips for success with hardy annuals will extend your garden’s blooming season, no matter where you live. If you want to make the most of all seasons in your garden, Cool Flowers is a must-have.

Serious production!! Lisa says her farm produces 10,000 flower stems a week!

Serious production!! Lisa and her crew harvest 10,000 flower stems a week!

Thanks to support from listeners like you, this podcast has been downloaded more than 20,000 times. If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.

My personal goal is to put more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. I promise that when you tune in next week, you’ll hear another insightful and educational episode of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

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