Debra Prinzing

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Archive for the ‘Playfulness’ Category

Episode 247: Flowers and Happiness with LauraLee Symes of Portland’s Sellwood Flower Co.

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

12931012_881008078682740_4476982057037024788_n When I was a teenager, I dreamed of someday owning a fabric shop. For many of you, I’m guessing that dream was to own a flower shop. How many of you ad a similar dream and realized it? Being able to work around flowers — whether you grow them, design with them, or do both, and ultimately selling them to satisfied customers — is clearly one reason you’re in this business, right?

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

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

Today’s guest is definitely one of those flower fanatics whose also dreamt of opening a flower shop You’ll enjoy the story and perhaps it will inspire you! Please meet LauraLee Symes, owner of the Sellwood Flower Company in Portland, Oregon, a Slowflowers.com member.

Specializing in flowers, gifts and plants, Sellwood Flower Co. is an inviting place, located in a century-old Victorian house on Antiques Row, in the Southeast Portland neighborhood also called Sellwood.

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

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

There, you’ll find LauraLee and her team tending their blooms in the garden just outdoors from their neighborhood shop filled for fresh, local flowers and plants, European and garden style floral design, and unique gifts from around the world.

LauraLee says she has been messing around with flowers since she was a little girl growing up on the family farm in Scholls, Oregon. Her other passion, happiness – or, more specifically, the study of what makes people happy – led her to pursue a bachelors degree in psychology, a masters in organizational development, and a career as a counselor and consultant to both individuals and business organizations.

Flower lover, LauraLee Symes of the Sellwood Flower Co.

Flower lover, LauraLee Symes of the Sellwood Flower Co.

Her most recent venture, the Sellwood Flower Co., is a marriage of her two passions, a Parisian-styled flower shop specializing in creative arrangements of fresh, local blooms and whimsical gifts curated to inspire joy and delight in her customers.

“I spend a whole lot of time thinking about, looking at, and dreaming of more creative ways to use the crazy abundance of plant life that surrounds us here in the Northwest. I look at a handful of flowers and I see a handful of happiness!”

In addition to being a busy entrepreneur and business owner, LauraLee hosts frequent floral design workshops and writes a blog on ideas and trends in the flower industry. She and her husband Bill live and work in the historic Sellwood neighborhood in southeast Portland, Oregon.

What a wonderful evening -- meeting and sharing our mutual passion at the Slow Flowers Meetup @Sellwood Flower Co.

What a wonderful evening — meeting and sharing our mutual passion at the Slow Flowers Meetup @Sellwood Flower Co.

I was in Portland last month for a series of events, including a Slowflowers.com meetup at Sellwood Flower Co., which I co-hosted with LauraLee.

sm_group_IMG_5026 We enjoyed meeting and reuniting with such a great group of flower friends — flower farmers, studio florists, retail shop owners — all who care about sourcing local and domestic botanicals for their businesses. I was so encouraged by the turnout and I especially thank LauraLee for sharing her beautiful store and nursery grounds for our gathering.

We shared Slow Flowers books & resources with our community

We shared Slow Flowers books & resources with our community

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 98,000 times by listeners like you. THANK YOU to each one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

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 and Hannah Brenlan. Learn more about their work at shellandtree.com.

Episode 246: Perfect Harmony with Flower Duet of Los Angeles

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
Kit Wertz (left) and Casey Schwartz (right), sisters and design partners in Flower Duet, photographed at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA, April 2016.

Kit Wertz (left) and Casey Schwartz (right), sisters and design partners in Flower Duet, photographed at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, CA, April 2016.

A few weeks ago you heard my conversation with Mike A. Mellano of Mellano & Co., a third generation flower farm in based in San Luis Rey, California. If you missed that episode, check it out here.

Mike was our farmer-host of the 2nd Field to Vase Dinner held at the famed Flower Fields in Carlsbad, north of San Diego, on April 13th. We discussed his Italian heritage that brought grandfather Giovanni Mellano to the U.S., as well as the founding of Mellano & Co. in 1928. We also talked about the current landscape for American grown flowers and attempted to forecast the future of our domestic flower-farming renaissance.

The Flower Duet design team on camera at The Flower Fields.

The Flower Duet design team on camera at The Flower Fields.

Today’s guests were also intimately involved in that dinner and they are part of the reason why Mike and I feel so optimistic about the future.

It is designers like Casey Coleman Schwartz and Kit Wertz, partners in Flower Duet, who are making a conscious effort to source their flowers and foliage from local farms in Southern California.

The beautiful Field to VaseDinner table amid a sea of ranunculus, designed by Flower Duet.

The beautiful Field to VaseDinner table amid a sea of ranunculus, designed by Flower Duet.

Sisters, Casey and Kit were the featured floral designers who created a lush, textural tablescape, wowing 150 guests seated at a farm table stretching between rows of a rainbow of Mellano-grown ranunculus. So the following morning we sat down to record this conversation.

My 2013 visit to Flower Duet led to a blossoming new friendship with Casey (left) and Kit (right).

My 2013 visit to Flower Duet led to a blossoming new friendship with Casey (left) and Kit (right).

FlowerDuet_white_Logo_web1 I’ve known Kit and Casey for three years, ever since they reviewed Slow Flowers for their Flower Duet monthly newsletter.

That prompted me to ask the sisters if I could schedule a book-release event at their studio as part of my Southern California tour in spring 2013. They generously agreed and we had a wonderful evening demonstration, reception and book signing for clients, students and friends.

Rich floral hues and a gold vessel, by Flower Duet.

Rich floral hues and a gold vessel, by Flower Duet.

It has been a load of fun to watch these two floral entrepreneurs take on a wide array of creative projects, including teaching at some of Southern California’s top cultural institutions, designing weddings from San Diego to Santa Barbara and everywhere between, and sharing their expertise and passion with others.

READ MORE…

Announcing 2016 American Flowers Week

Sunday, May 1st, 2016
Slowflowers.com member Susan McLeary of Passonflower Events designed our 2016 Flower 'Fro, worn by the beautiful Monique Montri; makeup by Hannah Butler; photography by Amanda Dumouchelle

Slowflowers.com member Susan McLeary of Passonflower Events designed our 2016 Flower ‘Fro, worn by the beautiful Monique Montri; makeup by Hannah Butler; photography by Amanda Dumouchelle

I know it’s May Day and perhaps that’s early to be thinking about Independence Day, but I want you to plan ahead for the second annual American Flowers Week celebration, which will take place June 28-July 4, 2016.

Today we announced the launch of American Flowers Week 2016. You can read the entire press release here. I wanted to get you the news early to encourage The Slow Flowers Community of farmers, designers, florists and wholesalers to have advance details for own marketing and social media activities.

Here are some of the ways you can get involved:

  1. 2016Badge with no background Download the “I’m Joining American Flowers Week” badge and add it to your web site, blog, or social sites. Please use #americanflowersweek when you post. We’ve hired Keyhole.co to track our social media impressions on Instagram and Twitter, so let’s make sure every single mention is counted!
  2. Share our Social Media Tools, including graphics formatted for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find those here. Please link to americanflowersweek.com when you do so! You can also follow and tag @myslowflowers on Instagram and Twitter. We’ll follow you back!
  3. Create your own promotions! Some of our favorite ideas include designing a special bouquet or flower offering during American Flowers Week and advertising it to your customers. Use our graphics and encourage your own tribe to join the fun of this celebration. Create some floral fireworks!

    00507_DP_AFW_Logo_LRG-01

    Our logo is available in 3 sizes for your use.

  4. Design a Red-White-and-Blue bouquet and share it as part of our 50 States of American Flowers contest. This is open to all members of Slowflowers.com — you can sign up here, either as an individual or a team. Submit photography of a bouquet or arrangement between May 1st and June 15th and we’ll add it to our US Map of Flowers.
  5. Share your ideas! We want to hear them — and your suggestions will encourage others to get involved.

Last year, in just 30 days, #americanflowersweek generated more than 400,000 impressions on Instagram and Twitter (Facebook is hard to track, so we didn’t count those — meaning, the number was likely even higher).

Let’s boost those numbers for 2016. In doing so, we’re changing the conversation about American Grown Flowers and the farmers and florists behind those blooms.

Awed by Allium: The Starring Ingredient of a Stunning Bouquet

Monday, April 18th, 2016
This summertime bouquet features gorgeous alliums and their companions.

This summertime bouquet features gorgeous ‘Globemaster’ alliums and their companions.

The smaller, darker drumstick allium echoes form and hue of its larger cousin.

The smaller, darker drumstick allium echoes form and hue of its larger cousin.

Jan shares his vast knowledge with regular farmers market customers each weekend.

Jan shares his vast knowledge with regular farmers market customers each weekend.

Jan Roozen of Choice Bulb Farms is a good friend and brilliant (not to mention charming) flower farmer.

I’ve known Jan through the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market where he is a member who grows a beautiful variety of flowers.

The selection from Jan and Ritva Roozen’s farm in Skagit Valley north of Seattle features specialty spring and summer bulbs.

Their alliums are some of the best I’ve seen — when I can, I come home with an armload of dramatic blooms and arrange with them.

Jan literally grows 15 varieties of Alliums — can you believe that? Here is the list — click on each cultivar name to see its unique form, color and stature.

Home floral designers can find Jan at the Choice Bulb stall every Saturday at the University District Farmers’ Market and every Sunday at the Ballard Farmers’ Market, both in Seattle.

Fresh-from-the-field, these flowers inspired me to make a summer bouquet a few years ago. I hope you enjoy this textural design in shades of apricot, cream, lemon, lavender and bluish purple and get ready to grow your own alliums (and companions like eremurus and dahlias) in the cutting garden.

READ MORE…

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

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Endless tulips!! (c) by Amy Kumler

Endless tulips!! (c) by Amy Kumler

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

READ MORE…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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READ MORE…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

READ MORE…

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

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

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

Another view of the hanging pieces

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

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

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

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

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

ENJOY THIS FABULOUS VIDEO, COURTESY OF ANDREW BUCHANAN:

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

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

READ MORE…

Floral Spectacle in Seattle, inspired by The Flower House (Episode 230)

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

“We can imagine it and we can do it,” Diane Szukovathy, Jello Mold Farm & Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

Lisa Waud, artist, innovator, entrpreneur, floral designer and creator of The Flower House (Detroit). She's standing in front of the base of the tree-inspired sculpture installed by her students at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

Lisa Waud, artist, innovator, entrpreneur, floral designer and creator of The Flower House (Detroit). She’s standing in front of the base of the tree-inspired sculpture installed by her students at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

A botanical tree grows up the walls and across the ceiling of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

A botanical tree grows up the walls and across the ceiling of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

Last week I told you about a series of Flower House activities taking place in Seattle with creator Lisa Waud. As I noted, Lisa has been on a West Coast tour which began on January 19th in Seattle, took her to Olympia and Portland, and continues until early next week in California.

As it turns out, I had a scheduled interview be postponed, so today, I’m bringing you a series of clips, short takes and conversations from the various events held at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market when Lisa was here. Please enjoy these sound-bites, beginning with remarks from flower farmer Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm, board chair at the Growers’ Market, as she introduced Lisa Waud’s Wednesday morning lecture.

Diane is followed by Lisa’s introductory remarks; then we’ll jump to several short interviews with designers who took part in a Master Design Class led by Lisa. Thirteen designers teamed up to experience a mini-version of the Flower House installation, creating a massive botanical sculpture within the Market’s walls in just under 4 hours on January 19th.

Early in the class, a team started building the "bones" of the sculptural installation, while other designers worked on the floral pieces, called "amoebas"

Early in the class, a team started building the “bones” of the sculptural installation, while other designers worked on the floral pieces, called “amoebas”

The team of amazing designers who were led through a 4-hour session with Lisa Waud (lisa is front, far left)

The team of amazing designers who were led through a 4-hour session with Lisa Waud (lisa is front, far left)

Love this hot, orange-red amoeba palette!

Love this hot, orange-red amoeba palette!

Led by Lisa, the designers went through the entire process that a Flower House designer probably experienced — from visioning, brainstorming, creative problem-solving and execution. Having watched the process first-hand, I have to say it was nothing less than Spectacular!

One of the fun things Lisa threw into the mix was a series of surprises that added pressure and tested the mettle of the designers, much like the Flower House team endured during the 3 days when they installed the Flower House.

So I played along as a member of the press, who showed up unannounced expecting people to stop what they were doing while I conducted an interview. That was just one of the crazy twists Lisa threw at her students. Another of her surprises was to add a “last minute” delivery of flowering branches — and challenging the designers to figure out how to incorporate those elements into an almost-finished composition.

In the end, well, all I can say is, these designers rose to the challenge and proved that the sum of their parts was far greater than anyone could have individually achieved.

The final installation is gloriously wild and magical.

The final installation is gloriously wild and magical.

The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market's 18-foot-high ceilings are perfect for the installation -- check out the I-beams.

The Seattle Wholesale Growers Market’s 18-foot-high ceilings are perfect for the installation — check out the I-beams.

Each of the five "amoebas" were woven with foliage, branches and flowers, with a specific color emphasis.

Each of the five “amoebas” were woven with foliage, branches and flowers, with a specific color emphasis.

Another view of the hanging pieces

Another view of the hanging pieces

Details of the pink and fuchsia amoeba

Details of the pink and fuchsia amoeba, fashioned with flowers and foliage from the farms that supply the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

As you hear a series of clips, I will ask each person to introduce herself and her business, followed by a brief series of questions; and then we move onto another group of designers. This patchwork quilt of a podcast episode concludes with a 10-minute wrap-up session, a debrief with Lisa and the 13 designers, as they compare notes about the challenges and results of their time together.

Here is a list all the participants and their social media links — these are women you will want to follow if you haven’t yet discovered them!

Floressence, owned by Anne Bradfield

Terra Bella Flowers, owned by Melissa Feveyear

Splash Floral and Interiors, owned by Lisa Behringer

Columbia City Bouquet, owned by Emily Kopca

Gather, owned by Amy Kunkel-Patterson

Bash and Bloom, owned by Eleanor Blackford

Lola Creative, owned by Emily Ellen Anderson

Camas Design, owned by Erin Shackelford

First & Bloom, owned by Tammy Myers

Smashing Petals, owned by Keita Horn

Melanie Benson Floral, owned by Melanie Benson

Vases Wild, owned by Tobey Nelson

Casablanca Floral, owned by Maura Whalen

Finally, I have to state publicly, that this entire week of events could not have happened so successfully without the leadership and talents of the three staff of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market: Molly Sadowsky, Danielle Bennett, and Agnes Cwalina. They are amazing!

NEWS TO SHARE

This happened and it came as a total surprise!

This happened and it came as a total surprise!

I want to thank the flower farmers of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market for surprising me with a huge honor. Here is a link to the Market’s press release.

On January 19th, Slow Flowers hosted a dinner to honor Lisa Waud and to showcase the floral art installation she and her team had installed earlier that afternoon.

At the dinner, Diane Szukovathy took the mic and announced that the farmers had created a new award, called the Growers Choice Award, and that I was the first recipient. Later she told me it was the most fun scheming she’d had in a long time, which puts a huge smile on my face. I truly was astonished to receive this recognition–and the language is most meaningful because it recognizes “outstanding contributions to revitalize the local floral community.”

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The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 80,000 times by listeners like you. THANK YOU to each and every one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

Until next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.

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

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

Music provided by: Audio Nautix

The Story of American Made Vases from Syndicate Sales’ Anne Graves (Episode 229)

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers used Syndicate's "Gathering Vase" for the tables at the Field to Vase Dinner Tour held on Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington

Melissa Feveyear of Terra Bella Flowers used Syndicate Sales’ “Gathering Vase” for the tables at the Field to Vase Dinner Tour held on Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington (c) Linda Blue Photography for F2V Dinner Tour

I promised a few weeks ago that the 2016 Field to Vase Dinner Tour Dates & Farm Venues were about to be announced. And today is the day! The team behind this celebration of American Grown Flowers has been hard at work and in the past few weeks they’ve given me a sneak peek to what’s in store.

2016 tour header As a sponsor of the Field to Vase Dinner Tour, it is my privilege to help select a Slow Flowers florist as the featured designer for each event and I’m especially proud that the Dinner Tour is committed to only working with florists who are listed and active on Slowflowers.com. That philosophy is 100 percent in alignment with the other priority of holding dinners on farms that are Certified American Grown.

I hope to see you at one of these very special gatherings to raise awareness and show support for America’s flowers —  from east to west and in between, we’ll be dining at 10 flower farms in the coming year. The announced list includes 7 confirmed venues and I’ll add the other three as we learn of them.

2016 Tour Dates

(3 additional dates and locations will be added soon)

March 12th: Arcata, CA~ Sun Valley Floral Farms

April 13th: Carlsbad, CA ~ The Flower Fields

May 21st: Austin, TX~ Texas Specialty Cut Flowers

August 13th:  Boulder, CO ~ The Fresh Herb Co.

September 14th: Bucks County, PA ~ Thistle Dew Farm

September 17th: New York, NY~ Bear Creek Dahlias

November 5th: Woodland, WA ~ Holland America Flowers

Lisa Waud (far left, front) and 12 Seattle area floral designers recreated a little of The Flower House magic at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market on January 19th.

Lisa Waud (far left, front) and 12 Seattle area floral designers recreated a little of The Flower House magic at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market on January 19th.

Here in Seattle this week, I’m part of all the fabulous Flower House activities featuring creator Lisa Waud. If you haven’t seen the announcement, Lisa is on her West Coast tour beginning with a Master Design Class taught yesterday, a wonderful Slow Flowers-hosted dinner last night and a lecture this morning at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

Lisa Waud of The Flower House and I posed last night with the new issue of Flirty Fleurs magazine -- captured by editor Alicia Schwede for Instagram.

Lisa Waud of The Flower House and I posed last night with the new issue of Flirty Fleurs magazine — captured by editor Alicia Schwede for Instagram.

Earlier this week, in Lisa’s newsletter to Flower House subscribers, she made a bold, totally inspiring proclamation — and I want to share it with you here:

Lisa wrote this under the heading: “POT & BOX NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS”

as you probably know, i also have a floral design and horticultural decor business called pot & box. this business will run the farm on the site of flower house, growing gorgeous cut flowers for the detroit-area events and weddings we provide floral arrangements for. more on that as we get closer to breaking ground in spring.

what i’m proud to tell you is that as a result of the immense enthusiasm and support for

the project’s commitment to american-grown flowers and plants, i am making the same commitment with my business. effective immediately, pot & box is committed to sourcing local and american-grown flowers and plants, as well as going foam-free, to reduce our waste and to avoid working with dangerous chemicals. i am really looking forward to designing with domestically-grown and natural products.

if you are looking for a florist with the same commitment, you can find them on the slow flowers directory, of which pot & box is a proud member.

Thanks so much, Lisa !! Your leadership will inspire many, many others in our community!

I hinted at today’s guest during the 2016 Floral Insights and Industry Forecast episode earlier this month when I highlighted American Made Goods for florists as one of the 10 influential themes of the year.

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Today's guest, Anne Graves, marketing director for Syndicate Sales (left), with her family.

Today’s guest, Anne Graves, marketing director for Syndicate Sales (left), with her family.

I give Anne Graves, marketing director of Syndicate Sales, a lot of credit for stepping up and placing a USA-made focus on the products her company manufactures.

Syndicate Sales is a leader in the manufacturing and distribution of floral hardgoods in the United States, employing nearly 300 people in Kokomo, Indiana. This makes Syndicate Sales the largest family-owned local business in that town.

The company was co-founded by Delmar Earl Demaree, Sr., affectionately called “Pap.” Today, Pap’s granddaughter Laura Shinall serves as president, continuing the values of stewardship, hard work as well as honoring customers, creditors, and employees.

As you’ll hear in our conversation, Syndicate has taken new steps to feature and promote its vast selection of made-in-the-USA vases for florists.

I’ve gotten to know Anne over the past few years and I’m very impressed with the decisions she and her colleagues have made to highlight these products in their catalog and on their web site.

Look for the USA flag icon to find American-made vases and other hardgoods from Syndicate Supply.

Look for the USA flag icon to find American-made vases and other hardgoods from Syndicate Supply.

In 1946 Syndicate introduced the 1st quick, convenient way to preserve and transport single stem flowers-- called Aquapic®. Prior to Aquapics, florists had to rubber band flower stems into a plastic bag of water. Aquapics are still an industry staple.

In 1946 Syndicate introduced the 1st quick, convenient way to preserve and transport single stem flowers– called Aquapic®. Prior to Aquapics, florists had to rubber band flower stems into a plastic bag of water. Aquapics are still an industry staple.

The Candelite Cardette® was introduced in 1967: A 9" cardholder designed for prominently displaying the sender's name.

The Candelite Cardette® was introduced in 1967: A 9″ cardholder designed for prominently displaying the sender’s name.

Enjoy this gallery of arrangements from last year’s Field to Vase Dinner Tour. They combine American-grown flowers with Syndicate’s American-made vases — what a perfect partnership.

Elizabeth Artis of Espe Floral + Foliage used the "Footed Rose Bowl" for her F2V Dinner Tour centerpieces held at Oregon Flowers.

Elizabeth Artis of Espe Floral + Foliage used the “Footed Rose Bowl” for her F2V Dinner Tour centerpieces held at Oregon Flowers. (c) Laurie Black Photography for F2V Dinner Tour

Another view of Elizabeth's beautiful centerpieces.

Another view of Elizabeth’s beautiful centerpieces.

Another view of Melissa Feveyear's centerpieces at Jello Mold Farm.

Here’s more of Melissa Feveyear’s centerpieces at Jello Mold Farm.

Syndicate Sales' "Terrariums" showcased the work of Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studio + Farm at the Washington, D.C. Field to Vase Dinner.

Syndicate Sales’ “Terrariums” showcased the work of Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studio + Farm at the Washington, D.C. Field to Vase Dinner. (c) Linda Blue Photography for F2V Dinner Tour

Another peek at the Terrarium designs of Andrea Gagnon.

Another peek at the Terrarium designs of Andrea Gagnon.

Susan McLeary of Passionflower Events in Michigan used the classic Syndicate "Rose Bowl" for her F2V centerpieces.

Susan McLeary of Passionflower Events in Michigan used the classic Syndicate “Rose Bowl” for her F2V centerpieces. (c) Heather Saunders Photography

Here's another beautiful centerpiece by Susan McLeary for F2V Dinner Tour in Detroit.

Here’s another beautiful centerpiece by Susan McLeary for F2V Dinner Tour in Detroit.

Special Podcast Giveaway. Syndicate is offering one listener a $100 gift of Made-in-USA product. Anne will work directly with the winner to process your choices and ship the goods directly to you.

Here’s how to Enter: Post a comment below by 5 p.m. January 27th and you’ll be entered into the drawing. The winner will be announced in our February 4th episode.

Syndicate Sales’ Catalog for 2016

Syndicate Stars Reward Program for Florists

“Millie’s Musings,” Syndicate’s Blog

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Contact Anne Graves at agraves@syndicatesales.com

MORE NEWS

There are lots of cool gatherings going on at this time of the year. We’ve recently heard about the Maryland Flower Farmers meeting, the Ohio Flower Farmers Meet-up and now I’m excited to share the announcement of two days in Oregon taking place next month.

1913891_10205843922083938_750892574376956860_n The first is being held on Saturday, February 20th Oregon State University’s annual Small Farms Conference, held this year in Corvallis, Oregon.

As I understand it, this is the first year that the small farms conference is offering a cut flower farming track — what does that tell you about the growing popularity of local flowers?

On the following day, Sunday, February 21st will be the 2nd annual Pacific Northwest Cut Flower Growers gathering, also at OSU.

I’ve invited Erin McMullen of Raindrop Farms, a past guest of this podcast, to share a preview of these two important events and to let you know how to get involved. She’s been working with  Kathleen Barber and Beth Martin Syphers to plan the Sunday gathering.

I am so excited to hear about the dynamic activity, region by region, where flower farming is exploding. We can attribute this growth to climbing demand from florists and consumers who value their domestic flowers. And isn’t that what we’re all working toward?

Reach Erin McMullen here: raindropfarms@peak.org

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded nearly 79,000 times by listeners like you. THANK YOU to each and every one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

Until next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.

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

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