Debra Prinzing

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Archive for the ‘Plants’ Category

Episode 437: What makes a Trend? Join me in a creative conversation with Hitomi Gilliam, Francoise Weeks, Rebecca Raymond and Colin Gilliam as we plan the upcoming Trend Summit 2020

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
A late December 2019 planning session for Trend Summit — held at Hitomi Gilliam’s home. Clockwise from top left: Hitomi Gilliam, Francoise Weeks, Rebecca Raymond and Debra Prinzing. (c) Colin Gilliam

Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, is a Vancouver, B.C.-based floral design educator and innovator, as well as a fellow contributor to Florists’ Review. In 2011, she launched a collaborative, inclusive conference called Trend Summit, designed as an immersive trend discussion led by a team of influencers, covering a variety of topics including wedding flower trends. 

Trend Summit has taken place every two or three years since, mostly in Vancouver (with one year being held in Dallas). The Summit has grown and evolved to the point where it’s almost a full week with numerous floral design workshops and demonstrations — all sorts of ways to draw you in, engage you and connect you. This year it takes place March 12-17, 2020, at United Floral, where the famed Vancouver Flower Auction is based outside Vancouver.

Listen to Hitomi Gilliam as she discusses Trend Summit and how trends take shape.

Hitomi is one of those rare individuals who shares the spotlight and platform with her peers, her students, and her contemporaries. In 2018, she invited me to present the Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast for 2019 during the Trend Summit Symposium a one-day session open to the larger floral community in B.C. and beyond. It was such a great experience and truly an honor to be given a place at the podium in what some might consider the mainstream floral community. I was so touched that Hitomi shined a light on my work with Slow Flowers, adding sustainability, floral sourcing and eco practices to the conversation!

For 2020, there are so many events and activities planned. To kick it off on March 12th and 13th, the Trend Roundtables focus on a variety of themes important to the future of floristry. This is an opportunity to be introduced to some of the newest product from participating vendors and growers, who will also be in the discussion. In addition to Hitomi, I will join Gregor Lersch, Holly Chapple, Susan McLeary, Françoise Weeks, Rebecca Raymond and Colin Gilliam for this riveting event.

We took in the inspiring natural beauty on a Bowen Island hike one afternoon, too!!

With Hitomi, Colin, Rebecca and Francois in early December, we spent two full days brainstorming the roundtable format. We sat in the cozy living room of Hitomi’s delightful home on Bowen Island, which is located a short ferry ride across Horseshoe Bay north of Vancouver. With a view of water, mountains, trees and nature, it was a working session that doubled as an unforgettable retreat.

We cooked up some of the key topics that will seed the conversations at the Conference: botanicals, hardgoods and accessories, lifestyle shifts, wedding styles, as well as emerging floral design styles.

I think you’ll love hearing our dialogue and perhaps you will be tempted to join us in March.

You might want to attend Thursday Night, March 12th, when Leatrice Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute will present her insights on color, or on Sunday when all these fabulous design innovators will present during the Symposium.

Quickly, here’s a bit more about the guests you’ll hear in my conversation today:

Teacher, mentor, floral industry leader Hitomi Gilliam (c) Colin Gilliam

Hitomi Gilliam AIFD is a Japanese-Canadian floral artist, keynote lecturer, demonstrator, educator and a consultant in all aspects of the Art and Business of Floral Design. She is the Creative Director for DESIGN358. She has guest-designed extensively throughout North America, England, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, Bermuda, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Belgium, Korea and India.

She owned and operated Satsuki’s Florist in Mission, British Columbia for 28 years. She currently works with her son, Colin Gilliam in an Event & Education business, DESIGN358 which was established 10 years ago.

Hitomi has lectured at major art museums and floral shows around North America and beyond, and she is the founding organizer of the Annual ‘Survival of the Creative Minds’ Conference in Taos, New Mexico.

Inspiring florist and floral educator Francoise Weeks (c) Jamie Bosworth photograph

Françoise Weeks, born in Belgium, has infused her work with a quintessential European reverence for flowers and nature. Combined with creativity and mechanical ingenuity, she has crystalized her singular style of Textural Woodlands and Botanical Haute Couture pieces, garnering a global following.

Francoise Weeks discusses ‘Plants are Trending’ in the run-up to Trend Summit 2020

Françoise’s studio is located in Portland, Oregon. Her innovation and love of teaching have brought her to the Flower School Cohim in China, the Academy of Floral Art in Exeter, England, studios in Australia and Mexico, workshops at Mayesh and Florabundance and to the La Jolla and Memphis garden clubs. Her dynamic work has been published in Nacre, Fusion Flowers, Modern Wedding Flowers, Huffington Post, Flutter and Millieu.

Her generosity of knowledge and perspective in use of floral materials, structure and mechanics, in addition to the business of being a florist, unite to create rigorous and exciting learning opportunities for her students to explore all that nature has to offer.

Rebecca Raymond, EMC, floral artist and educator

Rebecca Raymond, EMC, is owner of Rebecca Raymond Floral. She is one of the most respected and sought-after floral designers in the Pacific Northwest.

Rebecca collaborates closely with each of her clients, gets to know their hopes and dreams, and then works with color, texture, and architecture to bring their vision to life. Whether it’s a bridal bouquet or a floral installation, she sources both seasonal and curated fresh flowers to design beautiful, eclectic arrangements that reflect the moment and create memories to last a lifetime. As a member of organizations at the cutting edge of floral design, including Chapel Designers, she has access to a network of leading designers and ongoing professional development – and Rebecca is always looking for the latest and best techniques and design ideas for my clients.

Colin Gilliam

Colin Gilliam, partner with Hitomi Gilliam in Design358 and owner of Colin Gilliam Photo + Design, has been photographing flowers for more than a decade. His work has been published in numerous books, as well as in Florists’ Review and Fleur Creatif Magazine.

I had a chance to discuss my thoughts about Trends during a recent conversation with Hitomi

Clarity in 2020 is knowing where we are at and where we want to go.

Hitomi Gilliam, AIFD, founder of Trend Summit 2020

Hitomi, Francoise and Rebecca have all been guests on the Slow Flowers Podcast. Here are links to those episodes:

Episode 339 (March 7, 2019): Hitomi Gilliam

Episode 217 (October 28, 2015): Francoise Weeks

Episode 184 (March 11, 2015): Rebecca Raymond joined my interview with Margaret Lloyd of Margaret Joan Florals

Registration continues for Slow Flowers Summit and we’re nearly 50% sold out, which is amazing to me! Please join me on June 28-30th and connect with our fabulous speakers, enjoy the incredibly beautiful venue at Filoli Historic House & Garden, and experience the many features that will immerse you in the people, principles and practices of Slow Flowers.

Emily Saeger, Kellee Matsushita-Tseng and Molly Culver — Slow Flowers Summit panelists

You can also find a link to a fabulous new Q&A with Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers, Emily Saeger from Filoli’s horticulture team, and Kellee Matsushita-Tseng from UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems — all three will be part of a panel at the Summit that we’re calling Sustainable Farming x Floral Design.
Writer Lyz Perry, who has joined the Summit as a freelance contributor to our blog, conducted an extensive interview with these inspiring women. Check it out — this will be part of an ongoing series with interviews featuring all of our speakers.

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 568,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

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

Thank you to our Sponsors

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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

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

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

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Heartland Flyer; Gaena; Glass Beads
by Blue Dot Sessions http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely 
by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
by audionautix.com

Episode 436 A marriage of plants and flowers with farmer-florist Gwen Sayers of Scattered Seeds and Paul Sayers of Pine Creek Farms & Nursery

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020
Paul and Gwen Sayers

As many of you know, my path to flowers began as a home and garden features writer for magazines and newspapers. And one of my favorite gigs twenty years ago, when I first shifted from business journalism to design writing, was as garden editor for Seattle Homes & Lifestyles.

I love shelter magazines of all kinds, a dying breed, some would say, including that magazine, which took a hit along with so many during the 2008 downtown in real estate. But we had a very good run and I scouted gardens, produce photo shoots and wrote about landscape design in the Seattle area for years.

Pine Creek Farms & Nursery in Monroe, WA. (c) B. Jones Photography

One of the very first stories I produced for Seattle Homes & Lifestyles was about a young couple named Gwen and Paul Sayers, who had a company called Paul Sayers Landscaping and who lived in Monroe, Wash., about 30 miles northeast of Seattle. Paul had designed and installed an amazing pond surrounded by a strolling path and landscaped with hundreds of beautiful trees and shrubs. It was a plant-lovers paradise and I visited Paul and Gwen on a few occasions for that article and another one for The Herald, the local daily newspaper in Everett, for which I also wrote.

Scattered Seeds . . . a flower farm at Pine Creek Farms & Nursery, (c) B. Jones Photography

Fast forward more than 15 years later and I reconnected with Paul and Gwen at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival in 2017 where they had a retail booth selling items from the retail shop at their new nursery, renamed Pine Creek Farms & Nursery. Gwen has a great eye for combining plants with vintage objects and that, combined with Paul’s ability to build anything out of salvaged lumber, added up to a charming display. At the time, Gwen told me that she had started growing cut flowers for wedding clients, including ceremonies being held at Pine Creek Nursery. It was a bit of a shift from running a landscaping company, but in a logical way, their sister businesses — Pine Creek Nursery and Scattered Seeds — made a lot of sense to me.

The stunning landscape grounds and pond at Pine Creek Farms & Nursery. The couple: my young friends Claire & Cody, whose wedding flowers I designed in July 2019 (c) B. Jones Photography

Last summer, I was immersed in the full wedding experience at Pine Creek Nursery when I designed the florals for my friend’s daughter’s wedding — on July 6th no less — just a few days after returning to Seattle from the 3rd annual Slow Flowers Summit in the Twin Cities.

The bride, Claire, grew up with my boys, and since I don’t have a daughter, I guess I was feeling quite sentimental when I offered to help her with her wedding flowers. You can see a few photos of that ceremony, captured through the lens of talented wedding photographer B. Jones Photography.

These images from B. Jones Photography were captured at Claire & Cody’s wedding, including the bridal bouquet and a Pine Creek Nursery sign

I mention this experience to help underscore how impressed I was with the venue, the amenities, the incredibly beautiful landscape and cutting gardens that create Pine Creek Nursery.

Paul and Gwen and I recorded this episode right before the holidays and I’m so happy to share it with you here. You will learn how these retail nursery owners turned some of their tree production fields into destination wedding venue and cut flower farm. It’s a story of innovation and love for their land. And as we continue the conversation of sustainability in 2020, today’s them is how to sustain a livelihood from  your land.

Floral design by Gwen Sayers of Scattered Seeds for a wedding ceremony at Pine Creek Nursery (c) Joanna Monger Photography

Here’s a bit more about Paul and Gwen:

Paul, the visionary of Pine Creek, began landscaping in 1989. Taking the leap to build a full service nursery in 2002, he and Gwen bought 20 acres of land on the outskirts of Monroe, Wa. Nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Cascade Mountains, they have developed what was once a raw piece of ground into a stunning destination nursery and event venue. Paul is an all around talented man who not only envisioned Pine Creek, but built every facet along the way. He is a man who not only dreams up BIG ideas, but actually tackles them and makes them real! From growing nursery stock out in the field, or repairing heavy equipment or irrigation, Paul has made it happen with full on hard work and a ‘get er done’ work ethic! His passion is building, creating and working with rock which is seen throughout the nursery, including a grand granite rock fireplace that is a centerpiece to the event venue at Pine Creek!

The greenhouse at Pine Creek Farms & Nursery is a top photography setting for couples who wed there.

Gwen who loves everything green, growing and flowers, has been alongside Paul through the whole process of developing Pine Creek. She has had a love for gardening ever since she was a young girl, & now some of her favorite things to do are propagating plants as well as developing a new addition to the nursery… ‘Scattered Seeds…a Flower Farm’ where fresh, locally-grown flowers are lovingly tended for weddings and local floral shops. Gwen wears many hats at Pine Creek – from the office, greenhouse, loading materials, to arranging flowers — but you can always find her with clippers in hand, foraging for unique & beautiful elements to add to a vase or to propagate for future nursery stock. 

I’m so grateful that they are part of the Slow Flowers community! We’ve come full circle together and that’s a priceless gift.

Gwen’s flower fields for Scattered Seeds is another favorite of couples (c) Cameron Zeger Photography

As they mentioned, by creating a dedicated brand called Events at Pine Creek Nursery, and hiring an a dedicated wedding coordinator, they have been able to build a following for that brand and business channel. It’s a smart move and as you heard, 2020 wedding bookings are already higher than last year. A flourishing year, for sure.

The zinnia patch at sunset

Find and Follow Gwen & Paul at these social places:

Pine Creek Farms & Nursery on Facebook

Pine Creek Farms & Nursery on Instagram

Events at Pine Creek Nursery on Instagram

Scattered Seeds . . . a flower farm on Instagram

We are continuing to build the program for the Slow Flowers Summit, including some special surprises that we’ll be announcing in the weeks and months ahead.

Please join me on June 28-30th and connect with our fabulous speakers, enjoy the incredibly beautiful venue at Filoli Historic House & Garden, and experience the many features that will immerse you in the people, principles and practices of Slow Flowers.

Follow this link to see all the details, including the Slow Flowers member discounted registration rate. And THANK YOU to two of the first sponsors to join us in presenting the Summit:

Sarah Hinton and BloomTrac software for event florists, is again sponsoring our name tag layards — and we hope she will be on site to share more about BloomTrac with you.

And thanks to our friends at Red Twig Farms, Lindsey and Josh McCullough, just joined as one of our evening meal/reception sponsors! Check out links to these two great floral partners at today’s show notes at debraprinzing.com. We’ll have more sponsors to announce soon.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 566,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

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

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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

FarmersWeb. FarmersWeb software makes it simple for flower farms to streamline working with their buyers. By lessening the administrative load and increasing efficiency, FarmersWeb helps your farm save time, reduce errors, and work with more buyers overall. Learn more at www.farmersweb.com

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

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Betty Dear; Homegrown; Gaena; Glass Beads
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 435: Heather Henson of Boreal Blooms and Clara Qualizza of Meadow & Thicket Farm Flowers, co-hosts of The Sustainable Flowers Podcast

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

Welcome to 2020 as we dust off the New Year’s hangover and pivot to a new season for growing and designing with flowers.

Clara Qualizza of Meadow & Thicket Farm Flowers (left) and Heather Henson of Boreal Blooms (right), flower farmers and co-hosts of The Sustainable Flowers Podcast

Today’s conversation is the first of several episodes I want to feature about sustainability, the environment and climate change and challenges facing our Slow Flowers Community in this new decade. While researching and writing the 2020 Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast, which you heard last week, my instincts were confirmed — that the ever-more-important topic of sustainability in the floral marketplace will be front and center this year. So I’ve committed to inviting at least one guest per month to discuss who, what and how we can each make adjustments in our practices to be more sustainable.

Today’s guests will kick things off. Please meet Heather Henson of Boreal Blooms, based in Cold Lake, Alberta, and Clara Qualizza of Meadow and Thicket Farm Flowers in Wildwood, Alberta.

Together, they women host the Sustainable Flowers Podcast, which they describe as “a conversation about sustainable cut flower growing and designing as two passionate Canadian  growers trying to figure it out.” I take comfort in that, because we are all trying to “figure it out,” aren’t we?

Just to give you a sense of the distance between us all — and we came together through the aid of technology!

Heather and Clara each grow cut flowers for market on the northern edge of the Canadian Prairies. In 2018, these floralpreneurs launched the Sustainable Flowers Podcast as a project in which they discuss the issues they face and alternatives to conventional approaches that they are putting into practice or are trialing to ensure that their small-scale flower farming operations are sustainable. Whether that means looking to the past or forward to new technologies to learn the whys and hows, they discuss everything from peat to floral foam, Antirrhinum to Zinnias as well as their weekly adventures on their Zones 2 and 3 flower farms.

Clara Qualizza of Meadow and Thicket Farm Flowers

I’m so delighted that both are members of Slow Flowers, as well. Their leadership as flower farmers and influencers who view their practices through a sustainable lens is creating change for floral professionals and consumers in the province of Alberta, across Canada and North American, and beyond – their listenership is international.

Heather Henson of Boreal Blooms

Have a listen to our unique three-way conversation, brought to you by the magic of technology (thanks Clara!), which we recorded several weeks ago. I’m so glad that it kicks off the New Year for the Slow Flowers Podcast and sets the tone for the conversations to follow.

Clara at her farm in Wildwood, Alberta, Canada

Follow Clara Qualizza of Meadow and Thicket Farm Flowers on Social Media:

Meadow and Thicket on Facebook

Meadow and Thicket on Instagram

Boreal Blooms on Facebook

Boreal Blooms on Instagram

Boreal Blooms in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada

Registrations continue for the Slow Flowers Summit, and I’m so excited for you to join me and connect with our fabulous speakers, enjoy the incredibly beautiful venue at Filoli Historic House & Garden, and experience the many features that will immerse you in the people, principles and practices of Slow Flowers.

The Garden House at Filoli
Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers

If you’ve not yet checked out details, you can find links to all the details about our partnership with Filoli Historic House and Garden, our venue for days 1 and 2 of the Summit (that’s June 28 &29) and see our speaker lineup and programming.

By the way, Day 3 is an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour led by our friend Christina Stembel, CEO of Farmgirl Flowers. This is rare access, folks, available only to Summit attendees. We hope you join us!!

(c) Mary Grace Long photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 564,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

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

Thank you to our sponsors

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnerships with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

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

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

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

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Betty Dear; Daymaze; Gaena; Glass Beads
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field; Solo Acoustic #5
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 428: Utah’s Blossoming Floral Renaissance with Heather Griffiths of Wasatch Blooms and Ali Harrison and Lindy Bankhead of Florage Utah

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019
The Utah sunset at Lindy Bankhead’s Paisley Flower Farm in Cache Valley, Utah

The timing is perfect for today’s all-Utah episode. As we’re working our way through the A-to-Z alphabetical list of U.S. states, this week we land on Utah, sandwiched between last week’s Texas focus and next week’s Vermont focus!

You will recall that I visited Utah this past September to meet with a dynamic group of flower farmers and farmer-florists at Poppin’ Blossoms, where Laura Pittard hosted a wonderful gathering and joined me as a podcast guest. Well, I was so inspired by that visit and wanted to learn more. Today’s episode will be educational as I speak with the leaders of two groups of Utah flower farmers whose models are replicable in other markets.

Slow Flowers member Fawn Rueckert of Sego Lily Flower Farm (left) – presenting at a Utah Cut Flower Farm Association meeting

First you’ll hear from Heather Griffiths of Salt Lake City. She is the president of the Utah Cut Flower Farmer Association, a new nonprofit formed to promote local and sustainable floriculture by supporting local flower farms through education, outreach, and research programs.  Formed in May 2019, the association currently has 33 members, including certified farms and associated members. The group also focuses on educating flower lovers of the economic and environmental impact of local flowers, as well as the diversity of flowers available through Utah Flower Farms.

Lindy (left) and Ali (right) at a Florage Pop Up sale, selling Utah-grown flowers from their farms and from the farms they represent.

Next, you’ll meet Ali Harrison and Lindy Bankhead, two women who formed Florage, an informal flower cooperative based in Cache Valley, Utah, in the northeastern part of the state near Logan. Florage markets and distributes their own flowers as well as the production of several other farms. Florage is a Slow Flowers member organization committed to using sustainable and organic methods to lessen their footprint on the earth. No chemicals or preservative spays are used in bringing their gorgeous blooms straight from their gardens to the table.

The beautiful bounty of Utah botanicals — photographed at a recent Utah Cut Flower Farms Association

This is a juicy episode, packed with ideas and inspiration from three women who didn’t sit around and ask permission to forge ahead to create a market for locally-grown flowers in a state not often associated with ornamental horticulture or cut flowers.

Here’s more about all three of these guests:

Heather Griffiths of Wasatch Blooms, based in Salt Lake City, Utah

Slow Flowers member Heather Griffiths owns Wasatch Blooms, a Salt Lake City-based “urban flower farm.” She writes this on her “about” page: “When you hold my flowers, when you breathe them in deep, I want you to feel the immense love and connection that I do. I want the flowers I grow to convey the message of profound love for each other, the earth, and ourselves. Because Love is what drives me to grow flowers. I grow sustainably to feed the soil and benefit my community and environment. I blend permaculture ethics with market gardening to grow flowers that do more than decorate the table, but that also protect our pollinators and create a diverse ecosystem for the unseen members of our community. Farming is my passion and my calling. Farming is my artistic expression. Flowers are my heart wrapped in petals.”

Ali Harrison of Paradise Valley Orchard and Florage

Ali Harrison owns Paradise Valley Orchard with her husband Lorin. Their flower passion is fueled by the desire to bring natural beauty and art into the lives of clients. Paradise Valley Orchard is a mid-century apple orchard and small farm that serves as a backdrop for the weddings and events. As an artist and self-proclaimed hippie, Ali uses her creativity on the farm daily. Finding solace in getting her hands dirty, Ali sees the farm as her canvas and the flower garden her palette.

Lindy Bankhead of Paisley Flower Farm and Florage

Lindy Bankhead owns Paisley Flower Farm in Cache Valley, Utah. She is passionate about growing flowers and vegetables as organically as possible. Lindy feels blessed to not only be able to raise her four young children alongside the flowers, but to also deliver freshly-cut stems to local florists and customers—people who value the high quality and sustainability of the vibrant blooms. She came to flower farming in 2012, equipped with a degree in Landscape Architecture from USU, a Master Gardener Certification, and years of experience working at local greenhouses and nurseries. With the help of her patient husband and family, she’s transformed their 100-year old farm into a gorgeous, thriving cut flower operation.

Lindy Bankhead, photographed among her flower fields at Paisley Flower Farm

Here’s where you can find and follow today’s guests:

Wasatch Blooms on Facebook

Wasatch Blooms on Instagram

Utah Cut Flower Farms Association on Instagram

Paradise Valley Orchard on Facebook

Paradise Valley Orchard on Instagram

Paisley Flower Farm on Facebook

Paisley Flower Farm on Instagram

Florage on Instagram

The beauty of Utah as an agricultural state at Paradise Valley Orchard

Thanks so much for listening in on today’s inspiring conversations. I have a big grin on my face as I reflect on the energy and enthusiasm shared by these floral entrepreneurs in Utah. There’s lots more to come from this conversation and I’m already eager to plan future episodes triggered by some of the topics discussed today —  from learning more about Dr. Melanie Stock’s cut flower research at the Utah State University to hearing how an established cut flower farm like Bindweed has changed hands from its founders to new owners Ali and Lorin Harrison. Not enough time today, but I hope to revisit Utah and the Slow Flowers members there in 2020. Stay tuned!

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 547,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

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

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. Our partnership with Florists’ Review is such a valuable one, providing a forum for beautiful and inspiring editorial content in the #slowflowersjournal section – month after month. Thanks to Florists’ Review, you can now order a subscription for yourself + give one as a gift this holiday season. Set your 2020 intention to enrich your personal and professional development! Click here to find the Buy-One-Gift-One special offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

NW Green Panels. Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse in today’s show notes or visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at mayesh.com.  Mayesh recently launched a brand new ecommerce web site. I’m particularly excited about The Product Planner, the newest eCommerce addition, which allows florists to create recipes for events that then calculate the number of stems needed, generating a quote for that order. There’s also ramped up navigation designed to find quality flowers and more educational resources.

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

(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And if you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 425: Flowers in Washington’s San Juan Islands with Erin Shackelford of Camas Designs and Jenny Harris of Catkin; plus, our state focus: South Dakota

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019
Slow Flowers visits the San Juan Islands
Slow Flowers visits the San Juan Islands! From left: Erin Shackelford of Camas Designs; Jenny Harris of Catkin; her rose-growing partner Elaine Frazel; and Debra Prinzing

The San Juan Islands are home to many beautiful gardens and homes, romantic wedding venues and, of course, flowers.

A few weeks ago, the San Juan County Master Gardeners Foundation brought me to the island for their fall workshop. What an privilege to deliver the keynote presentation on the Slow Flowers story — and the fact that two Slow Flowers members who live on San Juan Island were in attendance made the experience even better!

Today, you will meet them both. I arrived early enough on October 18th to connect with floral designer Erin Shackelford of Camas Designs and grower-designer Jenny Harris of Catkin who you will hear in today’s episode.

roses on the san juan islands
Beautiful, healthy and enticing David Austin garden roses, grown by Jenny Harris of Catkin and her client & friend Elaine Frazel

Jenny had invited us to tour the garden where she grows David Austin garden roses for local floral customers, including Camas Designs. The property is an extension of Jenny’s friends and garden design clients Elaine and Miles Frazel. Elaine and Jenny collaborate on their small-scale garden rose venture. After the tour, Elaine graciously warmed us up with mugs of tea and hosted us around her dining table for this recording. You’ll hear from Erin, Jenny and a few comments from Elaine! Hope you can keep everyone’s voices straight!

more roses
Just-picked roses from Jenny Harris of Catkin and Elaine Frazel

Here’s a bit more about our San Juan Island guests:

Erin Shackelford of Camas Designs

Camas Designs’ motto is “locally sourced happiness.” Erin’s studio primarily sources from local farms and she believes a direct path to happiness is one with simplicity at its core. As co-owner of Camas Designs, along with her artist/educator husband Robert Shackelford, Erin creates floral arrangements for weddings and special events in the San Juan Islands and greater Seattle area. Partnering with local farmers to capture the beauty of the season, Erin designs with nature, sun, and clients as close collaborators. She creates designs that embody the couple, the environment of their event, and the mood they wish to instill for guests.

Flower cart and flower truck
Camas Designs’ iconic flower delivery truck along with the custom-made flower cart that helped to launch Erin’s “chapter two” floral business.

Erin’s passion is flowers and their ability to convey feelings, emotions, and meanings beyond the realm of words. She has created bouquets for neighbors, friends, and strangers (often anonymously) since she was eight-years-old. After decades in corporate America, Erin’s revelation was her heart is only fulfilled when immersed within the elegance and simplicity of nature. Happiness for Erin is found creating floral designs for others, and whenever possible, sourcing the flowers locally from farmers she calls friends.

A Camas Designs’ bridal bouquet incorporating roses grown by Jenny and Elaine, as well as other San Juan Island-grown flowers from Dancing Seeds Farm, Mama Bird Farm and Aurora Farm.

She writes this on the Camas Designs web site: “We’re proud to be part of the “slow flower” movement meaning the majority of our flowers are sourced from farms within our region. This local sourcing ensures your wedding florals are one of a kind and contain the freshest ingredients around. Whether it’s a beautiful café au lait dahlia, a vine with swirling tendrils or seed pods to add just the right amount of texture, we likely know the farmer that grew each stem and we bring that personal touch to your bouquet, arrangements and more.

One of the evocative floral scenes featuring Erin Shackelford’s florals with photography by Kestrel Bailey — featured in the October 2019 issue of Florists’ Review

I’ve recently written about one of Erin’s design projects, a moody autumn styled photo collaboration, for the October issue of Florists’ Review. You can read the article here:

A Moody Tale

Jenny Harris of Catkin

Jenny Harris and I first met more than 15 years ago when she lived on nearby Lopez Island and ran a Bellwether Perennials, a nursery for unusual perennials and shrubs suited to the island environment, as well as a landscape design business. She has since relocated to San Juan Island and describes herself as “a grower of plants, teacher of gardening.”

More of Jenny’s talents are on display in Elaine Frazel’s San Juan Island garden

About two years ago, Jenny reached out with this note: Debra: “I’ve unintentionally created an obsession, in the best possible way, in a client turned friend for pursuing growing cut flowers.” She went on to reveal her interest in growing roses, shrubs/woodies, and perennials for the local San Juan Island market only, writing: “no annuals for me nowadays,” and added, “we’ve just read your 50 Mile Bouquet and might very well be headed in that direction!”

It’s so rewarding to reconnect with Jenny in person earlier this month after so much time has passed and to pick up exactly where we left off, sharing similar interests in environmental stewardship and soul-enriching plants.

A floral arrangement, grown and designed by Jenny Harris of Catkin.

Through Catkin, Jenny’s work is holistic, highlighting the native and natural, low-water use, organic, conscious and harmonious approach to living with and caring for plants and other beings.

She writes: “I believe that gardening and gardeners can have significant positive influence on the myriad stresses upon our earth and her family of living creatures. I have been creating gardens, helping others in their own gardens and learning and sharing about plants since 1989 ; most of those years in the San Juan Islands though my formative time was in an old garden in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. While I have formal horticultural training I have found my greatest learning has come from working alongside more learned and elder gardeners and the plants and gardens themselves. I learn something in every garden and from every gardener I meet. I bring to my life’s work an interest in plants that extends far beyond the confines of a particular ecosystem; what matters to me is that a plant can not only survive where it finds itself but thrive within a plant, human and animal community.”

It’s all about roses!

With Elaine Frazel, Jenny’s relatively new rose-growing project currently includes 13 varieties of David Austin roses and a few old ones. They take orders for 12-stem bunches — mixed or sometime single variety — during the growing season to supply floral designers, businesses and individuals interested in weekly, biweekly or monthly pickup. These are truly special flowers grown naturally with love on San Juan Island.

More local and seasonal blooms in a vivid bouquet by Camas Designs. They feature roses from Jenny and Elaine (c) La Vie Photography

Thank you so much for joining my conversation today on our lovely and inspiring tour of the San Juans, especially San Juan Island where Camas Designs and Catkin are based. Find and follow Erin and Jenny at these social places:

Camas Designs on Facebook and Instagram

Catkin on Instagram

I am in so inspired by the conscious choices my two guests have made to establish lives and businesses in an environmentally precious place on the planet. I hope you have learned at least one lesson from their stories and I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please reach out and share them in the comment section below.

flowers by monica pugh
Flowers grown and designed by our South Dakota guest, Monica Pugh of Floras and Bouquets

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with Moníca Pugh of Floras and Bouquets, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Moníca and her husband Glenn Pugh tend to an urban flower farm where, as she says, “they concentrate on stuffing as many perennials in our front and back yard as possible.” They also rent a small garden space west of town to grow our annuals and have recently expanded to a neighbor’s borrowed lot.

Luscious and local in South Dakota!

Moníca continues: “I got started in the flower business because of adventure and always wanting to follow my instinctual heart for growth.  Growing various perennials and annuals has always been a labor of love for me, so I thought I would gather my seasonal blooms and bring them to a farmer’s market that I was already attending. When they didn’t sell well, I followed my instinctual heart to a local specialty store, who placed their first order of artisan bouquets that same week. Thus, Floras & Bouquets was born.

Wedding flowers in South Dakota
Wedding flowers in South Dakota, from Floras and Bouquets

Follow Floras and Bouquets at these social places:

Floras and Bouquets on Instagram

Floras and Bouquets on Facebook

The annual fields at Floras and Bouquets, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 534,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

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

Thank you to our sponsors:

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

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

NW Green Panels. Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

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

(c) Mary Grace Long photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com.

Music Credits:
LaBranche; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 424: A conversation with Sarah Daken and Tom Precht of Maryland’s Grateful Gardeners, plus, our state focus: South Carolina

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
Tom Precht and Sarah Daken

Grateful Gardeners: Tom Precht and Sarah Daken, photographed on my October 13th visit to Boyds, Maryland

Why and how do a full-time attorney and a PhD research scientist make the leap into flower farming as their side hustle?

You’re in for a real treat today as you’re invited to sit in on my lively and engaging conversation with Tom Precht and Sarah Daken of Grateful Gardeners, based in Boyds, Maryland. As a couple, Tom and Sarah exude passion and enthusiasm for their relatively new flower farming journey, one on which they embarked in 2018. In large part, their inspiration began with Tom’s mother, Diana Precht, owner of Rocky Mountain Blooms in Loveland, Colorado, who is an expert dahlia grower and new Slow Flowers member.

Flowers and Family at Grateful Gardeners.

As Sarah shared with me in an email, “Diana is one of the most beautiful souls I know. I am so lucky to have her in my life. She was our inspiration for this entire flower journey and I know she takes great pride in seeing Tom embrace her love of dahlias. Dahlias are her legacy to us and she gets to observe us fall in love with them in her lifetime, which is so meaningful. We now all share this flower farming journey and regularly troubleshoot together, share tubers, discuss pest control, etc. We’re so grateful for the way flowers have further connected us.”

You will hear how Sarah and Tom balance their full-time, demanding and stressful professions with co-parenting three children in a blended family —  all while starting down the path of flower farming. It is an inspiring story and I really appreciate this couple’s honesty and transparency in sharing the origins of Grateful Gardeners. We will have to circle back in a few years for an update, for sure.

Serendipitously, I met them both at the very beginning when I was Kelly Shore’s guest at the second annual American Flowers Week flower-crown party held at M&M Plants and Flower Farm on June 27, 2018. Two days later, Tom and Sarah attend the 2nd Slow Flowers Summit in Washington, D.C., where we heard a little more of their new floral venture.

This fall, when I knew I would be traveling through the DC Metro area in mid-October, en route to Holly Chapple’s Flowerstock festival, I reached out to Grateful Gardeners to see if they were up for a visit.

Tom and Sarah fetched me from the train station in Baltimore and took me to see their young Maryland flower-growing operation. After touring the beautiful fields where annual flowers, foliages and lots of dahlias were still flourishing, pre-frost, we sat down in Tom and Sarah’s living room to record our conversation.

An acre of blooms at Grateful Gardeners

The couple planted their first flowers here last summer, setting up raised beds, planting rows of annuals and erecting a seed-starting structure, as they began to take over portions of Sarah’s mother’s one-acre property.

It soon made sense for Tom and Sarah to buy grandma’s house and move there with their children, just a few months ago. So now, instead of a 40-minute round trip commute to tend to their flowers, they are living where their flowers grow. Fortunately, transition hasn’t disrupted the younger children’s schooling and Tom and Sarah say the change has immediately made things more efficient and effective. When we pulled into the driveway of the charming brick ranch house, the first thing we did was visit the brand new walk-in cooler that Tom and his dad recently finished building. Seriously, a game changer!

Sarah also shared this with me: “Buying the house where we farm means we are “all in” and on-site, which has been life altering. No more commuting every day to the fields!”

Tom and Sarah are in love with growing dahlias, among other beauties. Right: Their local Whole Foods displays Mason jar bouquets from Grateful Gardeners

Please enjoy this conversation and take a moment to follow Sarah and Tom at Grateful Gardeners’ Instagram feed — and reach out with your words of encouragement and advice! Interviews like these reinforce my belief that the Slow Flowers Podcast is an ideal vehicle to share inspiring voices and personalities with the broader floral community. I’m humbled that you have taken time to listen today and I invite you to share your feedback in the comment section below!

Find and follow Grateful Gardeners on Instagram

Farmer-Florist Kendra Schirmer of Laurel Creek Florals in Sunset, South Carolina

Now, let’s take a virtual visit to South Carolina and meet Kendra Schirmer of Laurel Creek Flowers as I continue uur theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers. Based in Sunset, South Carolina, Kendra is an event florist and flower farmer who describes her aesthetic as “naturalist floristry that is consciously sourced and infused with whimsy.”

Grown, designed and styled by Kendra Schirmer

Originally hailing from the Appalachian mountains of north-western New Jersey, Kendra spent most of her childhood making snow angels or romping barefoot in the woods looking for fairies in the wild columbine blooms. Her parents always had some shady gardens along the edges of these woods, yet her own desire to tend to plants didn’t come until much later. 

After attending Bard College and studying Photography/Environmental Studies, she lived in Nashville for almost 9 years before meeting her farmer man. Craving the cleaner air and star-gazing opportunities of country life, Kendra and Sam moved to a lovely farmhouse back in Appalachia in 2013 to break ground on farming dreams. Tomatoes and cows and just a small patch of zinnias blossomed into an expanded flower garden.

Kendra’s kitty, “Mullein” poses with her season’s first ranunculus crop (left); Kendra with her bouquet and her own custom, hand-dyed ribbon

As Kendra fell completely head over heels for all things floral & design she expanded her offerings to wedding design in 2015 and has never looked back! She seeks inspiration from designers all over the world and saves new ideas to bring a unique take on design to her clients. She is always adding new seed packets (too many really) to the wishlist and popping in interesting perennials on any scrap of property she can dig into.

More local flowers from Kendra Schirmer, including her Columbine tattoo!

Find and follow Laurel Creek Florals:

Laurel Creek Florals on Instagram

Laurel Creek Florals on Facebook

Laurel Creek Florals on Pinterest

Designed by Nancy Cameron of Destiny Hill Flower Farm.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 532,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

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

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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

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

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com. I’m so excited to get my recent order into the garden very soon — in addition to tulips and narcissus, I’m planting anemones for the first time, so stay tuned! I’ll be sure to share an update of my anemone crop next spring in the #slowflowerscuttinggarden.

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

Photographed at Everyday Flowers in Stanwood, Wash. (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. 

And if you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
 

Episode 419: Meet Slow Flowers’ youngest member, 18-year-old farmer-florist Mary Schaefbauer of Sonnenblume Flower Farm & Design, plus, our state focus: Ohio

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

I want to introduce you to Mary Schaefbauer of Brainerd, Minnesota, a compelling young floral entrepreneur who is using her passion for Slow Flowers to build an impressive name for herself.

As you’ll hear in today’s episode, I met Mary when she attended a July 2018 meet-up hosted by Twin Cities Flower Exchange in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sonnenblume is the German word for Sunflower, which happens to be one of Mary’s favorite flowers to grow and design with

Mary’s story struck me as one I wish I had lived. Since her early teenage years, she has been driven to become a floral designer. And because she couldn’t afford to buy flowers with which to design, Mary started growing flowers on her family’s property — flowers that soon became more than just art supplies for a self-taught designer. Soon, a business emerged, one that serves her local community of Minnesota’s “Lakes District,” a vibrant destination wedding and tourism region.

Unique and beautiful: Grown and designed by Mary Schaefbauer

Sonnenblume Flower Farm and Design is a full-service floral design studio and flower farm in Brainerd, Minnesota. The flower farm is nestled in the old hay field behind Mary’s family’s home. The land is surrounded by forest and meadow, and is the perfect place to grow more than 40 types of flowers and hundreds of cultivars that supply customers whose flower needs range from weddings and events, everyday floral designs, farmers markets, and more.

Another take on sunflowers

Mary Schaefbauer is committed to customer satisfaction, delight, and education. She writes this on her web site: “I strive to use only the highest-quality local flowers, the most interesting and delightful varieties, and to educate customers about the joy of flowers through community outreach.”

She continues: “Sonnenblume floral designs are a celebration of color and texture. The flowers grown here on the farm come in a wide range of hues, allowing for beautiful tonal color combinations in each arrangement. I also love using a variety of textural elements, which are what make my designs so interesting and pleasing to the eye.I choose flowers that are unique and unusual, so I can surprise my customers with flowers they might never have seen before.

A playful bouquet by Mary Schaefbauer

“My designs have been described as romantic, natural, organic and different. People love how many different kinds of flowers there are in each arrangement, and how no two arrangements are ever the same.

A seasonal arrangement with lots of elements!

Find and follow Mary Schaefenbauer at these social places:

Sonnenblume Flowers on Facebook

Sonnenblume Flowers on Instagram

Mary poses with one of her lush, dreamy bouquets

Thank you so much for joining my conversation with Mary Schaefbauer. As you heard, she is hoping to freelance outside of Minnesota this coming winter and early spring. Having experienced her as a volunteer at the Slow Flowers Summit in St. Paul this past summer, I’m a big fan of Mary and her work ethic, maturity, creativity and personality.

You may want to invite her to work with you for a specific event or season. Mary is the future of the Slow Flowers Movement and I draw great comfort and encouragement knowing her.

Flowers from Rooster Ridge Farm in Bryan, Ohio

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with Teresa Brown of Rooster Ridge Farms in Bryan, Ohio. From seed to bloom, Teresa grows and designs with flowers she loves, but also flowers that are unique and heirloom. Rooster Ridge offers beautifully fresh cut flowers through various channels, including supplying wholesale flowers to florist and serving local customers from the farm’s small design studio Seasonal floral subscriptions and delivery service is available.

Wedding florals by Teresa Brown of Rooster Ridge Farm

Find and follow Rooster Ridge Farms:

Rooster Ridge Farm on Facebook

Rooster Ridge Farm on Instagram

Rooster Ridge’s high tunnel filled with beautiful lisianthus

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 518,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

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

We’re so grateful for two recent donations from listeners who shared their love and support. Thank you to Elaine Vandiver of Old Homestead Alpacas and Gholson Gardens – a Slow Flowers member and past Podcast guest who wrote: “I love the show, your work, your enthusiasm and all the inspiration you put into this world and our industry. And I had a great August, so wanted to share. Keep on keepin’ on!”

And thank you to aspiring Mississippi grower Mary Beth David who sent this note with her contribution: “Thank you for the hours of learning and entertainment with the Slower Flowers podcast!” 

We are so grateful for our listener support. It’s a blessing!

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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

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

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

NW Green Panels. Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse in today’s show notes or visit nwgreenpanels.com to see more.

Photographed at Everyday Flowers in Stanwood, Wash. (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Spunk Lit; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com

Episode 418: A visit to Utah’s emerging cut flower community with Laura Pittard of Poppin’ Blossoms; plus, our state focus North Dakota

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

Laura Pittard (right) of Poppin’ Blossoms, today’s guest, recently hosted my visit to her flower fields in Orem, Utah

I just returned from a short trip to Salt Lake City, where I attended the GardenComm annual conference, the gathering of professional garden communicators with which I’ve long been affiliated.

dahlia fields at Poppin' Blossoms
Dahlia Fields at Poppin’ Blossoms

I’ve known I would be traveling to Salt Lake in early September for quite a while — and I also knew I wanted to visit today’s guest while there. You see, Laura Pittard of Poppin’ Blossoms was the first Utah member of Slow Flowers.

Laura Pittard at Rose Design Workshop
Laura designing with roses at All My Thyme in Mt. Vernon, Washington (c) Becca Johnson of B. Johnson Photography

She joined a few years ago after we originally met in 2016 at Red Daisy Farm outside Denver. Laura was new to flower growing and she was pretty isolated as one of the first growers in her region, so I was doubly impressed that she flew to Denver to network with others at the Slow Flowers meet-up and BBQ hosted by Red Daisy’s Megan McGuire for Colorado flower farmers and florists. Laura and I reconnected on several other occasions – at conferences and workshops — and earlier this year, I was able to feature Poppin’ Blossoms’ profile and flowers in Florists’ Review’s Rocky Mountain-themed issue.

Poppin’ Blossoms’ dahlias are featured in a beautiful bridal bouquet (c) Bobbi Tolman Photography

Laura and her family (including husband Brian and son Grayson) welcomed me to Poppin’ Blossoms in Orem, Utah, about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City. We started off by recording this episode, followed by an informal gathering as seven local flower farmers and farmer-florists joined us for a tour of Laura’s beautiful growing fields. We enjoyed a great discussion over lunch, which Laura provided.

For me, it was an honor to witness the emerging and exciting local floral scene in Utah. There are many talented folks doing community-focused and collaborative projects — and I hope to feature some of them on upcoming episodes.

These photos bring back memories of meeting up with Laura in 2018 at the Rose Design workshop held on All My Thyme farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington (c) B. Jones Photography

Please enjoy this conversation with Laura Pittard of Poppin’ Blossoms. Laura’s mission is to supply her marketplace and community with the highest quality, premier specialty cut flowers. In my opinion, she has already reached that level of excellence — and the future is rosy as the momentum can only grow for local, seasonal and bespoke cut flowers.

Find and follow Poppin’ Blossoms at these social places:

Poppin’ Blossoms on Facebook

Poppin’ Blossoms on Instagram

Poppin’ Blossoms on Pinterest

Download a PDF of the Rocky Mountain-themed “Slow Flowers Journal” section that includes a piece on Poppin’ Blossoms

05_Slow Flowers Journal_FR

The emerging Utah flower farming community gathered at Poppin’ Blossoms on September 7th. I’m so glad I met everyone!

So happy we visited Utah — and a special shout-out of thanks to Laura for hosting our Slow Flowers meet-up. I’ve written a recap of my visit to Poppin’ Blossoms and the wonderful group of kindred spirits I met last Saturday. We now have five members in Utah, representing the exciting shift towards seasonal and locally-grown flowers serving everyone from farmers’ market customers and CSA subscribers to wedding florists and event designers.

Tammy Krein, photographed at the recent Inspired Design Retreat, courtesy of Patience Pickner and Ace Berry

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with Tammy Krein of Ken’s Flower Shop in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Tammy Krein’s designs using all domestic flowers, photographed at the Inspired Design Retreat.

Ken’s is a local, full-service floral retailer based in the state capital of Bismarck. Tammy purchased an established shop in 2001 and decided to retain its original branding, although she has put her own spin on the business, developing a loyal customer base.

Bridal flowers by Ken’s Flower Shop and owner Tammy Krein

I first learned about Tammy through one of our South Dakota members, floral designer and educator Patience Pickner, and through Jason Lenz of Minnesota-based Len Busch Roses, which supplies Ken’s Flower Shop and others with a regular flow of fresh, high quality midwest-grown blooms on its delivery route through North Dakota. You’ll hear Tammy and I discuss the challenges to sourcing local flowers faced by a florist like her, located in a northern state (wedged between Minnesota and Montana, and sharing its entire northern border with Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Inspired Design by Tammy Krein

Find and follow Tammy Krein at these social places:

Ken’s Flower Shop on Instagram

Ken’s Flower Shop on Facebook

(c) Missy Palacol Photography

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 515,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

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

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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

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

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

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

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Bombadore; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessionshttp://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from:
audionautix.com

Episode 415: Floral design takes a botanical journey with Sylvia Lukach of Cape Lily, plus our State Focus: New York

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019
Sylvia Lukach of Cape Lily, sharing her love of South African flora with lovers of flowers and travel

This wasn’t entirely planned but it turns out, we have two New York-based guests this week.

Our first featured guest comes by way of South Africa, Harlem and lower Hudson Valley, Sylvia Lukach of Cape Lily.

Our second guest is Charles Sherman of North Fork Flower Farm in Orient, New York, who appears as part of the 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers series. Listen for my great conversation with Charles in the second portion of this episode.

A botanical display from Cape Lily’s first botanical excursion to South Africa

Sylvia and I first connected when I hosted a Slow Flowers Upstate New York Meet-up in Hudson, New York about three years ago. She traveled about two hours north of her home and studio in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood to join the gathering of Hudson Valley flower farmers, farmer-florists and other designers like herself — a group that loosely called themselves the Hudson Valley Flower Growers Network. We discussed some of the emerging issues facing Manhattan and Brooklyn-based wedding and event florists like Sylvia and the growers whose flowers they so eagerly source. Issues like transportation, special ordering, access to markets and more.

It’s a theme that continues today and you may have listened to my conversation just a few weeks ago with Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers in Brooklyn — we addressed the same issues and Molly’s sourcing goals, successes and challenges.

Two floral collaborations that reflect Sylvia’s Harlem, New York, ties with artists and makers.

Sylvia and I continued a friendship when Cape Lily joined Slow Flowers and after we reunited just months later at the first Whidbey Flower Workshop in 2017, hosted by Tobey Nelson. There, during our introductions and the creative writing exercises I led, it emerged that Sylvia dreamed of blending her South African heritage, her love of South African floral, and her love of travel into an unique brand for her business Cape Lily.

Since then, Sylvia has developed a studio-based floral enterprise serving New York City, Westchester County, where she now lives, and the Hudson Valley wedding and event marketplace. And she led her first botanical journey for Cape Lily — a floral-themed tour with Susan Mcleary to South Africa last fall.

Beautiful creations from the Sue Mcleary workshop during Cape Lily’s South African botanical excursion

I wanted to invite Sylvia onto the Slow Flowers Podcast to share her story and to discuss how she has indeed zeroed in on the unique brand attributes of Cape Lily. If you’re at a similar place in your own floral enterprise — seeking a way to highlight your singular story and distinct place in the marketplace — I know that Sylvia’s narrative will be inspiring.

Sue Mcleary joined Sylvia as floral design instructor. Photography (c) Heather Saunders

Sylvia wrote a beautiful essay for our Slow Flowers Journal online magazine called “An African Slow Flowers Story,” which we published in December 2017. Its opening lines begin as follows:

Florists, flower farmers; local South African designers + North American students. They all came together for a love of flowers, place, friendship.

I grew up in a small coastal town in South Africa, Plettenberg Bay, in an area called the Garden Route, where fynbos, a distinct aromatic indigenous shrubland, flows down the mountains and hovers on the sand dunes along the ocean. I would run up the hill in my Wellies (for protection from snakes) to harvest some of the pride of the Cape Floral Kingdom like Sugarbush Proteas, Leucadendrons and Ericas, which my mother, our town’s first florist, would use to supplement her designs.

Fast-forward to present day and I find myself a long way from home here in the urban hustle of Harlem, New York, but with that same urge to harvest seasonal, local flowers.

Thanks to the growing network of local cut flower farmers and support from the Slow Flowers community, this is still possible. My go-to supplier is Rock Steady Farm, a women-owned cooperative farm using holistic and sustainable farming practices, located outside Millerton, New York. I love the creative possibility yet natural constraints that exist when designing with buckets-full of flowers harvested just up the Hudson Valley that same morning. 

As I embraced the Slow Flowers philosophy in the U.S., I was curious to learn if something similar existed in my home country, given its long floral history and current status as one of the largest Protea exporters in the world.

Images from Sylvia’s recent installation for the LEAF Flower Show in New York. Sylvia embellished a vibrant fountain called called “The Source,” by Ester Partegàs at Plaza de Las Americas.

Find and follow Cape Lily and its creative director Sylvia Lukach at these social places:

Cape Lily on Facebook

Cape Lily on Instagram

Thank you so much for joining me today! As Sylvia mentions, the next Botanical Journey to South Africa is scheduled for this coming October, so check out the itinerary and learn how you can be part of the trip.

Three of the four partners in North Fork Flower Farm, from left: Charles Sherman, Karen Braziller and Kevin Perry. Not pictured: Drianne Benner

We’ve been to the suburbs of New York City where Sylvia is based. Now, let’s travel to the farthest point of Long Island’s North Fork, to the town of Orient, where we’ll continue the #fiftystatesofslowflowers series and meet Charles Sherman of North Fork Flower Farm.

Charles Sherman is one quarter of North Fork Flower Farm, the two-acre farm he started four years ago with his life partner, Karen Braziller, along with Kevin Perry and Drianne Benner.

As you will hear in our conversation, Charles and I have a dear mutual friend in fellow Orient resident Charles Dean, who I’ve known for more than 15 years through the Garden Writers Association (now GardenComm) and who has produced a number of books with editor Karen Braziller, Charles Sherman’s partner. So this is a fond conversation and it makes me yearn to return to Orient, NY, since I haven’t visited there since 2011.

Find and follow North Fork Flower Farm at these social places:

North Fork Flower Farm on Facebook

North Fork Flower Farm on Instagram

Thank you so much for joining me today as we visited two distinctly beautiful floral destinations in New York. Download the PDF of “Botanical Influences,” my March 2018 Florists’ Review interview with Sylvia Lukach.

Follow this link to a recent article written by Jim Merritt of Newsday, the daily newspaper on Long Island, which features Slow Flowers members North Fork Flower Farm and florists Jaclyn and Marc Rutigliano of the Hometown Flower Co. It’s exciting to see the local press feature Long Island’s local flower renaissance against the backdrop of the Slow Flowers movement!

Mums, zinnias, dahlias, gomphrena, amaranth, scented geranium — all from Washington. I added a few goodies from my friend Cheryl’s backyard in Altadena, California (including tree fern fronds and limelight hydrangeas)

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

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

You can find the donate button in the column to the right.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Yes, the dahlias are exploding in the #slowflowerscuttinggarden, but now it’s time to start our spring bulb order! Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com

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

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnysseeds.com and check out my past articles featuring the wisdom and voices of flower farmers.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 507,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

I am in love with my greenhouse, designed and built sustainably by Oregon-based NW Green Panels (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Red City Theme; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
audionautix.com

Episode 409: Learning to See Color in Nature, and in the Garden with artist Lorene Edwards Forkner, plus our State Focus: Montana

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019
Lorene Edwards Forkner (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Oh my gosh, Slow Flowers Podcast listeners, you are in for a wonderful treat today because my guest is one of my lifelong friends and dearest sister in all sorts of horticultural, floral and artistic adventures in this world. It is my deepest privilege to introduce you to artist and designer, writer, editor and educator Lorene Edwards Forkner.

Lorene is a columnist for the Seattle Times weekly gardening column called GROW, along with her colleague Colin McCrate of Seattle Urban Farm Co. She is author of five garden books, including The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening: Pacific Northwest, and Handmade Garden Projects, bestselling titles from Timber Press.

October 21, 2007. Lotusland. Lorene and Debra together in the garden.

Lorene owned a popular and beloved boutique specialty nursery in Seattle for more than a decade, called Fremont Gardens; she has served on the boards of a number of horticultural organizations, has edited a horticulture journal and is the designer of two gold medal display gardens at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival.

A polychromatic series: Seeing Color in the Garden @gardenercook

Most recently, Lorene’s creative life can be found on Instagram, where @gardenercook she is in the 2nd year creating and sharing a series called “Seeing Color in the Garden.”

She started this project on April 3, 2018 as part of #the100dayproject as #100DaysofSeeingColorintheGarden. She continued her series through the subsequent months and this past April 2019, kicked off #Another100 DaysofSeeingColorintheGarden, which concludes today, July 10th.

So our timing is perfect to sit down with Lorene and learn more about this visually engaging, spiritually uplifting creative project. I’m so happy that you are joining my chat with this highly intuitive observer of color in nature, in plants, in flowers and even in the kind of organic objects you might pick up on a walk and drop in your pocket.

When she kicked off #100 days of seeing color in the garden, Lorene wrote this:

“And so it begins. #the100dayproject is here and so am I—well, sort of. These days life is charged with loss and grief on many levels. But if I’m honest with myself (& desperately trying to keep on keeping on) I have to acknowledge that without great love and joy there would be nothing to lose, nothing to grieve. So however hard, this pain is a gift.

“#100daysofseeingcolorinthegarden will be my #dailypractice starting today. My hope is that this daily interval focused on seeing my beloved garden will provide refuge and a way forward. They say that time heals. I’m curious to watch that unfold. How cool would it be (WILL it be) to witness the process playing out in real time. A powerful anchor for future losses.

“So for 100 days I will be making time to see and interpret color in my garden. It’s basically permission to pause and play.

She continues, “. . . this idea had to be something simple, intuitive, and soothing. I like to say color is my native tongue, and I’d pretty much lost all other words.

“It’s now nearly 150 days later and while I’m not still counting, I am still painting. SeeingColorInTheGarden has become a daily practice, permission to step away from work, house, garden—even play. When I sit down at my table with my oh-so-humble watercolors, a brush, and blank sheets of watercolor paper the world goes calm.

“Occasionally I get asked “HOW.” I don’t know how else to describe it but seeing with all 5 senses… things go quiet, time stops, and everything is focused on the blossom, twig, rock, or the occasional snail. My paints are nothing special, but they’re familiar to me and I feel comfortable with the visual vocabulary I’ve developed with them. For all that this project has played out in public on Instagram, it still feels strange to write about something so intimate and deeply personal. Except that, along with my finding a measure of peace, I have also found a community of people who are also in pain, stressed, or simply in need of a little colorful refreshment. A chromal chord has been struck.

She concludes: “At the end of the day, the swatches and test strips are my secret sauce. A record of how I hunt and peck and forage for the right color. The paintings themselves without their subject are pretty flat and lifeless compared to the energy of painting + plant. But these little swatch strips please me to no end.”

Find and follow Lorene Edwards Forkner at these social places:

LEF on Facebook

LEF on Instagram

A Handmade Garden Blog. Sign up for Lorene’s newsletter here.

THANK YOU for joining me today as I indulged in an entirely inspiring conversation with a dear and personal friend. As Lorene Edwards Forkner and I discussed, she has agreed to come to the 4th Annual Slow Flowers Summit, which takes place June 29-30, 2020 in Santa Cruz, Calif. In fact, Lorene is the first featured presenter we’re announcing for 2020. I’ll have much more to share about her presentation at the Summit and about what you can expect to experience as the planning evolves.

For now, I urge you to find a set of watercolors and begin to emulate the daily or even weekly practice of looking at flowers, petals, pods, leaves, bark and other minute details from your own environment in a new way — to let the color palette of nature speak to all of your senses.

George Hart of Missoula, Montana-based Hart’s Garden & Nursery

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with George Hart of Hart’s Garden & Nursery in Missoula, Montana.

Dahlias at Hart’s Garden & Nursery

I met George and Marcia Hart in September 2017 when they hosted a lovely gathering for Slow Flowers members in Western Montana. What a fabulous experience getting to see where they live and farm, and to connect with an incredible community of growers and floral designers who are bringing local flowers to Missoula and beyond.

Harts Garden and Nursery grows tulips, irises, peonies, delphinium, dahlias, chrysanthemums, liatrus, rudbeckia, zinnias, hellebores, lilies and several kinds of decorative grasses.

The September 2017 Slow Flowers Meet-Up at Hart’s Garden & Nursery

The Harts’ mission is to offer attractive, locally-grown flowers and bouquets to residents and businesses of Missoula and Western Montana. They offer several locally-grown varieties of lily bulbs for sale at area farmers’ markets, as well as perennials well-suited to Western Montana. I’m so pleased that George agreed to jump on the line with me this week to talk about what’s happening in this community, as well as give you a preview of an event on September 27th when I’ll return to Hart’s Garden — and you’re invited.

Here are the details:

MONTANA FLORISTS ASSOCIATION Annual Convention
Fri., Sept. 27, 7:15 p.m. Farm Tour & Dinner

HARTS GARDEN & NURSERY, Missoula, Montana

Debra Prinzing will join Slow Flowers members Harts Garden & Nursery as they host a local-flowers reception during the Montana Florists Association annual convention. The Slow Flowers members are invited to join us! As George Hart says: “$10 buys dinner and contacting me puts your name on the list. This is a chance for Montana flower farmers to learn and dine with fellow farmers and florists who care about local, Montana-grown blooms! For more information or to sign up, please contact George Hart atmghart@bresnan.net or call: 406-396-8245.

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

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

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

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at ascfg.org. The upcoming regional conference takes place this weekend — Sunday, July 14 & Monday, July 15 — in Maine and is called “In the Thick of It.” The gathering features flower farm tours, networking with other growers, and bonus tours of Johnny’s Selected Seeds and the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnysseeds.com and check out my past articles featuring the wisdom and voices of flower farmers.

Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Spring bulb season is almost here – my tulips are poking out of the ground already! Visit Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 492,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

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

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:
Castor Wheel Pivot; Betty Dear; Gaenaby 
Blue Dot Sessions
http://www.sessions.bluehttps://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

Lovely by Tryad 
http://tryad.bandcamp.com/album/instrumentals
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

In The Field
Music from: audionautix.com