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Episode 519: A Bloom-Filled visit to floral icon Françoise Weeks’ studio and to Sid Anna Sherwood’s flower farm

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce Françoise Weeks and Sid Anna Sherwood. In celebration of our Slow Flowers Podcasts 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format — calling it the Slow Flowers Show — with the goal of sharing the faces and voices of our members, as well as tours of their farms, their shops and their studios — and most of all, their flowers. In addition to finding the show notes for this episode at debraprinzing.com, you can watch the replay of our video interview, including some special floral design ideas and a show-and-tell of just-harvested blooms from our guests’ studio and farm.

Listen or Watch the conversation

Françoise Weeks is a past guest of the Slow Flowers Podcast on a few occasions. She is known for teaching botanical couture around the world.  Today, we’ll discuss one of her dreams — to teach a workshop combined with students picking their own design ingredients at a flower farm and collecting woodland materials in a forest.

Sid Anna Sherwood of Annie's Flower Farm in Sequim, Washington
Sid Anna Sherwood of Annie’s Flower Farm in Sequim, Washington

And thanks to the imagination of farmer-florist Sid Anna Sherwood, owner of Annie’s Flower Farm in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula, that dream will be a reality later this month.

Long-time Slow Flowers member Sid Anna is a nature-inspired flower farmer and florist who creates beautiful and lush arrangements with the flowers she grows.

Through Sweet Annie’s Floral Design, she offers wedding florals, sells DIY wedding flowers and supplies hand-tied market bouquets to CSA customers and to local neighborhood grocery outlets.

Sid Anna grows more than 300 varieties of cut flowers using organic and sustainable methods.

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

Françoise Weeks, a floral design icon, was born in Belgium and started her business in 1996. She 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 in Earth in Her Hands
Françoise Weeks, featured in Jennifer Jewell’s beautiful book: The Earth in Her Hands

Françoise’s studio is located in Portland, Oregon. Her innovation and love of teaching have brought her to many cities in the US in studios, at wholesalers, at garden clubs, Art in Bloom events and conferences, including at AIFD Symposium. She also taught in Mexico, Canada, England, Sweden, Iceland, France, China and Australia.

In 2019 she was invited to participate at two international flower events in Belgium: Flower Time at city hall in Brussels and Fleuramour at the medieval castle in Alden Biesen.

Her dynamic work has been published in national and international publications such as Nacre, Fusion Flowers, Modern Wedding Flowers, Huffington Post, Flutter and Millieu.

Françoise teaches and offers online courses, including Zoom workshops. And she is the author of “The Herbal Recipe Keeper” published by Timber Press in 2018.

Francoise Weeks workshop details

The two women have teamed up to offer a Françoise Weeks Botanical Couture and Woodland Workshop, a four-day floral retreat taking place August 22-26 in the historic town of Port Townsend, Washington. Students will stay at the 416-acre Fort Worden in an restored residence, with meals and lodging, as well as all materials and instruction included in the workshop price. The beach of the Salish Sea is steps away and hiking trails are nearby.

Françoise will cover botanical headpieces, purses and jewelry, as well as woodland design centerpieces. A model and a photographer will capture each student’s work for use in their portfolio. 

Last week, we scheduled and recorded a 3-way call to visit and talk with both Francoise and Sid Anna. Both have some lovely show-and-tell to share, as they discuss their creative practices and inspire us with botanical couture and woodland designs, as well as just-picked seasonal flowers.

Thank you so much for joining our conversation. As Sid Anna mentioned there are a few more spaces for students needing lodging and day students who might want to attend from close by. And I’m excited to see what happens when a flower farmer and floral designer collaborate. This approach is truly the heart of the Slow Flowers Movement and Sid Anna and Françoise are modeling a creative partnership that each of us should emulate.


Bonus Content for You

If you’re looking for some inspiring summer reading material, I have a few things to share — free to you — and you can find the links below.

floral details at slow flowers summit
Floral details at the Slow Flowers Summit (c) Jenny M. Diaz

First up, you’ll want to read “Flowering Filoli,” just published in the Slow Flowers Journal online — a room-by-room tour of the Slow Flowers Summit floral takeover at Filoli’s historic house.

With detailed photography by Missy Palacol and Jenny M. Diaz, you’ll read about the immersive floral takeover that occurred on day one of the Summit. See the flowers contributed by generous member flower farms and farmer-florists in attendance; and appreciate the floral artistry of our member designers who created installations worthy of the mansion’s grand scale.


Watch my conversation with Garden Design Magazine about our new book Where We Bloom

And if you’re more in the mood to watch something fun, I’ll share the replay video of my Garden Design Magazine Q&A with publisher Jim Peterson, as he hosted me for a conversation about our new book, “Where We Bloom” and tips to design your perfect outdoor getaway space. We featured five of the book’s inventive floral-filled environments as I shared the stories of the designers and their floral pursuits. I’ll share that link in today’s show notes, too — so everything will be easy to find.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar
2nd sponsor bar

Our next sponsor thank you goes to Rooted Farmers. Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.

Our next thanks goes to 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.

Our final thank you goes to 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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 755,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com.


Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Mind Body Mind; Shift of Currents; Gaena
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 518 Kiara Hancock of K. Hancock Events and HBO’s Full Bloom Season 2

Wednesday, August 11th, 2021
K. Hancock Events
Today’s guest: Kiara Hancock of K. Hancock Events

In celebration of our Slow Flowers Podcast’s 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format — calling it the Slow Flowers Show — with the goal of sharing the faces and voices of our members, as well as tours of their farms, their shops and their studios — and most of all, their flowers

Today, you’re in for a real treat as we will meet Kiara Hancock of K. Hancock Events, who joined me last week to record this conversation. Kiara is based in Tacoma’s University Place and she is a floral educator and wedding and event florist.

Kiara Hancock on HBO’s Full Bloom Season 2

If, like me, you have just binged on the floral series of the summer, HBO’s Full Bloom, you already know Kiara, who was one of 10 budding floral artists who are put to the test each episode in both individual and team challenges. Floral experts Simon Lycett, Elizabeth Cronin and Maurice Harris serve as hosts and judges determining who gets cut and who remains in the running for the $100,000 grand prize. HBO Max released the series on June 10th.

Kiara Hancock winning design
Kiara’s Episode One winning floral arrangement
Kiara Hancock (second from right) in Full Bloom – Season 2

I reached out to Kiara and asked her to share her story, her experience as a reality TV competitor, and to design for us on camera. She writes this on her website: “I’m a wife, mother to two awesome girls, a wedding designer, floral designer, and day-of coordinator. I believe that modern and romantic designs can coexist in harmony and I aim to bring weddings to life in a way that resonates JOY.”

Kiara’ forte is incorporating passionate and confident designs that seamlessly integrate each couple’s personalities, both as individuals and jointly. Kiara is a pro at the logistics portion of planning, thanks to her background as an administrative professional at some of the Northwest’s most successful companies. Her passion for events stems from not only wanting to make sure that each of her clients’ wedding day runs smoothly and that she deliver something beautiful to the eye, while ensuring the couple feels heard, understood, and seen.

Kiara is a huge advocate of authenticity and she encourages, supports and guides her clients to be true to who they are, fight for the things they want, dream big, and to trust their gut. She adds: “I will never get tired of seeing my designs become part of the tapestry of your wedding day…it does my heart serious good.”

If you haven’t fallen in love with Kiara’s favorite color palette — yellow in all shades, I’d be surprised! We also welcome Kiara Hancock as a new member of the slow flowers society. She’s one to follow, and we admire all that she’s doing to nurture inclusion and representation through her Decency is not Difficult campaign to support ourcommoncause.com.


More news . . .

I know it’s August and that our celebration of 2021 American Flowers Week has passed for this year (the dates were June 28-July 4th), but you’ll want to check out the our new article that appears in Growing For Market’s August issue. Thanks to editor and publisher Andrew Mefferd, who asked me to recap some of the amazing activities that our members produced for American Flowers Week.

Last month, we also jumped in and celebrated the 2021 Canadian Flowers Week (July 15-22), thanks to the support of creator Natasa Kajganic of the Toronto Flower Market who invited Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers and me to do an IG takeover. During the entire week, we virtually traveled across Canada, meeting florists and flower farmers in seven provinces for IG Live conversations about their floral enterprises. Click here to watch those interviews

And thank you to each of our guests:


Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

Special thanks to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar
2nd sponsor bar

More thanks goes to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.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.

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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 753,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Open Flames; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
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 517: The Growing Kindness Project and its founder, flower farmer Deanna Kitchen of Twig & Vine

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

In celebration of the Slow Flowers Show’s 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format on July 21st with the goal of sharing the faces and voices of our members, as well as tours of their farms, their shops and their studios — and most of all, their flowers. The video edition of today’s episode aired as the Slow Flowers Show on Wednesday, July 28th, simultaneously broadcast to both YouTube and Facebook Live. See the replay below:

Deanna Kitchen on the Slow Flowers Show

Today’s guest is Deanna Kitchen, flower farmer based in Mt. Vernon, in the Skagit Valley north of Seattle, Washington, where so much great agriculture, especially floral agriculture, is rooted. Deanna and her family grow flowers, livestock and three sons at Twig & Vine Farm, a 10-acre micro-farm with just under 1/4-acres cultivated. As Deanna writes on the farm’s website, “dahlias are the reigning queen here, but we also love to grow unique foliages, vines and whimsical bits like grasses and pods.”

Deanna Kitchen

I visited Twig & Vine a few weeks ago to film a video farm tour with Deanna. For Podcast listeners, you’ll hear our conversation today, as Deanna harvests stems and discusses some of her favorite field crops.

As she shared her story, and the conversation naturally turned to her floral passion and mission: the Growing Kindness Project.

Now an established nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, the motivation behind her endeavor is a campaign of kindness that becomes a ripple of goodwill reaching across the world.

Deanna likes to quote the late Anne Frank: No one has ever become poor by giving.

The Growing Kindness Project is working to support anyone who wants to share kindness by growing and giving flowers. It provides support, education, and resources to help participants grow and give flowers, whether they are experienced gardeners or have never planted a single seed; whether they tend to a pot of flowers on a city balcony or produce acres of blooms on a farm, Deanna and her team of Growing Kindness Ambassadors are motivated to help anyone grow kindness in their communities.

(c) Ryleah Foehl Photograph

Thanks for joining our conversation, originally recorded on July 22nd. It was a windy day and I apologize that we had a lot of related audio challenges. Deanna was a great host and I am so grateful she was able to set aside time for me to visit and capture a slice of her world, along with her story.

Find and Follow Twig & Vine on Instagram

Find and Follow The Growing Kindness Project on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining us today! I know I mentioned early in the interview that Deanna and I were planning to sit down and talk more about Growing Kindness, but honestly, we were having such a great flow of conversation, that I didn’t want to interrupt it!

Thanks so much for joining us today! Keep an eye out soon for details about a special Growing Kindness Project event taking place in August, hosted by Holly Chapple at Hope Flower Farm in Leesburg, Virginia, along with Growing Kindness Project’s ambassadors Sarah Daken and Tom Precht of Maryland-based Grateful Gardeners. As soon as we have those details, I’ll share them in a future episode. You can also subscribe to updates at the Growing Kindness Project’s website, growingkindnessproject.org.


Hey, I have fabulous news to share with you today. We just learned that the Slow Flowers Podcast received the 2021 Media Awards Silver Medal of Achievement for a Podcast Series in the Broadcast Media category, presented by GardenComm: Garden Communicators International.

This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. The 2021 competition had more than 135 entries in 62 categories. Recipients of the Silver Medal represent the top winners in each competition category who will now compete for best of group in the areas of writing, photography, digital media, broadcast media, publishing, and trade.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks to all of you for listening and supporting the Slow Flowers Podcast, and now, the Slow Flowers Show, our video edition, which you can watch every Wednesday live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook Live. I’ll share those links for you in today’s podcast, as well.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 750,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com


Thank you to our Sponsors

This episode is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar
2nd sponsor bar

The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.

Roadie.com, the same-day delivery platform that connects you and your flower deliveries with drivers already heading in the right direction. Learn more at Roadie.com.

Flowerfarm.com. FlowerFarm is a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected flower farms to offer high-performing fresh flowers sent directly from the farm straight to you. Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at flowerfarm.com.


Debra Prinzing
(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 Slow 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. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com


Music Credits:

Turning on the Lights; Pat Dog; Gaena
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 516: A conversation about the Slow Flowers Movement with Daniel Hartz of the Sustainability Champions Podcast

Wednesday, July 28th, 2021

Today’s conversation was originally broadcast in late May by “Sustainability Champions,” an investigative podcast series made for the environmental stewards of the world, produced and hosted by Daniel Hartz. The series defines Sustainability as “the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance” and Champion as “one who supports or defends a cause.” We can all get behind that, right?

Host and founder of Sustainability Champions, Daniel Hartz is an American based in London. He started Sustainability Champions to showcase people around the world working hard to heal the planet through business innovations, community organizing and individual messages of optimism.

Sustainability often makes financial sense and the future of the environment is bright.

daniel hartz, sustainability champions

I am so grateful he invited me to share the story of the Slow Flowers Movement on Sustainability Champions.

In celebration of the Slow Flowers Show’s 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format with the goal of sharing the faces and voices of our members, as well as tours of their farms, their shops and their studios — and most of all, their flowers. You can subscribe to our YouTube Channel here.

Thanks so much for joining us today! A special thank you to friend and floral design educator Hitomi Gilliam for introducing Daniel and me. Hitomi is also a past guest of Sustainability Champions! You can listen to my past interview with Hitomi here.

Subscribe to and follow Sustainability Champions here

Follow Sustainability Champions on Facebook and follow Sustainability Champions on Instagram.


Thank you to our Sponsors!

This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

Rooted Farmers. Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.

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


Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded nearly 750,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow 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. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

Dance of Felt; Gaena
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 515: Wildflower and Fern’s Sarah Reyes on building an Oakland-based local flower hub supplying retail and wholesale buyers

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Slow Flowers Podcast visits Wildflower and Fern
Sarah Reyes welcomed me to Wildflower and Fern in Oakland, California

I’m so happy to introduce you to today’s guest, Sarah Reyes of Oakland-based Wildflower and Fern. Sarah’s passion for local flowers moves through both retail and wholesale channels. She calls herself a botanical liaison, a term that sums up the role she plays for both customers of her 240-square-foot retail flower shop, which opened in the fall of 2019 at Oakland’s Rockridge Market Hall, and for fellow florists who turn to Sarah for her connections to unique, local and seasonal flowers sourced from farms and fields outside of San Francisco.

On the road with Wildflower and Fern

As I alluded, Wildflower & Fern’s cooler and storage space serves a dual purpose. It allows Sarah and her team to process flowers and produce larger designs, and it allows wholesale customers to “shop” from the back-of-the-house — giving even more people access to local, California-grown botanicals.

I featured more of Sarah’s story in a November 2019 issue of Slow Flowers Journal for Florists Review:

Download the PDF here:

Sarah at the Slow Flowers Summit
We recognized Sarah for her four-year-streak attending the Slow Flowers Summit at our recent 2021 gathering (c) Missy Palacol Photography

One more thing I want to mention about Sarah. She is a loyal and passionate supporter of Slow Flowers Society, and she holds the distinction of being the only person (other than staff and speakers) who has attended all four Slow Flowers Summit conferences! This year, Sarah brought her entire team of designers, which was an amazingly generous way to share her mission and passion with them.

You can see photos of Sarah and the Wildflower & Fern shop in Oakland in today’s show notes. I visited there on my drive to Filoli, where the Slow Flowers Summit took place — and it was a delightful way to immerse myself in California-grown flowers and sustainable floral design.

Thanks so much for joining us today as I introduced you to one of our Slow Flowers leaders who has created an important and influential hub for local flowers in San Francisco’s East Bay Area. And thanks to Sarah and the entire team at Wildflower & Fern for welcoming me when I visited. And for bringing your energy, enthusiasm and local flowers to the Slow Flowers Summit! Wildflower & Fern was one of our meal sponsors – sharing even more support for the Slow Flowers mission.

Today is a big day for the Slow Flowers Podcast! It is our eighth anniversary since starting this small but mighty program on July 23, 2013. Since launching, we have produced more than 400 consecutive weekly Slow Flowers Podcast episodes, and those episodes have been downloaded nearly 750,000 times by listeners like you. It’s so fitting that Sarah Reyes of Wildflower & Fern joined me on today’s program, because she embodies the mission and values of the Slow Flowers Movement. Sarah is our final audio-only guest.

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Today, we are launching our new Podcast platform, adding video programming to enhance the audio interviews and conversations you’ve listened to for eight years. You can find the link to watch and subscribe to Slow Flowers Podcast on YouTube and Facebook Live, beginning today and every Wednesday going forward.  It is my goal to introduce you to the faces and voices, the farms, shops and studios — and most of all, the flowers of our community. The audio of each episode will continue to land in your inbox in whatever way you’ve listened before, including iTunes, Spotify and at debraprinzing.com, and more. Thanks in advance for following me down the Vodcast path! I’m excited to see you there.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Podcast Sponsors.

Rooted Farmers: Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.

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


Debra Prinzing with microphone
(c) Mary Grace Long Photography

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded nearly 750,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow 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. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andree’s work at soundbodymovement.com

Music Credits:

For We Shall Know Speed; Glass Beads; Gaena
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 514: All about growing and breeding dahlias with Kristine Albrecht of Santa Cruz Dahlias

Wednesday, July 14th, 2021
Kristine Albrecht of Santa Cruz Dahlias with ‘KA’s Khaleesi’

Of course you’ve heard me talk about my road trip to California in late June for the 4th Slow Flowers Summit. A few days before the Summit took place, I was treated to a morning visit at Santa Cruz Dahlias, the micro- flower farm owned by award-winning dahlia breeder Kristine Albrecht, a Slow Flowers member. I’d been wanting to learn more about Kristine’s work as a flower farmer whose curiosity about breeding has led to incredibly unique – new – named cultivars, a devoted following among cut flower farmers, and now, a new book, published in 2020: Dahlia Breeding for the Farmer-Florist and the Home Gardener, with Brion Sprinsock, Kristine’s spouse, as co-author.

I ordered my copy and asked Kristine if she would sit down with me when I was in the area late last month. She kindly invited me for a tour and I enjoyed a deeply informative lesson on her work and her passion.

In the foreword to Dahlia Breeding, Kristine writes:

“I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to talk and write to people about dahlias almost every day. While familiar with growing dahlias from tubers, many growers simply have no idea that unique varieties of dahlias can be generated from seed. The more I thought about that, the more I was inspired to write this short book and share my hybridizing knowledge.”

Jan Palia (left) and Kristine Albrecht (right) – met me in June and treated me to a beautiful morning

She continues: “I’m not a typical dahlia hybridizer who breeds mainly show dahlias. I have as much interest in breeding varieties loved by florists and designers as I do in breeding dahlias for show. I don’t have a scientific background: the advice in this book comes from practical experience at my farm. I currently grow on a quarter-acre suburban farm in the California Central Coast. I generate hundreds of dahlia blooms every week, and when they are not being cut for shows, I sell them to designers and florists. These floral designers give me wonderful feedback on what colors and forms are the most commercially viable. Their input helps me set my hybridizing goals.”

‘KA’s Cloud’

In 2014, after years of learning and experimentation, Kristine hand-crossed pollen parent Kenora Jubilee with seed parent Elma Elizabeth for a new variety called ‘KA’s Cloud’. She excitedly sent it off to the American Dahlia Society trial gardens across the U.S. and the blooms won the Derrill W. Hart and the Lynn B. Dudley medals, the two top awards in the country.

A bucket of just-harvested Santa Cruz Dahlia blooms, including dahlia companion plants (c) Debra Prinzing

Blue ribbons aside, she was hooked. And that experienced ignited what has become one woman’s amazing journey with dahlias, one she generously shares with you today. I know you’ll enjoy the rest of the story, as I introduce Kristine Albrecht in today’s episode.

‘KA’s Bella Luna’ – a delicious Kristine Albrecht introduction
‘KA’s Mocha Katie’
A detail shot of the storage tub that Santa Cruz Dahlias uses for deliveries and transportation

Follow Santa Cruz Dahlias on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining us today as you learned more about dahlias specifically bred for floral design. Enjoy photos of my visit to Santa Cruz Dahlias and some of the gorgeous dahlia introductions that Kristine has bred!


More about the Slow Flowers Podcast

Interviewing Meg McGuire at Red Daisy Farm

This podcast is a vehicle for storytelling and for sharing the stories of our Slow Flowers Members. Several years ago, I made the conscious decision to put a priority on featuring Slow Flowers members as Podcast guests.

There may be an occasional episodes with a floral celebrity or book author, but the majority of our weekly guest slots are devoted to our members’ stories. We strive for inclusion, representation and diversity among our guests. We also mix things up when it comes to geographical location and different facets in the floral industry.

To be considered as a guest, please be sure you have gone back through our archives to familiarize yourself with our various themes and interesting angles. You can find the archives in the right column at debraprinzing.com, home of the Slow Flowers Podcast show notes.

Then, put together a proposal email. Please share your name, business name and bio; a selection of 5-7 photos that illustrate you, your farm/shop/studio/enterprise; and your flowers. We use these images in our “Show Notes.”

Tell me the topics and themes you propose for the episode. What’s new, exciting, timely and relevant to our audience? What is the “takeaway” that will resonate with listeners?

Our ideal guest has a personal story to tell and is generous with information and inspiration to share with other floral professionals. We plan several months in advance, so start thinking about sharing your story! I look forward to hearing from you! 

Join our NEW Video Podcast on July 21st

Today, as we wrap up the seventh consecutive year producing and hosting the Slow Flowers Podcast, I have to take a moment and reflect on the amazing community of experts, visionaries, artists, educators and pioneers in the Slow Flowers Movement who have shared their insights on this program — during 414 consecutive weekly episodes. What a privilege and honor to hear and share your voices. And beginning next week, with Episode 515, as we celebrate this show’s 8th anniversary, you will not only hear the voices of our guests, you’ll see their faces, their farms, their shops and their studios — and most of all, their flowers.

Beginning on July 21st, the Slow Flowers Podcast is launching a new live-stream video format, which you will be able to view on YouTube and Facebook Live. Each Wednesday you’ll watch a new video episode and then, on the following week, we’ll release the show’s audio through our established podcast channels, including iTunes, Spotify and at debraprinzing.com, and more.

Let’s see how it goes! Change is exhilarating, but technology isn’t always my friend, so I’m asking for your patience as we work out the new platform. My goal is to enhance your relationship with the Slow Flowers Podcast, or, as I’ve been told to call it now, a Vodcast, the video-podcast hybrid term.


Sponsor Thank You’s

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar
2nd sponsor bar

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.

Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 744,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com.

Debra Prinzing

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow 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:

Lanky; Feathersoft; Gaena
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 513: On “Growing Wonder,” garden roses for floral design with Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm + Flower

Wednesday, July 7th, 2021
Today’s guest is Felicia Alvarez of Menagerie Farm + Flower (c) Jill Carmel Photography

June was a super-busy and invigorating month and I have lots to share with you! I’m recording the intro to today’s episode on July 5th. Yesterday, my husband and I arrived back in Seattle after driving home from the SF Bay Area, my car filled with Slow Flowers Summit supplies; my heart filled with love for our amazing community of members, supporters, sponsors, partners — and especially the small but mighty Slow Flowers team of creatives who work with me. Oh, and my mind spinning with ideas and inspiration from last week’s Slow Flowers Summit, our fourth and best one to date.

Our fabulous Slow Flowers Summit 2021 speaker lineup included (from left): Susan McLeary, Max Gill, founder Debra Prinzing, Pilar Zuniga (with her adorable daughter, Paloma), Jennifer Jewell, Abra Lee, Molly Oliver, Kelee Matsushita-Tseng, Emily Saeger and Lorene Edwards Forkner (c) Missy Palacol photography

You’ll hear much more in the coming weeks as I share recaps and resources from the Slow Flowers Summit 2021. Suffice it to say, the timing worked out wonderfully for an all-outdoor conference as we safely gathered at Filoli Historic House & Residence in Woodside, California.

Felicia Alvarez

To arrive there, I departed Seattle on Wednesday, June 23rd, giving myself two days to make the drive south.

It was a good time to be alone with my thoughts, and to schedule a few stops along the way. One stop was in Live Oak, California, located halfway between Chico and Sacramento.

I was lured to Menagerie Flower + Farm, where Felicia Alvarez lives with her family in the beautiful Sacramento Valley.

The farm raises field grown garden roses, specialty flowers, French prunes, assorted stone fruits, nuts and rice.

Menagerie Farm + Flower’s beautiful roses, including (left) Scarlett & Grace’s arrangement (c) Kelly Marie Photography and (right) Felicia’s montage of just-harvested garden roses

If you followed our 50 States of Slow Flowers podcast series in 2019, you heard a short interview with Felicia when I featured California, but honestly, I knew that 15 minutes could never cover all that she could tell us about her diversified family farm and especially about her roses.

Now, I had a very important reason to see Menagerie Farm + Flower in person! BLOOM Imprint, our book venture, is publishing Felicia’s first book this fall. We are so excited about Growing Wonder, which the book is called. You’ll hear all about this new project in our conversation — and learn how you can pre-order your own copy.

Here’s a bit more about Felicia Alvarez before we get started: On her website, she writes:  

“I’ve been farming for over two decades and every day I fall in love with the simplicity & nostalgia of life on the farm. My mission is simple – to grow exceptional flowers & foods with distinctive quality. As a third generation farmer, my favorite memories as a child were tending to my grandmother’s farm garden filled with fragrant garden roses. Her love of flowers made me an avid gardener and now accidental flower farmer. Today I farm French prunes, garden roses and specialty cut flowers with the help of my husband and two little sons in tow.

basket of roses
Felicia Alvarez on “Growing Wonder” (c) Jill Carmichael Photography

After more than a year of recording most of our episodes over Zoom, it was such a joy to sit at a picnic table next to Felicia’s barn and record live and in person. The ambient farm sounds only help to underscore that feeling of immediacy. I hope you enjoy this conversation, so let’s jump right in and get started!

Thanks so much for joining us today! What a lovely preview of Growing Wonder! You can pre-order your copy of Felicia’s book via a link to BLOOM Imprint – we’ll mail it to you in September after publication. In the meantime, there are a lot of resources available to you at Felicia’s website — check out links below and follow her on social media. 

Subscribe to Menagerie Farm + Flower’s Newsletter here.

Sign up for Menagerie Academy, Felicia’s membership for rose lovers, gardeners and growers. There are three levels of membership, depending on your own needs and goals.

Learn more about Felicia’s one-on-one coaching sessions for your rose aspirations. Single sessions, packages and on-farm sessions available.

Workshop details are here. Upcoming is an October 19th workshop at Menagerie Farm called “Elements of Rose Growing.”

Free Printable Resources and Educational Resources from Felicia, created for her students and coaching clients.


American Flowers Week 2021

We just wrapped up American Flowers Week, our 7th annual celebration, June 28th through July 4th. For all of you who participated, THANK YOU for sharing photos of your beautiful flowers, designs, farms and special activities.

Our botanical couture collection was the most extensive ever and we’ve collected one-dozen floral fashions in our special edition digital flip book — it’s free to read (click here for link).

AND, I’m going to say it right now: If you have any inspiration to grow and design a botanical couture garment for our 2022 collection, please get in touch right away. I find that summer races along so quickly that it’s easy to miss the tiny window of time between now and first frost during which you can harvest, create and photograph a wearable floral garment for next year! I won’t let you forget the opportunity to promote your flowers and floral art through this high-visibility member opportunity. Learn more at americanflowersweek.com.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Podcast Sponsors.

Today, we welcome Roadie.com as a new Podcast and Newsletter sponsor for 2021. Roadie is a same-day delivery platform that connects you and your flower deliveries with drivers already heading in the right direction. Roadie can handle the delivery of your fragile flowers and plants, so you can get back to creating masterpieces or helping them grow. Check out the link in today’s show notes for more details or visit https://www.roadie.com/small-business/florists-nursery

Flowerfarm.com, a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected flower farms to offer high-performing fresh flowers sent directly from the farm straight to you. You can shop by flower and by country of origin at flowerfarm.com. Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more at flowerfarm.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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 742,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com


Debra Prinzing
(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 Slow 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:

Fern and Andy; Hedgehog Wallace; Gaena
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 512: Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore celebrates American Flowers Week and shares domestic sourcing expertise through The Floral Source

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021
Kelly Shore Petals by the Shore
Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore & The Floral Source

Today we welcome back wedding and event florist Kelly Shore, owner of Petals by the Shore, based in Damascus, Maryland. In celebration of our 7th annual domestic floral promotion, American Flowers Week, which runs June 28-July 4th, I invited Kelly to discuss two of her recent projects:

First, the botanical couture ensemble Kelly created for this year’s American Flowers Week collection, which features wax flowers, heathers, serrutia and other South African plants grown by her friends at Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers in San Diego County.

American Grown at Home with Kelly Shore
One of Kelly’s promotional graphics from 2020 in which she regularly featured curated boxes of domestic cut flowers and foliages from a number of growers

And second, to update us on American Grown at Home, curated collections of wholesale flowers which she markets through The Floral Source, her sister business.

Kelly Shore, teaching at Scenic Place Peonies
Kelly Shore, teaching at Scenic Place Peonies in Homer, Alaska

Kelly has spent the past several years educating herself about domestic flower sourcing. She began in her own backyard, motivated by a desire to support flower growers in her area, many of whom she originally purchased from through local farmers’ markets.

As her involvement in the Slow Flowers movement grew, Kelly’s commitment and awareness expanded. She committed to only sourcing 100-percent American-grown ingredients for her designs. She reached out to flower farms around the country, introducing herself and asking how she could support them. For some, that meant directly selling their flowers to Petals by the Shore. For many, though, that meant suggesting that Kelly encourage conventional wholesale florists in her area to order more domestic product for their coolers.

In response, Kelly began to invest in photography and graphic design to launch her “American Grown at Home” branding through a new channel of her business, called The Floral Source. She says: “The whole purpose of creating curated boxes was not to generate money for myself, but to empower the design community with the knowledge about what is grown by U.S. flower farmers. I told my florist friends: ‘If you’re not confident or you don’t know where to get flowers domestically, here’s how you can sample these farms without taking a huge risk.’”


The Floral Source was originally designed to host retreats and farm tours for professional florists, with the goal of exciting her peers about domestic sourcing and demystifying the ordering process. The platform gave Kelly a way to highlight dozens of flower farms, their flowers and a seasonal approach to floral design. “I have often felt like my design community was intimidated about connecting directly with growers,” she explains. “And I know that it’s hard to break habits, because it’s easy to go to one place, buy the cheapest, and get the floral product you know and have relied on. But to break out of that mold and transition to sourcing domestically, you have to be willing to reach out to multiple growers.”

I’m so happy to welcome Kelly Shore to the Slow Flowers Podcast. You’ll also find all the details about The Floral Source and how you can subscribe to Kelly’s curated collections of U.S.-grown blooms. A few days after we wrapped up the recording for this episode, Kelly announced a new offering for American Flowers Week — a special American Grown at Home box of blooms This celebratory collection is for all flower lovers, not just designers, highlighting 22 farms in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia – all members of the Old Dominion Flower Cooperative, a Slow Flowers Member group.

The lush seasonal box of summer blooms and greenery will be a surprise box, curated by Kelly. It features a little bit of seasonal goodness harvested from all of the mid-Atlantaic botanicals grown by Old Dominion Flower Cooperative farms. Each $150 order includes a 5” Accent Decor metal vase that buyers can use when they participate in a virtual workshop with Kelly on July 1. Celebrate seasonality and our local and American growers and bring the joy of flowers into your home for American Flowers Week. The box will ship from the co-op on June 30 overnight to be delivered to you July 1.

Check it out! And if you miss this offering due to your schedule — no worries, there is a fantastic lineup offerings at The Floral Source, featuring domestic flower and foliage offerings all season long. 

American Flowers Week 2021

This episode is coming to you on Wednesday, June 30th, right in the heart of American Flowers Week, our 7th annual celebration, June 28th through July 4th. Please help us celebrate! You can find all the free social media badges, logos, branding and other resources like a coloring map of all 50 USA-state flowers at americanflowersweek.com! Show your floral patriotism and post photos of your red, white and blue, or any other color of your seasonal and local floral harvest! Be sure to use the hashtag #americanflowersweek when you post! I’ll be doing just the same, friends.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar
5-channel-sponsor-block

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.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.

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.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 740,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com


Debra Prinzing

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow 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:

Game Hens; Skyway; Gaena
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 511: The Creative Journey, Finding Your Artistic Voice, Truth and Expression with floral artist and educator, Sue McLeary

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021
Susan McLeary (c) e.e. berger

In March 2017, I wrote a 10-page profile of Susan Mcleary for Florists’ Review magazine’s “Creativity” issue. It’s this article that inspired me to invite Sue to be our Keynote speaker at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit, taking place next week on June 28-30th in the San Francisco Bay Area at the amazing venue, Filoli Historic House & Garden. Sue’s personal story of seeking, claiming and boldly nurturing her creative process and practice as an artist will inspire and embolden everyone who hears her at the Summit.

Susan McLeary
Susan McLeary — such an artist and inspiration!

Susan is a floral designer, artist and instructor who creates unusual, boundary-pushing floral art including elaborate floral wearables, large-scale installations, and her signature succulent jewelry. Her soulful, seasonally-inspired creations have been described as exquisite living artwork. A passionate teacher, Susan offers private design instruction for new and professional florists in her studio, on her online class platform, and through destination workshops.

Susan McLeary
Floral artist Susan Mcleary is a design influencer who advocates for foam-free practices in her large-scale botanical installations (c) Amanda Dumouchelle

Susan’s work has been featured on the cover of Fusion Flowers Magazine twice, and in leading industry publications and websites including Martha Stewart Weddings, Florist’s Review, My Modern Met, Refinery 29, SELF, Buzzfeed, Belle Armoire, Cosmopolitan, Ebony, and Grace Ormond Wedding Style. Susan is a member of Slow Flowers Society and Chapel Designers. Her first book, The Art of Wearable Flowers was released March 3, 2020. 

A few weeks ago, in anticipation of Sue’s keynote presentation The Creative Journey, she and I met up over Zoom to record this special episode. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. As I mention in the interview, Sue has appeared as a co-guest on two past episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast, but that was many years ago.

Learn More Here:
Susan McLeary on the Slow Flowers Podcast:
Episode 217 (October 2015)
Episode 220 (November 2015)

Read my 2017 article, A Curious Creative (pdf)

Here are the many ways to study with Sue McLeary:
Online Courses (a la carte)
The Essentials Toolkit (bundle)
The Virtual Studio (membership-based), includes Live Sessions and new courses. Total of 60 courses in the library to date

Susan McLeary (c) e.e. berger

As Sue mentioned, she launched a new course yesterday, June 22nd, called The Floral Mentor: A transformative floral learning opportunity.

Transform the 3 Key Areas of Your Floral Business in the Next 30 Days: 

  • The Heart – Cultivate your unique creative voice, overcome limiting beliefs, and cultivate a more purpose-driven floral business.
  • The Art – Unlock the magic of the principles of design to create more advanced, artful and balanced work every time.
  • The Business – Learn practical business, branding, and marketing skills to grow a more profitable and life-giving floral business.

The Floral Mentor opened on June 22nd and is available for signup through June 30th. In this course, Sue and her cohort of friends and colleagues help you master the art, the heart, and the business of floral design. It’s all about aligning your core values with your business, Sue explains. She writes: “Pull up a virtual chair in my personal studio to learn from me and some of my key mentors!” Sue introduces students her wonderful mentors who teach valuable lessons Sue has learned from each of them. Together, Sue and her mentors will help you create the art you’re truly capable of, build a fulfilling business you love, and join hands to move the floral industry forward together. I can get behind those aspirations! Maybe this course has your name on it, too. check it out!


American Flowers Week 2021

Next week is also our 7th annual American Flowers Week, June 28th through July 4th. Please help us celebrate! You can find all the free social media badges, logos, branding and other resources like a coloring map of all 50 USA-state flowers at americanflowersweek.com! Show your floral patriotism and post photos of your red, white and blue, or any other color of your seasonal and local floral harvest! Be sure to use the hashtag #americanflowersweek when you post! I’ll be doing just the same, friends.

Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

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For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

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.

Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm that specializes in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.

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


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 738,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

Debra Prinzing
(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 Slow 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:

DelamineSkyway; Turning On the Lights; Gaena
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 510: An American Flowers Week botanical couture tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg with Tammy Myers of LORA Bloom

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

Here we are, less than two weeks until the fourth Slow Flowers Summit begins on Monday June 28th and continues through Wednesday June 30th.

We launched the Slow Flowers Summit in 2017 in Seattle, intentionally scheduling it to take place during American Flowers Week as the core event during our annual domestic flower holiday week.

And as the Slow Flowers Summit has expanded and improved, so has American Flowers Week, its original impetus. We’ve been celebrating already, as the buildup to American Flowers Week begins in June, leading up to that specific holiday week of June 28-July 4th.

This year’s special botanical couture promotion is a perfect one-dozen floral garments, created by flower growers, farmer-florists, designers, and members of the Slow Flowers community — all with the motivation of elevating flowers and sharing their talents with the public.

Tammy Myers, LORA Bloom (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Today, I’m excited to introduce Tammy Myers of LORA Bloom. Seattle-based, LORA Bloom is an online E-commerce and marketing platform that provides an additional sales channel for florists, giving them a marketplace where customers can find custom, one-of-a-kind designer arrangements for local delivery. LORA Bloom’s florist partners are aligned with Tammy’s own values of supporting local flower farms and offering foam-free designs. 
Read our October 2020 article about LORA Bloom in Slow Flowers Journal. Listen to Tammy’s first appearance on the Slow Flowers Podcast in Episode 201 (July 8, 2015), where you’ll learn more about her evolution from a studio florist to her present role as creator of the LORA Bloom platform.

Tammy’s original concept board for her American Flowers Week 2021 submission

And when I asked Tammy if she was up for designing a second American Flowers Week botanical couture look (she was a participating designer in 2019, as well), Tammy came up with a stunning project that included six of her LORA Bloom florists as collaborators.

RBG-inspired Botanical Couture, at the University of Washington (c) Missy Palacol Photography
Business in the front; Party in the back, with botanical surface design by Tammy Myers; dress by Riva Juarez
A reimagined judicial robe, seen in sketches by garment designer and this project’s model, Riva Juarez

The result is what we are calling a Floral Tribute to RBG — the late U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who Tammy considers a fashion icon and a female role model. Because Ginsburg died in 2020, the timing was significant to honor her now.

RBG collars from Time Magazine
Tammy’s inspiration: RBG’s collars, featured in Time Magazine (c) Elinor Carucci
Creative botanical collars:
Top row, from left: Lori Poliski, Flori and Anne Bradfield, Analog Floral
Middle row, from left: Maura Whalen, Casablanca Floral and Kristal Hancock, Sublime Stems
Bottom row, from left: Sophie Strongman, The Old Soul Flower Co. and Sharlet Driggs, Sharlet Floral

Floral Palette: Domestic U.S.-grown botanicals from Washington, Oregon and California
Creative Concept/Creative Direction: Tammy Myers, LORA Bloom, lorabloom.com,
@lorabloom.flowers
Model: Riva Juarez, rivaladiva.com, @rivaladiva
Hair/Makeup: Riva Juarez
Photography: Missy Palacol, Missy Palacol Photography, missypalacol.com, @missy.palacol
Collaborating Slow Flowers Society florists: Tammy Myers; Anne Bradfield, Analog Floral, @analog_floral; Maura Whalen, Casablanca Floral, @casablancafloral; Sharlet Driggs, Sharlet Floral, @sharletfloral; and Lori Poliski, Flori, @flori.flowers
Other florists: Sophie Strongman, The Old Soul Flower Co., @theoldsoulflowerco and Kristal Hancock, Sublime Stems, @sublimestems
Location: University of Washington Campus, Seattle, Washington

Thanks so much for joining us today! I love something that Tammy shared with me when I interviewed her for the story that appears in Slow Flowers Journal Botanical Couture special edition:

“In my research, I learned Ruth Bader Ginsburg had favorite pieces that communicated subtle messages of the Court’s decisions. We know that flowers speak in similar ways.”

Tammy myers, lora bloom

By the way, if you haven’t yet seen the free, 72-page special edition of Slow Flowers Journal, released on June 1st, you can find the link here. You’ll read all about the RBG Floral Tribute along with stories about the eleven other botanical couture looks created for American Flowers Week. Prepared to be wowed at all the beauty and talent in our collective community! Maybe it will trigger some ideas for you to get involved in 2022!


Next week:

Susan McLeary designing a fabulous floral ‘fro (c) Amanda Dumouchelle photography

Next week, you’ll hear my interview with Susan McLeary, our keynote presenter at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit. It is guaranteed to inspire you, as Sue is such an important influence, an incredible floral artist, and a boundary-pushing leader in our community. I can’t wait to share our conversation with you – and for attendees of the Slow Flowers Summit to see Sue’s design demonstrations and hear her keynote, The Creative Journey: Finding Your Artistic Voice, Truth and Expression.

To me, the Slow Flowers Summit gives our community the opportunity to gather annually and celebrate domestic flower growing and sustainable floral design, to go deeper than it is possible in an online, virtual, social media kind of way; to have human contact; a mind-meld, as one of our past speakers described it; to push ourselves to consider new ideas and unique perspectives; and to hear from a diversity of voices in the floriculture and horticulture marketplace. There are still a few spaces left to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and you can find all those details at slowflowerssummit.com.


Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms.  It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.

And thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.

sponsor logo bar

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors.

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.

We’re thrilled that our Podcast sponsor, Mayesh Wholesale Florist, is also a Supporting Sponsor of the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit. 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.

The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at thegardenersworkshop.com.


Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 736,000 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 our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.

I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com

Debra Prinzing
(c) Mary Grace Long Photograph

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow 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:

Skyway; Great Great Lengths; Gaena
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