I also want to announce the winners of our year-end giveaway. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community here. Thank you to our family of sponsors who have supported Slow Flowers and all of our programs including this podcast, American Flowers Week , the Slowflowers. Some of you are already engaged in these up-and-coming developments, so consider yourself on-topic! Transparency is power, making it easier than ever before to identify sources of fresh and uncommonly beautiful flowers and foliage.
Beyond selling their crops to wholesale, retailer and independent florists, entrepreneurial flower farmers are finding new ways to turn expertise into cash flow. This phenomenon has moved far beyond seed-swapping and informal exchanges of plant cuttings. Bailey saw an un-served opportunity in the marketplace and used his connections and ingenuity to fill the demand. The result is a thriving new venture and the chance to influence the types of blooms — from Asters to Verbenas — entering the floral marketplace.
Recently, their farm joined a shipping cooperative to take advantage of discounted overnight rates, an essential part of keeping their pricing competitive. Gretel, also a wedding and event designer, feels she can add value for florists who order from the farm. Jessica also reports of plans to ship flowers in , borrowing lessons learned from shipping flower frogs across the U.
Harmony Harvest spent trialing packaging, stem hydration and shipping methods to determine best practices for a farm-to-florist wholesale program. The next wave in this shift continues in retail nurseries and garden centers, which are opening or reviving in-house floral shops with a distinctly local emphasis. On the opposite coast, Windmill Gardens , an independent garden center in Sumner, Washington, also debuted a new flower department. According to owner Ben DeGoede , Windmill brought floral design in-house for the first time since , taking over space once occupied by a tenant and rebranding as Windmill Floral Studio.
The beautiful, full-service shop has a commitment to providing only locally-grown and American-grown flowers. From developing their own candle and soap collections to offering aromatherapy-themed events, florists are tapping into ways to cross-promote flowers and aromatics.
From intimate gatherings like bridal showers to large interactive events, the Aromatherapy Bar gives guests a social experience and a new way to engage with fragrance. A rosemary hydrosol is an organic spray that can be used either on the face after sun exposure or used in cocktails after a long day of gardening.
She sells her products online, alongside other farm-logo items like tank tops, sweatshirts and hats. Flower farmers and florists alike are investing their talents in helping nonprofits and others in their communities. A number of feel-good projects caught my attention in and I am certain they will continue in The bottom line is that flowers can meet people where they are and be used as a positive tool to instigate change, stimulate progress and enhance lives.
The Slow Flowers Community and listenership of this program have grown to be larger than ever, with more than , total downloads since launching in July Every single week this year; in fact, every single week for the past weeks, it has been my privilege to feature the voices of our Slow Flowers community with you. In producing and hosting the Slow Flowers Podcast, I seek out pioneers and personalities, style-makers and influencers — as well as unsung or little known heroes — who together are changing the floral landscape, disrupting the status quo, and bringing flower sourcing and growing practices, not to mention eco-conscious design methods, to the center of the conversation.
And thanks for joining in. Today we have a year-end listener giveaway, so listen to the end of this episode for details! As I have done since the beginning of , I would like to devote today to the Slow Flowers Highlights of this past year. Covering the Slow Flowers Community has put me in a lot of airplane seats this year. According to our social media tracking tools, in the past days, the hashtag slowflowers has hit Follow this link to learn more about the benefits and values of joining the Slow Flowers Movement.
January brought Slow Flowers to Tampa, Florida, and the Gulf Coast, including a lecture for the garden club of Boca Grande, one of the most beautiful beach spots on the planet. Later in the month, travel brought me to the other corner of the U. Two geographic and climactic extremes and two equally vital regions for local flowers and passionate growers.
It was exciting to write the piece for a major floral industry trade magazine — one read regularly by mainstream and conventional audiences. For Kelly and her collaborators, as well as for the Slow Flowers community, the story illuminated often unheard voices of domestic agriculture and sustainable design in floristry. You can read more about that story here. I found it pretty remarkable to see seasonal and local flowers designed so artistically, portrayed against the backdrop of a flower farm.
And then. A footnote: I argued passionately to continue the Slow Flowers Journal name for this section. Expanding to print has taken Slow Flowers Journal from a few thousand online readers to tens of thousands of print readers each month. Amazing how sunflowers and dahlias can enliving a few raised beds and make everything look abundant. February was a busy month, personally, as my family and I finally ended our month urban condo experiment and moved into a new home with a completely blank backyard — home to the new Slow Flowers Cutting Garden.
Over the remainder of , I began building the cutting garden as a place to trial cut flowers and other botanicals, stage and produce DIY photo shoots, and create stories for gardening audiences and more. Wild-textured roses by Erin Shackelford, Camas Designs. A definite nod to the wildness of nature, from the heart. The gallery of sustainable floral design ideas from Slow Flowers member farms and florists was picked up by online news sites, and posted to the web, at slowflowersjournal.
It was wonderful to watch the new relationships and connections take place over delicious food, clicking of glass, and laughter throughout. There was one moment when it all went into slow-motion, freeze-frame for me. I stood there in my kitchen and marveled at the goodwill being shared among new and old friends, people who have supported the Slow Flowers movement in their own work, aligning their brands with ours.
It was special and truly overwhelming to see where this singular Slow Flowers idea has taken all of us. It will, I hope, inspire you to take a step or make a gesture in your own community as we approach the Winter Solstice, the holiday season and the New Year around the corner. Sue Nevler seen above , calls herself a gardening advocate. In , Sue created an event called Solstice Garden Gatherings — and I shared the idea on an episode of this podcast last December.
The objective is simple, but powerful. A gathering in support of peace, acceptance, understanding, and hope. Beginning December 10th, this Sunday, there are several taking place in the Seattle area, including these:. Please use the hash-tag solsticegardengatherings if you attend or create a similar event in your community. She is eager to see this idea spread and will be encouraged by your posts.
The Rietscha-Buchholz family at their farm in Stow, Massachusetts. Stow Greenhouses is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Dave Buchholz and Barbara Rietscha. In addition to growing and arranging flowers, they are raising three sons. Barbara runs the day-to-day operations of the business and oversees everything from first seeding to final arrangement.
Born in PA, Barbara had a circuitous route to flower farming. After graduating from college with a chemistry degree, she moved to Central Africa to teach farmers how to raise fish. When she returned home, Barb learned how to program computers and then moved to the business side of things and got her M. After the birth of her 2nd son, she took some time off to raise 3 sons until she and Dave bought the farm in Barbara uses flowers and herbs grown on her farm as well as things foraged from the property.
Her style is organic and natural and she likes to bring the garden to the vase whether it is for a bride, home or office. Barbara is motivated to educate her customers about the local flower movement as well as support local farms and businesses. She enjoys being outdoors and skiing and her retirement plan is traveling across the country in an Air Stream. By day Dave is an IT professional at a large bank but by night, he is a plumber, electrician, carpenter — a whatever-it-takes to keep the farm running.
Dave was born with skis on his feet, enjoys all forms of cycling and coaches the high school ultimate frisbee team. One of the themes of the Floral Insights involves new ways for flower farmers and farmer-florists to bring their botanicals to the marketplace — through their own retail outlets. More interior glimpses of the modern, clean aesthetic — a perfect foil for abundant flowers! Episode A few lovely details of the Convertible Vase. Heidi Joynt and Molly Kobelt are florists — by way of a garden.
Their days are dictated by irrigation and planting plans, bloom times and germination schedules. Enjoy these new photographs that Heidi and Molly have shared, taken by Jaclyn Simpson. Thanks so much for joining us today! Thank you to each one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much. If you value the content you receive each week, I invite you to show your thanks and support the Slow Flowers Podcast with a donation — the button can be found on our home page in the right column.
Your contributions will help make it possible to transcribe future episodes of the Podcast. Thank you to family of sponsors:. Last month I traveled to Portland for a wonderful day hosted by Mayesh Wholesale , one of a series of design workshops featuring their Design Star, Christy Hulsey. This year was incredibly ambitious, with Christy signing on for a coast-to-coast tour of workshops and events.
Team Colonial House of Flowers. Christy is in the front, wearing the linen apron; her sister Amanda Currier is immediately to the left of the ladder. In , I assumed ownership of a little nearly year-old landmark flower boutique that was in my family, called the Colonial House of Flowers. Seasonally relevant flowers, branches, and fruit, are the true medium of my art. Slow flowers speak to me. I am excited the movement is finally coming to the Southeastern United States.
Christy Hulsey, with a detail of the all-American-grown floral flag c Certified American Grown photograph. Last December, I interviewed Christy for an Americanflowersweek. Christy shared her story and taught compot design and hand-tied bouquet design at the Mayesh Design Star Workshop c Nicole Clarey Photography.
She has taught workshops all around the country, sharing her design philosophy with professional peers, aspiring designers and floral enthusiasts eager for inspiration. In conjunction, she has also taught a number of succulent design workshops at Pottery Barn stores located in Mayesh cities.
You can see a few of those here:. This was a rare chance for me to hear more about the Mayesh story and to ask Pat to weigh in on the Slow Flowers movement to promote a greater level of local and seasonal flowers in the conventional wholesale floral channels.
A natural born leader, Patrick has been a member of Vistage — an international CEO leadership organization — for 21 years. Passionate about flowers, leadership and mentoring, Pat is also an avid golfer who enjoys yoga and Pilates workouts along with traveling with his three daughters, Alison, Kirstin and Desiree. Susan has been a guest of the Slow Flowers Podcast twice in the past and she is a good friend to the Slow Flowers community. Click here for more information and to register! The conference is designed to help you take your floral business to the next level, and includes a presentation by Kelly pricing, ordering and cultivating creativity.
Visit them at longfield-gardens. More from Farmgirl Flowers. Here, folded paper offers a display surface that is both sturdy and delicate, like the flowers themselves, for spreading vines and blossoms. The family catering business in Mexico City needed someone who could create table decorations; Leopoldo was the family member who just happened to have free time matching the times of available floral design classes. His works shows a special interest in geometric lines and the enclosure of flowers within a small, intimate space—tendencies expressed in this collection of glass bottles filled with flowers in bright colors, seen through a prism of horizontal lines constructed with bent bear grass.
Her work often makes use of distinctive containers, like the tray of singed paper at left, or the slanting trapezoidal prism at right, which supports a cantilevered structure filled with flowers, including distinctive white cleome. Cleome is the name of her wide-ranging floral business, based in Belgium, and the springboard from which she gives demonstrations and workshops worldwide. Joan knows plants and flowers well—he worked for 13 years buying them and selling them to florists.
But he cites as cultural inspiration his childhood passion for comics, games, and films. Looking at the hand-tied bouquets seen at right, it becomes evident that whimsy and a pop-culture sensibility do not preclude beauty and even elegance. At the start of his career he quickly became known as a talented, charismatic event decorator and who knows better how to throw a party than a Brazilian? Craftsmanship, along with artistry, is a point of pride for Tanus—as evident at left in a sturdy construction of bamboo, supporting a garden that includes, among other materials, cattails and pink Musa ornata, ornamental banana.
Floral design must have a purpose— a use—and I craft each piece with my ever-evolving skills. Founded in the s by Mami Kawasaki, the design school is today already a venerable institution, but also one that fosters a continually forward-looking, innovative perspective on floral design. Thankfully this is an endless process. Trade shows: a great place not just to buy, but to learn, network, and expand your understanding of the flower world.
The show—formerly known as the Super Floral Show—underwent a transformation more than ten years ago when it was purchased by Diversified Communications, which produces over other trade shows and conferences. For more about IFE, or about the exhibitors featured here, visit www. Derek capped the presentation with a perfect spiral hand-tied bouquet made with lime-green roses and hydrangea.
LOVELY LIZZIES If you needed a reminder that lisianthus is now available year-round, in double-flowering varieties that look like a country rose but cost far less and hold up better , these photos from RosaFlora which also grows snapdragons and gerberas could serve as a pleasing remembrance. In a similar vein, countrified yet refined, Harvest Imports showed bicolor raffia, streaked and mottled in a way that looks handcrafted. Imagine a massive tree covered with these blooms!
Novel succulents were on display from several other exhibitors at IFE as well, presented with highly marketable design concepts. The guys at Store It Cold—from left to right, Ryan Berk and Michael Dworkis—have one innovative solution to offer: the CoolBot, a compact, inexpensive device that works with a conventional air conditioning unit as seen above to turn an insulated room into an affordable walk-in. It might sound crazy, but the Store It Cold website is loaded with stories from florists who have used the CoolBot to build primary, supplemental, or mobile coolers.
At Bay City Flower Co. The winner? What if you had a flower-food solution that would allow you to process flowers without re-cutting the stems, saving labor time and preserving stem length? Steve above actually demonstrated how well the product works on the spot with a dry-pack rose. The Express technology has been tested in the marketplace in Europe for nine months and is just now rolling out in North America in liquid form, soon to be available in a powder as well.
And as demand. Cut hydrangeas now reach the US not only in season roughly May through November from temperate-zone growers in California and Oregon or Holland, but year-round from growers in Colombia, Ecuador and even Peru.
It seems that hydrangeas, which in the past were mostly for weddings, are now used for many occasions. According to the report, hydrangea sales have experienced healthy growth. Consumers are becoming more familiar with this flower, embracing novel colors and varieties beyond the traditional white, blue and pink. The increased demand. At far left, an open hoop house at Sun Valley Floral Farms is covered with shade cloth, which gives hydrangea plants just enough sunlight to grow and develop while it allows the cool air of northern coastal California to circulate freely around them.
The open, shaded environment encourages long stem length and vibrant coloring of the florets. Likewise, above, hydrangea plants thrive under shade cloth at a Royal Flowers farm near Quito, Ecuador. Another factor in color and quality is how the plants are fed and watered.
At a new Royal Flowers farm in Santo Domingo, Ecuador photo at near left , hydrangea plants are being grown hydroponically—in troughs filled with a growing medium, which allows for finely tuned control over nutrients and pH. By the same token, sales of hydrangea are building through professional, specialized channels—good news for florists.
Traditional solid colors are still the market mainstay. Both of these types were originally derived by harvesting the flowers before they are fully mature. Today, however, breeders have also been at work selecting varieties that produce light or bright green flowers like the mini greens and a variety of bicolors, even as the flower heads mature.
Most hydrangea grown commercially for cut flowers is of the species Hydrangea macrophylla, also called bigleaf or mophead hydrangea. The inflorescence comprises. But feeding of the soil, irrigation, shade control and other factors of course affect not just color but quality. They are even trickier in the case of hydrangeas than with many other cut flowers, because hydrangeas grow on woody stems—and not in greenhouses, where temperature and humidity can be controlled, but always out of doors, though typically protected by shade cover.
Outdoor growing is also what limits the season for growers in the Northern Hemi-. Among them are a bevy of exotic beauties from Dutch supplier Holex that include striking bicolors and hydrangeas with longer, thinner petals that give the florets a starry look. The rapid growth of supply, however, means that buyers have to be especially careful about purchasing from reliable sources.
In Colombia, for example, some hydrangeas are grown and harvested by small farmers on hillside plots of less than an acre—then collected by exporters and brought to packing rooms without coolers or proper processing, according to Jaime at Groflowers. In fact, this type of low-level production has exploded in response to de-. It exists, however, alongside a newer wave of ambitious, professional growers who produce cut hydrangea of the highest quality.
Not today. We collect water on every roof… We also fertilize carefully and control the cold chain. And we constantly import new plants, so we have a great selection of varieties. Meanwhile, breeders are hard at work proliferating more variations on the hydrangea theme see photos on the previous two pages.
With the popularity of hydrangeas as cuts, breeding is now moving in the other direction. It has been well received, not only by cut-flower growers and buyers, but also by gardeners and growers of pot plants. The series also includes, however, popular solid colors like pink and white. These are simply hydrangeas that have been allowed to mature on the plant, transitioning from clear, bright summer colors into a layered palette of marbled, blended hues, often with the shimmering look of old bronze.
Along with the change in color, the petals of antique hydrangeas typically thicken and set—which means that under the right conditions they will dry beautifully. Growers in Holland and California will tell you that the seasonal change to cooler nights and shorter days gives a special quality to antique hydrangeas from the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere. Antiques are, however, also available year-round from Colombia and Ecuador, where the temperature stays about the same year-round, but the nights are sufficiently cool, at the high elevations where most flowers are grown, that hydrangeas will undergo an antiquing process if they are simply left long enough on the plant.
Antiques are available from both California and South America in a range of varieties and colors. Take heart. Photo above courtesy of Sun Valley Floral Farms. Hydrangea performance begins with the grower, including how the flowers are processed at harvest. They should be well hydrated at the farm, typically overnight, using a low-sugar hydration solution, before they are packed and shipped.
The best growers pack hydrangeas as single stems, not in bunches, with a gel pack or water pouch on the stem ends. After shipping and before use in design, hydrangea stems should always be recut and rehydrated. If any stem end appears to be old wood, be sure to cut enough of the stem to reach the young, white tissue that, although still woody, will take up water and nutrients far more efficiently.
Some growers, wholesalers, and florists like to plunge hydrangea blooms into a pail of water for as long as half an hour so the petals can absorb moisture. If you choose to do this, remember that afterwards you will need to turn the stems over, recut the ends and re-hydrate them in the traditional way—leaving them out of the cooler until the blooms are completely dry.
Hydrangea blooms—and this is really true for any flower—should never be placed in the cooler wet, which could put them at risk for the growth of botrytis mold. Many florists swear by the practice of dipping a freshly cut hydrangea stem in alum powder available in the spice section of some grocery stores. As you might guess, alum powder contains aluminum, in the form of aluminum sulfate, a chemical that is readily absorbed by hydrangeas and is known to affect their biochemistry.
If you use it, take care to keep the alum powder and the work surface clean. An anti-transpirant finishing spray also helps to prevent premature wilting of hydrangeas. One carrier holds an average of 20 to 30 arrangements. Pins included. Thanks to these suppliers who contributed to this story: Continental Flowers www. Visit www. Contact Pat Gustaf at or pgustaf aol.
Contact Debbie Custer at or wandcc sbcglobal. Call the Society of American Florists at or visit www. Contact Liz Stocker at or Lstocker gmail. Contact Esther Davis at or emddesigns aol. Contact Ken Strickland at or ken mwflorist. Call Abby Long at Contact Heather Sullivan at or heather durocherflorist.
Contact Linda Bogarde at or flowersbyjennielynne gmail. Contact Anita Motykiewicz at or allabloom micro-comm. Contact Josette Vest at or jvest2 yahoo. Contact Linda Mattison at or lindasflowershop gmail. Contact David Espinoza at or david springgardenflowershop. Contact Buddy Poole at or dadflst yahoo.
Call or visit themarket. Call or visit www. Bow Genie offers a wide selection, using every kind of ribbon from burlap to polyvelvet, along with custom hand-tied bows, made to order. Permanent botanicals hydrangea and tillandsias , Pioneer Imports.
Gold ilex and red hypericum, Sun Valley. Wheat, cattails, and oak leaves, Knud Nielsen. Delphinium bush in merlot color, callas, mini daisies in cranberry, succulent picks in burgundy, and coral spray, Pioneer Imports. Orange tulips, Sun Valley. G3 vase, Garcia Group Glass. Permanent sunflowers, hydrangeas, and hanging beaded willow bush, Pioneer Imports. Birch branches, Knud Nielsen.
Black ceramic square container, Vasesource. Garcia Group Glass. Jamali Garden and Floral Supply. Knud Nielsen. Ocean View Flowers. Pete Garcia Company. The Sun Valley Group. Syndicate Sales. Western Pulp Products. Go to www. Located in affluent shopping area. Great opportunity for someone interested in aprofitable, reputable business.
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Did you know you can read past and current issues online? Find out how! Go to the digital library link at www. Seminole 63 www. Yes, it really is that simple. A report from Dutch Lily Days. Text and photography by Bruce Wright 30 Fall Colors Designs to bring in the harvest seaason, in fresh, faux and dried. Subscriptions Foreign Subscriptions Advertising On the Internet www. Caggiano, Inc. Foliage courtesy of Wm. Puckett lily grass.
Another meaning has been suggested to many observers by the rounded 12 www. Help pick three winners from among our talented top 10 [ ] to see them turn the page Cast your vote from our secure website: www. W hat makes lilies special, with a unique niche among important cut flowers? You could have heard a number of enthusiastic answers to that question from lily breeders and bulb producers at Dutch Lily Days, the annual trade event that brings lily growers and traders from all over the world to the Netherlands to learn about the latest developments in the world of lilies.
Lilies on Parade Both are bulb flowers, after all—the top two bulb flowers in worldwide production and sales. For both, while they are grown as cut flowers around the world, very often those flowers were grown from bulbs produced in Holland. Lily bulbs are also produced in New Zealand and Chile, in part to meet the demand for fresher bulbs that can be started out of season in the Northern Hemisphere.
Pure Oriental varieties, however, also have their defenders. Text and photography by Bruce Wright AUGUST 25 tively easy to market: less expensive than lilies, easy to arrange, they nearly always arrive in the shop open. But some have the opportunity and vision to expand the boundaries of the art form. Pushing the Envelope Selections from Formidable Florists, an international survey of daring floral artists. And demand drives new options in a changing market.
A s with so many flower trends, it started with weddings—but today the booming popularity of hydrangeas extends well beyond the wedding market. And as demand 58 www. In fact, this type of low-level production has exploded in response to de- mand. Some growers, wholesalers, and florists like to plunge hydrangea blooms into a pail of water for as long as half an hour so the petals can absorb moisture directly—especially in the case of hydrangea that seems to be wilting.
Floral Delivery Tray or Floral Carrier! Satisfaction Guarantee! S please visit our website www. ReCreations recycled-paper bowl, Western Pulp. Ilex and tulips, Sun Valley. Dried wheat, Knud Nielsen. Silver-dollar eucalyptus, Ocean View. Rectangular Kiri Wood Vase, Jamali. Succulent permanent botanicals, Pioneer Imports. Florasearch, Inc. Floral Wholesalers Reward without the Risk we promise!
See Garden Media Group on Pinterest. Watch Garden Media Group on Instagram. We all have our flower crushes and those we admire from afar, never expecting to actually meet. So the chance to not only meet and spend time with Robbie Honey , world floral traveler, proud son of Zimbabwe, curious accidental botanist and amazing designer.
Holly and Robbie have collaborated on many occasions as instructors, but this was my first experience seeing Robbie up close and personal. Prior to this, my knowledge of him has been mostly by watching his Instagram feed. Robbie is the creative director at the design company bearing his name Robbie Honey , based in London.
Now and Then, Robbie Honey today and as a young boy in the flower fields of Zimbabwe. Robbie Honey has been immersed in botanical pursuits since he was a young boy roaming the wild grasslands of Zimbabwe. These adventures developed his already keen visual and olfactory senses and instilled in him a lifelong fascination with flowers and their scents. By the age of seventeen, he was studying horticulture and went on to work in the floriculture trade in Holland and Kenya.
Honing his creative sensibilities further, he studied interior design and photography at art school in Cape Town. Moving to London he trained with floral designer Ming Veevers Carter and gained a thorough grounding in event floristry. Check it out here. With this rare combination of expertise: in botany, floristry and the visual arts, he started lecturing around the world on floristry and writing for the Wall Street Journal.
I love this tablescape with all four of the Robbie Honey candles and the fragrant white flowers that evoke their scents. Candle fragrances in the Robbie Honey candle collection — lily of the valley, Casablanca lily, jasmine and tuberose. It was a delight to not only learn more about what inspires and motivates this talented human as an artist, but a joy to watch him design with American-grown flowers, including many grown at Hope Farm and donated by others, including Harmony Harvest Farm , both Slowflowers.
Janet Foss, veteran specialty cut flower farmer and lifelong plantswoman. I visited Janet in September on harvest day. Here she is with an armload of beautiful garden roses! Janet Foss has spent more than 30 years in flower farming, but her passion began when she was 10 years old. As an adult, Janet and her husband Jim first raised unusual garden flowers on a acre farm in Everett; since , they have farmed on 40 acres in Onalaska, alongside the Newaukum River, with 5-plus acres specifically dedicated to field-grown, green house and high tunnel production.
Her natural ability to grow things has paid off, as Janet is known in flower farming circles as an expert in heirloom chrysanthemums. For several years, Janet popularized vintage varieties of specialty mums through a mail-order venture. After selling that business to another grower, Janet now focuses exclusively on raising uncommon cut flowers. The beautiful setting for J. Foss Garden Flowers, in southwest Washington State.
In Seattle, you can find her seasonal offerings at Northwest Wholesale Flowers. She was a founding member of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market in Foss Garden Flowers :. We started our farm in , a few days after we were married. Jim was a school teacher at the time and had the summer free; I needed to go back to work.
The day I went back to work, he went to town and got the business license and signed us up for the farmers market. I had been gardening all my life. Jim was a city boy, and gardening seemed like a big expense which he felt would never be recovered. I told him we could make money selling at farmers markets, he took me seriously.
The first item on his agenda was to put this garden to work making money. He has never been a procrastinator, without him I would still be thinking about getting a business license. Our first farm, close to the Everett, WA city limits, was only about an acre. We sold at the farmers market, did custom picking for local customers, and had a florist who bought most of what we grew.
We were really enjoying growing flowers, so next we bought 20 acres in the Snohomish Valley. It was all sub-irrigated, was awesome soil, and grew beautiful cut flowers. We specialized in plants that loved damp peaty soil, like the Giant White Calla.
The circumstances of life often change, and the need for us to change occured after Jim suffered a stoke in It became clear that life would be simpler in order to be closer to family, so we moved south back to my roots in Lewis County Washington. We purchased this land in and started shaping it into our current farm.
Giant White Calla are still our specialty, but we are also growing roses, garden flowers, and clematis. We grow over varieties of flowers, and have flowers available most of the year. I guess all roads lead to flowers, though, because horticulture has been both of our passions long after we gave up the sewing machine and that patternmaking training from college days. Foss Garden Flowers on Facebook. Foss Garden Flowers on Instagram. So many of us have watched in horror as the wildfires of Northern California, specifically in Sonoma County, have destroyed homes, businesses and agricultural land.
We have a number of Slow Flowers members who have experienced devastating loss and destruction and our hearts go out to them. There are opportunities to support these friends. A diverse coalition of community-based organizations has established the campaign; resources from this fund will be provided to victims of fires, especially those suffering losses not covered by insurance or traditional relief services, and to support initiatives that build more just, healthy, and resilient communities and that better prepare us for future catastrophe.
Follow this link to make a contribution online. I also want to give a heartfelt shout-out to Nichole Skalski and Kathrin Green of the Sonoma Flower Mart , what has essentially become the heart and hub of the Slow Flowers community of farmers and florists in the North Bay region. Our community is strong and resilient — and we are driven by the essential vision of supporting the vibrant domestic floral marketplace.
Thanks for being part of this movement. The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than , times by listeners like you. Thank you to each one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much. If you value the content you receive each week, I invite you to show your thanks and support the Slow Flowers Podcast with a donation — the button can be found on our home page in the right column.
Your contributions will help make it possible to transcribe future episodes of the Podcast. Thank you to family of sponsors. Certified American Grown Flowers. Take pride in your flowers and buy with confidence, ask for Certified American Grown Flowers. Arctic Alaska Peonies , a cooperative of 50 family farms in the heart of Alaska providing high quality, American Grown peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at arcticalaskapeonies. 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.
Find them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket. Longfield Gardens provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Syndicate Sales , an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist.
Check them out at johnnysseeds. Association of Specialty 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. And third, I turn on the digital recorder to interview at least one of these folks for a Slow Flowers Podcast episode.
Sharing the stories of American flowers and the people who grow and design with them is at the heart of the Slow Flowers mission. Last month, you benefitted from my interviews in Montana. Next month, it will be Massachusetts and Arizona. Michael leads us through the gourd tunnel, where heirloom and decorative varieties are trained along a metal structure. So enough of that. The farm is located on picturesque Lake Quonnipaug in North Guilford, where Michael and Raymond grow and sell organic edibles and seasonal cut flowers for the table, weddings and events.
Sunset behind the hill, which created a beautiful back-lit moment. I was so enchanted with their long friendship dating back to high school and college, as artists and former public school art teachers, both of whom both took early retirements to pursue new creative ventures. As creatives, it makes sense. We are multidimensional and we strive to balance entrepreneurship with artistry in equal measure.
Thomas bakes using local, organic, farm-fresh ingredients to produce everything from chocolate chip cookies to wedding cakes. I met Bailey in at the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers annual meeting in Wilmington, where we struck up a brief acquaintance. I noticed what Farmer Bailey seemed to be about — and guessed that Bailey was batching or bundling a number of small orders into ones large enough to meet minimums set by plug or seed companies.
In our interview, recorded via Skype recently with me in Seattle and Bailey in Irasburg, Vermont, I learned that the seasonal cycles of sourcing and marketing plugs and seeds is somewhat complementary to cut flower farming and floral design. Bailey saw an opportunity to fill a need — and he refined it into a sustainable business venture.
My grandmother taught me how to grow flowers when I was 5 years old, and this turned into a life long passion. After receiving my B. Along with my business partner, we exhibited at the internationally renowned Philadelphia Flower Show where we took best in show a couple of times, and got to travel the world looking at cut flowers and meeting the folks who grow them. When my husband Thomas and I left Philadelphia to start farming in , I had no idea that flowers would be a major part of our operation.
I already knew flowers, and I knew how to grow things, I just needed a little more information on how to successfully grow and market cut flowers. I credit ASCFG with connecting those missing pieces, and introducing me to some amazing folks, including many of you. I now see that there needs to be someone communicating between the plug producer and the professional cut flower farmer.
They have so graciously agreed to help us all by producing things that may have otherwise taken a decade to come into commercial production. These new items combined with their standard offerings will help us meet the varied demands of our clients nationwide.
Please tell me what you want. Ardelia Farm on Facebook. Ardelia Farm on Instagram. Farmer Bailey on Facebook. Farmer Bailey Plugs on Instagram. Thanks so much for joining us today! It happens that the ginkgo tree is dioecious, meaning that individual trees are either male or female—not both at once, as is far more common in the plant world.
Admired and cultivated in Asia for centuries, the ginkgo appears widely as a motif in Asian art. No wonder that ginkgo leaves became a favorite subject and pattern for the Art Nouveau movement in the West, which was strongly influenced by Japanese art and design. Bright green in summer, ginkgo leaves turn golden yellow in the fall. We invite you to review the finalist entries—published here without identifying the designers who submitted them—and to for your three favorites by visiting our website: www.
Follow the links and instructions on the site. Voting will remain available from the time when the August issue is released online July 20 to when the September issue replaces it on our home page August Your votes will determine the top three winners. A couple of hydrangea florets are likewise used as diminutive accents.
Pale pink roses with hot pink margins stretch the range of color values; the phalaenopsis orchids with their deeper, bluer tones anchor the design. A composite ceramic vase is glazed in a shade of medium green that nicely supports the brown and yellow tones and nearly matches the thick, smooth calla stems. Within this narrow range, texture naturally comes to the fore, a tendency fully exploited with the use of such materials as kniphofia, foxtail fern, grasses, muehlenbeckia, succulents including string-ofpearls, a variegated hala leaf, and pittosporum.
Crossing arches of smooth stems link the different points of radial origin along the horizontal base. Curly willow frames the tulips, tied with Bind Wire. The composition rests in a weathered box. Purple anemones and yellow beehive ginger add the accents that make a red palette pop. Anthuriums, tulips, and two kinds of ti leaves burst up and down from the center of this design, backed with a grid of red midollino. A plucked sunflower hovers like a dark circle near the center of the design, which is based in a shiny black pot.
A narrow band of color can be quite dynamic, making full use of tints, tones and shades from light pastels to bright saturated hues, as seen here in a collection that ranges from creamy ranunculus to flecks of bright orange in the throats of oncidium orchids. Gray pussy willow complements the rich yellows from lemon to saffron. A white tray and a border of dark green moss frame the composition, which also includes small accents of natural, neutral light green.
For more information, please contact Cory Sanchez at csanchez florigene. Please visit our website www. Pot lilies are an active area of hybridization, with new varieties amenable to designer upgrades. You could have heard a number of enthusiastic answers to that question from lily breeders and. This being the Netherlands, however, some of those experts would have started by comparing lilies with tulips.
Both are bulb flowers, after all—the top two bulb flowers in worldwide production and sales. For both, while they are grown as cut flowers around the. Steenvoorden BV. LA lilies have taken market share in part because they are faster growing and therefore more profitable for growers. But the Dutch have retained dominance in this market with passion and expertise. Both are required, since bulb production, and therefore the development of new varieties, is laborious and time-consuming.
For tulips, the cycle from the moment a crossing is made to when a new variety becomes commercially successful can take as long as 25 years. An even more significant difference, though, lies in the way tulips and lilies are perceived by consumers. Tulips are rela-. In fact, the newest varieties are often not pure Orientals but OTs—a cross between Oriental and trumpet lilies. Most experts will tell you that pure Orientals are gradually disappearing from the lily world, with OTs taking their place.
OT lilies generally offer larger blooms and a wider range of colors—not just white and light or dark pink, but also yellow or even orange. Growers like the OTs because their faster rate of reproduction makes them more profitable. Pure Oriental. At GAV Lilies, technical adviser Andrew Bly argues that the newest Orientals can compete with OTs in terms of production efficiency and typically offer an inflorescence with more buds and more pleasing proportions.
Lilies have a high perceived value, with long stems, showy flowers, and a longer vase life than tulips, especially when the successive opening of buds is taken into account. However, their branching structure makes them a bit more challenging to arrange or display. These are precisely the disadvantages that lily breeders today are working to correct—with considerable success. You may notice that new lily varieties, whether of the Asiatic type including LA hybrids or Orientals and OTs, tend to produce more compact clusters of flowers at the top of the stem than in the past.
Now, some might argue that a more widely branching structure, with longer laterals, makes for a better display of the individual flowers. But long laterals are more likely to break in shipping. Moreover, a compact cluster, with as many upward-facing flowers as possible, works better as part of a bouquet. Fragrance is a little more controversial. The strong perfume of most Oriental lilies is valued by some customers and in some cultures, obnoxious to others.
All the more reason for growers and retailers to have a range of choices, from heavy fragrance to light to none, according to the preference of their markets. For all the excitement of novelties, some lily varieties seem to endure. This is also true of tulips, more than of most other cut-flower crops. Why is that? It may have something to do with the mystery of growing a flower, not from a seed or from a young plant supplied by a propagator, but from a bulb, which con26 www.
The exception would be a test greenhouse, like this one at C. Steenvoorden BV in the Netherlands, and others prepared especially for Dutch Lily Days, the annual trade event that brings together lily breeders, bulb producers, traders and growers from around the world. Bulbs and stems must be sorted and graded by hand, as seen above at Dutch grower Klaver Lilies. And in the development of new varieties, as with many other flowers, tissue-culture technology is essential, both for breeding and for multiplying the bulbs.
With conventional scaling of the bulbs, it would take 10 years to go from 10 bulbs to , With tissue culture, the same multiplication of bulbs takes only two years. At left, a room in the Iribov research laboratory, where plant tissues are propagated in sterile media as part of the ongoing, high-tech effort to create new varieties that will meet the needs of the market. Look closely and you may notice that in the newest lily varieties, the buds color up sooner. It also increases their versatility for designers, as seen in this display at Dutch bulb supplier C.
That trust was tested about five years ago, when lily growers suffered a setback with the spread of a virus called Plantago asiatica mosaic virus, or PlAMV, which causes streaking and spotting of leaves. The virus spread easily and was generally without symptoms until the crop began to mature.
The impact varied, depending on growing conditions: some growers suffered no significant crop losses, others up to 80 percent. For bulb producers and for affected growers alike, the only solution was to destroy infected plant material and start over with clean stock—at enormous cost. Today new protocols are in place at the Dutch bulb production companies, with constant testing to insure that new stock is virus-free or as close to virus-free as possible, less than one percent, since total eradication is not a realistic goal.
What the crisis lays bare is the global nature of bulb-flower production and the essential role of confidence in the relationships between bulb producers and flower growers, who visit and re-establish ties during Dutch Lily Days. Bulb producers like C. Steenvoorden BV maintain greenhouses where they grow the same crops as their customers, for the sole purpose of comparison, so that if customers have a complaint or problem with the bulbs they have purchased, the bulb producers can advise based on their own experience.
Roselilies got off to a rough start: growers found that bulbs from the first generation produced plants with leaves that turned yellow and buds that sometimes dropped before they had a chance to open, leaving only one or two flowers on a stem. Normally such an inauspicious beginning would mean that breeders, backers and bulb producers would simply abandon the project. But with Roselilies, the enormous potential was simply too tempting. Aside from their visual appeal—at once familiar and exotic, frilly and feminine yet bold and dramatic—Roselilies offer a solution to the two greatest challenges for marketing lilies: being sterile, they lack pollen no risk of pollen stains and waft a light but not overpowering fragrance.
The latest Roselilies on the market can boast all of these advantages, along with strong stems, healthy leaves and a vase life of 10 to 14 days, with one bud opening after another. Flower size and stem length are variable, but still somewhat smaller and shorter than the standard for single Oriental lilies—which seems to suit buyers just fine, considering that in every generation, demand for Roselilies regularly exceeds supply.
A higher price for the bulbs and the cut flowers also does not present any obstacle; as supply increases, the price is beginning to come down. The brand name Roselily is owned and controlled by a consortium of Dutch breeders, traders, and producers who make the bulbs available to growers worldwide. For more about Roselilies, visit www. Lacking pollen altogether, double Roselilies as seen on the opposite page offer one solution.
What Roselilies also lack is stamens with pollen-bearing anthers—a visual feature that is part of the classic lily profile. True, most florists remove the anthers, precisely to remove the pollen. A white Oriental with dry-pollen anthers has also been developed. Fall Colors Designs to bring in the harvest season, in fresh, faux, and dried.
Six terra-cotta pots bring orange tones and autumn warmth to a series of monofloral bouquets. In two of these the callas and craspedia , orange-dyed, preserved reindeer moss fills in the base and punches up the terracotta undertone. The delphinium comes as a bush; as often can be done, Kevin got more mileage from it by cutting the bush apart and using the flowers like single stems. All the components are secured with pan glue in dry foam.
One of the challenges of working with them is that if you try to submerge them in water, they float. Bright sprays of rosehips were inserted last, hovering over the composition and calling out to the cranberries. A Raquettes Holder in a long tray provides the functional basis for the design.
Clusters of green or red hypericum berries alternate with the round flower heads. The footed bowl in antique rose gold nicely underscores the rich red palette. The curve of their stems is echoed with permanent vine and their spicy color with the margins of faux succulents along with, at the bottom of the bowl, just a little orange-dyed preserved reindeer moss.
Conversely, the best way to take advantage of the armature is with vines or flowers with flexible stems like these. To make the armature, Kevin simply wound the wires around a one-inch PVC tube to create even spirals, then pulled at the coiled wire to loosen the curls. He then placed them into the tall vase and twisted them together. Then Kevin used the wire itself as a pick to insert the bundles securely into foam. Transparent Oak Leaves add some extra autumnal color and warmth.
The box comes with its own aluminum liner. To accommodate the plants, however, Kevin filled the bottom of the box with foam and created his own liner on top of the foam out of polyfoil. Midollino cuts an arc across the surface of the box and on one side of the bloomingplant design; an artificial mum flower brings the color down to the base. The terraced sunflowers at the base of this design are separated with faux hydrangea petals.
Hanging beaded willow bush and a plucked sunflower add interest to the blank wall of the ceramic rectangle. A POT OF GOLD At near left, birch branches supply a contrast in texture that brings out the tender quality in the petals of orange roses; the branches may actually help to support the rose stems as well. Branches and stems rise from a base of orange carnations, well matched to the roses, and florets of artificial hydrangea in a spicy, orange-inflected ochre.
Kevin carved the foam in the container so it rises toward the center, creating a gentle downward slope to display the corn and gourds. He removed the husks from the corncobs and secured them to the foam in a pinwheel shape with hairpins made of gauge wire, pinning each cob down at the top and leaving space at the center of the foam.
He picked the gourds into the foam with wooden picks, then added the sunflowers and curly willow, and finally the carnations. Kevin began with the ilex, inserting it first into the foam in the bark-textured cylinder, adding the tulips next, and finishing with the collar of wheat. Kevin added the copper by spraying Colour Regen paint into a paper towel and using the towel like a brush to apply the pigment. The corn defines a strongly contrasting diagonal line through the center of the composition.
Every floral designer is at least potentially an artist, working in a medium capable of endless innovation. But some have the opportunity and vision to expand the boundaries. The book Formidable Florists, from Isabel Gilbert Palmer, looks at 27 such artists, working all over the world in a wide range of styles.
Excerpted here a r e just a few examples. For more information about this book or to purchase it, visit www. In addition to her two flower shops, she maintains a separate working studio for welding, carpentry, and the creation of structures for display, installations and competitions.
Here, folded paper offers a display surface that is both sturdy and delicate, like the flowers themselves, for spreading vines and blossoms. The family catering business in Mexico City needed someone who could create table decorations; Leopoldo was the family member who just happened to have free time matching the times of available floral design classes.
His works shows a special interest in geometric lines and the enclosure of flowers within a small, intimate space—tendencies expressed in this collection of glass bottles filled with flowers in bright colors, seen through a prism of horizontal lines constructed with bent bear grass. Her work often makes use of distinctive containers, like the tray of singed paper at left, or the slanting trapezoidal prism at right, which supports a cantilevered structure filled with flowers, including distinctive white cleome.
Cleome is the name of her wide-ranging floral business, based in Belgium, and the springboard from which she gives demonstrations and workshops worldwide. Joan knows plants and flowers well—he worked for 13 years buying them and selling them to florists. But he cites as cultural inspiration his childhood passion for comics, games, and films. Looking at the hand-tied bouquets seen at right, it becomes evident that whimsy and a pop-culture sensibility do not preclude beauty and even elegance.
At the start of his career he quickly became known as a talented, charismatic event decorator and who knows better how to throw a party than a Brazilian? Craftsmanship, along with artistry, is a point of pride for Tanus—as evident at left in a sturdy construction of bamboo, supporting a garden that includes, among other materials, cattails and pink Musa ornata, ornamental banana.
Floral design must have a purpose— a use—and I craft each piece with my ever-evolving skills. Founded in the s by Mami Kawasaki, the design school is today already a venerable institution, but also one that fosters a continually forward-looking, innovative perspective on floral design. Thankfully this is an endless process. Trade shows: a great place not just to buy, but to learn, network, and expand your understanding of the flower world. The show—formerly known as the Super Floral Show—underwent a transformation more than ten years ago when it was purchased by Diversified Communications, which produces over other trade shows and conferences.
For more about IFE, or about the exhibitors featured here, visit www. Derek capped the presentation with a perfect spiral hand-tied bouquet made with lime-green roses and hydrangea. LOVELY LIZZIES If you needed a reminder that lisianthus is now available year-round, in double-flowering varieties that look like a country rose but cost far less and hold up better , these photos from RosaFlora which also grows snapdragons and gerberas could serve as a pleasing remembrance.
In a similar vein, countrified yet refined, Harvest Imports showed bicolor raffia, streaked and mottled in a way that looks handcrafted. Imagine a massive tree covered with these blooms! Novel succulents were on display from several other exhibitors at IFE as well, presented with highly marketable design concepts. The guys at Store It Cold—from left to right, Ryan Berk and Michael Dworkis—have one innovative solution to offer: the CoolBot, a compact, inexpensive device that works with a conventional air conditioning unit as seen above to turn an insulated room into an affordable walk-in.
It might sound crazy, but the Store It Cold website is loaded with stories from florists who have used the CoolBot to build primary, supplemental, or mobile coolers. At Bay City Flower Co. The winner? What if you had a flower-food solution that would allow you to process flowers without re-cutting the stems, saving labor time and preserving stem length?
Steve above actually demonstrated how well the product works on the spot with a dry-pack rose. The Express technology has been tested in the marketplace in Europe for nine months and is just now rolling out in North America in liquid form, soon to be available in a powder as well. And as demand. Cut hydrangeas now reach the US not only in season roughly May through November from temperate-zone growers in California and Oregon or Holland, but year-round from growers in Colombia, Ecuador and even Peru.
It seems that hydrangeas, which in the past were mostly for weddings, are now used for many occasions. According to the report, hydrangea sales have experienced healthy growth. Consumers are becoming more familiar with this flower, embracing novel colors and varieties beyond the traditional white, blue and pink. The increased demand. At far left, an open hoop house at Sun Valley Floral Farms is covered with shade cloth, which gives hydrangea plants just enough sunlight to grow and develop while it allows the cool air of northern coastal California to circulate freely around them.
The open, shaded environment encourages long stem length and vibrant coloring of the florets. Likewise, above, hydrangea plants thrive under shade cloth at a Royal Flowers farm near Quito, Ecuador. Another factor in color and quality is how the plants are fed and watered. At a new Royal Flowers farm in Santo Domingo, Ecuador photo at near left , hydrangea plants are being grown hydroponically—in troughs filled with a growing medium, which allows for finely tuned control over nutrients and pH.
By the same token, sales of hydrangea are building through professional, specialized channels—good news for florists. Traditional solid colors are still the market mainstay. Both of these types were originally derived by harvesting the flowers before they are fully mature. Today, however, breeders have also been at work selecting varieties that produce light or bright green flowers like the mini greens and a variety of bicolors, even as the flower heads mature. Most hydrangea grown commercially for cut flowers is of the species Hydrangea macrophylla, also called bigleaf or mophead hydrangea.
The inflorescence comprises.
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