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Slow Flowers Journal No. 30: Green Horizons; + Montana Mentor + Beauty in Every Shade of Green

Slow Flowers Journal No. 30: Green Horizons; + Montana Mentor + Beauty in Every Shade of Green
 

“2020 Slow Flowers’ Floral Insights and Industry Forecast”

“Today’s customers want their dollars to go to companies that will use their money to make the world a better place.” That sentence jumped out to me in an Oct. 7, 2019 TIME profile of Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia, which donates 1 percent of its sales to environmental groups (Patagonia’s sales recently surpassed $1 billion annually). The story highlights a theme that resonates with that of our “2020 Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast”: “Belief-driven buyers choose a brand on the basis of its position on social issues.” If you think this is a fringe topic, according to market consultancy Edelman, nearly two in three consumers are belief-driven buyers.We don’t have to all be environmental activists to use our brands to “do good,” but according to a Slow Flowers’ survey, most members and supporters view their company’s values and mission as precious brand assets as well as marketing tools. This sentiment was well expressed by wedding and event florist Tobey Nelson, of Tobey Nelson Weddings + Events in Clinton, Wash., who spoke about sustainable floristry at last year’s Slow Flowers Summit, defining it in part as “making ‘better than’ choices to improve our environmental and social impact.”For six years, I’ve presented this annual forecast to document and track shifts taking place in the fl oral marketplace. I recently surveyed Slow Flowers members and social media followers with nine questions about their fl oral businesses, including emerging themes and topics important to them. I drew further insights from my first-person interviews for print and digital stories; interviews with more than 100 Slow Flowers Podcast guests during 2019; and attitudes shared by thought-leaders in fl oral design, flower farming and related creative professions. You can read the full report online at floristsreview.com and read more extensive interviews with those quoted here at slowflowersjournal.com/2020.

Two pieces inspired by the seasonal bounty of local flower farms, designed by Ashley Fox
of Ashley Fox Designs; Bouquet image: (c) Marit Williams Photography; Tabletop image (c) Ashley Fox

Two pieces inspired by the seasonal bounty of local flower farms, designed by Ashley Fox
of Ashley Fox Designs; Bouquet image: (c) Marit Williams Photography; Tabletop image (c) Ashley Fox

Pastel flowers grown by farmer-florist Jessica Broyles of Starry Fields; Photo (c) Emily Rose Photo
Dahlias grown and photographed by Adam and Jennifer O’Neal, farmer-florists of PepperHarrow Farm

Pastel flowers grown by farmer-florist Jessica Broyles of Starry Fields; Photo (c) Emily Rose Photo
Dahlias grown and photographed by Adam and Jennifer O’Neal, farmer-florists of PepperHarrow Farm

Photo Lindsey McCullough

Photos Bob Stefko Photography

Photos Bob Stefko Photography

 Johnny’s Selected Seeds

1. Agriculture-driven Design

Diversity of choice is a top concern for designers who want to expand their product knowledge and have access to the best seasonally available botanicals. Whether they have growing or gardening experience or simply a heightened desire to seek more unique choices in the marketplace, savvy florists are lining up more farm-direct options and rewarding wholesalers who are motivated to source from domestic growers on their behalf.
Minnesota-based Ashley Fox, of Ashley Fox Designs in St. Paul, notes that a shift takes place when floral artists become closer observers of nature, inspired by what might once have been considered nontraditional botanical elements. “My new emphasis is ‘never say never,’” Fox says, “in that there could be something really common or very mundane that sparks a more complex design when you place it next to another bloom.”
To that end, she finds herself open to floral varieties from which she had previously shied away, especially choices grown by favorite local flower farms: callas, Asiatic and Oriental lilies, double-petaled Gerbera, for example. “The value I offer my clients is in how I use those flowers, on how I keep my eyes open to a shade within a petal or its form.”
The next chapter in this shift is being authored by designers who weave the agricultural narrative through their aesthetic and branding. From creative collaborations between flower farmers and floral designers to new apps and online resources that help florists learn who is growing what and when that’s available, the direct connections between the field and the studio are more important than ever.

2. Design-driven Flower Farming

The corollary to insight No. 1 is this: Enlightened flower farmers, a.k.a. “agripreneurs,” are bringing a designer’s eye to floral crop selection and planning. “I know what colors I grow in spring, what I’m choosing for summertime and what I’m planting for fall,” says Adam O’Neal, of PepperHarrow Farm in Winterset, Iowa. “I choose seed and grow color for the entire season.”\
The majority of those responding to the Slow Flowers 2020 Member Survey self-identify as “farmer florists” (44 percent) followed by “flower farmer” (43 percent) and “floral designer” (36 percent). Clearly, more florists are open to growing for themselves, and more flower farmers are embracing design. The interdependency is increasingly evident for professionals in both worlds, with many floral ventures placing equal weight on both cutting garden (or more) and design studio.
“More flower farmers breaking into floral design and offering more retail options to customers. Designers are recognizing the quality, charm and uniqueness of local flowers, and customers are asking for more ecofriendly options,” observes Teresa Tibbets, of Dandelion Farm in Lander, Wyo.
The rise of design-driven flower farmers moves flowers from the commodity level to the couture level – and that elevates all of floristry.
Jessica Broyles, a farmer-florist who owns Starry Fields Farm in Rockfield, Ky., has set a goal to make local flowers accessible to florists. “I want to educate them on how to incorporate local flowers into their designs and promote local flowers as ‘something extra’ that will help set their work apart.”

3. On-farm Shopping

We’ve covered innovative farm-to-consumer retail concepts in prior Forecasts, including themes such as “More Farms Selling Direct” (2017) and “Farms Launch Direct-ship Wholesale” and “Farms Shift into Retail” (2018). Now upscaled, on-farm retail has taken the traditional honor-system flower cart and reimagined it as a full-service retail destination. Dahlia May Flower Farm, in Trenton, Ont., Canada, and Red Twig Farms, in New Albany, Ohio, are examples of fl oral agriculture ventures with robust on-farm mercantile outlets offering freshly picked flowers, gathered bouquets and potted plants for eager DIY customers.
It’s all about sharing an authentic flower farm with nature-craved customers. “Most of the inquiries I get these days include ‘May we come and see the flowers?’ says farmer-florist Kate Read, of Grey Tabby Flower Farm in Lake Mary, Fla. “I think people are craving some kind of connection with seeing flowers growing.” Consumer desire to experience and connect with the source of their flowers is certainly driving expansion of on-farm retail. Equally appealing are flower-farmer partnerships with nonfloral focused retailers like apparel, coffee shops and bakeries.

4. Organic Flower Seeds

In the 2020 survey, 24 percent of respondents cited “sourcing organic flower seeds” as an emerging theme for their businesses. While organic vegetable seeds are widely available, seed-sellers have not always been able to source a broader selection of organic flower options for their catalogs. That’s changing in small ways, driven by demand from sustainable growers and conscious home gardeners.
“While we already use most organic seed sources, we will continue to diversify our crops by adding more perennials that will self-sow year after year,” explains farmer-florist Kate Meyer, of Chatham Flower Farm in Painter, Va., Denisa Anderson, of Merrily Along – Floral Design in Everson, Wash., cites saving her own seeds from her organic cutting garden, as well as purchasing from sellers like Johnny’s Selected Seeds and the Floret seed line.
I asked Hillary Alger, flower and herb product manager at Johnny’s about the demand for organic flower seeds. “‘More organic flower seed’ is a common request we hear,” she says. “Slowly, we’re building a library of organic flower seed options, but, as you noted, it can be challenging – mostly due to the limited availability of variety and selection.” According to Alger, for 2020, seven of the 23 new flower seeds and varieties offered by Johnny’s are organic – that’s 30 percent. There is great potential in this category, and I expect that demand for organic flower seeds will stimulate more options in the marketplace in the future.

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

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

The Flori.Culture; Photo (c) Macey Sierka

Harmony Harvest Farm

Sinclair & Moore floral design for a Sun Valley wedding; Photos Ryan Flynn Photography

Sinclair & Moore floral design for a Sun Valley wedding; Photos Ryan Flynn Photography

Polychromatic bouquet by Whitney Muncy, Emerald Design

“Rainbow wedding,” by Sinclair & Moore; Photo (c) Belathée Photography

Floral design by Teresa Tibbets, Dandelion Farm

5. Chemical-free Sentiments

“Eco and nontoxic” floral design was the first theme in the very first “Slow Flowers Floral Insights and Industry Forecast,” published in 2015. I noted that many Slow Flowers designers and farmer-florists were actively rejecting floral foam while seeking new methods, techniques and mechanics for arranging flower stems. Three years later, in the 2018 Forecast, we revisited the topic, highlighting new “chemical-free” mechanics for floral design.
The conversation continues for 2020, with more voices and opinions. Floral foam, yes or no? In this year’s survey, 66 percent of respondents indicated their floral practices are based on foam-free options; 25 percent said they use foam as their design mechanic only some of the time.
“We’re using less and less foam each year and loving the creativity it requires – as well as the environmental benefits,” says Erin Shackelford, of Camas Designs in Friday Harbor, Wash.
Concern about the use of plastic and chemically treated products in other aspects of floristry is also being cited. “I am quite intentional in my designs, of late, to use wire or jute/hemp twine in lieu of plastic zip ties,” says Tobey Nelson. “In 2020, I will be working toward using up all of my synthetic ribbons, with the intention of moving toward only natural fibers.”
Becky Feasby, of Prairie Girl Flowers in Calgary, Alta., Canada, says, “I would love to learn more about how painting and bleaching natural materials affects their ability to be composted,” a comment that highlights a future topic to explore.
Sustainability, chemical-free practices, waste-reduction and conscious sourcing will continue to move toward the mainstream floral marketplace. A growing niche of floral professionals want to “do the right thing” and communicate their mission to customers and clients who will reward those values with their patronage.

6. Collections as a Marketing Tool

From flower farms narrowing their focus to “what sells best” to florists branding a distinct aesthetic, there are two schools of thought at play this coming year: 1) Do you diversify by growing more floral varieties (46 percent) or narrow the focus by growing only a few key floral types (39 percent); and 2) Do you brand or market a specific crop, floral variety or design style? Respondents placed nearly equal balance on doing one thing well and offering more choice as they seek that sweet spot of profitability.
Morgan Anderson, Ph.D., of The Flori.Culture in Scottsdale, Ariz., has adopted floral collections as a strategic marketing tool for serving her customer base – largely out-of-town corporate event planners whose business brings them to desert destinations near her. She likens the seasonal botanical collections to couture collections of fashion houses. “Forming seasonal collections, based on a muse of my choosing, is an unbound artistic outlet that has led to becoming one of The Flori. Culture’s strengths,” Anderson says. “Now, they are also a strategic marketing opportunity that evokes my signature style for clients to enjoy. And it is working.”
Harmony Harvest Farm, in Weyers Cave, Va., uses floral collections as a farm-to-florist direct marketing tool, says Stephanie Auroville. “Our color-based boxes include full collections of 100 stems or half collections of 50 stems, allowing florists to purchase in their color palette and receive a heavenly mix of diverse fresh ingredients that are as functional as they are stunning.” Boxes include focal flowers, filler flowers and other distinctive flower types, with the intention that a single collection contains “all the ingredients to make stunning well-rounded arrangements,” she says. With palettes such as soft, essential, vibrant, blanc (white), or by season, Harmony Harvest Farm’s collections are intended to augment the “staple” botanicals their floral customers already source from local wholesale outlets.

7. One to Many: A Monobotanical Aesthetic

The term “monobotanical” has crept into my consciousness in recent months, cited by a few designers as a fresh version of the tone-on-tone aesthetic. Single-flower-type bouquets were once synonymous with the “roundy-moundy” style of the 1990s. The new fresher take features single-variety stems arranged in a voluminous or loose aesthetic, elevating focal flowers or delicate accent flowers alike.
Monobotanical styling places the focus on texture and shape, and it can be whimsical, sophisticated or dramatic, “allowing the flowers to stand alone and be noticed,” observes farmer-florist Lynn Windmeyer, of Homeplace Fields Flower Farm in St. Joseph, Mo.
Lori Himes, AIFD, of Abloom, Ltd., in Walkersville, Md., notes: “We are having requests for lots of foliage with only one type of flower incorporated into the designs.”
Then there’s the touch of contrast mentioned by Blair Lynn, of Sweet Blossoms in Frederick, Md.: “I am liking monochromatic and monobotanical for its simplicity, but I gravitate toward a look that also has a pop of contrasting color in it.”
If you have a singular sensation to showcase, work monobotanical bouquets and arrangements into your portfolio, and see what new excitement you create with clients.

8. Polychromatic Palettes

By the time you read this report, Pantone Color Institute will have announced its “2020 Color of the Year,” influencing everything from floral palettes to home furnishings to kitchen appliances. For the Slow Flowers community, I’m hearing predictions for a polychromatic rainbow of hues in the coming season.
“I see nature’s colors across the spectrum,” says one respondent. “I have had several wedding inquiries, and they have all been multicolored hand-tied bouquets,” says Stacy Schmidt, of Narrow Trail Farm in Baldwin City, Kan. “Fingers crossed – brights are coming back.”
Adds Kelly Shore, of Petals by the Shore in Damascus, Md.: “Color blocking in design will become more visible.”
The survey reflects a slight nod to the golden hues of yellow, with 23 percent of respondents predicting tints, tones and shades across the yellow continuum – butter yellow, lemon, ochre, mustard, antique gold, coffee, tan, taupe, citron, chartreuse and honey. Other than yellow, there is no major standout, thanks to every color of the rainbow receiving between 10 percent and 15 percent of the forecast vote.
What does that tell me? I’ve decided that rainbow palettes, more aptly named “polychromatic,” will wow the marketplace in 2020. It’s not for everyone, of course. But even the maestro of neutrals, Steven Moore, of Seattle-based Sinclair & Moore, designed an unforgettably prismatic wedding, published by Martha Stewart Weddings in 2015. Inspired by a colorful world of botanicals, I love what I’m seeing from floral designers, farmer-florists and growers whose penchant for petals with pigment is on the rise. Let’s love all hues!

9. Shifting Forms: Geometric, Deconstructed/Reconstructed

While 43 percent of our survey respondents are predicting that 2020 will see a sustained “loose, soft and fluid” floral aesthetic, there is also indication that asymmetrical geometric forms and “deconstructed/reconstructed” silhouettes are emerging (20 percent).
Exaggerated linear shapes may be influenced by ikebana, or they may be a continuance of transparent/open-form shapes, as we highlighted in the 2019 forecast. “The more airy, deconstructed design work is not what I mainly do, but it is what I see emerging more and more – and would like to explore further,” says Daniele Strawn of JoLee Blooms & Design in Bloomfield, Calif.
“Creating from locally farm-grown flowers entirely lends itself to the loose or natural aesthetic, and enhancing or highlighting the natural curves of each stem is a motivator in my design process,” observes Lynn Windmeyer.
Amy Balsters, of Amy Nicole Floral in Alexandria, Va., cited floral-focused and open-form designs, for example.
“I am a Sogetsu School Ikebana designer, and this formative training has set my aesthetic toward exploring each flower, leaf and branch material for its unique sculptural potential,” says Rachel Johnson of San Francisco-based Simply Grounded. “The design concept of ‘dismantle and rearrange’ is one we explore over and over again to expose the unexpected beauty within.”

10. Responding to Climate Change

Forty-four percent of our survey respondents say they are adjusting growing practices to adapt to climate change. The variables of changing weather and natural disasters have disrupted growers across North America, with extremes ranging from drought and fires to hurricanes and flooding.
“We’re working with the seasons and dry conditions by utilizing as many native varieties and plants adaptive to our region,” notes Stacy Schmidt of Kansas. “There is still a lot of work to do to promote nonstandard varieties to consumers. All our future improvements are about water control due to climate change impacts.” Use of natural resources, alternative energy sourcing and the adoption of restorative agriculture practices are factoring into the decisions of many.
Flower growers are not the only ones challenged by unpredictable weather or climate patterns. Indeed, everyone is adapting, as florists who crave date-specific botanical types know now, more than ever, there’s potential for a freak summer hailstorm or unseasonably early frost wiping out perfect planning for a client’s wedding.
So, what are people doing about this reality? “I’m looking to extend the seasons with different varieties that can take our heat and humidity,” says Florida-based Kate Read.
Adds Teresa Tibbets, “I’m working with the seasons and dry conditions by utilizing as many native varieties and plants best-adapted to the Rocky Mountain’s extreme climate and short growing season. There is still a lot of work to do to promote nonstandard varieties to consumers, though.”
In Seattle recently, event florist Lisa Dunton, of Lisa Dunton Studio, convened “The Floral Biz & Climate Change,” a roundtable discussion for her peers. Rather than feeling helpless about her worries, Dunton says she decided to create a “chance to air our thoughts about our role in the climate emergency and strategize about our next steps.”
Because of her heightened awareness, Dunton has also taken steps in her business. “I made a decision at the beginning of 2019 to source only West Coast flowers, with a little bit from Hawaii. I’ve let my clients know, and I also make a point to talk about it with them. I’ve told them, ‘Hey, things might start to look different, but here’s why.’ And all my clients have been really receptive.”
With decades in the floral marketplace, Dunton says she can measure her personal shift from long-distance sourcing to finding design ingredients closer to home – and that also includes foraging. “I’ve also foraged at least 15 percent to 20 percent of what I put in my arrangements now, so that’s hyper-local,” she says.
I have tracked the rise of foraging for years and noted the comeback of “modern everlastings” and dried flowers in the Slow Flowers 2016 Forecast. As more designers embrace a new aesthetic, perhaps one silver lining to changing climates is our willingness to work more closely with the seasons rather than try to outsmart Mother Nature.

MONTANA MENTOR

 

“Julio Freitas’ The Flower Hat workshops expose students to a balance of growing and design knowledge, with added focus on branding and business.”

After teaching single-topic floral design courses for fans in Bozeman, Mont., where his floral studio and flower farm – The Flower Hat – are based, Julio Freitas took the leap last summer to design a curriculum for three-day extensive workshops. “We’ve had wreath and centerpiece classes, but this was the first time I opened the doors to expose people to The Flower Hat business model,” he says.
“Over the past few years, I noticed that there has been somewhat of a disconnect between flower farming and floral design,” Freitas continues. “There were farmers who wanted to take on weddings as an additional revenue stream, but they had no idea where to start, how to attract clients, deal with communication aspects, how to price the flowers they grow and, ultimately, design and deliver. There was another group who were florists who didn’t have access to local flowers, and although they had space and were willing to start growing some of their own flowers, there wasn’t a roadmap for them on what to grow and how much to grow, not to mention watering, fertilizing, harvesting and conditioning. And there was also a third group: industry folks just starting now who can’t find the answers to their questions on where and how to start either farming or design.”
Inspired by all the questions he received (and answered) through The Flower Hat Exchange, Freitas’ private Facebook group, he knew the key topics to incorporate into a workshop and developed a curriculum to appeal to all three potential student groups. “I also wanted to give people a roadmap from beginning to end on how to do weddings,” Freitas explains. “We’ve been able to crack the code on what to grow and how to be successful and profitable. I don’t know everything, but I have learned a lot along the way.”
That educational journey began for Freitas in 2010, when he started designing arrangements for a corporate hotel he formerly managed in Billings, Mont. He then launched Flor, which is the Portuguese word for flower, a nod to his Brazilian heritage.
Having relocated to Bozeman as partner in Kirkham & Company Home, a floral design and interior design business between 2014 and 2016, Freitas rebranded as The Flower Hat in 2016. Freitas jokes that he was already known as “the flower hat guy” because he typically wore a baseball cap when delivering wedding flowers – and the new branding took off.
At the same time, his prospective wedding couples “were showing me Instagram pictures of designs with a lot of locally grown flowers that couldn’t be shipped,” he explains. “So, I added the farming component to support my design business. That’s when things really took off for me.”
Now self-described as a “florist-farmer,” Freitas started growing Dahlia on a tiny rocky plot behind his husband’s interior design studio in Bozeman. Fast-forward to December 2018 when they purchased a one-acre farm and took the leap to full-scale flower growing. The new farm has allowed the Flower Hat business to vastly expand Dahlia tuber production for online sales to other growers, gardeners and farmer-florists. Owning his own land (versus farming on leased land) has also enabled Freitas to add permanent plants such as perennials and ornamental shrubs.
That’s also when the potential for The Flower Hat workshop series became evident and true to his high metabolism and driven personality, Freitas offered four three-day workshops last summer. He kept the courses small, wanting participants to benefit from the intimate size of eight to 10 students, while learning The Flower Hat business model. The courses included everything from writing bouquet recipes to pricing weddings.
The classroom study was balanced with plenty of hands-on design modules, guided by Freitas’ idea of a “painter’s board.” He gave students a hypothetical wedding palette, modeled exactly on what a couple might request.
“I encouraged everyone to harvest what appealed to them in that color palette and to add their own touches,” he explains. Students’ bridal bouquets and centerpiece designs were photographed professionally by Orange Photographie as a takehome element of the workshop.
Jaime Dix, owner of Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Thistle & Dot, says for her, The Flower Hat workshop was “life changing.” “As a floral designer in South Dakota, I highly value the summer growing season when I can buy flowers from local flower farmers. I also really wanted to learn how I can grow a few of my favorite wedding flowers in my own backyard – especially the flowers that just don’t travel well. Julio’s workshop covered all the information I was hoping for, plus more. He learned the long hard way how to grow his flowers in a northern zone and is very open about his desire to assist others so they have the knowledge they need to succeed – whether it be pricing, design tips or encouragement.”
The workshop environment gives attendees an experience upon which they can build their own floral enterprises and gain confidence, Freitas says.

DETAILS
The Flower Hat
theflowerhat.com, @theflowerhat

2020 Workshop Schedule
July 20-22
August 10-12
August 31-September 2
For more details, see the “Workshop
Registration” tab at theflowerhat.com.

 

The “Sustainable Flowers Workshop” debuts in Calgary.

After traveling to Britain, the U.S. and various Canadian cities to study with floral artists whose design aesthetic and techniques she admires, Becky Feasby decided to produce the type of workshop she always wanted to experience in her own backyard.
Owner of Calgary-based Prairie Girl Flowers, Feasby is a passionate gardener-florist who creates natural arrangements that reflect the vibrant colors and textures of life on the Canadian Prairies. Her business model involves collaborations with farmers, growers and creatives. She has emerged as a leader in seasonal floral sourcing and sustainable design practices in Calgary and beyond, promoting efforts to reduce waste and cut back on the use of plants and flowers that need to travel long distances to reach Calgary.
All of these elements converged at Feasby’s first “Sustainable Flowers Workshop,” held last fall at The Commons, an event space in Calgary. “I wanted to bring instructors here who others also have trouble accessing because they are often far away,” she says. The workshop drew 20 students from across western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba) and several U.S.
cities and featured extensive sessions on large-scale event installations led by Tobey Nelson, founder of the “Whidbey Flower Workshop” and owner of Clinton, Wash.-based Tobey Nelson Weddings + Events.
Nelson shared how she designs and installs elevated and suspended botanical sculptures, demonstrating a number of construction methods and mechanics, including how to hydrate perishable materials without using floral foam.
Attendees teamed up to create a freestanding asymmetrical arch with a floor-based “meadow” and an oversized “chandelier” with woven branches and flowers. “These are the types of techniques that each participant will be able to replicate for future commissions,” Nelson explains. “They can also break apart larger pieces into smaller elements, such as using ideas from the meadow for a tabletop installation.”
Feasby designed the two-day experience to attract florists and flower farmers alike, with the goal of using all Canadian-grown botanicals and producing little or no waste that was not composted or recycled. She invited other green-minded organizations to participate, including Calgary-based Plastic-Free YYC, which engages individuals, businesses and government in plastic-free practices.
One of Feasby’s goals was to provide often hard-to-find resources and stimulate a dialogue about the term “sustainable,” calling it a hot but often misused buzzword. “We talked about environmental sustainability as well as economic, social and personal sustainability – and what are the filters we can look at in our own businesses,” she explains. “For example, as we built the large installations, we considered what could be reused in the future, like chicken wire and wreath frames.”
The workshop’s resulting “garbage” included a “little ball of florist tape and one zip tie,” Feasby says. “What we ended up with was a ton of compost and all reusable supplies. I think it brought us full circle. It’s one thing to go around saying that you’re not using fl oral foam, but there are other things in your daily life that you could also eliminate to reduce waste.”
On the second day of the workshop, the attention shifted to sustainable business topics and flower farming topics, including pricing, soil science and how flower farmers and fl oral designers can best collaborate.
Floral designer Kirsten Gordon of Highland Park, Ill.-based Bloom Magic Weddings says attending was a valuable experience. “I felt a true connection between my beliefs about the environment and my work as a fl oral designer, and it was a huge reward to band together with like-minded flower artists and create foam-free works,” she recalls. “Talking about the pillars of sustainability made me realize that many of the small changes we can make have broader implications that impact in ways I never thought about before.”
As a result, Gordon conducted a plastics audit for her own business. “My studio eliminated unnecessary packaging and started delivering personal wedding flowers on antique trays – and telling the clients why I am doing so. This workshop opened my mind and opened doors.”
DETAILS
Prairie Girl Flowers
prairiegirlflowers.com, @prairiegirlflowers
For information about the “2020 Sustainable
Flowers Workshop,” contact hello@prairiegirlfl owers.com.

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