I am so happy that it’s finally time to unveil our new website to the world. This new space online feels like the best pair of boots – the ones you slip on every time you head out the door…the ones that keep your feet warm and dry, practical but still fashionable enough to head out to dinner. It feels like me, a place I’m excited to come to, a place I plan to write all winter long while sitting by the fire. If you need me, you can find me here.
If you’re new here, I’d like to say hi. I’d like to tell you that this farm is a place where flowers are grown, where they are picked at their peak and shuffled into the studio where they are processed, bunched, added to flower stand bouquets or wound into wedding bouquets and centerpieces. It’s where some pretty incredible sheep are raised, where we live, where we work, where we are.
We don’t grow flowers because of floral design, we design florals because we grow flowers. My heart is in the garden. All season long, before I even get my coffee I head to the fields to see what has unfurled overnight. Most flowers do their blooming while we sleep. I wake to new surprises almost every day, and I’m constantly seeking out the most unusual and spectacular flowers. In order for a flower to to be added to the roster, it must have tones that lend themselves to being blended in an arrangement, a dreamy shape and whimsical interest coming second. Finally, utility and ease of production is a plus…but I do love a challenge. I always grow zinnias – a sure thing if there is one in farming.
Without lovingly grown, fresh-from-the-farm flowers at my disposal, I simply wouldn’t be a floral designer. Designing with soldier-straight stems of factory-grown ‘product’ in a binary palette is a task of drudgery, the baggage that these ‘perfect’ flowers carry has a way of draining the romance, for me at least. We pride ourselves in being as sustainable as we can be, eschewing floral foam in every capacity (well, except that one time…), purchasing as much of our flowers as possible from fellow small growers, foraging for the rest before turning to traditional wholesale channels…which we do – as good as it would feel to be completely radical, having a good back-up plan to deliver on our floral contracts is best for business.
Our growing season starts in April and ends in November, as does our wedding calendar. We make wreaths and garlands during the holidays for some extra funds, I begin the process of sowing seeds in February and spend many hours of my days tuned into a podcast filling trays with seeds and stacking flats of endless potential on the array of glowing shelves in the basement.
Farming is a funny thing, really. One that is nearly impossible to master. They say mastery is achieved after 10,000 hours. In my lifetime, I’ll be lucky to get a total of 35 tries at growing my crops. In farming, you learn by experience and your opportunities are few. Many of us turn to research, to obsessive reading and asking and worrying and it can really sting when it all goes to hell. But alas, we are a forgetful bunch, quickly ordering more seeds and making plans for the ever-better ‘next year’
Just this season, I’ve gotten to make more than 35 bridal bouquets, have more than 35 client meetings, create 35 installations. Practice makes perfect.
So what’s my point? I’m not sure. All I can say is that this work is beautiful and full of complexities and I do hope you stick with me. In return, I’ll share stories, pictures and instructions on how we make things work around here.
Welcome, we made it to November.