American Flowers Week “In Bloom” — Ideas and Inspiration from Around the U.S.

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American Flowers Week labels decorate bouquets from Le Mera Gardens ~ photographed at the Fry Family Farm Store in Southern Oregon (c) Of the Wonder Photography

Designed by Tonya Berge of Washington’s Berge’s Blooms for American Flowers Week. She captioned the image on Instagram with this sentiment: “freedom • the power to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”

By Mackenzie Nichols

This year’s American Flowers Week reached garden and flower lovers from all across the country and inspired dozens of events and celebrations to commemorate and honor local farmers, flower growers, and florists who garner a passion for USA-grown blooms.

Steve (left) and Suzy (right) Fry with the Fry Family Farm “family” in Oregon’s Rogue Valley — celebrating American Flowers Week with hyper-local flowers grown by farming partner Joan Thorndike of Le Mera Gardens (c) Of the Wonder Photography

On social media platforms, #americanflowersweek received over three million impressions, incited over 900 original posts, and according to Real Time Tracker of Instagram and Twitter platforms, inspired a whopping 80.1% positive sentiments. As the Slow Flowers message continues to spread, here are some of the highlights from American Flowers Week 2018. 

Slow Flowers member, farmer-florist Jim Martin of Compost in My Shoe, emceed the American Flowers Week design competition, called “Bloom Battle.”

Lowcountry Flower Growers “Bloom Battle” Design Competition

On June 30th, Marion Square in downtown Charleston, South Carolina, bustled with activity in honor of American Flowers Week. Three local designers competed in a “Bloom Battle” floral design competition at the Charleston Farmers Market to showcase their talents working with locally sourced and sustainable blooms. Laura Mewborn of Feast and Flora Farm helped organize the event, which showcased not only the designers, but also the Southern flower farms who provided the flowers.

It’s important for us to educate the public about the importance of using locally grown flowers. They are all relatively young farms [providing the flowers], and when we all combine like this to host a big event, we are much more visible. People can see the impact that they have on the individual farmers, and they think of their purchasing power.

Judges and contestants participated in the Low Country Flower Growers’ fun event to promote American Flowers Week 2018. The two Bloom Battle judges, Nikki Seibert of Wit Meets Grit and Kelli Shaw of Kelli Shaw Designs, on the left, posed with the three competing designers, pictured on the right.

Eight participating farms doled out the best of their blooms to the three competing designers, who arranged pieces in front of judges Nikki Seibert of Wit Meets Grit and Kelli Shaw of Kelli Shaw Designs. The competition was based on three categories: a centerpiece for a pool party, one for a boy’s birthday party, and then a farm-to-table banquet arrangement. The goal for the farmers, Mewborn said, was to feature flowers that may not be familiar with in terms of seasonal flowers that bloom during summertime.

“People generally think of zinnias, cosmos, and sunflowers in terms of growing summer flowers,” Laura says. “We wanted to showcase crops that people don’t necessarily already grow, like lisianthus, lilies, celosia, and amaranthus.”

This diversity of American-grown flowers enticed locals and tourists alike to come to Mewborn and other farmers with gardening questions, wanting to know more about the benefits of locally-sourced blooms and how they might be able to grow them in their own gardens. According to Mewborn, Marion Square’s Charleston Farmers Market was a successful venue to host the event as many tourists pass through the area who can ultimately spread the message of American Flowers Week and the Lowcountry Flower Growers coalition throughout the country.

The winning designer, Tony Reale of Roadside Blooms, arranged a farm-to-table bouquet design that stole the show with its amaranthus, lisianthus, and natural-wood accent.

“The Charleston Farmers Market in Marion Square is a very busy market in general,” Laura says. “There are so many tourists there, which means that the message is going out far beyond and past just the local people. Now, it is going to people all across the country.”

In comparison to last year’s Lowcountry Flower Growers booth, where farmers simply handed out zinnias, Laura notes that this design competition allowed the farmers to do something that was more involved, and the response was largely positive.

Tony Reale from Roadside Blooms ultimately won, but designers Ann Cinniffee from Purple Magnolia and Noah Sanderson from The Bearded Florist also received prizes to commemorate the event and celebrate in locally-grown, naturally sourced floral designs. In the future, Mewborn wants to incorporate more of a fundraising feel for upcoming American Flowers Week events, and she will also be hosting another event for Lowcountry Flower Growers in August.

Laura Mewbourn of Feast & Flora Farm and Peachey Trudell of One Wild Acre smiled among their locally-grown blooms in honor of American Flowers Week.

“It’s been great to have conversations with people, and they seem surprised by how much we can grow here in Charleston,” Laura adds. “These events are incredible to let people know that we’re here.”

Isabella Thorndike Church of Jacklily Seasonal Floral Design designed a fantastic floral “painting” depicting a barn and fields for American Flowers Week. All photos: (c) Julie Ashley Photography

Jacklily Seasonal Floral Design Installation at Fry Family Farm

Mother-daughter team Joan Thorndike and Isabella Thorndike Church work side-by-side at LeMera Gardens, Joan’s established flower farm in Talent, Oregon, providing fresh cut flowers directly to local florists, grocery stores, and for weddings and events.

In the past, Isabella and her mother have plastered American Flowers Week stickers on each bouquet, and this year Isabella decided to take the celebration a couple steps forward by installing a 4-feet-by-6-foot floral display including more than 5,000  stems of locally-grown Oregon flowers.

Jeremiah Thorndike Church delivers a bounty of Oregon-grown blooms for use in the vivid botanical installation.

The botanical installation took around six hours to complete with a small crew by her side, and drew substantial foot traffic into Fry Family Farm where she set up the display, Isabella says.

“The installation drew people into the store and we were able to talk to them about locally grown flowers,” she adds. “When I was making the installation, I posted about it on Instagram, and several people came in to watch the process. People were in awe of the size and the amount of flowers I used.”

Originally, Thorndike Church did not intend to have her stems show through the back of the installation, but once she started going, she realized that the exposed stems effectively showed viewers just how many local blooms were used in the arrangement.

Isabella repurposed a ready-made metal frame from Fry Family Farm and hung it vertically, covering it in a chicken-wire base to arrange the flowers. She harvested flowers such as delphinium, feverfew, Russian statice, and larkspur to create a life-size floral depiction of the Fry Family Farm logo, and kept the stems exposed from the back so that onlookers could get a feel for how many flowers were used in the display. The spectacle intrigued and inspired viewers to have a go at their own installations, and increased dialogue about the importance of locally sourced flowers.

“People were psyched to see how it worked,” Isabella continues, noting that the exposed stems on the reverse side of the botanical installation was equally beautiful. “Several women were like ‘I’m going to get chicken wire and make it myself.’ Several people also came back over the two weeks to see the drying process. They had to touch the flowers to see if they were real. They asked about the different kinds of flowers. People don’t normally engage, but they were engaging more with this installation piece.”

Isabella Thorndike Church carefully adds her locally-grown blooms into the chicken-wire base of her installation for Fry Family Farm.

Along with the display, Jacklily Seasonal Floral Design, LaMera Gardens, and Fry Family Farm used American Flowers Week stickers on the bouquets they sent out to recipients, and they handed out a free sunflower to every customer who walked in the shop. One Fry Family Store employee, Daria Lisandrelli, said that she was surprised by how many people were already aware of American Flowers Week.

We’ve been promoting American Flowers Week across all sectors. We’ve had the AFW stickers on our bouquets, and when people come into the farm store, we give them a free sunflower in honor of the week. This year, we had the Fry Family Farm venue to have the installation piece and were able to bring it all together.

The staff of Scenic Place Peonies wore locally-grown flower hats to commemorate American Flowers Week during the Fourth of July parade in Homer, Alaska.

Scenic Place Peonies Celebrates AFW at the Homer, Alaska Fourth of July Parade

Independence Day in Homer, Alaska, was blooming this year thanks to the farmers, employees, and designers from Scenic Place Peonies farm. As a long-time member of the Chamber of Commerce in Homer, which sponsors the parade, Beth Van Sandt and her crew were invited to drive their wrapped reefer truck in this year’s 4th of July extravaganza, handing out their farm-grown blooms to attendees and wearing locally-sourced flower hats to commemorate American Flowers Week.

The response was overwhelmingly positive with exclamations of surprise and pure joy at receiving flowers from the crew,” she says. “I believe it brought awareness to many that we have beautiful wildflowers in our backyard and all it takes is cutting some to bring that beauty into our homes.

The Scenic Place Peonies crew handed out “wild-sourced” chocolate lilies, geranium, and Alaska’s state flower, the forget-me-not, to parade-goers. Images of Scenic Place Peonies’ employees filled the farm’s Instagram and Facebook feed, as they smiled and wore flower hats adorned with local greenery, tulips, daisies, and a variety of wildflowers. The flowers, sourced from their property of meadows in Alaska, brought awareness and happiness to the Homer, AK, parade.

“American Flowers Week is a time to celebrate the hard work that flower farmers perform each day,” Van Sandt said. “It’s very rewarding when your labor of love is expressed through the eyes of an eager recipients face.”

Grace Flowers Hawaii engaged Instagram followers in the week-long giveaway of blooms grown on The Big Island, making a lot of people very happy and educating them about local flowers.

Grace Flowers Hawaii’s Free Bouquet of the Day Giveaway

For this year’s American Flowers Week, manager Nicole Cordier and her team at Grace Flowers Hawaii decided to up the ante in terms of interactive customer service by hiding a “Free Bouquet a Day” each day somewhere on The Big Island.

Each morning, a staff member would take a photo of the free floral arrangement and tease it on Instagram and Facebook with cryptic hints as to where customers might be able to discover it later in the day. Then, Nicole or a team member took the free bouquet, lei, or orchid to its hiding place, and snapped a photo for their social platforms, urging followers to move fast if they wanted to win the challenge. Along with the prize, she attached a note to the free merchandise describing the concept of the giveaway and why they decided to host the challenge during American Flowers Week.

These free Bouquet of the Day arrangements featured locally-grown tropical flowers and evoked a cheery, summertime feel.

“The response was enigmatic,” she recalls. “I remember someone commenting on the photo that they drove from their home as soon as they saw the post and by the time they got to the hiding place, it was gone. She thanked us for adding excitement to her day.”

Each day, Grace Flowers Hawaii staff members hid their Free Bouquet of the Day giveaways in various scenic locations on the Big Island.

According to Nicole, the concept behind the Free Bouquet of the Day Giveaway was to highlight flowers, foliage, and plants grown on the tropical Hawaiian Islands, and “the Big Island in particular.”

By showcasing the diversity of plants grown by local farmers in Hawaii, Cordier brought attention to the Slow Flowers Movement through tropicals and warmer-temperate plants. From orchid leis to large-anthurium arrangements to Hawaiian-grown orchid plants in attractive containers, the spectrum for the Free Bouquet a Day Giveaway was broad and indicative of the biodiversity on the Big Island of Hawaii.

American Flowers Week, to us, is a time when specific attention is placed on supporting American flower farmers, which is important because it brings a concerted shift and push in consumer awareness about where flowers are grown and how far some flowers must travel from origin to market. It’s important to support our domestic floral/agriculture industry which will in turn make this a viable livelihood for our workforce, and better for this planet.

Impact, Influence and Impressions for American Flowers Week 2018

MORE American Flowers Week Ideas

Along with the events outlined above, many other celebrations occurred across the nation to honor American Flowers Week. Here are a few more of the highlights.

Laureen Kelly’s award-winning snapdragons

Longfield Gardens Photo Contest

Longfield Gardens, based in Lakewood, New Jersey, hosted its second American Flowers Week photo contest from June 30th through July 4th, asking their social media followers to post a photo of their favorite American-grown arrangements in order to win a $100 gift certificate. The winner, Laureen Kelly, posted a photo of her healthy snapdragon arrangement to the Longfield Gardens Facebook page (above).

Syndicate Sales Made in America Easel Stand at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Syndicate Sales’ Director of Education Tom Bowling created a special arrangement to be placed in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C. Using Syndicate’s new Made in America Easel Stand, which is created and manufactured here in the United States (above).

Syndicate Sales gave an attribution to American Flowers Week through the hashtag on Instagram.

Maple and Mum Mobile Flower Shop Announcement

In honor of American Flowers Week, Connecticut-based Maple and Mum Floral Designs announced that they will be “bringing locally grown flowers to the Connecticut shoreline and beyond,” through an Instagram post on July 4th. Slow Flowers members, Maple and Mum’s mobile flower shop is up and running, and followers are urged to check their page for upcoming locations along the East coast (above).

Town and Country Markets Grocery Display

At Town and Country Markets in Seattle, Washington, floral category director Melanie Cherry and her team set up an American Flowers Week display featuring Hawaii-grown tropicals.

Other displays garnered attention with bunches of sweet peas from Willow and Mabel Garden Company and “Farmers Favorites.”

Stars of the Meadow Baker’s Dozen Supper

On July 3rd, Stars of the Meadow of Accord, New York, hosted a “Baker’s Dozen Supper” where attendees gathered for “homemade strawberry ice cream topped with black caps,” according to their Instagram post. Locally grown boutonnieres and arrangements made an appearance at the event, where guests celebrated American-grown flowers.

About Mackenzie Nichols:

With this feature story, we’re introducing a new Slow Flowers contributor, Mackenzie Nichols.

Mackenzie is a freelance writer and experienced floral designer. She writes regularly for the Society of American Florists’ Floral Management magazine, and her work also appears in The Boston Globe, The American Gardener, Canadian Florist, and Tastemakers music magazine. She interned with MSNBC, Donna Morgan, and The American Horticultural Society and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Music Industry from Northeastern University. Mackenzie worked as a floral designer for Fern Flowers in Boston’s Back Bay Area, and Tiger Lily Florist, the top flower shop in Charleston, South Carolina. She lives in Manhattan’s East Village.

You Could Be the Next American Flowers Week Floral Couture Designer!

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Slow Flowers will Commission at least FIVE Floral Couture Looks for our 2019 American Flowers Week Collection.

We’re soliciting proposals from farmer-florist creative teams for this campaign. Consideration will be made for geographic diversity, and for botanical elements not previously featured.

View our past American Flowers Week Collections here:

2016: Passionflower Events Floral Fro

2017: Four Floral Couture Looks

2017: Bonus Look from Babylon Floral

2018: Five Floral Couture Looks

All Floral Couture Looks Must be Completed and Photographed No Later than April 1, 2019 to meet Florists’ Review publishing deadlines. 

Each Team’s Lead Designer and Lead Flower Farmer will receive a 1-year Premium Membership in Slow Flowers and be featured in American Flowers Week 2019 Promotional and Editorial Campaigns in lieu of financial compensation. 

Complete our Application Here!
Application Deadline: September 30, 2018

Artist Ellen Hoverkamp’s 7-Day American Flowers Week Botanical Series

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American Flowers Week’s botanical art by Ellen Hoverkamp.

Last October, I spent time in Connecticut with my friends Ellen Hoverkamp and Michael Russo and Trout Lily Farm, which Michael owns with Raymond Lennox. It was a lovely evening and we hosted a Slow Flowers Meet-Up of members in the New England area. I also interviewed Michael for the Slow Flowers Podcast and you can listen to that Episode here.

Soon thereafter, a lightbulb went off. I was in the early stages of planning American Flowers Week 2018 and I realized I wanted to commission Ellen to create one of her amazing botanical still-life compositions, which she produces using a method called digital scanning, for our 2018 promotional material.

It was literally days before the first frost in Connecticut, USDA Zone 6b (average minimum temperatures from -5 to 0 degrees F). On October 29th, I sent Ellen this email:

. . . the more I think about it, the more excited I am to think it’s possible to commission you to create a red-white-and-blue floral piece for our American Flowers Week 2018 campaign graphics! Is it too late in the season to glean anything herbaceous from Connecticut?

Two days later, on October 31st, this amazing friend, artist and visionary, translated my vague request into this work of art:

We’re so thrilled that artist Ellen Hoverkamp created a one-of-a-kind American Flowers Week botanical work for our 2018 campaign!

We’ve used this piece of red-white-and-blue floral art in social media and in print. You can read more about Ellen Hoverkamp in this recent profile I wrote about her for Florists’ Review’s June issue, entitled Botanical_Still_Life.

AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK

Last week, on June 28, the first day of American Flowers Week, Ellen posted her beautiful imagery on social media. I was thrilled to see it shared with so many. But then, she wowed the Slow Flowers Community with yet another gift.

For the next six days, through today, July 4th, Ellen has created a new work of red-white-and-blue floral art to commemorate American Flowers Week. If you’re not following her on Instagram, you must find her now! @garden_images

Here are the daily pieces that Ellen has created as a gift to #americanflowersweek and the #slowflowers community!

Day Two

Happy #americanflowersweek Day 2! #slowflowers #stillife #tromploeil #ellenhoverkamp #scannerphotography

Day Three

Happy American Flowers week, Day 3! Thank you @butternutgardensflowers for providing the floral ingredients for this image. #americanflowersweek #slowflowers #redwhiteandblue #butternutgardens #flowers #farmerflorist #scannerphotography #ellenhoverkamp

Day Four

Happy #americanflowersweek Day 4! Featuring @troutlilyfarmllc Flowers #scannerphotography #ellenhoverkamp #farmerflorist #slowfloralstyle #slowflowers #americangrownflowers #stilllife #rabbit

Day Five

Happy #americanflowersweek Day 5! #poppies #delicatebalance #scannerphotography #ellenhoverkamp

Day Six

Happy #americanflowersweek Day 6! #slowflowers #americangrown #madeinct #farmerflorist #flowerfarmer #scannerphotography #ellenhoverkamp

Day Seven

Happy 4th of July, which is also the last day of #americanflowersweek My work is made possible through the efforts and kindness of local flower growers. I thank you, my flatbed scanner thanks you!
#slowflowers #americangrownflowers #troutlilyfarmllc #butternutgardensflowers #fourrootfarm #riverviewfarms #bilateralsymmetry #mosaicart #botanical #photography #scannerphotography #ellenhoverkamp

Want More?

If you’re as enchanted as I am with Ellen’s artistry, visit her web site here. You can order fine art archival prints of her botanical compositions, as well as other lovely pieces, such as her hand-made silk scarves, note cards and more.

Thank you, Ellen, from the bottom of my heart! You are a Slow Flowers Hero!

American Flowers Week is Almost Here!

Click Here to Download Coloring Sheets featuring each State Flower

Launched in 2015, it’s the Original American-Grown Floral Holiday

In our fourth year, American Flowers Week has a lot to celebrate and I want to make sure you join in the many activities and take advantage of the resources available to help you promote local and seasonal flowers in your market!

We’ve gained significant momentum, having generated more than 5 million impressions across social media platforms in the past 365 days!

Everyone involved in flower farming and floral design is encouraged to highlight America’s flowers with the #americanflowersweek hashtag to draw attention to the campaign.


9 Ways to Participate in American Flowers Week

Several Maryland flower farms teamed up with Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore to host a flower crown workshop during American Flowers Week 2017. She’s holding her second Flower Crown Party for 2018!

I created American Flowers Week in 2015 as a community-focused floral holiday that allows and encourages participation from everyone in the floral industry — from flower seed and bulb producers to growers; from designers to retailers; from cutting garden enthusiasts to artists.

There are as many great opportunities to get involved as there are people and flowers! Click the link below to read about 9 Ways you can Participate, including creative and community-minded ideas from Slow Flowers farmers and florists around the U.S.!

BADGES & GRAPHICS

Use American Flowers Week’s badges and graphics in your marketing. Click here for a link to download.
The logos and social media-formatted badges are free for you to download and include in your own camapigns and promotions.

A special thanks to our amazing team member, designer Jenny Diaz, for her contribution over the past three years. We love the look and vibe of the branding you’ve created, Jenny!

As a special branding bonus for 2018, I’m thrilled to share this beautiful red-white-and-blue botanical composition that we commissioned from Connecticut-based artist Ellen Hoverkamp.

Ellen’s work, which is termed “scanner photography,” utilizes freshly-picked flowers, foliage and other gifts from nature as her raw material. When composed into a botanical still-life and then scanned, the resulting digital image can be printed on archival, museum-grade paper for framing, or printed for other products, such as note cards or Ellen’s beautiful silk scarves.

Download Social Media graphics of Ellen’s Red-White-and-Blue Botanicals here.
Read more about Ellen and her work here.
Visit her web site here.

2018 AFW Floral Fashions Unveiled

Grab your June 2018 copy of Florists’ Review to see the 12-page spread about American Flowers Week’s floral fashions. You can return to AmericanFlowersWeek.com to read more about individual looks, the flower farmers’ and floral designers’ stories, and more beautiful photos throughout June, leading up to theJune 28-July 4 #americanflowersweek Celebration.

Thank you to everyone who donated flowers, design time, photography and styling. The impressive dream team behind these looks are not only talented but passionate about promoting American-grown flowers through their creativity!

I can’t tell you how much it means to this cause — to elevate the public’s awareness and to engage the industry to CARE about domestic floral agriculture and sustainable, mindful floral design.

These are the people who created our “Collection” of five floral fashion narratives for 2018 American Flowers Week. Let’s Congratulate Them!!

PEONY LOOK

Floral Palette: Peony flowers and petals, Scenic Place Peonies(Homer, Alaska) @scenicplacepeonies

Designer: Kelly Shore, Petals by the Shore@petalsbytheshore

Design assistance: Lisa Thorne, Thorne & Thistle @thorneandthistle

Model: Ashley Johnson, @ah.schlee

Hair/Makeup: Elizabeth Morphis, Scenic Place Peonies

Apparel: Donated by Grunden’s @grundens

Photography: Joshua and Brittney Veldstra joshuaveldstra.com, @joshuaveldstra

TROPICAL LOOK

Designers: Alison Grace Higgins (owner) and Nicole Cordier (manager), Grace Flowers Hawaii(Honokaa, Hawaii) @graceflowershawaii

Florals supplied by: J&D Farms (Kamuela), Pacific Floral Exchange (Hilo), Hawaiian Isle Flowers (Volcano), The Orchid People (Kamuela), ESP Nurseries (Kamuela) andHigh Country Farms (Pa’auilo Mauka).

Models: Na’iwi Young of Olowalu Entertainment and Kayla Maluhia Kawai @radshack_hawaii

Hair/Makeup: Gracia Malendres, Grace Makeup Artistry

Photography: Meghan Spelman, Bikini Birdie Photography @bikinibirdie

WOODLAND LOOK

Floral Palette: Pacific Northwest-foraged moss, lichen and pine cones

Production support: Seattle Wholesale Growers Market(Seattle, Wash.)

Designer: Carly Jenkins, Killing Frost Farm(Missoula, Montana) @killingfrostfarm

Assistant: Katherine Sherba, Mighty Fine Farm (Missoula, Montana)

Model: Berkeley Danysh, TCM Models and Talent
Hair/Makeup: Carly Jenkins
Photography: Alex Brooks, Alex Brooks 
@alex_brks
Location: Old Goat FarmOrting, Washington

DAHLIA LOOK

Floral Palette: 350 dahlias, Aztec Dahlias (Petaluma, Calif.) @aztec_dahlias; Herbs and succulents, Full Bloom Farm(Sebastopol, Calif.) @fullbloomflowerfarm

Designer: Hedda Brorstrom, Full Bloom Farm

Harvesting/Production Assistance: MaryAnn Nardo, 7 Petals Floral Design @7petalsdesign; Sarah Reyes, Unfurled Design @unfurleddesign; Dan’yell Powell @danyellily

Model/Hair/Makeup: Sophia Lane (with assistance from Amanda Lane), @sophiajlane

Photography: Becca Henry, Becca Henry Photography

Location: Aztec Dahlias, Petaluma, California

IRIS LOOK

Floral Palette: 1,500 ‘Hong Kong’ irises, Sun Valley Flower Farm (Arcata, Calif.) @sunvalleyfloralfarms

Designer: Faye Zierer Krause, Flora Organica Designs@fayekrause

Model: Morgan Mireles

Hair and Makeup: Angela Cheung, Onxy-Private Holistic Studio, @onyxarcata

Photography: Leon Villagomez, Leon Villagomez Photographer @leonvillagomez

Location: Flora Organica Designs, Arcata, California

 

American Flowers Week featured in Super Floral Magazine

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Homegrown Blooms appears in the June 2018 issue of Super Floral Magazine.

I’m so excited to share the stories of grocery stores around the country who are participating in and promoting American Flowers Week, bringing their customers a new reason to purchase bouquets and bunches of local blooms!

The June issue of Super Floral, a sister publication to Florists’ Review, features my story about just that.

“Homegrown Blooms, Coast to Coast” highlights some of the ways that groceries and supermarkets of all sizes are bringing the message of local, seasonal and sustainable flowers to their shoppers.

We have the most creative staff and for us, it was the joy of creating something to display during American Flowers Week and share with our customers — Denise Johnson, T&C Bainbridge Island

Thanks to all the talented folks who are featured in these pages, including:
Town & Country Markets
Floral category manager Melanie Cherry
T&C Bainbridge Island floral manager Denise Johnson
Ballard Market floral manager Kristen Parris

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market farmers and staff

Cone & Steiner
Owner Dani Cone

Triple Wren Farms
Steve and Sarah Pabody

Whole Foods Markets
Regional floral buyer Diana Westcott

Download full article hereSuper Floral Article

The 2018 American Flowers Week Floral Fashion Collection

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We’ve been planning and designing the 2018 Floral Fashion Collection for months — and it will be unveiled this week in the June issue of Florists’ Review!

For the third year in a row, American Flowers Week has commissioned fashion-inspired looks featuring local, seasonal and domestic florals.

For 2018, we have five fashion looks to unveil. It is amazing what the talented flower farmers and floral designers have conjured up this year and I’m so excited to be able to announce the participants and give you a preview of their creativity here.

Grab your June 2018 copy of Florists’ Review to read more and see a full 12-page spread about American Flowers Week’s floral fashions. I’ll be sharing individual stories and more beautiful photos throughout June, leading up to the June 28-July 4 #americanflowersweek Celebration.

Thank you to everyone who donated flowers, design time, photography and styling. The impressive dream team behind these looks are not only talented but passionate about promoting American-grown flowers through their creativity!

Let’s celebrate the five floral fashion narratives created for 2018 American Flowers Week. I can’t tell you how much it means to this cause — to elevate the public’s awareness and to engage the industry to CARE about domestic floral agriculture and sustainable, mindful floral design.

FIELD TO FASHION
In its fourth year, American Flowers Week celebrates U.S.-grown (and foraged) botanicals with five fresh, inspiring and hand-crafted couture looks. 

PEONY LOOK

Floral Palette: Peony flowers and petals, Scenic Place Peonies (Homer, Alaska) @scenicplacepeonies

Designer: Kelly Shore, Petals by the Shore @petalsbytheshore

Design assistance: Lisa Thorne, Thorne & Thistle @thorneandthistle

Model: Ashley Johnson, @ah.schlee

Hair/Makeup: Elizabeth Morphis, Scenic Place Peonies

Apparel: Donated by Grunden’s @grundens

Photography: Joshua and Brittney Veldstra joshuaveldstra.com, @joshuaveldstra

Location: Homer Small Boat Harbor, Homer, Alaska

TROPICAL LOOK

Floral Palette: Tropical and temperate flowers, foliage and botanicals grown on Hawaii’s Big Island, including lantern ilima (Abutilon), Spanish moss, calathea leaves, fiddlehead ferns, ti leaves, cymbidium orchids, statice, snapdragons, dianthus, anthuriums, epidendrum orchids, hanging fuzzy heliconia, bottlebrush, fishtail palm, blue jade vine, crown flower, kalanchoe, foxtail agave, camellia, ginger, bougainvillea, bromeliad, pincushion protea and croton.

Designers: Alison Grace Higgins (owner) and Nicole Cordier (manager), Grace Flowers Hawaii (Honokaa, Hawaii) @graceflowershawaii

Florals supplied by: J&D Farms (Kamuela), Pacific Floral Exchange (Hilo), Hawaiian Isle Flowers (Volcano), The Orchid People (Kamuela), ESP Nurseries (Kamuela) and High Country Farms (Pa’auilo Mauka).

Models: Na’iwi Young of Olowalu Entertainment and Kayla Maluhia Kawai @radshack_hawaii

Hair/Makeup: Gracia Malendres, Grace Makeup Artistry

Photography: Meghan Spelman, Bikini Birdie Photography @bikinibirdie

Location: Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii

WOODLAND LOOK

Floral Palette: Pacific Northwest-foraged moss, lichen and pine cones

Production support: Seattle Wholesale Growers Market (Seattle, Wash.)

Designer: Carly Jenkins, Killing Frost Farm (Missoula, Montana) @killingfrostfarm

Assistant: Katherine Sherba, Mighty Fine Farm (Missoula, Montana)

Model: Berkeley Danysh, TCM Models and Talent

Hair/Makeup:
Carly Jenkins

Photography:
Alex Brooks, Alex Brooks @alex_brks

Location:
Old Goat Farm, Orting, Washington

DAHLIA LOOK

Floral Palette: 350 dahlias, Aztec Dahlias (Petaluma, Calif.) @aztec_dahlias; Herbs and succulents, Full Bloom Farm (Sebastopol, Calif.) @fullbloomflowerfarm 

Designer: Hedda Brorstrom, Full Bloom Farm

Harvesting/Production Assistance: MaryAnn Nardo, 7 Petals Floral Design @7petalsdesign; Sarah Reyes, Unfurled Design @unfurleddesign; Dan’yell Powell @danyellily

Model/Hair/Makeup: Sophia Lane (with assistance from Amanda Lane), @sophiajlane

Photography: Becca Henry, Becca Henry Photography

Location: Aztec Dahlias, Petaluma, California

IRIS LOOK

Floral Palette: 1,500 ‘Hong Kong’ irises, Sun Valley Flower Farm (Arcata, Calif.) @sunvalleyfloralfarms

Designer: Faye Zierer Krause, Flora Organica Designs @fayekrause

Model: Morgan Mireles

Hair and Makeup: Angela Cheung, Onxy-Private Holistic Studio, @onyxarcata

Photography: Leon Villagomez, Leon Villagomez Photographer @leonvillagomez

Location: Flora Organica Designs, Arcata, California

Download Social Media Graphics of all these Looks and show your support for American Flowers Week.

AFW Bouquet Labels are Ready!

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Adorn and embellish your bouquets with American Flowers Week labels!

It’s *almost* heeeeeere!

American Flowers Week 2018 launches in just one month, friends!

It’s completely free to participate in American Flowers Week, but if you want to dazzle your customers, we have an affordable resource for you to use.

For the 3rd year in a row, you can use American Flowers Week bouquet labels to highlight your product, your brand and your mission.

Check it out — This year, I made 2 improvements to the festive label art, designed by Jenny Diaz. First, the labels come on sheets of 9 (making shipping so much easier than strips of labels that I have to manually count out). Second, the year has been eliminated from the logo. That way, if you find yourself with leftovers, you can save the extras for next year.

Last year, Slowflowers member Rita Anders of Weimar, Texas-based Cuts of Color, delivered hundreds of bouquets and bunches of American Flowers Week blooms to Central Market in Houston. She texted us these photos and added: “Labels look great! I love the labels!”

Pricing:

$20     54      6 sheets

$30     108    12 sheets

$35     207    23 sheets

$75     504    56 sheets

$125  1008   112 sheets

To order: Please send your request to debraprinzing@gmail.com indicating the quantity of labels you wish. You must be a current and active Slow Flowers member to enjoy this benefit.

Payment: You will receive an invoice via PayPal and once that is completed, the labels will be sent.

Deadline/Shipment: All label orders must be received by Friday, June 15th in order for us to mail them to you in time.

 

Get Ready for Red-White-and-Blue Florals!

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Arranged with all-local Pacific Northwest blooms, I love this sweet centerpiece that I made at a design workshop with Tammy Myers of First and Bloom last summer (c) Missy Palacol Photography

A perfect patriotic floral combo! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

Maybe the palette seems a little cheezy to you, but ever since I created American Flowers Week in 2015, I have been on the lookout for fantastic ingredients that add up to beautiful (and anything but cheezy) Red-White-and-Blue floral arrangements and bouquets.

Nothing says “proud” and “homegrown” better than recreating our American flag’s true colors in a vase, right?

Here a pretty bouquet from last summer at a Tammy Myers’ First and Bloom workshop, with photographs by Missy Palacol.

Another view and a snap of me with my American Flowers Week-inspired beauties (c) Missy Palacol Photography

That fun, al fresco-style event took place a month or so after American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) but clearly the stars and stripes were top-of-mind because I didn’t hesitate about the palette when Tammy offered me an entire rainbow of botanicals from which to choose.

MORE RED-WHITE-AND-BLUE FLORALS

I’ve been playing with reds & maroons, whites & creams, blues & indigos — across the botanical spectrum — for the past three years, and now I’m really getting excited about our next American Flowers Week campaign. It’s coming up in just five weeks, so I hope these images inspire you to create your own Independence Day bouquets. Please share them at our Slow Flowers Community Page on Facebook!

All-American flowers, grown in Oregon at Charles Little & Co.

A child’s table, painted delphinium blue by a vintage dealer, is my perfect podium for this bouquet.

A July 4, 2015 Mason jar bouquet featuring ‘Checkers,’ a favorite dahlia from Jello Mold Farm.

Enjoy these glorious red-white-and-blue flowers, picked just in time for American Flowers Week.

 

Social Media Graphics for American Flowers Week 2018

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We’re so excited to unveil the new social media graphics for you to use in branding your American Flowers Week promotions this year!

Click here to download branded graphics for your Facebook profile, Instagram post, a website/blog badge (shown above) and a 4×6 inch promotional post card.

We’ll soon be able to share our 5 Floral Fashions, so check back for details!

New Floral Business Models at the Slow Flowers Summit

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Note: This article appears in the Spring 2018 issue of Cut Flower Quarterly, the publication of Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

There is a sweet spot in our industry when flower farmers make personal connections with floral designers and I’ve heard time and again how rewarding it is for flower farmers to see their fresh, local and seasonal botanicals elevated as floral art by talented designers.

It is these types of face-to-face connections between grower and florist that has propelled local flowers to be “the most exciting story in the floral industry today,” as one leading floral educator recently told me.

Yet reaching out to the mainstream floral industry continues to be a challenge and that is one reason I launched both American Flowers Week in 2015 and last year offered a one-day symposium for floral designers called the Slow Flowers Summit.

That the Slow Flowers Summit coincided with the annual conference of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), held last year in Seattle, was a happy coincidence. Several AIFD members and media attended the Slow Flowers Summit, curious to see what the buzz was all about. Rather than competing with what is considered the leading professional association in floristry, I wanted to add local flowers to the conversation.

The effort has led to an invitation from AIFD to speak on “Field to Vase: Connecting Grower, Florist and Consumer” as part of the group’s first-ever “Field to Vase Florists” educational track at this year’s Symposium. The track is promoted as “acknowledging the movement toward sustainability and locally grown, AIFD welcomes industry professionals who share the farmer/floral artist lifestyle.”

AIFD’s leadership also invited Slow Flowers to produce our second annual Slow Flowers Summit and share its symposium venue by providing conference space and promoting the event. The Summit will taking place on Friday, June 29th (the day prior to AIFD’s opening session) at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C.

I’ve asked this year’s speakers (flower farmers, farmer-florists and floral industry leaders) to focus on new business models in floral design. Christina Stembel of San Francisco-based Farmgirl Flowers’ keynote presentation will help attendees think about scaling their studio or farm to new levels. Casey Schwartz and Kit Wertz, partners in Los Angeles-based Flower Duet, will share their recipe for diversifying a floral design studio to include workshops, tours, weddings and events, as well as online education. Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore (Maryland) and Mary Kate Kinnane of The Local Bouquet (Rhode Island) will present floral designs inspired by their favorite flower farms and discuss best practices for local sourcing. Jonathan Weber of Pittsburgh-based greenSinner will be joined by ASCFG member Jessica Hall of Harmony Harvest Farm (Virginia) and Christina Stembel to pull away the curtain on flowers, technology and infrastructure. And we’ll close the session with two pioneering urban flower farmers: Mud Baron of Muir Ranch (Pasadena) and Walker Marsh of Tha Flower Farm (Baltimore).

I am excited by the diverse range of experiences and voices coming together for a day that promises to enrich professionals and thought leaders in the progressive floral community. Plus, we’ll have only local and American grown flowers on display and incorporated in the presentations, thanks to many Slow Flowers and ASCFG member farms.

See videos of last year’s sessions and find registration details at slowflowerssummit.com.