Four Seasons of Floral Design

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0117january2017frontcoverJanuary 2017 welcomed the arrival of a new, expanded and redesigned FLORISTS’ REVIEW Magazine and Slow Flowers is featured inside its covers in a big way.

Thanks to our relationships with many lifestyle publications like FLORISTS’ REVIEW, we are providing more creative content about American-grown flowers and the farms and florists who supply those blooms with audiences hungry for authenticity and inspiration!

We’re expecially excited about Debra Prinzing’s article entitled “Four Seasons of Floral Design,” which features the artistry of Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore, and the flowers, foliages and plants grown by Leon and Carol Carrier of Plant Masters flower farm.

From left: Carol Carrier, Kelly Shore and Leon Carrier. The perfect collaboration between florist and flower farmers. (c) Kirsten Smith Photography

From left: Carol Carrier, Kelly Shore and Leon Carrier. The perfect collaboration between florist and flower farmers. (c) Kirsten Smith Photography

It was after learning more about the Slow Flowers movement that Kelly asked herself, “What would happen if I made a bouquet in every season on someone’s farm?”

Kelly and her team have generously shared a few photos with us here to inspire you as you plan for American Flowers Week 2017! Whether you’re a flower farmer or a floral designer, we encourage you to think about how you can team up to create some magic that conveys the best of American-grown flowers!

WINTER Wonderland

Kelly started the #ayearoflocalflowers social media hash-tag and you can find her on Instagram @ayearoflocalflowers

Kelly started the #ayearoflocalflowers social media hash-tag and you can find her on Instagram @ayearoflocalflowers © Audra Wrisley Photography for the winter series.

Floral crown, bouquet, centerpieces and other decor are made from Plant Masters' greenhouse and field products, including poinsettias and succulents.

Floral crown, bouquet, centerpieces and other decor are made from Plant Masters’ greenhouse and field products, including poinsettias and succulents.

Love the amaryllis + poinsettias + succulents + paperwhites + cedar + ilex for a stunning winter bouquet -- all local!

Love the amaryllis + poinsettias + succulents + paperwhites + cedar + ilex for a stunning winter bouquet — all local!

Authentic winter botanical beauty - from the farm.

Authentic winter botanical beauty – from the farm.

Florals – Petals by the Shore
Coordination – Rose Gold Events & Styling
Hair/makeup: Lori Nansi
Photography:  Audra Wrisley Photography
Ribbon/fabric: Silk & Willow
Dress: TLC bridal boutique
Earrings: The Jewel’s Nest
Model: Alexandra Penn

SPRING Awakening

Kelly's "spring story" focuses on a girl who is out in the flower fields picking every element of her wedding flowers -- and then designing them. © Joy Michelle Photography

Kelly’s “spring story” focuses on a girl who is out in the flower fields picking every element of her wedding flowers — and then designing them. © Joy Michelle Photography for the spring series.

A young bride gathers and arranges her garden-inspired wedding flowers from Plant Masters' fields and greenhouses.

A young bride gathers and arranges her garden-inspired wedding flowers from Plant Masters’ fields and greenhouses.

Kelly's intern, Rosalind Elles, is the "spring awakening" model

Kelly’s intern, Rosalind Elles, is the “spring awakening” model

Here, Rosalind designs with just-picked sweet peas, foxgloves, peonies and lilacs.

Here, Rosalind designs with just-picked sweet peas, foxgloves, peonies and lilacs.

Florals – Petals by the Shore
Coordination – Rose Gold Events & Styling
Hair/makeup: Something Blu Beauty
Photography: Joy Michelle Photography
Dress: Gossamer
Ribbon/fabric: Silk & Willow
Ring:  Boone and Sons
Model: Rosalind Elles

SUMMER Explosion

Kelly's summer story involves a real-life couple among a sea of Plant Masters' 'Limelight' panicle Hydrangeas. (c) Kirsten Smith Photography for summer series.

Kelly’s summer story involves a real-life couple among a sea of Plant Masters’ ‘Limelight’ panicle Hydrangeas. (c) Kirsten Smith Photography for the summer series.

The lovely bouquet explodes with zinnias, rudbeckia, dahlias, lilies, cosmos, tuberoses, ornamental grasses and much more.

The lovely bouquet explodes with zinnias, rudbeckia, dahlias, lilies, cosmos, tuberoses, ornamental grasses and much more.

Kelly asked a local vendor called Picnic Pos to bring artisan flavored ice pops as a charming summertime prop.

Kelly asked a local vendor called Picnic Pops to bring artisan flavored ice pops as a charming summertime feature.

Romance in the zinnia field at Plant Masters.

Romance in the zinnia field at Plant Masters.

Florals – Petals by the Shore
Coordination – Rose Gold Events & Styling
Hair/makeup: Lori Nansi
Photography:  Kirsten Smith Photography
Popsicles: Picnic Pops
Vintage rentals: Faccia Fresca Vintage
Dress: Gossamer
Ribbon/fabric: Silk & Willow
Ring: Trumpet & Horn
Models: Kyle & Jennifer Ertter

FALL Romance

Fall represents the height of harvest at Plant Masters farm. (c) Kirsten Smith Photography for the fall series.

Fall represents the height of harvest at Plant Masters farm. (c) Kirsten Smith Photography for the fall series.

The sweetheart table is embellished with seasonal vegetables, gourds and pumpkins, as well as local pies and local flowers in Kelly's gorgeous centerpiece.

The sweetheart table is embellished with seasonal vegetables, gourds and pumpkins, as well as local pies and local flowers in Kelly’s gorgeous centerpiece.

The high tunnels at Plant Masters reveal the floral agriculture that defines this beautiful Maryland flower farm.

The high tunnels at Plant Masters reveal the floral agriculture that defines this beautiful Maryland flower farm. Mexican sage, ornamental cabbages and marigolds thrive here, ready for harvest.

Fall-blooming celosia and late-season dahlias are the focal elements of the bridal bouquet.

Fall-blooming celosia and late-season dahlias are the focal elements of the bridal bouquet.

Florals – Petals by the Shore
Coordination – Rose Gold Events & Styling
Hair: Hypnotic Salon & Spa
Makeup: Makeup by Kevan
Photography: Kirsten Smith Photography
Invitation/paper goods: Natalie Drake Design
Pies: Butlers Orchard
Dress: Gossamer
Ribbon/fabric: Silk & Willow
Models: Edward & Britney Gourley

Please click here to download and read a PDF of the entire story: four-seasons-of-flowers, courtesy of Florists’ Review.

Click here to subscribe to Florists’ Review magazine.

Waving the Flower Flag

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Imagine: An 8-foot-tall by 12-foot-wide floral flag! All photos courtesy Certified American Grown.

Imagine: An 8-foot-tall by 12-foot-wide floral flag! All photos courtesy Certified American Grown.

Something pretty amazing took place a few months ago when the Wholesale Florist & Floral Supplier Association (also known as WFFSA) conference was held in Miami.

As attendees from around the world walked into the Miami Airport & Convention Center, they were greeted by an 8-by-12 foot “Stars and Stripes” flag fabricated out of approximately 10,000 stems of foliage and flowers.

Christy Hulsey, of Colonia House of Flowers, with her creation.

Christy Hulsey, of Colonia House of Flowers, with her creation, including red pine-cone ginger lilies from her grandmother’s garden in Georgia.

Designed by Slowflowers.com member Christy Hulsey of Colonial House of Flowers, the amazing, three-dimensional installation was impossible to ignore. “It stood proudly in the lobby of the conference registration area for all to see and it was a beautiful piece, enjoyed by many people who took their picture with it throughout the week,” says Kasey Cronquist, administrator of Certified American Grown Flowers, who envisioned the giant floral flag, invited Christy to produce it and recruited numerous flower farms to contribute thousands of flowers and foliage stems for its construction.

Details, Details, all 10,000 of them!

Details, Details, all 10,000 of them!

While this story has nothing specific to do with American Flowers Week, I want to share Christy’s story of passion, commitment to her family and community, and love of American flowers. This is a story of total sacrifice and it shouldn’t go unrecognized.

PLUS, I think you’ll draw inspiration as you plan your own over-the-top way to celebrate American Flowers Week 2017! You just might want to build your own FLORAL FLAG!

ALL AMERICAN INSPIRATION

There’s nothing more near and dear to me than American flowers,” Christy says. “It was such an honor to create this piece.

The larger-than-life botanical endeavor came together with ingenuity and sheer determination, the type of superhuman skills required of a designer like Christy who is used to executing large-scale weddings and events for her south Georgia-based floral business. “This project came together in less than four weeks. We had to build it on-site in a very short period of time.”

Keeping everything fresh and fantastic!

Keeping everything fresh and fantastic!

Christy credits fellow Chapel Designer Lisa Thorne of Thorne & Thistles in Auburn, Alabama, for helping her with the conceptual design. “Lisa created the original outline for the wall. She drew this! Out of the goodness of her heart. No compensation. No credit. She just did it! And she also created the flower recipe,” Christy says. “Without being asked, Lisa just took the ball and ran. She spent so many hours working on this project . . . and thank goodness.”
[Note: This help was so essential to Christy because at the time, her home town had been hit by a fall hurricane and she was without electricity and certainly didn’t have access to the Internet.]

Christy’s husband Brian Hulsey, who has extensive carpentry and electrical training, lent hours of his construction talents, as well as financial support for supplies. “It’s amazing that we were able to make this happen,” she says.

This side view gives a sense of the flag-wall's depth and dimension

This side view gives a sense of the flag-wall’s depth and dimension

The structure’s plywood base was constructed to look like a flag billowing in the wind. It was so large that once Brian finished, Christy had to rent a cargo van to transport it more than 500 miles to Miami. Erected on site, the base was stabilized with a pulley system attached to the back of the wall. Four buckets filled with 100-pound sandbags were hooked to the pulleys as counterweights.

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How to Throw a Farmer-Florist Party

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Farmers and Florists in Greenville, South Carolina, came together to celebrate local flowers for American Flowers Week 2016 (c) Angela Zion Photography

Farmers and Florists in Greenville, South Carolina, came together to celebrate local flowers for American Flowers Week 2016 (c) Angela Zion Photography

If you’re like me, planning for 2017 is top-of-mind these days. And it’s not too early to begin your American Flowers Week 2017 promotional prep!

Here’s some inspiration to get you started. I’ve been wanting to share the story of SC Upstate Flowers, a group of creative and motivated flower farmers who are staking a claim for Slow Flowers in their community. They planned a fun, festive, floral — and affordable — promotional event that was a huge success.

Meet Melissa Smith, Fraylick Farm (c) Angela Zion

Meet Melissa Smith, Fraylick Farm (c) Angela Zion

The goal? To use the occasion of American Flowers Week to introduce themselves and their beautiful, local blooms to their hometown florists.

Flower farmer and Slowflowers.com member Melissa Smith of Fraylick Farm knew that American Flowers Week 2016 (June 28-July 4) was coming up after reading about it in Slowflowers.com newsletters.

“I thought, ‘we need to do something with this — this is a good opportunity,'” she explained. The idea of a “Farmer-Florist Party” took on a life of its own when Suzie Bunn of Statice Floral offered to hold the party in her Greenville studio.

Gorgeous, natural light fills The Station, where florist Suzie Bunn and her business Statice Floral are based.

Gorgeous, natural light fills The Station, where florist Suzie Bunn and her business Statice Floral are based.

“The Station,” where Suzie’s design studio is housed, is actually an old gas station converted into a multi-artist commercial space. In addition to a printmaker, two photographers work here, including Angela Zion, who offered to capture the Farmer-Florist Party on film. She has generously shared some of those images with us here.

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American Flowers Week inspires one designer’s styled shoot

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Parie Design's all-American and local backyard farm-to-table dinner (c) Mallory Morgan Creative

Parie Design’s all-American and local backyard farm-to-table dinner (c) Mallory Morgan Creative

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Parie Donaldson, CEO of Parie Designs in Amarillo, Texas, learned about American Flowers Week from our social media posts and from her fellow Chapel Designer, Kansas City-based Andrea K. Grist of Andrea K. Grist Floral Design.

But rather than just posting a floral image on her Instagram feed, Parie and her team took American Flowers Week to new levels. They created a styled shoot, called “BACKYARD FARM TO TABLE DINNER PARTY,” and submitted the photos to a favorite style blog: Inspired by This.

As floral designers, this group of gals was excited to host a beautiful backyard farm to table dinner party. Not only did we find out about American Flowers Week, but also gathered such fresh and fun inspiration for parties of our own! It doesn’t get much better than farm fresh food and even fresher cut flowers. (The charcuterie board will make your mouth water!) Parie Designs put themselves in charge of planning (and styling) this soiree at a super cool venue – The Bowery Warehouse. They’re sharing their favorite parts with us here.

We were thrilled to have a small dinner party in honor of American Flowers Week just a few weeks ago! We get to spend so much time designing beautiful florals from Holland and other faraway places, which we love, but we jumped at the opportunity to cut some of our blooms from our own backyards and enjoy an evening together complete with yummy cocktails, delicious food and good company.

2upYou can see the entire story here.

I recently scheduled a phone date with Parie to learn about her charming American Flowers Week-styled shoot. Here’s an excerpt:

AFW: I’m curious about your “styled shoots”? Why do you invest time and resources to create them?

PD: We do four to six a year. I’m so lucky that we now have an amazing photographer on staff — Mallory Morgan Henderson. She’s our new floral designer, but she’s also a photographer. It seems like every shoot or wedding I’ve done with Mallory has been published. She’s smart, savvy and spectacular. Now we can say: “Let’s do a shoot,” and we can come up with the plan, thanks to Mallory.

gardenparty30of32AFW: What inspired the Backyard Farm to Table Dinner Party?

PD: I’ve been back in Amarillo for more than 20 years after living in and beginning my floral career in Seattle. In that time, I’ve literally only known of three farms that grow flowers. We’re surrounded here by farms where cattle, sourghum and corn are raised, but there’s nobody here growing flowers anymore. For some time, there was an amazing woman who had the most fabulous peonies growing on an acre or two — I would try to take every peony she had.

So instead, for this shoot, we sourced produce from the one local organic food farmer and then we cut everything out of my garden and our team member’s gardens (for the decor).

AFW: I love how casual and elegant you made things look. Very luxe and comfortable at the same time!

PD: Thanks! This became our employee photo shoot. We made the beautiful dinner ourselves, we imbibed, we ate, we enjoyed the evening, we took pictures.

AFW: How did you learn about American Flowers Week and decide to get involved?

PD: I knew about it because I’m a Chapel Designer. I’m watching everything go on — I’ve really been trying to get to one of those Field to Vase DInners, too.

AFW: Do you think you’ll ever grow your own flowers just to be able to design with more seasonal, local and American grown botanicals?

PD: You know, across from The Bowery, our event space, we own this huge lot. It’s mainly used for parking but I look at it every day and I find myself thinking: “How could I get water to it?” I’m sure there’s space to grow some flowers there.

AFW: Thank you, Parie! It has been great learning from you and I can’t wait to see what you come up with for American Flowers Week 2017!

Follow Parie Design on Facebook

Follow Parie Design on Instagram

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market joins American Flowers Week

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wgm-sq-horiz3Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, the innovative farmer-to-florist wholesale cooperative based in Seattle, has stepped up its support for American Flowers Week 2017, today announcing its sponsorship of one of five Floral Style Fashion shoots.

SWGMC is excited about the opportunity to support and sponsor American Flowers Week. This creative campaign encourages consumers to think about where their cut flowers are grown, and brings about more awareness of the importance of our domestic flower farms, and the challenges they face.
— Molly Sadowsky, Market Manager

We’ve assembled a talented “dream team” behind the Prairie-inspired floral look, which will be depicted in a pastoral setting that reflects American floral agriculture at its best!

Inspiration board featuring NW-grown flowers from Jello Mold Farm, Everyday Flowers, Sonshine Farm and Rain Drop Farm.

Inspiration board featuring NW-grown flowers from Jello Mold Farm, Everyday Flowers, Sonshine Farm and Rain Drop Farm.

Let me introduce you to the team:

FLOWERS, FOLIAGE AND BOTANICALS: Supplied by the flower farms of Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

SLOW FLOWERS DESIGNER: Amy Kunkel-Patterson of Gather Design Co. (Seattle)

OUR MODEL: Flower farmer Kelly Uhlig of Sonshine Farm (Whidbey Island, WA)

HAIR & MAKEUP: Yessie Libby of Yessie Makeup Artistry (Seattle)

PHOTOGRAPHY: Anna Peters of Anna Peters Photogaphy (Seattle)

LOCATION: Everyday Flowers owned by Vivian Larson (Stanwood, WA)

We can’t wait to share this imagery with you! But it will be embargoed until American Flowers Week 2017 — June 28-July 4, 2017.

Get in touch if you’d like to learn more about our Floral Style Fashions — we’re producing 5 in all so there’s still time to become a sponsor! I’m at debra (at) slowflowers (dot) com (debra@slowflowers.com).

Australian Flowers Week announced for September 17-25

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This just in from the U.K. blog Flowerona:

floweronalogoAustralian Flowers WeekAUSTRALIAN FLOWER WEEK
After the wonderful successes of British Flowers Week and American Flowers Week, the inaugural Australian Flowers Week will be taking place this month from September 17th-25th. It’s designed to celebrate the beauty of Australian flowers and foliage. For more details, simply visit the Australian Flowers Week website.

Congratulations from AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK to everyone in Australia who is working to sustain and promote domestic, Australia-grown flowers and floral design that supports the ethos of local and seasonal botanicals!

P.S. subscribe to the FLOWERONA newsletter here.

Flowerstock joins American Flowers Week

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Floral designer and educator Holly Heider Chapple, creator of the Chapel Designers, has something big in store for her first FLOWERSTOCK, which takes place October 17-18 at Hope Flower Farm.

“(I’m) excited to announce that Slow Flowers will be an official sponsor for Flowerstock,” Holly shared on her Instagram feed (@hollychapple). “During the festival we will be creating a top secret floral design on their behalf. This design will be created with all American-grown flowers!”

This is indeed exciting news! The participants of Flowerstock will create one of our five American Flowers Week “Floral Style” fashion shoots featuring an iconic American-grown flower to reflect the robust domestic flower farming community and the spirit of local and seasonal floristry.

In joining forces with American Flowers Week, Flowerstock will be named a Floral Style Sponsor. Images of the Flowerstock Floral Style creation will be included in the 2017 American Flowers Week promotions to media, industry and consumers.

About Flowerstock: Flowerstock is being offered at the rate of $825 and includes demonstrations and installations from Ariella Chezar, Robbie Honey, Naomi De Manana, Holly Chapple, Lisa Waud, Sweetroot Village, Oak and the Owl, Fleur Inc, Southern Blooms and Joseph Massie. This is a festival vibe with live music, glamping tents, food trucks, bonfires, and sundries! Details and tickets can be found here.

Announcing our 2017 Underwriting and Sponsor Opportunities

AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK 2017 MEDIA, FLORAL STYLE AND INDUSTRY SPONSORSHIPS

What we’re looking for:

  • One strategic MEDIA partner
  • Five SUPER-CREATIVE FLORAL partners
  • INDUSTRY partners whose brands align with the mission and ethos of American Flowers Week.

Engagement in American Flowers Week tripled from our launch in 2015 to our 2nd year, 2016 — and there’s every indication it will expand in impact and influence for 2017. Download this flier here.

Please get in touch if you’d like more information or if you have suggestions! I’m at Debra@slowflowers.com
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Favorite Moments: American Flowers Week 2016

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SLOW FLOWERS SUCCESS!

American Flowers Week on display at Seattle's Ballard Market, part of the Town & Country Markets chain.

American Flowers Week on display at Seattle’s Ballard Market, part of the Town & Country Markets chain.

It’s no exaggeration to say that American Flowers Week was a big success.

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Beautiful! Pisarcik Greenhouse & Flower Farm in Pittsburg posted this red-white-and-blue floral image to celebrate American Flowers week

By one measure, the 2016 celebration exceeded last year’s by three times the engagement — from 410,000 impressions on Instagram and Twitter in 2015 to 1.3 million impressions for this year.

And that’s not counting the Facebook posts, the blogs and news articles, the promotions at grocery and the amazing support from the Slow Flowers Community.

TheFarmersFlorist2A fun #americanflowersweek campaign from The Farmer’s Florist and Confetti Queen in Nashville.

We couldn’t be happier: A simple, week-long celebration of domestic and local flowers may seem simple, but it brought alot of attention to the American-grown cause. 

FTD rediscovered its roots and gave #americanflowersweek a shoutout!

FTD rediscovered its roots and gave #americanflowersweek a shoutout!

Johnny's Seeds took to social media to promote #americanflowersweek

Johnny’s Seeds took to social media to promote #americanflowersweek

Thank you to everyone who participated:

Flower Farmers promoted their floral customers; Florists promoted their favorite farmers. Everyone benefitted by shining the light on the American Grown floral community.

LauraLee Symes of Sellwood Flower Co. in Portland posted this Instagram moment of her American Flowers Week workshop

LauraLee Symes of Sellwood Flower Co. in Portland posted this Instagram moment of her American Flowers Week workshop

Unbeknownst to us, at least one Whole Foods store in the Baltimore created their on American Flowers Week promotion

Unbeknown to us, at least one Whole Foods store in the Baltimore created their on American Flowers Week promotion

A sweet, fragrant and beautiful time was had by all! As the momentum grows for American Flowers Week, we’re already collecting ideas for 2017. Your suggestions and ideas are welcome! Email info@slowflowers.com to share yours.

Before I sign off, I have to post my FAVORITE Flower Farmer Moments from American Flowers Week. They are simply beyond compare and you’ll love them:

Slow Flowers member Hedda Brorstrom of Full Bloom Farm outside Sebastopol created the cutest American Flowers Week flower bra!

Slow Flowers member Hedda Brorstrom of Full Bloom Farm near Sebastopol created the cutest American Flowers Week flower bra!

Slow Flowers member Dennis Westphall, one half of Jello Mold Farm, took inspiration from the film "American Beauty," and posed 'au naturele' in a bath of his Cafe au Lait dahlias. Wow.

Slow Flowers member Dennis Westphall, one half of Jello Mold Farm, took inspiration from the film “American Beauty,” and posed ‘au naturele’ in a bath tub filled with Cafe au Lait dahlias. Wow.

The Pabody family created a fantastic Instagram mosaic to celebrate #americanflowersweek

The Pabody family of Triple Wren Farm created a fantastic Instagram mosaic to celebrate #americanflowersweek

00507_DP_Canada_Badge-01P.S. With Canada Day occurring each year on July 1st, we’d like to launch #canadianflowersweek to help our Slowflowers.com members in Canada promote domestic flowers.

Get in touch if you’re interesting in serving on a planning committee for that campaign.