AMERICAN-GROWN FLORAL FASHION

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In Year Three, American Flowers Week Salutes Iconic U.S.-Grown Flowers and Foliages with a Couture Approach

*Note: This essay originally published in Florists’ Review June 2017 edition.

Photography credits: Anna Peters, Mary Grace Long, Jillian and Ryan McGrath, John Kaemmerling

In 2015, while in London for the Chelsea Flower Show, I met with Helen Evans, one of the geniuses behind New Covent Garden Market’s successful British Flowers Week campaign (June 19-25, 2017).

The U.K.’s most important wholesale floral hub launched BFW in 2013 as a low-budget, social media-driven “annual celebration of seasonal, locally-grown flowers and foliage united the U.K. cut flower industry and sparking public and media interest in where our flowers come from.” It has become a popular and successful campaign to promote British flowers — and floral designers.

By the time we had finished sipping from our steaming mugs of tea in the Market’s employee break room, I was thinking to myself: “I should start American Flowers Week.

Helen and her colleagues were immensely helpful and supportive. I returned to the U.S. in late May 2015 inspired by the BFW model, equipped with Helen’s suggestions and resources, and by the end of June, I introduced American Flowers Week.

The 2015 American Flowers Week Logo, designed by Jean Zaputil of Studio Z Design & Photography

It seems entirely fitting that our week coincides with Independence Day, July 4th. Not only do these dates provide a patriotic hook on which to hang AFW, the timing is perfect because there are local flowers growing on farms in all 50 U.S. states, Alaska included, in late June and early July. And, as one wholesale floral manager suggested: “It’s otherwise a down time in floral, so we love having a new event to help promote flowers.”

The initial grass-roots endeavor enjoyed 400,000 social media impressions during the 2015 campaign.

Susan McLeary of Passionflower Events created our red-white-and-blue floral ‘fro for 2016, with graphic design from Jenny Diaz

In 2016, we added beautiful collateral material, a free USA floral coloring map that participating florists and flower farmers could download and share with customers, and even red-white-and-blue stickers used by florists, flower farmers and retailers to label their AFW bouquets. Impressions on social media hit 1.3 million last year.

This year’s campaign graphic features Floral Fashion by Amy Kunkel-Patterson of Gather Design Co., photography by Anna Peters, and graphic design by Jenny Diaz — read the entire story tomorrow!

I can’t wait to see what we’ll reach for 2017. This is Day Two of American Flowers Week and we’ve already hit 2.0 million impressions on Twitter & Instagram alone! That’s radical! Love how the Slow Flowers Tribe is helping make American Flowers Week a *trending topic!

For 2017, I’ve borrowed yet another page from British Flowers Week. BFW selects five iconic U.K.-grown flowers and pairs each with a high-profile florist or design team to produce installations and vignettes. The press and online media devour these images — and of course, the publication of them creates a buzz about British flowers and the farmers and florists who supply them.

Slow Flowers, which presents AFW, has commissioned five floral-inspired fashion shoots depicting iconic American grown blooms. The designers who contributed their creativity and artistic talents teamed up with generous flower farms that donated stems straight from their fields and greenhouses.

The goal? To showcase domestic and seasonal flowers in a new and engaging way — and to show how inventiveness and ingenuity, along with American grown flowers, produce beautiful results.

These All-American floral looks would never have been possible without the support of Slow Flowers’ sponsors, including Certified American Grown, Arctic Alaska Peony Cooperative, Longfield Gardens, Syndicate Sales, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Upcoming: For the next 5 days — through July 4th — I’ll post the story of each Floral Fashion, with insights from its designer, as well as flower farmers who provided the botanicals incorporated in each wearable style.

Join our Floral Mind-Meld*

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Behind the Scenes at the Slow Flowers Summit

What inspired me to create the Slow Flowers Summit?
Over the years, there have been other ideas floating around about a conference focused on flower farmers and florists coming together to learn about the Slow Flowers Movement, but nothing really gained traction and I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted it to be.

That is until two things happened last year.

Debra, with Amy Stewart (c) and Scott Brown (r), photo courtesy Field to Vase Dinner Tour.

The idea first began to form while I was chatting with my friend Amy Stewart and her husband Scott Brown at the first Field to Vase Dinner of 2016.

We were enjoying the spectacle of a tulip-filled commercial greenhouse at Sun Valley Flower Farm in Arcata, Calif., not too far from where Amy and Scott live.

And as we reminisced about Amy’s New York Times bestselling book Flower Confidential, which includes a significant narrative about Sun Valley and its CEO Lane DeVries (who was our host at that dinner), I blurted out to Amy: “Wow, do you realize that next year, 2017, will be the ten-year anniversary of Flower Confidential?”

She laughed and said, no, she hadn’t really made that connection. And then she said: “I should do something to commemorate that. We should do something together.”

Amy’s presentation: “Where We’ve Come From and Where We’re Heading” shares her floral obvervations and predictions.

We both filed the idea away and then later in the year, while I was beginning plans for American Flowers Week 2017, I thought, “Why don’t I hold some kind of symposium during that week? Maybe Amy will come and speak.”

The Slow Flowers Summit, the idea more than anything else concrete, bubbled up into my consciousness and I looked at the calendar to think about my options.

I called Amy and asked if she would be my keynote speaker to talk about the decade of change that we’ve witnessed in the domestic cut flower industry.

She immediately said, “Yes, I’m in!”

Amy’s involvement lent the gravitas that we needed as the hub around which to build a full day of conversations about the progressive ideas that the Slow Flowers Movement espouses. Rather than a farming-themed symposia, the Summit speaker lineup and topics came together to include professional floral design, domestic sourcing and environmentally-conscious practices, personal development, as well as business branding, values and creativity.

And this leads to the second thing that inspired and influenced me. I attended the Seattle TEDx conference last November, curious to experience that format. I wanted to think big and be nontraditional in my approach to staging my own mini-version of such an ambitious platform. The way TEDx is packaged and produced appeals to me. The use of visuals and video that accompanies the presentations, the condensed time-frame for multiple talks, the unexpected topics — all of these ideas influenced what I wanted for the Summit.

Teresa will present “Post-Modern Posies: Botanical Messages for today.”

So the lineup came together with Amy and I knew Teresa Sabankaya of Bonny Doon Garden Co. had to be involved. Teresa is the “real” florist profiled by Amy in Flower Confidential — the Santa Cruz florist whose sidewalk kiosk filled with flowers from her own cutting garden gave Amy an alternative (and successful) model to contrast with the global floriculture industry documented elsewhere in her book.

James Baggett

I also wanted a dynamic emcee and I’m so fortunate that James Baggett, longtime friend and editor from Country Gardens magazine, said yes.

Now the garden editor for Better Homes & Gardens magazine, James’s energy, intelligence and engaging personality will strike the perfect chord for our day’s schedule of events.

And yes, he is a lover of all flora and fauna, especially puppies!

Two other innovators agreed to join the program and I am thrilled that they’ll be part of the Summit for similar reasons.

Emily (left) and Lisa (right) will push your creative thinking to new levels.

Both Emily Ellen Anderson of Lola Creative (Seattle) and Lisa Waud of pot & box (Detroit) are floral designers who think and execute flowers in a thoroughly unconventional manner.

I believe their presentations will embolden audience members to take creative risks, develop a personal value and mission statement, and stay true to those beliefs as artists. In addition to talking about reinvention — personally, professionally and sustainably, Emily will produce a foam free floral wall in “real time,” over the course of the day’s activities — engaging participants to design alongside her and learn about her methods. Lisa will lead “a creative conversation” as she shares her personal journey in artistic risk-taking — including her story of the now-famous Flower House Detroit (2015) and Detroit Flower Week (2016).

Clockwise, from top left: Leslie Bennett, Chantal Aida Gordon, Riz Reyes and Nicole Cordier Wahlquist. Their panel discussion will open new paths to a more inclusive, meaningful experience for all of us.

It was at Detroit Flower Week that something really special occurred – a conversation about diversity (or lack thereof) in the floral industry. I was so pleased that Lisa hosted an in-the-round discussion among professionals attending Detroit Flower Week, and I wanted to continue the dialogue with a panel at the Summit. In my opinion, horticulture and floriculture have similar trajectories, so I’ve invited four amazing talents from both worlds to share their personal narratives about being people of color navigating their professional paths in flowers and gardens. Continue reading

USA Map of State Flowers – Free Promotional Material for American Flowers Week

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Illustrated by Jenny Diaz, our new USA State Flowers coloring map is yours to print & share

Last year’s USA floral coloring map was a big hit with everyone who joined American Flowers Week promotions. We heard from Slow Flowers members who shared free copies at their Farmers’ Market stands, who took copies to their kids’ classrooms, and who handed out the coloring pages at their retail shops.

When it came to planning a 2017 version, artist Jenny Diaz went in a new direction — to celebrate the official State Flower of all 50 states, individually and compiled in to a beautiful new map (seen above).

Download Individual State Flower Coloring Pages

Looking for a specific State, such as Your State?! Individual Maps can also be downloaded and printed for your promotions. We encourage you to add your own logo to the artwork and PLEASE post images of what you color! Tag with #americanflowersweek and #stateflowermap

Promote Your Flowers This Summer with American Flowers Week

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PDFJune2017Growing for Market is the leading publication for market farmers who grow food AND flowers to sell via retail and wholesale channels.

We’re so excited that editor/publisher Andrew Mefferd invited Slow Flowers’ Debra Prinzing to contribute a story about American Flowers Week in the current June issue.

We hope it inspires his readers to join this pro-local-flowers campaign!

The message:

Join this cost-effective social media campaign to promote your locally-grown blooms

The story begins this way:

American-grown flowers are worth celebrating, so I figured they needed their own holiday. It’s called American Flowers Week. And what better time of year than July 4th, Independence Day, to plan the festivities? For the third consecutive year, American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) gives flower farmers and their customers endless good reasons for promoting homegrown botanicals.

I come from the world of media, and I know how important having an answer to the “why now?” question can be when persuading writers and editors that a story is timely or relevant. If the news generated by last year’s AFW campaign is any indication, there is indeed media interest in featuring American-grown flowers in newspapers, magazines and blogs, and even on television. Hey, it’s newsworthy!

Special thanks to everyone who shared their support and past experiences for the story, including:

Hillary Alger, Johnny’s Selected Seeds

Melissa Smith, Fraylick Farm and SC Upstate Flowers

Marybeth Wehrung, Stars of the Meadow and Hudson Valley Flower Growers Network

Christie Tarleton, The Farmer’s Florist

Dennis Westphall, Jello Mold Farm

Hedda Brorstrom, Full Bloom Flower Farm

Sarah Pabody, Triple Wren Farms

Click here to read a PDF of the Article/June 2017

Click here to subscribe to Growing for Market

Healing strength from flowers, a Chapel Designer installation

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Parie Donaldson, floral warrior, in celebration of American Flowers Week (c) Abby Jiu Photography

Last fall, Holly Chapple was getting ready for the first Flowerstock, her festival of flowers and floral design held at Hope Flower Farm in Waterford, Virginia. We talked about the idea of her attendees coming together to design a wearable floral fashion in celebration for American Flowers Week.

Little did I realize how personal this project would become, for Holly and for the woman who served as both model and inspiration for so many of her friends and colleagues.

Holly knew I wanted to use the floral fashion project to showcase domestic flowers, the design talents of Slow Flowers members and America’s beautiful diversity in our model selection. At first, she had a particular model in mind; then she called and told me she wanted to have Parie Donaldson wear the floral creation.

Parie was diagnosed with breast cancer on July 19, 2016, and began her chemotherapy treatments about a month later. An uber-talented floral designer, owner of Amarillo, Texas-based Parie Designs, and a member of Chapel Designers, Parie had recently shared her scary news with that tight-knit community of wedding and event designers, including their founder, Holly.

Paire in her mythical pose (left); Chapel Designers adorned their friend with fresh, local, American grown flowers. (c) Abby Jiu Photography

Holly invited Parie to attend Flowerstock as her guest, and she wanted her friend to experience restorative time on the Virginia farm, surrounded by the supportive floral community. “We all knew she was coming to Flowerstock before returning to Amarillo for a double-mastectomy,” Holly told me. “And I knew you wanted to have unique models and real people, so it felt right to design with Parie as our model.”

By the time everyone arrived at Hope Flower Farm for Flowerstock (October 17-18, 2016), Holly had already imagined the theme of “rebirth,” picturing Parie emerging out of flames into flowers.

The huge stone fire pit at Hope seemed like the perfect setting for the undertaking. With several design instructors and attendees lending support, the team draped Parie in sheer, diaphanous fabric and began to “flower” her. She stood at the center of the fire pit, regal, mythical and strong, as new and old friends adorned her head, shoulders and body. She held a piece of foraged bark, which Holly says a few designers dragged back to Hope Farm from a nearby vineyard. It somehow morphed into a botanical scepter, part of the imaginary storyline of Parie as warrior-goddess.

“This was a gift to me from Holly, and it was pretty significant,” Parie recalls now. “The amount of physical support, monetary support . . . it’s the stuff that brings me to my knees. It was overwhelming.”

Filled with flame-hued dahlias and other blooms, the fire pit symbolized a rebirth for Parie. (c) Abby Jiu Photography

Dahlias, amaranth, roses and other flowers — from Hope Farm and farms across the U.S. — embellished Parie and her scepter. More were used to symbolize flames in the fire pit.

For her part, Parie remembers the emotions more than the actual experience. “I was really raw. My psyche was raw at that point; my hair was gone. I was about to lose my boobs. I was physically weak, mentally weak, mentally raw — it was very unlike how I usually am as a confident, take-charge leader.”

Going to Flowerstock and being surrounded by a supportive community was a positive act, Parie says. “It was oddly comforting that I could absolutely let go while I was there. It was very loving and comforting that these women and men were completely taking care of me. It was certainly physical; it felt like an age-old ritual of laying hands on me. Pretty powerful.”

Strength in community, with flowers as her muse, Parie Donaldson (c) Abby Jiu Photography

Holly had imagined Parie emerging, phoenix-like, from a fire. For her part, Parie held onto a similarly potent image during her cancer treatment. “My visual for working through this was a Joan of Arc type figure. I imagined I had a suit of armor and on each of the scales on that armor appeared the name of all the other women who had gone before me, especially those I knew through my past support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation in my community. I told Holly about it, and the visual of a warrior became real when everyone started grabbing flowers to place on my head and body.”

After finishing and photographing Parie, the group placed leftover flowers in the pit and built a campfire that burned for two days, through daytime and night. “We are a very close-knit group and for all of us to be part of that and to work on the installation was very healing,” Holly says

Nature comes full circle, with the charred Amaranth seeds re-sprouting in the same place where Parie once stood (c) Holly Chapple via Instagram

Fast-forward to June 2017 and the seeds of once-burned amaranth stalks have begun to re-sprout in that very fire pit, appropriately bringing new life to Hope Farm. Parie has gone through five surgeries and radiation treatment and is getting ready for her final breast reconstruction surgery later this month.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier doing what I’m doing in my life,” Parie says. “Cancer will change your life. It puts things into perspective, especially how you choose to spend your time and energy. Being in flowers has changed my life. It has always been a comfort zone for me, but it is more so now.”

Details:

Check out our story of how Parie Design celebrated American Flowers Week in 2016.

Check out all the details about the October 9-10, 2017 Flowerstock here. Slow Flowers will be participating with Debra Prinzing as a speaker.

Holly thanks the following flower farms and growers for their donations to this project: Hope Flower Farm, Harmony Harvest Farm, Green Stone Fields, Don’s Dahlias, Peterkort Roses, Delaware Valley Floral Group.

American Flowers Week featured in Florists’ Review’s June issue

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In Year Three, American Flowers Week Salutes Iconic U.S.-Grown Flowers and Foliages with a Couture Approach

We’re so excited to share the story of American Flowers Week 2017 in the new issue of Florists’ Review! Here’s a sneak peek of the spreads in Debra Prinzing’s story, titled “Homegrown Event presents Floral Fashions.”

The opening paragraphs tell how American Flowers Week came to be:

In 2015, while in London for the Chelsea Flower Show, I met with Helen Evans, one of the geniuses behind New Covent Garden Market’s successful British Flowers Week campaign (June 19-25, 2017). The U.K.’s most important wholesale floral hub launched BFW in 2013 as a low-budget, social media-driven “annual celebration of seasonal, locally-grown flowers and foliage united the U.K. cut flower industry and sparking public and media interest in where our flowers come from.” It has become a popular and successful campaign to promote British flowers — and floral designers.

By the time we had finished sipping from our steaming mugs of tea in the Market’s employee break room, I was thinking to myself: “I should start American Flowers Week.”

Helen and her colleagues were immensely helpful and supportive. I returned to the U.S. in late May 2015 inspired by the BFW model, equipped with Helen’s suggestions and resources, and by the end of June, I introduced American Flowers Week.

It seemed entirely fitting that our week coincides with Independence Day, July 4th. Not only do these dates provide a patriotic hook on which to hang AFW, the timing is perfect because there are local flowers growing on farms in all 50 U.S. states, Alaska included, in late June and early July. And, as one wholesale floral manager suggested: “It’s otherwise a down time in floral, so we love having a new event to help promote flowers.”

The initial grass-roots endeavor enjoyed 400,000 social media impressions during the 2015 campaign. In 2016, we added beautiful collateral material, a free USA floral coloring map that participating florists and flower farmers could download and share with customers, and even red-white-and-blue stickers used by florists, flower farmers and retailers to label their AFW bouquets. Impressions on social media hit 1.3 million last year.

For 2017, I’ve borrowed yet another page from British Flowers Week. BFW selects five iconic U.K.-grown flowers and pairs each with a high-profile florist or design team to produce installations and vignettes. The press and online media devour these images — and of course, the publication of them creates a buzz about British flowers and the farmers and florists who supply them.

Slow Flowers, which presents AFW, has commissioned several floral-inspired fashion shoots depicting iconic American grown blooms. The designers who contributed their creativity and artistic talents teamed up with generous flower farms that donated stems straight from their fields and greenhouses.

The goal? To showcase domestic and seasonal flowers in a new and engaging way — and to show how inventiveness and ingenuity, along with American grown flowers, produce beautiful results.

These All-American floral looks would never have been possible without the support of Slow Flowers’ sponsors, including Certified American Grown, Arctic Alaska Peony Cooperative, Longfield Gardens, Syndicate Sales, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Congrats to all of our talented designers, photographers, models, hair/makeup artists — AND ESPECIALLY, the Flower Farmers who provided the blooms. See credits below.

To subscribe to Florists’ Review, click here.

Floral Palette: Sunflower, Rudbeckia, Amaranth and ornamental grasses
Designer: Amy Kunkel-Patterson, Gather Design Co. (Seattle, WA)
Floral ingredients supplied by Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

Model: Kelly Uhlig, Sonshine Farm, Langley, WA
Hair/Makeup: Yessie Libby, Yessie Makeup Artistry, Seattle
Photography: Anna Peters, Anna Peters Photography, Seattle
Location: Everyday Flowers, Stanwood, WA

Floral Palette: A medley of flowers and foliage from the landscape, hothouse and nature
Designer: Riz Reyes, RHR Horticulture (Seattle, WA)

Model: Alexander Brooks
Makeup: Yessie Libby, Yessie Makeup Artistry, Seattle
Photography: Mary Grace Long, Mary Grace Long Photography, Seattle
Location: Mary Grace Long Studio and Discovery Park, Seattle

Floral Palette: Bulb flowers, including iris, tulip, calla lily; Foliages, including ornamental cabbage, sword fern and wild huck
Designer: Tara Folker, Splints & Daisies, (Lancaster, PA)
Floral ingredients supplied by Stargazer Barn, Arcata, CA.

Model: Ashley Garner
Makeup: Stefani Burket, The Bonafide Ginger
Photography: Jillian and Ryan McGrath, With Love and Embers
Location: Hingework

Floral Palette: California-grown hybrid tea roses, garden roses and spray roses and their seasonal companions
Designer: Teresa Sabankaya, Bonny Doon Garden Co., (Santa Cruz, CA)
Floral ingredients supplied by California Pajarosa, Watsonville, CA, and Bonny Doon Garden Co., Santa Cruz, CA

Model: Antalia Sabankaya
Makeup: Zachary Winer
Hair: Carly Vollers
Photography: John Kaemmerling Photography
Location: Sabankaya family garden, Bonny Doon, CA

AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK PRESENTS . . . SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT

Read more about the Slow Flowers Summit here.

Sign up to attend! Tickets still available for the July 2nd event in Seattle.

 

2017 American Flowers Week Graphics

Sunflower Gown, Stunning Model, Sublime Setting . . . what else could you ask for?

We’ve just uploaded 2017 American Flowers Week Graphics and collateral images that you can use on social media and for your own marketing projects. Click here to find them all.

Thanks to our amazing designer, Jenny Diaz, for her ongoing creativity! You can learn more about Jenny’s work here. Follow Jenny on Instagram.

Thanks to Amy Kunkel-Patterson of Gather Design Co. (Seattle) for taking on the design challenge of creating a high-fashion sunflower gown!

Thanks to our beautiful model, Kelly Uhlig of Sonshine Flower Farm, a flower farmer who knows how to go glam when she has to!

Thanks to our venue, Everyday Flowers, contributed by flower farmer Vivian Larsen.

Thanks to the farmers of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market for donating hundreds and hundreds of beautiful, fresh and local sunflowers, rudbeckias, amaranthus and more!

Photography by the very talented Anna Peters and hair/makeup by the artistic Yessie Libby.

More graphics for your many social places:

Instagram Badge

Badge for your blog or web site

Post Card

 

A New Floral Holiday, American Flowers Week

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SLOWFLOWERS.COM ANNOUNCES 2017 AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK
A new Floral Holiday, now in its third year
Set for June 28-July 4, 2017
 

SEATTLE, WA (May 1, 2017) Slowflowers.com, the comprehensive online resource that connects consumers with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers, today announced details about the third annual “American Flowers Week.”

Since 2015, Slowflowers.com creator Debra Prinzing has staged a week-long celebration of domestic flowers to raise consumer awareness and unite America’s flower farmers with the U.S. floral industry. Last year, that effort generated more than 1.3 million social media impressions on Twitter and Instagram in a single month, demonstrating the power of images, ideas and values that promote American Grown Flowers.

Clearly, we’re experiencing a new normal marketplace in which consumers are highly conscious of the origins of the goods they purchase, and this is more evident in the floral industry than ever before,” Prinzing said. “The Slow Flowers community of growers and designers believe it’s important to raise awareness and celebrate local and domestic flowers with a new American floral holiday.

For the 2017 campaign, Slow Flowers has commissioned five Floral Style Fashion Shoots featuring iconic American-grown flowers, including sunflowers, roses, peonies and more. The wearable floral fashions designed by five Slowflowers.com member florists will be unveiled during American Flowers Week. Those designers include Amy Kunkel-Patterson of Gather Design Co., Riz Reyes of RHR Horticulture, Tara Folker of Splints & Daisies, Teresa Sabankaya of Bonny Doon Garden Co. and Arthur Williams, AIFD, of Babylon Floral. These American-grown floral looks feature flowers and foliages donated by the farmers of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, Stargazer Barn, California Pajarosa and The Fresh Herb Co., among others.

Many of the floral fashions will be published in the June 2017 issue of Florists’ Review magazine and the full gallery of images will be revealed and shared during American Flowers Week, Prinzing said.

In addition, American Flowers Week will be celebrated during a one-day Slow Flowers Summit, a symposium for progressive thought and action in the floral industry. Called a “Ted Talk for Flower Lovers,” the Summit takes place on Sunday, July 2, 2017 at the Surf Incubator Event Space in Downtown Seattle.

Sponsorship support from green industry partners greatly enhances the impact of the campaign, Prinzing said. Those sponsors include Certified American Grown Flowers, Arctic Alaska Peony Growers, Syndicate Sales, Johnny’s Selected Seeds and Longfield Gardens.

“Certified American Grown is excited to be part of promoting a week focused on America’s flower farming families and the flowers they grow,” said Kasey Cronquist, administrator of Certified American Grown. “Origin matters, and we believe a week like this helps drive public awareness about the quality, beauty and economic benefits of supporting and buying homegrown blooms. Buying American Grown Flowers makes a difference.”

“Johnny’s Selected Seeds is thrilled to be an American Flowers Week partner,” said Gretchen Kruysman, Johnny’s marketing director. “We encourage our customers, employees and the flower farming and gardening community to plant more flowers and help local flowers thrive.”

“Syndicate Sales is an American manufacturer of vases and supplies for the professional florist, so it’s entirely fitting to promote the vibrant American-grown floral palette from local flower farms and floral designers who fill our vases,” says Kelvin Frye, Syndicate Sales’ director of sales and marketing. “We salute American Flowers Week.”

“At Longfield Gardens, we supply gardeners with the best quality plants and bulbs for their landscapes, cutting gardens and containers,” says Jen Pfau, marketing director for Longfield Gardens. “American Flowers Week helps us shine the light on the amazing selection of flowers to plant, cut and arrange. It’s a great campaign that involves everyone from home gardeners to flower farmers and florists.”

American Flowers Week is designed to engage the public, policymakers and the media in a conversation about the origins of their flowers. As an advocacy effort, the campaign coincides with America’s Independence Day on July 4th, providing florists, retailers, wholesalers and flower farmers a patriotic opportunity to promote American grown flowers.

American Flowers Week supporters can find more information and resources at americanflowersweek.com. Downloadable fact sheets, infographics and the 2017 American Flowers Week logo and social media badges are available for growers and florists to use for marketing and promotion efforts.

The “50 States of American Grown Flowers” contest will highlight local flowers from across the country, Prinzing said. “Slowflowers.com member farms and florists are invited to submit their designs to a gallery to be shared with media during American Flowers Week. Our goal is to showcase the botanical and seasonal beauty from flower farms and designers in all 50 states.”

Participants are encouraged to use the social media tag #Americanflowersweek to help spread the word about this campaign across all platforms.

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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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