Camflor, Charmaine Butcher, Dennis Westphall, Emily Ellen Anderson, floral mural, Floral Stage, Floral Theatre, Flower Costumes, Jello Mold Farm, Josephine Rice, Katy Beene, Keita Horn, Laura Ridenour, Liz Gusarson, Lola Creative, Melanie Cherry, Mister Mold, Molly Sadowsky, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, Smashing Petals, Suzanne Carson, Town & Country Markets, Washington Flowers Project, Washington State Farm Bureau, WSDA
The fifth annual American Flowers Week celebration kicks off today, June 28th and runs through July 4th. You’re invited to join the party and share your beautiful flowers — local, seasonal and grown close to home.
Here is some inspiration for you: Nine Ways to Participate in American Flowers Week.
Speaking of closer to home, here at Slow Flowers headquarters in Seattle, we were motivated to create a large-scale floral installation to commemorate locally-grown Washington flowers.
Thanks to a fabulous group of volunteer designers and generous support from Washington State Farm Bureau, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and Camflor, the week of local flowers took a theatrical turn worthy of the Broadway stage.
A group of talented floral designers, retail florists and farmer-florists joined together to produce the installation. We transformed the 10-by-10 foot loading dock at SWGMC into a theatrical floral stage, complete with lavish botanical draperies and a marquee banner reading “American Flowers Week” (more on that below).
On Tuesday afternoon volunteer Slow Flowers member designers threaded more than 2,000 flower heads onto 15-foot-long lei-like strands. A festive — “it takes a village” — spirit of collaboration filled the workroom as these women, many of whom had not previously met, each shared stories of their floral journey, as well as personal insights into finding balance as creatives and entrepreneurs. Gathered around a table while threading long needles through freshly-cut flower heads onto bullion wire . . . it felt like a modern-day quilting bee. Great connections while making something beautiful together.
We loved the palette: white, cream, pink coral, lavender and maroon blooms, generously donated by the Market and its member growers. The color choice was a nod to red-and-white stripes of the U.S. flag while also blending nicely with the Josie Rice floral mural that covers the entire surface of the Market, including around the loading dock opening. Keita Horn of Smashing Petals designed two beautiful, tapestry-like floral tiebacks using nigella, scabiosa, delphinium and sea holly, among other blue-petaled options.
We also utilized several sections of greenery garlands, custom-made by Camflor, a California flower farm and Slow Flowers member. The texture and density of the eucalyptus and grevillea garlands added lots of volume and interest to the floral strands.
Early Wednesday morning, we installed the floral draperies from the lip of the roll-up loading dock door. S-hooks and zip-ties were perfect mechanics to engineer the scheme. A time crunch before the market opened to buyers at 6 a.m. kept everyone focused. As soon as the garlands and floral strands were in pace, Emily Ellen Anderson of Lola Creative her assistant Alana Crawley climbed ladders to install a fabulous bunting-style banner that spanned the opening of the loading dock declaring: AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK.
Our favorite part: the F L O W E R S part is spelled out in red spray roses, dianthus and other tiny flower heads.
Thank you to everyone who attended. For those of you who missed the festivities, please enjoy the party virtually, through Missy Palacol’s lens (thank YOU, Missy!).
Other thanks are as follows:
Charmaine Butcher, SWGMC Marketing Coordinator, and Alana Ropper for performing and dancing to Dennis’s music while masquerading as a Pansy and Daffodil, respectively.
Molly Sadowsky, Katy Beene and Liz Gusarson of the SWGMC team for keeping us supplied with flowers, foliage, borrowed ladders, borrowed, tools, carts, storage space and so much more.
Floral director Melanie Cherry and her team from Town & Country Markets, including Sarah Clark (Bainbridge Island T&C), Brenda King and Robin Alex (Central Market Shoreline).
Francie Romano, Francie Flower
Karen McIntosh, Flowers by Karen
Anne Bradfield, Floressence Design
Tammy Myers, First & Bloom and Lora Bloom
Carolyn Kulb, Folk Art Flowers
Keita Horn, Smashing Petals
Suzanne Carson, Washington Farm Bureau
Laura Ridenour, Washington State Department of Agriculture
Sandy Figel, Verbena Floral Seattle
Emily Ellen Anderson, Lola Creative
Alana Crawley, Lola Creative
Lainie Kertesz, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, who brought flower seed giveaways and cut flower resources
Erin Murphy, Tilth Alliance, for sharing resources on organic farming and farm tours
Suzanne Carson and Laura Ridenour who just kicked off the Washington Flowers Project in conjunction with American Flowers Week and lent major support and enthusiasm for the installation and party.
Jessica Lutovsky, Must Love Frosting, for her fantastic and delicious cookie artistry