Monday, November 25, 2013

An Evening at the Farm

It's Thanksgiving week here in the states and it's the quiet before the storm for some of us.  It's before the chaos of shopping and holiday stress creeps up on us.  Before all of this begins, I just wanted to share some images of a quiet autumn evening during a visit to a friend's farm I had with my daughters and my parents.  It was still warm enough to go without a coat and my girls played in the pumpkin patch and fields with the sound of chickens and turkeys in the background and I took in the last blooms of the season.  Have a fabulous week friends!  I'll be seeing you again soon.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Buy American Grown Flowers

I'm a newbie to floral design and one of the reasons for this blog is for me to journal my work so that I can see my progression and to see what I would change.  As a freshman floral designer, I'm trying to educate myself as much as I can about all the parts of the floral industry.  Upon all my reading and searching, I discovered Debra Prinzing.  She reinforced what I was already thinking and feeling and also changed the way I view flowers.  For those who don't know, Debra is a writer and an advocate for American grown flowers.  She has written many books including, The 50 Mile Bouquet and Slow Flowers, both of which I need to add to my reading list.  Debra's website and podcast has completely enlightened me on how necessary and important it is buy American grown flowers.  According to the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, almost 80% of flowers sold in the U.S. are grown elsewhere.  I was astounded by this statistic and now I'm driven to design with more American grown flowers.  

I didn't post last week because after being educated on the American flower market, what I had created no longer was up to my standards.  The post was going to be on how I transformed a grocery store bouquet and of course then I realized that the flowers that had been purchased were most likely imported.  If you've been following my blog, you notice that most of my work always has some locally grown blooms in them already along with some store bought flowers.  I started buying flowers from local growers because I like to support local farmers and I found that what they were offering was more interesting and fresher than what I could find at the grocery stores or area florist shops, but I was and am limited with growers to source from.  I wished I had more local ingredients available to me to work with.  Wishing doesn't change anything.  I know that I have to make it happen.  I have to buy more from farmers in order for them to want to grow more and I have to put the work into finding more growers to source from.  I'm very excited to tell you that I took the beginning steps to make things happen.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.   
So, this is what I've learned and this is what I will change.  I will source as much as I can from local growers and what I can't, I'll be sure that it's American grown.  Not only does this support our economy, but it's also a more sustainable way to enjoy fresh flowers.  We all love that, right?  I have included an image of the grocery store inspired arrangement I created because, although I'm not proud of the purchase, for me it represents an awakening to take some action into my own hands.  I did include some foliage and lavender from my yard, dahlias from my sister-in-law's garden and the pumpkin was grown by a local farmer.  I could go on and on about the benefits of buying locally grown flowers, but to find out more information for yourself, you can head over to Debra Prinzing's site or to the ASCFG's site.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bloom Florist Collective

A couple weeks ago I went to my first class with Bloom Florist Collective held at Pot & Box in Ann Arbor and I loved it!!!  Tracy of Red Poppy Floral Design taught us how to make a compote composed of fruit, flowers and foliage - a perfect fall combination.  I've been itching to make a compote because I'm drawn to the dramatic, elegant look of the arrangements.  I'm glad I finally got a chance to learn how to make one.  Don't be surprise when you see more compotes showing up here on the blog.  The wonderful, Heather of HMN Photography was kind enough to capture these beautiful photos of the class.

If you're in the Detroit or Ann Arbor area and are interested in floral design check out what Bloom Florist Collective has to offer.  Classes will soon be announced for November and December.  Be sure to check out their blog or FB page for updates.  Ann Arbor is a bit of a drive for me, but I know that I'll definitely be back to learn some more from this amazing group of designers.  

I love this photo of larskpur that Heather took.