Spring is here (FINALLY) and the Slow Flowers Community is thriving, as revealed in the pages of Florists’ Review.
Our March 2019 (Issue No. 20) highlights a theme of Flowers & Community, showcasing artistic, educational and promotional floral collaborations as a new and influential model in the floral marketplace.
As part of this package, we profile three Slow Flowers member-driven creative endeavors, all of which bring flower growers, designers and consumers together to elevate the understanding of sustainability, seasonalilty and excellent design.
The cover photo of Florists’ Review for March is from our Flowers & Community package!
(c) Amanda Nippoldt
FLOWERS & COMMUNITY
In the imaginations of many floral designers, the medium of flowers is so much more than a “product.” Rather, flowers are a vehicle to bring people together, for exhibition, instruction and to illustrate a greater good.
This month, the Slow Flowers Journal focuses on three inclusive, community-minded projects. Yes, they are beautiful, but they also have changed perceptions and deepened connections in the floral marketplace.
In Maine, a design workshop allows all participants to both teach and learn with visually enticing florals. In Pennsylvania, flower farming and floral design come together to embellish an urban cultural district and engage the public to see art in a new way. In Minnesota, a florist gives back to flower farmers by teaching them valuable design skills to benefit their growing practices for future seasons.
Each event is a reflection of time, place, persons and flowers. And, we hope, each will ignite your imagination to use flowers to build community in your backyard.
TOUR DE FLEURS
Inspired by Lewis Miller’s “Flower Flash” installations that pop up in New York City and Flower House Detroit, Lisa Waud’s magnificent 2015 project, a group of Philadelphia area flower farmers and florists are bringing similarly spontaneous florals to their hometown. Called Fishtown Floral Crawl, the project highlights beauty and seasonal availability of local botanicals and talents of the floral design community in the City of Love.
Cassie Plummer of Jig-Bee Flower Farm and Maura Feeney of Maura Rose Events created the event as part of DesignPhiladelphia, a city-wide, week-long celebration that focuses on thoughtful design, collaborative business practices and community engagement.
Download the full article Tour de Fleurs here (PDF)
THE THANKFUL BOUQUET
Ashley Fox is a Minnesota-based floral artist with deep roots in the garden, including a degree in plant and earth science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and an early position as an educator at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. She’s worked in floristry for nearly 20 years and in 2008 formed Ashley Fox Designs a full-service floral studio specializing in styling and designs for events, editorials and installations.
Admittedly, Fox’s desire to source locally-grown blooms has verged on obsessive. “I was always seeking out the weird, the unusual, the off-beat. I would drive around sometimes for six or seven hours for a single event, stopping at different flower farmers around Minneapolis and St. Paul and even Wisconsin,” she confides. “I would go out and forage. I would go to my Dad’s garden, my friends’ properties. I knew who had mock orange growing in their garden in June. I knew who had the peonies. My brain was a map of a 100-mile radius and I knew exactly when the florescence of grasses would bloom in a certain location so I could go and harvest. It was crazy.”
Fox believed extreme flower-hunting was necessary in order to make her mark as a florist who sourced fresh, local blooms for her nature-inspired designs.
Download the full article The Thankful Bouquet here (PDF)
FIELD TO VASE, FARM TO TABLE & FORAGE TO ART
Rayne Grace Hoke spent months planning a two-day design workshop with countless elements and participants. Six weeks before the event, her former employer pulled the plug and withdrew her funding. “I was very defeated,” admits Hoke, now owner of Maine-based Flora’s Muse. “This was something I’d been planning since last January and when it fell apart, I was devastated. But all the people who were involved with the workshop, all the teachers and suppliers, said, ‘No, we need to do this.’ My friends put on their thinking caps and together we brainstormed a new event.”
They rebranded as the Slow Flowers Maine Meet-Up, with the invitation: “Come celebrate a bountiful season with some much-needed play time. Recharge and regroup in a supportive setting of sharing knowledge and discovery.”
Hoke’s dream team of designers demonstrated that creativity can go hand-in-glove with collaboration. They found a new venue, Jordan’s Farm, a working farm on 122 acres of land on Maine’s Cape Elizabeth, which is home to a vegetable and flower farm and a resident farm-to-table restaurant called The Well. Design instructors donated their time to produce a comprehensive workshop for themselves and a small handful of students. A photographer stepped forward, props were donated and invitations to forage arrived.
Download the full article Field to Vase, Farm to Table & Forage to Art here (PDF)
I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community. Click here for details.
Download the Slow Flowers Journal – Issue No. 20 here (PDF)