From Seed to Bloom

Slow Flowers Journal’s book maven recommends

Seed to Bloom
(Left): Seed to Bloom by Milli Proust, published by Quadrille, June 2022, RRP $29.99 Hardcover. Photograph: Eva Nemeth; (Right): Planning table

The fresh and local flower farm business is hard work; you must get your hands dirty and cope with all kinds of weather and other vagaries of nature. Gladly for flower lovers, the results are refreshing and inspirational. When the farmer puts her hand to the page and produces a book as lovely and passionate as From Seed to Bloom, you have a hard copy of the farmer’s methods and tools. Win-win!

Gone are the days of formulaic deliveries of regimented bouquets. Here they are refreshingly replaced with natural, loose, renaissance-style arrangements. The year is sensibly divided into eight seasons, making the process more in line with fresh flower harvests.

From Seed to Bloom
(Left): a Dutch Master-Inspired Urn; (Right): Compostable wreath

Five years a flower farmer in Sussex, England, before that, a city girl, Milli Proust graciously shares her process, breaks down her toolkits, and lists the plant materials for arrangements simple to grand. I’ve had a chance to check and double-check (and I ordered more) tulip varieties after reading about the “Dutch Master Inspired Urn.” Though I am not a flower farmer (just a wanna-be), I have a nice supply of tulip bulbs at hand and will plan on asking neighbors and friends for textural branches as I need them.

The “toolkit lists” that Milli includes are incredibly helpful if you are just starting out or honing your growing and arranging skills. Her planning table is a work of art with watercolors, plant layouts, seed packets, and catalog clippings. And the LISTS!!! There is a list for a “sustainable floristry toolkit,” one for favorite spring flowering branches for cutting, and a list of autumn branches for designing. Look for the “to-do lists” and recipes for seasonal bouquets, as well as notes on the vase life of the cuttings she used.

Milli is mindful of her farming practices in allowing well-behaved weeds as a habitat and incorporating wild plants into her designs. She avoids pesticides and notes how much easier it is on the planet when flowers are grown locally instead of being refrigerated and flown around the world to market.

A perfect reflection on autumn, a quote from the author:

“Every season as seeds are pollinated into existence across the world – some by chance, and some by will – cultivars new and old are passed down from person to person, plot to plot and year on year, as seeds are saved, shared, swapped and sold. . . . In every seed, there are millions of possible outcomes. . . it’s the future and the past, all in this present.”

Milli Proust, From Seed to Bloom

Follow Milli Proust on Instagram

Mary Ann Newcomer

Scribe-Scout-Speaker A daughter of the American west, with great grandparents who homesteaded in Idaho, I tagged along with my grandmother and grandfather as they gardened in the tiny town of Latah, Washington, just across the Idaho state line. I have developed a fierce passion for all things GARDEN. I grow, scout, and write about gardens. My expertise is in the Intermountain West, but I have written for Rocky Mountain Gardening, Country Gardens, MaryJane’s Farm, Fine Gardening, Leaf Magazine, the American Gardener, and newspapers across the region. I’ve designed public, private, and commercial landscapes, and gardens for flower shows. I love encouraging gardeners to get down and dirty. When not tending to my garden, I volunteer my time weeding or planting or doing garden design work at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to SlowFlowers newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

Powered by Robly

Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 850 members across the U.S.


Media Contact:

For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)