When I'm doing something I love, I have an insatiable need to keep learning about it. I become totally engrossed in figuring it out. Flowers are a true love for me, and over the past few years I've been impressed to see that there are so many opportunities for folks in this business to learn and learn from one another.
For starters, "flower people" seem to give and give generously again and again. That is evidenced by the willingness of folks to share their "secrets" in Instagram posts, to connect with new growers who could and will likely become competitors, to give away inspiration and just generally lift each other up. We share our plans, we share our successes, and we share our failures so that no others will have to endure them. It is heartwarming and unlike any other field I've known.
While much of that expertise is free and open, there are also any number of courses that you can enroll in to learn more and from experts. We haven't been shy about our wonderful experiences at a Floret on-farm flower-farming intensive workshop or at Flower School, New York alongside Lewis Miller. This month, I took Sue McLeary's (PassionFlowerSue) online floral design programs and focused my growth on learning the mechanics of floral jewelry design. I highly recommend Sue's classes to anyone who's interested or has been on the fence about taking them. Not only is Sue a wonderful teacher, but she also helps you think differently about how you can build things with flowers. I look at everyday objects in my house in new light. I re-imagine them with flowers in ways I didn't before.
And here is a list of the flowers and greens used in the designs for this shoot. Due to the seasonality of our farm, almost all of these flowers and greens were ordered in. Generally, if we can't provide something ourselves to customers, we look first to fellow flower farmers and even talented local gardeners. However, the winter months make local sourcing difficult and often impossible (but I'm working on that!). Ordering in flowers is not my favorite process. My order (from California) got stuck on a tarmac in the midwest. Several varieties arrived too damaged for use (they are not listed below). Every variety had some kind of loss due to the stress from the long trip, damage from mishandling by the shipping service, and freezing temps. Ugh.
- Blue Sea Holly
- Caramel Antike Roses
- Purple Astrantia
- White Astrantia
- Ranunculus Tecate-Purple
- Fern curls (brown)
- White Hellebore
- Burgundy Hellebore
- Scabiosa Blackberry Scoop
- Acacia Knifeblade
- Seeded Eucalyptus
- Strawflowers (dried, saved from our 2017 season)
The smaller flowers were perfect for a number of the wearable elements. From them, I built a multi-use sash (that we could use as a bracelet, a necklace, a belt, or a hairpiece), a headband, and a floral "tattoo." I also made a large "shape shifting" bouquet that can be carried any number of ways from horizontally to vertically to across the body, a bracelet corsage, a boutonniere, and a floral fascinator hat. All of these items are now available for wedding and event orders.