Weddings and old fashioned flowers seem to go hand in hand. So it is a wonderful new trend in the floral industry that local flower farmers are now being sought out as an alternative to commercial greenhouse and imported flowers.
Even more cool, my daughter Annie found a local farmer in Virginia for her own country wedding.
Ever since Amy Stewart made us aware of the global nature of flower industry in her book Flower Confidential, local flower farmers have started to crack the floral trade, getting beyond the farm stand to the florists. Debra Prinzing and David Perry produced The 50 Mile Bouquet, a marvelous book profiling flower farmers on the West Coast and Debra has followed up that book with Slow Flowers and the slowflowers website to match consumers with local farmers.
The farmer Annie found in Virginia is Lisa Ziegler who farms in my old home town of Newport News. Lisa has been flower farming for 15 years with her business Gardener’s Workshop. I had no idea my old home town was so au courant.
Even more amazing, Lisa has her own book Cool Flowers coming out this September. Is this a match made in heaven ? A garden photographer whose daughter found an expert in local grown flowers ?
Besides being a tireless worker, Lisa is a smart business woman so she graciously allowed me to photograph her farm, and my daughter laughingly allowed me to be the flower photographer for the wedding.
Lisa does not do weddings and is not a florist, so I need to make this disclosure, but once a week she does open the farm to locals who can buy farm shares and purchase flowers by the stem, which is what we did.
After buying three huge buckets of flowers – larkspur, batchelor buttons, snapdragons, peonies, and bupleroma for filler, Annie, her friend Hanna, and Evie (my other daughter) set to making 20 mason jar bouquets. It was a country wedding but the mason jars did not have to do double duty for the beer.
I don’t know how the bride stayed so (seemingly) calm throughout the whole wedding process, perhaps because both she and her fiancée are in theater and know the pitfalls of staging. Maybe because she was happy. Flower will do that . . .
An old fashioned princess bride and her old fashioned flowers.