Well this is bizarre. Went to my journal page to start a new post and here this draft was, from June (it’s November). I take a deep breath as I know I now need to complete this post but it will take copious amounts of brain power for me to remember this trip.
I have an *a w f u l* memory. I did not fully realize this until I met my husband who tells me this all the time but I shrugged it off as a mere spousal speculation. But then a close friend of mine has been observing it about me also and you know what they say, if one person calls you a donkey etc etc etc. SO, this will be brief, albeit heartfelt because whilst they might be vague, I do have fond memories of this workshop.
Christie! Christie (from The Farmers Florist) so generously replied to a story I posted on instagram asking if anyone in the world wanted to host me for a workshop. She is in Nashville and has a thriving hemp farm now partially turned flower farm. She knows a LOT about growing flowers and so we decided to break the course into two days. One focused on growing a small scale flower garden and the second day focusing on floral design. We harvested flowers from her cutting garden and sourced additional flowers from two other local farms. ALL the product we used was local, and that was a truly incredible experience. It had me thinking about how nuts it is that I got into this profession and it has taken me 7 years to make an arrangement from all flowers I physically cut from the ground. The whole week there really changed my outlook on what I do, which sounds hokey or over romanticized but, really. Just the simple idea of connecting and investing more into flowers. Even if not for work or for an event, but to come home with a renewed perspective and passion for flowers. Which this all segues into my MASSIVE GARDEN PLAN 2019, but more on that in another post.
I think with such an informal setting (we made lunch for everyone while it unexpectedly rained outside and scattered ourselves around Christies house, myself and a few other attendees huddled around a small farm dining table chatting about flowers and I drank 15 la croix) it really provides a genuine space to connect as people. Not florists or “designers” or anything other than people who share at least one commonality, although more are always to be found. I love flowers, but I love people more. I love connected and reaching across to the other side, whatever that might mean honestly it just flowed.
Below is my demo for the centerpiece portion of the day. It’s almost too liberating to make anything you want from several buckets of incredible flowers, but I did my best! The tall lavender stuff grew wild everywhere near her farm and she told me the name of it 100 times but for some reason all I can think of is “Bishops Toe”, although I am quite certain that is indeed not its actual name.
DINNER, was incredible. And in a hoop house.
First let me tell you our day started with us foraging in the the forest on the right back side of Christie’s farm. It was raining, but the forest tree canopys kept us mostly dry which was magical. Presumably from the humidity of the forest, most the ground was covered in a dense layer of moss. Moss, ladies and gentlemen, is the very essence of what I live for. I am not sure how else to non-dramatically yet accurately express to you my love for forest things. So yeah, we foraged the shit out of that. Fallen wood planks with living mushrooms, and several varieties of unknown (to me) plant life. I could have spent all day there. So we gathered all of that and used it to style the table we dined at in the evening. The food, was all from either Christies farm or from the surrounding farms. Pork belly from a farm up the road, potatoes from another. Dessert was mint chocolate mousse and all of it was from the farm! Still stunned by how incredible that dinner was.
Overall it was a really great week. I met really kind, genuine and generous people. It’s amazing the people and places this job has brought me to. I feel incredibly grateful for it all.