Someone recently asked me, why I grow flowers when at this point in my business I could easily get by with incoming wholesale product and blooms from many nearby farms. After all, farming is a LOT of work, on top of organizing, planning, meeting with clients and designing weddings.
There are the obvious reasons, local, organically grown, sustainable flowers are, of course, preferable to shipments from South America, Europe or California. And I do try to grow what I cannot find from suppliers; flowers that don’t transport well, things that are not in high enough demand or are not easy to grow on a commercial scale. These varieties allow me to add textures, colors, and shapes that I would not otherwise necessarily have access to, so that is a major win in the home-grown category.
But in all honestly I continue to grow for a much more visceral reason. Basically I just love the smell of that potting mix in spring, while snow is still falling outdoors. I am fascinated by tiny green leaves emerging from tiny dried seeds and then one day turning into 12ft amaranths dripping with color and goodness in the garden. And I love that it all takes time!
We live in a very fast-passed world. Instant gratification is our new reality.
When I was growing up there was no Amazon, no text messaging or email, no internet or social media (and I’m not even old!). You had to wait for replies, and things to arrive, and phone calls from overseas. You had to have a conversation to get to know someone. And that made those things more exciting! I remember how fun it was to get a package in the mail, now I can track what I order by the hour and I get restless if it’s a day late. We have become largely desensitized to our surroundings and the way things work.
On some level, this is why I love the garden. Its grounding. Flowers don’t happen over night, they are pampered from March until September; watered, fertilized, pinched and planted. I have to watch them for disease, protect them from the wild critters in the woods, feed them, weed them, and all of this takes time, effort and awareness. I love that I cannot turn the garden off, ignore it, or use an app to grow it!
As an extremely restless and impatient person, the garden gives me purpose and slows me down. It is beautiful, alive and operates completely on its own time!