Sunday, November 29, 2009

Things I’ll Do In the Winter: Read

Even before weddings end for the season, I start to to make a list of things I’ll do in the winter. Some of them are not LoCoFlo related like go to the dentist or see more movies. But by and large, my list of winter To Do’s are for LoCoFlo.

On the list this winter is:  READ. It’s not that I haven’t read in the past 9 months. I just haven’t read as much as I would have liked to. I keep a running list of books I see or that people tell me about so that when winter comes, I can dig in.

On the list for this winter are:

Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln's Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart.wickedplantssm Author of Flower Confidential, the book that inspired me to start LoCoFlo-Amy Stewart is one of my faves. She writes for my favorite garden blog-Garden Rant and has several books under her belt as well. This book came out at the end of the summer and I still haven’t read it. It’s first on the list. 



Waking up in Eden by Lucinda Fleeson. This is the true story of a  woman who moves to Kauai to work for the National Tropical Botanical Garden. I have fond memories of Kauai and the stunning flowers and plants there. It’s sad to read that Kauai is losing native plants faster than any other place in the world. I’m excited to read about Ms. Fleeson attempt to reverse this trend.

green flowers Green Flowers: Unexpected Beauty for the Garden, Container or Vase by Alison Hoblyn. Everyone loves green flowers. This year we did one wedding that exclusively used green flowers and several others that used green flowers as accents. I’m hoping to get some ideas for LoCoFlo and for my own garden.

whiteOnward and Upward in the Garden by Katherine White.   This is collection of essays that originally showed up in the New Yorker. The author, Katherine White is the wife of writer E. B. White-of Charlotte’s Web fame. These are no ordinary garden essays. Ms. White looks at the cult of garden catalogs-those special jewels that many of us obsess over – especially in the winter.

There are many, many, more. I’ll let you know when I get through these first four. I can’t wait!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

For Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a poem with you from Mary Oliver. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


My work here is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird-

     equal seekers of sweetness. 

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.


Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half perfect? Let me

     keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work.


which is standing still and learning to be


The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,




which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart

     and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

     to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

     that we live forever.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Night Out…with LoCoFlo

This has been a challenging, exciting, BUSY year. To celebrate the end of a great year, LoCoFlo teamed up with Jordan Faye Block to host an End of the Season cocktail party at her new gallery/event space in Federal Hill called BE.  I was a little nervous, since we pulled this party together at the last minute-but what a great time we had!

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One the things I love about this “job” is all the great people I get to meet and work with. I was so excited that some of this year’s brides came! Not only did they come out, they brought their husbands, moms and friends too! We also had brides who booked with us for next year and brides to be who just wanted to learn more.


I have been so fortunate over the last year to find like minded partners to work with. Many of those partners came out to celebrate with us including Lauren Wenchel of Charm City Bride, Lori Hill of Lori Hill Event Productions, Martha Thomas of Baltimore Magazine, Mike and Kate Primm from the Green School Michael Harris and his fabulous truffles, Rachel Costello and Christine Cochrum of Apothecary Wellness Spa and our hostess, Jordan Faye Block.


What would a LoCoFlo party be without flowers? Event though it was 3 weeks past the hard frost here in Baltimore, one of our growers, Pam Pahl, had a sunny, protected warm patch that was still full of snapdragons. Even at the end of the season, these snaps were just beautiful.


It was great that my husband and  friends were able to come celebrate  with me as well. They all helped in various ways this year: volunteering at Flowermart, building the Coolbot, delivering flowers, making LoCoFlo t-shirts and on and on! Thank you! Of course, Bart and Marina were sorely missed-but I guess vacation in California is pretty fun too!



Don’t feel bad if you missed the party…we’re hoping to make it an annual event …so we’ll see you next year!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flowers Uncut on TLC

jeff_lead.jpegphoto from blum floral design

I like TV. In fact, it can probably be said that I Love TV. I watch alot of shows …too many to list in fact. While I’ve see shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Whose Wedding is it Anyway?”, I am not a huge fan of reality wedding shows. I get way more excited about Gardening by the Yard with everyone’s favorite Master Gardener Paul James.

That being said, there is a new show on TLC called Flowers Uncut. Flowers Uncut follows Jeff Leatham, floral designer/event planner extraordinaire as he creates some of the most lavish floral experiences you will ever see. This show has NOTHING to do with locally grown flowers or being sustainable or being Green…but it sure was fun to watch! Be sure to check it out Wednesdays at 10pm.

Flower Growers: A Year in Review

This morning I drove to Annapolis to a meeting of the Maryland Cut Flower Growers. Bob Wollam  of Wollam Gardens said it’s like old home week for them. The busy season is finally over and the growers have time to get together and visit with each other while talking about what worked and what didn’t work for them this past year.  I’m still the new face (and I’m not a grower)-but it’s always great to see our regular growers and great to meet some new ones as well.

For the growers, in terms of flower sales at markets this past year, it sounded like it was a mixed bag. Some established markets seemed steady with a slight increase in sales. Some markets seemed to be losing steam, making flowers sales fall. Other markets seem to be busy, but less people were spending money on flowers.  Sales to retail florists were universally down. One grower reported that he sells to 14 retail florists and that sales to all of them were down. One florist that he worked with regularly event went out of business. I can’t resist a plug here. Buying locally grown flowers matters-in a real world way. Not only are you getting a great, unique, seasonal product you are supporting local farmers and the local economy.

Now…back to the meeting…

While the growers seemed….concerned-they were also optimistic. Kathy York of Scarborough Farm and Suzanne Montie of Red Chimney Flower Farm  were in collusion about how they could get in on a Kordes rose order for next season.  Everyone was impressed with Bob and Andrea’s test crops this year including LoCoFlo!


Andrea Gagnon of Lynn Vale Farm was excited about the recent number of requests from brides for local seasonal flowers. She also gave a great demonstration on how to make holiday wreaths with local greens, local fruits and the this wreath making contraption.



I’m looking forward to the next meeting in January. On the agenda…seed saving, what’s new for 2010 and a presentation by your truly about the importance of internet marketing and social networking!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Real Weddings: Becky and John

Becky and John were married on a beautiful September afternoon. Becky carried a bouquet of white dahlias and scented geranium. This classic bouquet went perfectly with her dress.

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The bridesmaids bouquets were made of orange dahlias, orange, peach, and yellow zinnias and a sprinkling of scented geranium.



The table arrangements were made up of three vases: an Orangina bottle with colorful zinnias, a wine bottle full of green hydrangeas and a clear glass vase full of white zinnias, scented geranium and monkey balls.


The bride also chose a few of the white dahlias for her hair!


Congratulations to this happy couple!

Thanks to Peter Holden Photography for these great pictures. Thanks to Locust Point Flowers, Belvedere Farm and Bridge Farm Nursery for the flowers!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Celebrating All Things Local At BE in Federal Hill

Monday night was the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance’s  monthly get together at BE in Federal Hill. BE is a unique, 2700 square foot mixed-use exhibition space that includes art event space, with a large great room, an intimate gallery,  woodshop and studios. It is housed within one of the four original Enoch Pratt Library neighborhood branches. The space is fabulous (and available for weddings, holiday parties and other special events!)

_MG_7203 This month’s CSBA meeting focused on the creation of local, sustainable art. The panel discussion with Jordan Faye Block, (Owner of BE); Shabdiece Esfahani (Owner of diece), sculpter James Long, and Jess M highlighted the struggles (lack of local manufacturers, lack of time) surprises (people WANT local art, clothes, jewelry and will spend extra time and effort to get it; free, sustainable materials are available on Craig’s list) and successes (high demand for products, strong interests in small artists to be involved) that many local artists face.


Fab local food was provided by Dionsysus Kitchen. Local wine was provided by the great folks at Black Ankle Vineyard.IMG_0774

Locally grown flowers were provided by…LoCoFlo!

Thanks to Jordan Faye Block of BE for hosting a great event and thanks to Lori Hill of Lori Hill Event Productions for putting it all together._MG_7114 Be sure to save the date for the CSBA Holiday Party on December 7 at Clementine!

NOVEMBER…in Baltimore

While our weddings are over for the season, I find myself still doing arrangements…because there are still flowers available. How great is that?

This is what local flowers (from Locust Point Flowers)  look like during the  first week of November 2009.

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