Saturday, February 27, 2010

First Wedding of 2010

Today was LoCoFlo’s first wedding of the year! Thankfully it was NOT snowing! Since it was so early in the season and since our Maryland growers have had such a hard time with the snow, we had to reach beyond our normal set of growers to a new (new to us) farmer in Southern New Jersey. Van Dyke Brothers farm is 111 miles from Baltimore and they have beautiful flowers! Dave Dowling of Farmhouse Flowers supplied the beautiful curly willow and pussy willow for the large arrangements.

IMG_0362It felt a little strange working on flowers again after such a long break (mid November). It took my fingers a little while to get used to taping again and wrapping…but pretty soon it started to feel normal.

The bouquet turned out great! Tulips, anemones, ranunculus and viburnum. Beautiful greens and whites to remind me that Spring is not far away!

IMG_0358The bride was totally relaxed when I arrived and was looking forward to a casual lunch with her sister before the ceremony.

IMG_0364I am really excited about LoCoFlo this year! We are working with great designers, growers, venues, photographers and most of all clients! Stay tuned for updates on our exciting year ahead.

Friday, February 26, 2010

TALMAR Gardens Needs Your Help

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the TALMAR Gardens and Horticultural Therapy Center, it’s really an amazing place.

Talmar: Therapeutic Alternatives of Maryland

TALMAR is a nonprofit organization established to provide a therapeutic and recreational environment that uses horticulture as a way to improve the quality of life of people with special needs and disabilities. They have a beautiful farm in Baltimore County with fields of beautiful cut flowers. They are ASCFG members and great people. LoCoFlo bought flowers from them for the first time last Fall and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with them this year.

Unfortunately, the back to back blizzards here in Maryland caused several of their cold frames to collapse.


cf5[1]Talmar is accepting donations to help rebuild their cold frames. If you’re interested in making a donation to help this important service provider continue it’s much needed work, you can go to Network For Good to contribute. Every little bit helps.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase ROCKED!

IMG_0323On Sunday, LoCoFlo set up a booth at our first ever wedding show. lori hill event productions and the great folks at Balance Photography did a fabulous job putting this unique, green event together.

Since I had never been to a wedding show before, I had pretty low expectations. In fact the Mid-Atlantic Green Wedding Showcase was great!

Here were the highlights:

  • Jen and I got to create some beautiful spring arrangements. The perfect fix for all this SNOW!

IMG_0344 IMG_0341

  • Marina and I got to meet two LoCoFlo brides that booked with over the phone but that we had never met. Thanks Meredith and Lianne for stopping by.

IMG_0340 Marina at our booth!

  • We met loads of great couples that were committed to having green, sustainable weddings –that included using locally grown flowers!
  • The FOOD! Who knew that there would be such great food! Sticky Fingers Bakery provided cookies, brownies and the best, dang, fake chicken sandwich I ever tasted. The only thing that could have been better would have been their devil dogs. Besides Sticky Fingers some other great food vendors were there including our friend Paul Dongarra from Dionysus Kitchen.
  • Our booth was right next to the EcoBar…thanks to Jordan Faye Block of BE for treating us to Posmos. They were so sweet and delicious!
  • Just being around the positive vibes of so many like minded people made the day really great.

Thanks to Jen Bryant for helping me create such beautiful flower arrangements for the event and thanks to Marina for coming to help at our booth. It was great fun and we’ll definitely be back next year!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Farming Love on Valentine’s Day

This past Saturday, Lancaster Farming Newspaper did a great story on Local Color Flowers which included great photos and quotes from ASCFG growers Dave Dowling of Farmhouse Flowers and John McKeown of Locust Point Flowers.


The story highlighted, that on Valentine’s Day (and throughout the year) locally grown flowers are a great alternatives to conventionally grown flowers from far away places.

Thanks to Laurie and Anne for the great article!

Friday, February 12, 2010

LoCoFlo’s Public Speaking Debut!

WATSON_WALES-13Photo by Frank Hamilton

As LoCoFlo enters it’s third year, there are lots of things I am more confident about. I feel good making wrist corsages. I don’t lose (a lot) of sleep thinking that the Coolbot will burn the building down. I can pack the car like a pro.

However, there are also lots of new challenges ahead. One that is looming large on the horizon is my debut as Expert Flower Arranger/Public Speaker. I’m excited to say that I’ve been invited to be the keynote speaker at 57th Annual Meeting of the District 3 Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland. The meeting is made up of representatives from 28 garden clubs throughout Baltimore and Harford counties. According to the Regional Director, the theme for this year’s meeting is “Living Lightly on the Land”. Therefore, the garden clubs thought it might be interesting (oh it’ll be interesting alright) to have a “Green” florist speak and demonstrate designing some spring arrangements with locally grown flowers.

IMG_2296It’s perfect because I love talking about locally grown flowers. I love arranging flowers. I love showing off our past work. I love answering people’s questions about “Green” design and arranging.  I’m just trying to figure out how to do all of those things at once, on a stage,  with a microphone, in front of 150 people!

Thank goodness Marina has agreed to come and help!

I know it’ll be great-I’m just a little nervous. I’m sure with practice and by employing lots of tips shared by my dear friend Kathy York of Scarborough Farm and the fabulous Carole Caggiano-I’ll have those garden ladies thinking “Green” in no time.

The meeting is March 11th at Hillendale Country Club. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how it goes. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Local Flowers on Valentine’s Day

Black Ankle VineyardsThis past week I received an email from Melissa Schulte over at Black Ankle Vineyard. Melissa and I have met several times at CSBA and other events. As many of you probably know, Black Ankle wine is all the rage-especially for folks that are committed to buying local whenever possible. Black Ankle wine is fabulous and it’s the only estate vineyard (meaning they grow ALL of their own grapes) in the state of Maryland.

So, Melissa wanted to order long stem red roses for Black Ankle’s Valentine’s Day event. While excited that she had reached out to me, I felt bad that I had to give her my “no roses in Maryland” schpeal. If you haven’t heard it, here  it is in a nutshell. “There are no roses grown for commercial sale in the mid-Atlantic states. They are too expensive to grow (diseases, pests, deer) and the farmers can’t compete with foreign growers in Kenya and Central and South America. We do have one grower that experimented with old fashioned garden roses last year-but even in that case-we only had about 12 roses (short stemmed, super fragrant) to use in 1 wedding-for the whole year.”DSC_0501Kordes Roses grown in Northern Virginia last summer buy Wollam Gardens

After I gave her my schpeal, I offered her locally grown red tulips instead. Much to my surprise (and giddy excitement) Melissa said “local is more important than roses!”.  WHOO HOO!


It’s a small order, 80 red tulips-but heck-it’s 80 red tulips! More importantly, people are becoming educated and they are choosing LOCAL! I wish I could be a fly on the wall as the Black Ankle guests are presented with a locally grown, seasonally appropriate, gorgeous, fire engine red tulip-rather than a jacked up, chemical covered, no scent, foreign grown rose!

Hooray for Black Ankle! If you haven’t been to Black Ankle yet, go! If you haven’t tired Black Ankle wine, try it!

Now let’s just hope the snow doesn’t sabotage our plans…

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Real Weddings: Claude and Bill

Claude and Bill were officially LoCoFlo’s last wedding of 2009. I loved this wedding for so many reasons. First, Claude is awesome! When I met her and her lovely mom over the summer, I knew right away that we would hit it off. Sometimes you just know. She wanted a similar style and colors of Janell and Eric’s wedding from July but with Fall flowers. Being partial to orange (which I’ve probably mentioned that once or 10 times) I was excited about the vision.

0014Claude Bill-3487I was even more excited when Claude came over to my house one night to deliver her almost 40 eclectic Ikea pots. I knew this was a girl after my own heart. She had all sorts of pots in all sorts of colors and shapes.  She also said she was going to have homemade candles (that she made herself) made out of wood chunks and bike chains!


The wedding day itself was slightly chaotic for LoCoFlo. Marina delivered flowers for Lexi and Matt’s morning wedding down in Ellicott City while I made final preparations for Claude’s flowers. For some reason, I thought I could do the delivery myself. I was sadly mistaken. First, I could fit about 25% of the flowers in my car (which is why i need a new ride!). Plus, it was POURING rain. I mean…pouring. So, luckily my great friend Marina agreed to come back and help.

So we arrived at just in time for a torrential downpour and wind storm. But the weather could not dampen the spirit of this beautiful bride. I can’t lie when I say that both she and I got a little teary when I told her about where her flowers came from. I told her about Bill Harlan of Belvedere Farm who covered the dahlias with blankets to protect them from the cold for her wedding. I also told her about John MeKeown from Locust Point Flowers, crawling on his hands and knees (in the rain) to cut the last of the sweet smelling Scented Geranium for her bouquet. These flowers were definitely brought to her with love.

0226Claude Bill-3732 0137Claude Bill-3630

Marina and I ended the day eating burritos (soaking wet) at Chipotle…marveling over what a long, strange (exciting) year it had been.

Congratulations Claude and Bill! Thanks for being so fabulous!

Thanks to Jerry Mobbs for the great photos.