Sunday, April 25, 2010

7 days, 4 weddings…

This has been a crazy couple of weeks for LoCoFlo. In the last 7 days we’ve had 4 weddings! Each was unique in terms of style, color and design. Each  turned out great and was great fun to work on.

Mariko and Jeff’s got married at Irvine Nature Center. Using shades of white and green, we kept the bouquets, boutonnieres as natural as possible to compliment the beautiful surroundings at Irvine. At the reception at Linwoods, all of the centerpieces were potted herbs. The guests were able to take them home and enjoy them.


Jane Ann and Kent were married at Coradetti Glass Studio in Baltimore. Funky, colorful, artistic, elegant…all rolled into one!

table arrangment


Meghan and Chris were married at Notre Dame Chapel and Baltimore with a reception at Louisiana in Fells Point. The bride wanted, simple, elegant, spring flowers in yellow and white. We used mini calla lilies, tulips, ranunculus and anemones…simple and beautiful.


Finally, Emily and Jon. I loved this couple and their easy going, colorful, garden style. Jen Bryant made this amazing bouquet for the bride full of colorful spring flowers including mini calla lilies, gerber daisies, tulips, snap dragons and ranunculus.


And check out this cake and cake topper! The bouquet the bride is holding looks just like bouquet we made!

IMG_0670 I’ll be sure to post more pictures from each of these weddings soon. Big shout-outs to my awesome “help”! Thanks to Marina and Jen for helping to design such great bouquets and arrangements! Thanks to Eric and Cathy for being great delivery helpers! You guys rock!

Friday, April 23, 2010

How I Spent Earth Day 2010


Happy 40th Birthday Earth Day!

I woke up yesterday thinking about all of the folks who have helped mold and shape how I feel about the Earth and nature and flowers: my gram, my Master Gardening friends, Kathy York, Marina…John Muir, Rachel Carson, Annie Dillard, Amy Stewart EO Wilson, …

I took time to read Mary Oliver.

The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

 And then I went and visited farmers and picked up  flowers. Some of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen.





Gerber Daisies


Sweet Peas


Everyday is Earth Day!  Enjoy it!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another Reason to Buy Local Flowers - VOLCANOS!

flowervolcano Everyone has heard about the volcano in Iceland. Ash is causing airlines to cancel flights all across Europe. Did you know that the international flower industry is among the hardest hit by the eruption?

The world flower trade is an amazingly efficient and complex business (see Amy Stewart's book, Flower Confidential). But, there is little room for disruption when working with perishable cargo. The volcano is forcing huge flower producers from the Netherlands to as far away as Kenya to dump literally tons of product and send workers home because of airport closures. Wall Street Journal reporter John Miller expects flower prices  to rise in the United States as imports decrease.

Another reason to buy flowers from local growers - they're volcano-proof.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Park Heights Church Going Local for Earth Day!

The 40th anniversary of Earth Day is almost here! To celebrate Earth Day and to raise awareness about the importance of Buying Local, members of Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Park Heights ordered locally grown arrangements for their alter.



During the announcement and at the coffee hour after services, members and visitors passionately discusses the importance of Earth Day and Buying Local. How great is that! Passionate discussion at church about flowers-and where they come from and how they are grown!

Holy Nativity has inspired me  for ten years with their progressive stance on social issues as well as their commitment to the children of Park Heights. We have a long history together-too long to recount here. Suffice it to say, they have a special place in my heart. So I was honored to be able to make flowers for them these past few weeks.

Buying local flowers is a great way for churches, synagogues and mosques to show their support for local growers and local communities. It may seem like a small gesture, but it’s not small at all. It’s important to the growers, to their families, their employees,  to our communities and to the Earth.

As Earth Day approaches, give this beautiful planet of ours a gift-buy local!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Presenting…The LoCoRoll!

As many of you know, LoCoFlo bought a new Transit Connect a couple weeks ago. I’ve been keeping it on the DL until it got jazzed up.

Well, thanks to Young and Eric who put their design magic on it, thanks to all of you who took a look at the designs and voted for your favorite one, thanks to Mike and the great folks at who made it look so fabulous and thanks to my friend Todd for naming it…

I now present to you…the LoCoRoll.


We decided not to go with paint-but to go with a custom vinyl wrap. It’ll be easier to repair if it gets damaged, it’s easy to customize and it looks great!

It really was like an episode of Pimp My Ride.

It started out cute, but plain.

locoroll Then it got it’s racing stripes.

locoroll 2

And the back is awesome!


I am SO happy with the work Mike at did! It turns out he also owns and runs and organic farm in Carroll County called Pure Earth Farms! Be sure to check it out!

Be on the lookout for the LoCoRoll in a neighborhood near you!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Local Friday Fun in Hampden

flamingo.jpgWho doesn’t love Fridays? Most of this past Friday was spent in Hampden meeting with brides and vendors.

First off, I stopped by to say hi to my friends at Patchwork Catering. Chef Jacki and Chef Tom are my kind of people. They used to live in San Francisco, they love cooking with and promoting local food and they are just plain fun! After doing the personal chef thing for a few years, they  moved their kitchen to Hampden and started Patchwork Catering. If you’re in Hampden, (or even if you’re not) you should stop by and see them!

Next, I was off to Puffs and Pastries to meet the lovely ladies from Jill Andrews Gowns and eat delish treats! Jill and Sara from Jill Andrews Gowns were a pleasure to meet and chat with. Many of their core values as a company are the same as LoCoFlo’s. Each gown is custom made in their shop (their shop is to die for!) to reflect the wearer’s personality and preferences. We have several brides this year that are working with Jill and Sara either on their gowns, custom alterations or other really lovely accessories like hairpieces and wraps. While we talked  over cupcakes and sandwiches, we couldn’t help but be excited about momentum and excitement around small, local Baltimore businesses. I’m looking forward to working with them in the future.

I finished the day by meeting a fantastic couple who are getting married this summer and are interested in using locally grown flowers, fruits and veggies for their centerpieces. We talked about their style, interests and the feel they want to for their wedding. We also talked about opportunities for them to donate the centerpieces after the wedding was over. I love talking with progressive, thoughtful, loving couples who are planning the biggest day of their lives while also giving consideration to the less fortunate and to the earth. They inspire me.

Overall, a beautiful day in Baltimore.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Book Review: The Town That Food Saved

The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local FoodThe Town That Food Saved tells the recent history of the Local Food Movement in Hardwick, Vermont. I say recent, because a lot of the old timers in Hardwick, make it clear that they bought into “local” (and bought out of the industrial food system) long before it was popular.

While they don’t specifically mention FLOWERS in this book, I think the issues raised with the Hardwick Buy Local Movement are relevant to LoCoFlo. I don’t know why I’m always skeptical of books like this -just like  I was with Farm City. I think I’m afraid it will be some glossed over, happy story about the joys of Buying Local, or Urban Farming or whatever the topic is.  I actually really liked this book-if only for the questions it raised.

What should a sustainable food look like? How can you measure it’s success?

The author posited 4 benchmarks that would define success for a local food movement:

1. It has to be sun-based. It cannot be based on chemical fertilizers.

2. It must provide nourishment for the local population.

3. It must provide economic viability for the region it serves (JOBS)

4. It must be circular. Seed. Plant. Compost.

You’ll have to read the book to see how Hardwick measured up. I think you’ll be surprised at the conflicting assessments.

Obviously, flowers are different. We don’t NEED flowers to survive (well-most normal people don’t). But I think that sustainable flower growing  should be sun-based.  I think the growers should be providing flowers for their local communities- rather than having the bulk of their flowers being shipped someplace else-like Dubai-but that’s another story.  I think the growers and businesses like LoCoFlo that depend on the local growers, should help provide economic viability for the region-through job development and spending money in community. Finally, I believe that the system needs to be circular. We should be buying seed locally or saving seeds from locally purchased flowers, we should be buying flowers that are grown locally and we should be composting.

LoCoFlo is doing what it can-where it is: working with sustainable growers, creating as many job opportunities as we can, living in Baltimore and spending our money here and composting until there is no more room in the yard!

Read “The Town That Food Saved”.  Talk about it with your friends. You won’t regret it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Things I’ll Do this Spring and Summer

I am not going to use this blog as my Things To Do List. I have an extensive Things To Do List that keeps me on track but I won’t bore you with the details (the pages and pages of details) There are however, a few fun To Do’s that I’m planning on tackling this Spring and Summer that thought I’d share with you.

1. Go visit the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market and have breakfast with Dave and Bob.

Two of our growers, Farmhouse Flowers and Wollam Gardens, have stands at the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market on Sunday mornings. I hear it’s a great market with loads of great vendors and food and FLOWERS!

2. Go to the National Arboretum

I live so close, but I’ve never been. Besides have beautiful gardens and exhibits, they also have free classes and moonlit hikes!

3. Go to Longwood Gardens

I’ve wanted to go to Longwood Gardens for years. With it’s over 1000 acres of gardens, it sounds like a dream. This May, the ASCFG is holding it’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting at Longwood Gardens. The Regional Meeting is a great opportunity to connect with growers, learn about new flowers they’re growing and and this time…a chance to get a behind the scenes tour of Longwood Gardens. I can’t wait!

4. Flower arranging class for ladies at Martha’s Place.

Martha’s Place, a nonprofit in West Baltimore’s neighborhood of Sandtown has a special place in my heart. There are so many reasons I can’t name them all…but here are a few: they do extraordinary work; the people who work there are truly committed and wonderful; they make a positive difference in women’s lives and in their community…oh yeah, and they have a KICK ASS GARDEN!

Anyway, on Wednesday nights, volunteers can sign up to make dinner for the ladies and then do a “presentation”. I’m hoping to do a B-more Local night-where we make dinner from local ingredients and then have a local flower arranging class. Email me if you’d like to help.

4. Go to Black Ankle Vineyard for dinner

Finally, (do you think this list is too ambitious?) I’m going to go to Blank Ankle for one of their Sunday evening Pasta Dinners. They sound fab and the wine isn’t bad either!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Trade: Accounting Help for Easter Flowers

While I do my own bookkeeping, I have a great accountant (Pam) that is always willing to answer questions and give advice when I need help. She never charges me to answer questions, although she could. So, lately, I’ve needed more help than normal, especially with the purchase of the Transit Connect. In return for being so helpful, I thought I would bring Pam some Easter flowers.

IMG_0514 I brought her a little marinade jar full of daffodils from my yard. While they would have looked nice in the arrangement with the tulips and star of Bethlehem, daffodils don’t play nice with other flowers. Cut daffodils actually give off a sap that is toxic to other cut flowers. So, while they look great in mixed spring bouquets, it’s better to arrange them separately.

I also brought a bucket of cut tulips and star of Bethlehem that I picked up from Locust Point Flowers at the Waverly Market this morning.


Since cut flowers may only last a week or two, I also brought some potted, organic herbs that I picked up from Reid’s Orchard including lemon thyme, oregano and sweet lavender.


  Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring Everyone!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Real Weddings: Rachel and Brian

Rachel and Brian’s wedding was LoCoFlo’s first wedding of the season for 2010. It came at the perfect time too. A couple weeks sooner and we would have had two feet of snow.

I wanted to share some of the photos from Photographer Julie Eisel. She did a fabulous job!

bouquet 1

The bouquet was made up of white anemones, white tulips, white ranunculus and green viburnum.

Bride and groom 2


The ceremony arrangements included some beautiful curly willow and pussy willow from Farmhouse Flowers.

Bride and groom 1

Congratulations to this beautiful couple! Thanks for welcoming in spring with us!