Friday, March 30, 2012

Buying Local Isn’t Practical…Yeah Right!

I read an interesting article in the Urbanite today.  I would encourage you to read it (it’s short) and share your thoughts on it. The article is about food. Local food. Two things jumped out at me immediately.

    Spike Gjerde (of Woodberry Kitchen) believes it takes more creativity to come up with a dish based solely on what's available locally than it does to create something around far-flung ingredients. "When you don't have all the colors you want on the plate, you've got to dig a little deeper," he says.

I feel exactly the same way about flowers. I always try to explain to people how UNIQUE our creative process is compared to conventional florists. Conventional florists have every flower in the world available to them at the click of a button. They can “design” on paper exactly what they want, before they ever even see the flowers. For us, we are faced with a new, creative challenge every time we go out to the farms and pick up our flowers.  We get so excited to create beautiful arrangements based on exactly what is available on any given day. That may mean we use basil or rosemary for our foliage or we may use peaches for a splash of peach in a centerpiece. Our arrangements perfectly reflect the season and the locale where they were grown.

Photos by Love Struck Images

The second thing that struck me-and I hear things like this all the time.

An anonymous local caterer claimed that it's just not possible or practical for everyone to be 100 percent local. "Some restaurants can do it, but catering companies really can't," he says. "The menu would be limited ... and it would be too expensive. ... Woodberry, though, has the clientele that will pay for it."

People are always saying that it doesn’t make sense to run an entire business using local flowers or that you can’t do all of your wedding/event flowers with local flowers. Of course you can! Not only can you-you should! Florists should be buying more locally and more people should be choosing local for their events. Sure, you may not be able to have exactly the flowers that you see in Martha Stewart. But you can have the same look and the same feel using flowers that were grown close to home, are seasonally appropriate and look equally-if not MORE beautiful! You can even meet the farmers that grew them and visit the farms where they were grown. How cool is that?

Photo by Jocelyn Mathewes

Finally, I want to give a shout out to all the caterers that we work with that incorporating local elements into their work: Patchwork Catering, Eat and Smile Foods, Dionysus Kitchen, Zia’s, Azafran and more! Keep on Keepin’ on friends. You make me proud!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The New York Times Loves Local Flowers

It’s spreading! All over the country there are local growers and designers telling the story of how amazing local flowers are. While Local Color Flowers is the only florist in Baltimore exclusively using locally grown flowers for our designs, we have never felt alone. Since we started the company four years ago, we always knew we were part of a bigger community here in Maryland and across the country with similar values and goals.

That’s why I was so proud and excited to see the New York Times article yesterday about Debra Prinzing’s new book called The 50 Mile Bouquet. What an amazing book showcasing what the author calls “the slow flower movement”. Farms, farmers, flowers and design techniques are highlighted throughout the book with beautiful photos and engaging stories. If you love flowers, you need to own this book!

Local Color Flowers is built on the belief that buying local is both beautiful and the right thing to do. I’m always excited to hear about others that share this belief and act on it.  Debra Prinzing and others like her inspire me to make Local Color Flowers the best company it can be.  I’m super energized to start a new season providing beautiful, locally grown, seasonal flowers to our clients leading the way locally to changing the industry.

Jump on the bandwagon! Buying local is beautiful and the right thing to do. Spread the love today! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting Ready for Baltimore’s Most Creative Bridal Show This Sunday!

If you’re free this Sunday (April 1) you should definitely come down and see us at borrowed: A wedding show for the creative “I DO”!

i do 1

This is no ordinary bridal show!  It’s taking place at the American Visionary Arts Museum  which, if you haven’t been there, is an AMAZING venue! It starts at 1pm and ends at 5pm. Plenty of time to chat with all of the super creative, interesting vendors as well as have a cocktail, and maybe even win some great prizes.

Our team has been getting ready for the last few weeks! Our booth is going to look SICK!  (so says one of our young, creative designers!) The flowers this week are so beautiful…ranunculus, tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, flowering branches, snapdragons, and more and more and more!

Make sure you come over to say hi to us at the Local Color Flowers booth! We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Real Weddings: Jim and Jennifer

Last August we had the pleasure of providing flowers for Jim and Jennifer’s beautiful wedding at Historic London Town and Gardens. 

The bride carried a bouquet filled with purple lisianthus, asters, butterfly bush,  and calla lilies. It was elegant and natural and complemented the bride and the venue perfectly.Hickok_080611_634The groom’s boutonniere was classic in style and was made up of a white calla lily, a purple lisianthus and splash of mountain mint. Hickok_080611_123 The bridesmaid’s bouquets were similar to the brides but with a few more white lisianthus mixed in.Hickok_080611_632After the ceremony, the reception was held at Crush Wine House in Annapolis! If you haven’t been there…go now! It’s a beautiful space with a super nice owner and fabulous wine!

The centerpieces were an eclectic mix of glass vases with purple and white flowers.



Thanks so much to Wendy Hickok Photography for these beautiful photos! Wendy rocks! Thanks to our fabulous growers  for these amazing flowers! To see more photos from Jim and Jennifer’s wedding check out Wendy’s blog and our flickr page!

Special thanks to Jim and Jennifer for choosing Local Color Flowers! We loved being a small part of your special day! Wishing you much happiness in the future!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Win Free Tickets to Baltimore’s Most Creative Bridal Show!

Hey everyone! Local Color Flowers is going to be at the borrowed Wedding  Show at the American Visionary Arts Museum on Sunday April 1, 2012. This is no ordinary wedding show (and we are no ordinary florist!). This is a super creative, “think outside of the box”, awesome wedding show full of some of our favorite vendors!

Local Color Flowers will be there with loads of beautiful, unique flower options for your wedding and the best part is…all of the flowers will be locally grown!

Since we really want to you come…we’re giving away (4) tickets to the event. We’ll choose two winners to receive 2 tickets each. To win, comment on this blog post (and include your email address) and tell us what cool, creative, local and green details your are including in your wedding. We’ll choose the winners on Saturday!

Can’t wait to see you at borrowed on April 1st!

Spreading the “Buy Local” love at Manor Garden Club!

Last week I spent a perfect early Spring day visiting and talking with Manor Garden Club. I always love talking to garden clubs because everyone is so interested in talking about FLOWERS!

After I told the ladies a little about Local Color Flowers, I did a little show and tell with all of the wonderful flowers, foliage and flowering branches that are available today in Maryland.

IMG_4048I emphasized  how easy it is to find great vases/vessels in your own home or at the thrift store and how fun it is to try designing with plant material you have in your own garden. The ladies were excited and encouraged to try some natural design techniques at home.

IMG_4053It was fun to use foliage  and branches from the host’s backyard including nandina, evergreens and Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick.

Now that Spring is officially here, everyone should head out their yards (or neighbors yards) and see what’s out there that might work great in a design. Thinking outside the box about vases and plant material will help you create something natural and unique.

Happy Arranging!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Grow. Bloom. Tea.

Last weekend I headed down to DC to do a design demonstration and presentation as part of the Spring fundraiser for FRESHFARM Markets.  I first stopped over at the Dupont Circle farmer’s market to pick up flowers from Farmhouse Flowers. Dave Dowling, owner of Farmhouse Flowers had invited me to participate in the fundraiser and was donating all the flowers for my designs.


I arrived at the Embassy Circle Guest House ready to make some beautiful Spring arrangements. If you haven’t heard of the Embassy Circle Guest …you HAVE to check it out! It was just voted one of the 10 Best Urban B and B’s and for good reason. This house is gorgeous and the owners, Raymond and Laura, are a joy. I couldn’t have asked for a better spot to spend the afternoon.

People arrived to the Tea ready for snacks, sangria (I didn’t actually see anyone drinking tea!) and flower talk!  Dave Dowling gave a great presentation about his farm, what he grows throughout the year and how and why you should buy local flowers.


After Dave’s talk I gave a brief presentation about Local Color tea 3Flowers and how to use locally grown flowers to make simple, beautiful flower arrangements. We then moved to the fabulously spacious kitchen for a design demonstration. It was a lot of fun showing off Dave’s beautiful flowers and my designs to such an interested, enthusiastic crowd.

I was really honored to be a part of this event. I know what a big role farmer’s markets play in my life and the lives of our growers and clients. Congratulations to FRESHFARMS markets on a great event!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

2012 Designer/Grower Extravaganza

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of hosting some of my favorite grower/designer friends for a “lunch and learn”.  Jennie Love of Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, Kathy York of Scarborough Farm and WenFei Uva of Seaberry Farm made their way to Baltimore where we ATE alot of yummy food (including homemade Beach Plum and Peach jam from Seaberry Farm) and talked about all things FLOWER related. 

The topics included:

  • Record keeping and use of Quickbooks (at one point everyone had laptops open and quickbooks was quite funny and totally helpful!)
  • How to make a fabulous wrist corsage
  • Best practices for photographing flowers
  • Health insurance and other legal “stuff”
  • Woody branches and how to design with them
  • New varieties folks were planting
  • Delivery and packing methods

It started at 10 and ended at 6pm but honestly could have gone on another few hours!

Check out all the beautiful branches WenFei brought me!

kathy york Jennie is showing us her technique for making fabulous wrist corsages.

IMG_4008 I wish these ladies didn’t live so far away! (Philly, Federalsburg, St Mary’s County) It was so …invigorating to be with these talented women who do the same thing I  do, have the same challenges I do and are also totally committed to local growing and designing.  Looking forward to making this pow wow an annual event!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

January’s “You Deserve a Bouquet Today” Winner: Amanda

January’s “You Deserve a Bouquet Today” winner is Amanda!  Amanda’s mom nominated her to win by writing:

"I nominate Amanda. She's an inspiration to the young and elderly. Amanda teaches at Patterson Park and encourages students to maintain healthy exercise and eating habits. She gives up her free time to visit and care for her elderly 98 year old grandma. Thank you Amanda for giving so much.”

LoCoFlo is proud to have been able bring flowers to an inspiring, dedicated daughter, granddaughter and teacher!

IMG_3987 Congratulations Amanda!

If you would like to nominate someone for March’s “You Deserve a Bouquet Today” contest, just go to the website and tell us why they should win! Make someone’s day by nominating them to win!