Buy Local & Get to Know the Flower Grower

by Debra Prinzing on August 9, 2010

in Growers,How We Did It,The Book Project

Bring home ingredients for a gorgeous bouquet 

A summer bouquet, created with ingredients from the West Seattle Farmers' Market

Now that I’m back in Seattle, I have an abundance of choice when it comes to local Farmers’ Markets, operating both seasonal and year ’round.

Yesterday being Sunday, we visited our neighborhood West Seattle Farmers’ Market and sought out Jan Roozen of Choice Bulb Farms. Jan is a good friend of David’s and he’s previously featured a video interview with Jan. He shared his knowledge about daffodil post-harvest techniques, which to date has been one of our most-viewed video interviews. It was a treat to finally meet him and spend some time with this charming flower farmer.

Jan shares his vast knowledge with regular customers each Sunday.

After drooling over the amazing selection of flowers from Jan’s farm in Skagit Valley north of Seattle, I came home with an armload of stems, blooms and sprays.

Fresh-from-the-field, these flowers inspired me to make a summer bouquet. I hope you enjoy this textural design in shades of apricot, cream, lemon, lavender and bluish purple.

Before I tell you how much it cost to create this floral design, I invite you to submit your guess!

If you bought this from a high-end flower shop, how much do you think you’d spend?

The reader who comes closest to guessing the correct price wins a set of note cards from my book, Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways. Entry deadline continues through Thursday, August 12th at 5 p.m. Pacific. Post your vote below.

Here is how the design came together, step-by-step:

Step One: 10 stems of Solidago 'Yellow Submarine'

Step Two: Add 20 stems of Brodiaea coronaria, cut at two different heights for variety.

Step Three: Add 10 creamy white Dahlia 'Moonraker' stems.

Step Four: Insert a dozen foxtail lilies (Eremurus x isabellinus). This variety is a Shelford hybrid.

Step Five: Add a trio of 'Globemaster' alliums.

Step Six: Place several clusters of five stems of drumstick allium (Allium sphaerocephalum) for contrast to accent the bouquet's lighter colors.

The last step: Enjoy! Remember to change the vase water every day or so to keep it fresh. And it’s a good idea to trim the bottom of the stems when you change the water to extend the life of the flowers.

Contest Update: We received lots of guesses on Facebook, as well as a few on this page so I’ve decided to send a set of notecards to two winners:

Rama Nayeri, freelance garden writer and owner of Creations Landscape Designs, an Orange County-based firm, accurately guessed that I spent $30 on these flowers – congratulations! (and I know that Jan Roozen was super-generous, charging me just $30 when I’m sure he should have asked for at least $45).

Jennie Love, owner of Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, a Philadelphia-based floral studio, a market grower and member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, wagered that this would be a $100 bouquet from a flower shop and that you’d spend $150 at a high-end shop for an arrangement with these wonderful ingredients.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bren August 9, 2010 at 11:29 am

Wonderful photos to show HOW TO …… I can easily recreate this flower design. Thank you for posting!

Jennie August 9, 2010 at 11:50 am

In materials alone, that’s nearly $100 if bought from a florist. I’d guess you’d pay close to $150 for the final arrangement at a high-end shop. Beautiful work with the design!

compostinmyshoe August 15, 2010 at 7:30 am

I wish we had the kind of local growing going on that you folks do on the west coast. You have some fantastic pretties to choose from!

Jayme August 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Love the how-to Debra! This is what I’ve been looking for, not just pretty pictures.

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