Why One Florist Chooses Organic Flowers For Her Shop

Among the highlights of my story-gathering trip for A Fresh Bouquet a few weeks back were visits with some of Joan Thorndike’s delightful customers in and around Ashland, Oregon. She thoughtfully arranged for me to make the delivery rounds with her so I could meet a handful of her favorite people, and then allowed for us to linger long enough so I could listen to some of their stories, unrehearsed.

This opportunity allowed me come to an understanding of how her customers actually make choices for the flowers they use to beautify their restaurants, arrange and sell to their customers or enhance the daily lives of those who work in their offices and visit their homes. It seemed a completely generous gesture on Joan’s part — to share her people with me as she did — and it was consistent with every other thing I learned of her. It was also at least as much fun as it was informative. Every single person that Joan introduced me to was a unique and generous delight! But think about it: They are all flower lovers and just that one qualifier alone would tend to single out people who see the beauty in life and who like to smile. Wouldn’t it?

Leslie Kirkland (above), is a delightful soul who owns ‘Enchanted Florist’ on Ashland’s Main Street with her husband and partner, Brandon. She is one of Joan’s regular and beloved customers, and the mother of two beautiful children, Amelie and Indie. Leslie generously took time out of a very busy day to talk about their unique business and their choice to sell only local, organic or VeriFlora certified, sustainably grown flowers in what they describe on their website as a ‘couture floral and fine chocolate boutique’.

As you will see in the video, Leslie and Brandon’s two young children, obviously completely comfortable in the middle of everything there in the shop, were a big part of that decision (as was the long-term health of Leslie and Brandon’s employees and of themselves). Because of the carefully thought-out choices their parents have made, including what they will and will not sell through their flower shop, these little ones are able simply to move and play in that world with their mother, touching and smelling all the floral beauty that passes through their shop’s doors every day, free from worry or daily risks of unseen pesticide residues or fumes. Knowing this seems essential to understanding the scene I witnessed.

It was magical watching two young beings so naturally occupy that setting. I have to say that their presence at Mom’s side seemed as natural and right as a couple of butterflies flitting aimlessly through a fragrant cutting garden.

But with chocolate!

Drinking chocolate.  Nibbling chocolate.  Organic chocolate.  All that and fresh flowers . . . Food for the eyes, for the nose and for the soul.  Yummm!!!

Joan Thorndike makes one of her twice-weekly deliveries to Enchanted Florist in Ashland, OR.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

compostinmyshoe May 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Would love to taste some of those chocolates. My partner is a chocolatier and I have assisted him many times with orders http://davidsconfections.com/story.php

Beautiful post.

Joan Thorndike May 18, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Hola David! Thank you for this fun trip through our own town. I love the photos of the shop, everything looks so three dimensional I thought I was inside Enchanted Florist.

By the way — definitely MARSHMALLOWS out there (code word).

I hope you are well and happy. xxxooo Joan

Teresa Sabankaya May 18, 2010 at 7:42 pm

The colors are beautiful in the video, and in your store too Leslie! What a delight to see those two children knee deep in the blooms.
I enjoyed the post—thank you David.

Leslie Kirkland May 18, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Thank you for the fun opportunity to be a part of your blog. Loved the photo of Joan in front of the shop and how you captured the kids in their second home. Very nice,


Gary May 18, 2010 at 10:42 pm


David Perry May 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Hey, thanks for leaving me such fun notes here. Compost, truthfully, I didn’t allow myself to spend much of my attention on the chocolate part of the business, but Joan treated me to a tasty sipping chocolate dealio thingamabobber and it was ‘eyes roll back up into your head’ delicious. Joan, mine here are still marbles, but I haven’t lost any, at least for now. I’m so pleased that you liked the video. Teresa, you are most welcome. And I agree with you . . . the kids were just magic in that setting. Leslie, you rock! One take. No rehearsals or even discussion of what to talk about. You just started explaining and seemed so completely at home within your own skin, as well as your elegant shop. I am honored to have met you and spent a bit of time in your world. Thank you!!! And Gary, thanks brother, it pleases me knowing your eyes are following along. Namasté, all . . .

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