Flower Duet Presented at the 2nd Annual Slow Flowers Summit
Sisters Offered a Detailed Look Into Their Diversified Floral Design Studio
By Kit Wertz
Kit and Casey posed in front of the finished interactive floral “Moon Arch” at the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit in Washington, D.C.
Casey and I had a wonderful experience presenting and attending the second annual SLOW FLOWERS SUMMIT in Washington, D.C. on June 29, 2018. This year’s summit was co-located with the American Institute of Floral Designers’ annual symposium at the beautiful and vast Marriott Wardman Park.
Attendees made posies using American Grown Flowers from Oregon, Rhode Island, Florida, California, Viriginia and Maryland and placed them on the Moon Arch during the day’s event.
I was fortunate to have attended as a guest to the inaugural summit in 2017 in Seattle and was delighted to be asked along with my sister to be a presenter this year.
Fabulous viburnum, garden roses and yarrow were in abundance at the Summit!
The day started with an interactive Moon Arch of flowers and greenery presented by Dana O’Sullivan of DellaBlooms and Ellen Seagraves of Floral Chic Designs. Attendees of the summit were encouraged to work with the fabulous donated American grown flowers to create posies treated with EcoFresh Bouquet wraps and placed into the arch.
Hebe was a favorite at the Summit!
Developed and produced by Debra Prinzing and Slow Flowers LLC, the one-day event coincided with the fourth annual AMERICAN FLOWERS WEEK (June 28-July 4, 2018), which according to Debra succeeds in “bringing together creatives, thought leaders and change agents with a lecture series featuring leading voices in the progressive American-grown floral community.”
Debra Prinzing welcomes guests at the Summit!
The 2018 SUMMIT turned its attention toward the future, innovation and reinvention. Attendees included Florists, Floral Designers, Farmer-Florists, Retailers, Wholesalers, Growers, Media, Educators, Students and Progressive Thinkers.
Great day at the 2nd Annual Slow Flowers Summit in D.C. on June 29, 2018 where Casey and Kit gave a presentation and floral design demo to floral designers, flower farmers and a plethora of industry veterans who wanted to learn more about and support locally grown flowers. Here we are with all the wonderful flower speakers of the day!
The keynote speaker was the talented and fabulous CHRISTINA STEMBEL, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based FARMGIRL FLOWERS. Christina’s topic, “Scaling Your Floral Business to the Next Level,” shared insights and lessons from her highly successful e-commerce floral business. Her talk was very inspiring and she is so lovely in person, too!
Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers
After Christina’s eye-opening talk, we were treated with the founding stories of KELLY SHORE of Petals by the Shore (Maryland) and MARY KATE KINNANE of The Local Bouquet (Rhode Island). These Slow Flowers members are designers who specialize in weddings and events. They shared how they build relationships with flower farmers in their areas and did two design demos.
Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore
Mary Kate Kinnane of The Local Bouquet (Rhode Island).
Then it was a lunch break while Casey and I set up for our presentation and demonstration. We had stunning American grown flowers and greenery from around the country! The flowers we used included: David Austin roses from California, seasonal wonders from Virginia and Maryland farms, greenery from Florida and a few more greens from a local nursery and our own parents’ backyard. Oh…I forgot to mention, Casey and I grew up just outside of Washington and our parents still live there. So, we were able to visit our old hometown with our kids and attend the Summit as guest speakers.
Casey and Kit during our demonstration at the 2nd Annual Slow Flowers Summit in Washington, D.C.
We presented our topic on how we concentrate our business on all types of custom event florals from weddings to corporate parties and everything in between as well as our passion for teaching floral design. After our formal presentation, we offered three ways to teach a floral design class for the florists and farmers who want to expand their offerings.
Sisters Kit (left) and Casey (right) of Flower Duet after our demonstrations and presentation at the Slow Flowers Summit 2018.
Kit offers a close up view of the technique she demonstrated at the Summit to attendees.
After our presentation, the focus switched to technology and how it’s changing our industry. CHRISTINA STEMBEL of FARMGIRL FLOWERS, JONATHAN WEBER of greenSINNER (Pittsburgh) and JESSICA HALL of HARMONY HARVEST FARM & FLORAL GENIUS (Virginia) appeared in panel forum to discuss “Tech & Flowers: Amazon, Uber and the Floral Industry.” From Prinzing, “Increasingly, the intersection of transportation and infrastructure are pressuring everyone along the floral continuum to consider new ways of doing business.” This panel addressed how floral businesses large and small need to innovate delivery methods to consumers.
CHRISTINA STEMBEL of FARMGIRL FLOWERS, JESSICA HALL of HARMONY HARVEST FARM & FLORAL GENIUS (Virginia) and JONATHAN WEBER of greenSINNER (Pittsburgh).
The SUMMIT concluded with inspiring presentations about Urban Flower Farming. WALKER MARSH of THA FLOWER FACTORY (Baltimore) and MUD BARON of MUIR RANCH (Pasadena/Los Angeles) talked about “Planting Seeds on Urban Flower Farms.” Both men shared truly inspiring stories on how they’ve changed lives and neighborhoods through farming programs located in the cities of Baltimore and Los Angeles.
WALKER MARSH of THA FLOWER FACTORY (Baltimore)
MUD BARON of #FlowersOnYourHead (Pasadena/Los Angeles)
Everyone who attended the Summit received a fantastic swag bag full of items from a ton of sponsors including a sustainable phone stand made of bamboo from Flower Duet!
Fun and full of variety, the Swag Bag was a delight for all the attendees!
And we ended the day with a fun cocktail reception at a local restaurant where Mud put flowers on everyone’s head. Here we are!
Casey and Kit with #flowersonyourhead as directed by Mud Baron.
Debra Prinzing developed the Slow Flowers Summit. She is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American Grown Flowers. We are so happy to have met Debra in 2013 and continue to look forward to more wonderful projects which involve the promotion of locally grown flowers from an eco-conscious perspective. Learn more about her at debraprinzing.com.
The Slow Flowers Summit for 2019 has been announced! Will you be there? It’s in St. Paul Minneapolis on July 1–2, 2018! Sign up for information on the Slow Flowers Summit Website.
Sponsors for the 2018 Slow Flowers Summit were:
Swag Bag Content Sponsors were:
Florists’ Review Magazine
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers
Slow Flowers LLC
Mary Denise Smith
Arctic Alaska Peonies
Harmony Harvest Farm
Flower Donors were:
Charles Little & Company
Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers
Little State Flower Co.
Green Valley Floral
And it would not have been possible without:
Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers LLC
Karen Thornton of Avenue 22 Events
Nisha Blancas of Fetching Social Media
Flower Farmers in Virgina and Maryland
A Visit to Local Flower Farms in Virginia and Maryland
A Tour of Wollam Gardens — Jeffersonton, VA
By Flower Duet
Sign at Wollam Gardens
As part of the Slow Flowers Summit, we ventured to a local flower farm in Virginia called Wollam Gardens. Started in 1987, this farm features a wide variety of annuals, perennials and woody plants which offers the local designer premium choices for seasonal event work.
House of Wollam Gardens Owner
We were treated to a fabulous Quiche for breakfast and hearty sandwiches for lunch after the extensive farm tour by Red Truck Bakery.
Arrangement by one of the Wollam Gardens interns
Refreshed by a a farm made lemon balm lemonade. We started in the event pavilion and toured 10 acres of flower farm. No matter how many years we have been working with flowers, touring a working farm was a complete delight. There is always something new to learn.
5167 Jeffersonton Rd
Jeffersonton VA, 22724
On the tour of the farm at Wollam Gardens
The farm is open for drop-in visitors every day from mid-March through early December, 9 am to 5 pm. You’re welcome to walk around the farm, peep into the hoop houses, and generally enjoy the grounds. This is a working farm, with a focus on production; so they do not offer guided tours without appointments.
Staff can assist with purchasing flowers if available (best times are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons), or choose from the self-serve farm stand, which is stocked Thursday-Sunday.
A Trip to Butler’s Orchard — Germantown, MD
By Kit Wertz
Butler Orchards Flowers we picked and place in our container. It was all you could fit for $10.
A few years ago when my twins were about 3 and a half, we went to a farm to pick our own raspberries and flowers in Maryland. On this year’s trip to the DC-Metro area, the kids are 7 and a half and we took an excursion train ride in Walkersville, MD and then stopped at a pick your own farm in Germantown after lunch in Frederick. All of this was within an hour’s drive of the District.
Keely and Cole (Kit’s twins) had fun in the flower fields and on a swing, too!
It’s just the beginning of flower season, but I was able to gather a large and colorful bouquet featuring Zinnias, Celosia, Salvia, and Globe Amarmath. The kids enjoyed an old fashioned tree swing while my Dad and I picked our way through the flower fields. All in all, a lovely way to spend the day.
Each row of flower type was clearly marked by signage in case the visitor needed to have it identified.
Only a few sunflowers were showing color. It’s very early in the season for the varieties they were growing on the farm.
The orchard also had an extensive shop with fresh produce, handcrafted pies and local honey and much, much more!
Plumosa Celosia was in full bloom among other varieties of flowers at Butler’s Orchard, but we had a fabulous bouquet of Zinnias, Salvia and a collection of Amaranthus!
22222 Davis Mill Rd,
Germantown, MD 20876
New Hours of Operation in 2018: Hours vary during the year. Please read carefully.
The farm and market are open seasonal hours. Call 301–428-0444 for specific hours and picking conditions on the day you plan to visit. Weather conditions and demand determine the supply of Pick Your Own fruits and vegetables; plus, some crops have special picking hours.
Closed Mondays, except for Holidays, check this page for specific hours.
Tuesday – Friday 8:30 am – 6:30 pm (Last entry onto Farm 5:30 pm)
Saturday & Sunday 8:30 – 5:30 (Last entry onto Farm 4:30 pm)
Tuesday – Sunday 9:30 am – 6:00 pm (Last entry onto Farm 5:00 pm)
Spring: from Opening Day to Strawberry Season
Tuesday – Sunday 9:30 am – 6:00 pm Market open
Farm Park opened May 12. 9:30 am- 5:00 pm
Floral Design by Flower Duet
Here is the design I made from the Butler’s Orchard flowers! It shows a fantastic array of color and texture for “early season” pick your own flowers.