Did you know that only 20% of cut flowers sold in the US are actually grown here in America? Tomorrow marks the start of American Flowers week, a campaign to bring awareness to the origin of cut flowers used in the floral industry. American Flowers week was created by Debra Prinzing of Slowflowers.com and author of "The 50 Mile Bouquet". Debra has this to say, "It's important to raise awareness for and celebrate American grown flowers, as well as flower farmers who grow a diverse selection of botanicals for the cut flower trade. At the same time, we salute floral designers whose ethos and intent inspire them to source domestically." As a flower farmer this cause is near and dear to my heart. I don't think the average consumer realizes where their flowers are coming from and the journey they took to get there. The average grocery store bouquet has travelled 2,000 miles and been exposed to up to 127 chemicals during it's lifetime. 40,000 boxes of flowers arrive daily into Miami International Airport, mostly coming from South America. The majority of those flowers are transported out of water and smashed into a box. South American doesn't have the same environmental and labor regulations that govern American farmers. $7-8 billion dollars are spent on flowers a year here in the US, with a measly 7% going to our American flower farmers. Let's support our American farms first, we can provide a fresher product that is more sustainable. This 4th of July, celebrate Independence from Imports and buy local. We are giving out American Flower Week Coloring sheets at our booth this week at the market so stop and get one and pick up a bouquet for your cookout!
Last week the rain finally stopped and the sun was shinning. The week of warm weather made me and the flowers happy. I was finally able to do some serious weeding and get more rows seeded. The sweet Williams are just starting to bloom in lovely colors like black cherry, red, white, and pinks. The statice plants are putting up tall stems and starting to show some color. The black-eyed susans are starting to put on their display, slowly but surely. I can barely contain my excitement as the Lisianthus starts to bud up. But of course as the seasons change we have to say good bye to some flowers as well , like the bell's of Ireland and the Bell Flower that is slowing down in the heat.
This is also the time of year when the evening primrose blooms. It's not useful as a cut flower but it's a really cool plant that I always try to have planted up around the house. This variety is called Tina James Magic Evening Primrose, Tina hosted parties with this flower as the star. What is so special about this plant is how the flowers open. They literally unfurl in front of your eyes. It's a fragrant pale yellow flower that opens at dusk. It's pollinated at night by moths that can get as big as hummingbirds.
Check out these arrangements that I made over the weekend. One went to Mark's mom and the other is sitting on my desk, where some much flower planning and dreaming takes place.