One Wild Acre puts the spotlight on local flowers in Charleston

From her one-acre flower farm, Peachey Trudell is working to get people in Charleston, South Carolina, to embrace local flowers in the same way they’ve embraced local food.

In Charleston, the local food movement is well established in the restaurant scene, farmer’s markets and beyond.

“There are a lot of school gardens here, a lot of community gardens,” she said. “I think flowers are just trying to find their place in that. I feel like maybe we’re not quite there yet. But I’m hopeful. We just need to keep plugging along, the few of us that there are, to keep getting our message out there as best as we can.”

Trudell started her One Wild Acre flower farm in 2017 on the property surrounding the home she and her husband had just bought. The property and farm are something of an anomaly in the area. Such large parcels are unusual within the city limits and flower growers are few and far between in the Lowcountry region where Charleston is located.

Since then, the couple have worked “to untangle, nurture and enhance the soil and land, which is an ongoing process,” according to her website. Her husband, an architect, pitches in and “gardens hard” in the evenings and on weekends, she said.

They’ve cleared the property of overgrowth and invasive species, so much so that houses not previously visible have come into view. They’re replanting with a focus on native plants and increasing biodiversity of their property. And all of it chemical-free.

Trudell planted her first flowers in the fall of 2017 and began selling the following spring. She sells bouquets at a handful of local businesses that share her slower-approach-to-living ethos. She also offers DIY wedding flowers and does pop-up bouquet-making events for big holidays like Mother’s Day. She does some wholesale but that’s not her primary focus.

“I think about texture and shape a lot, but I definitely am not someone who’s growing a lot of blush,” she said. “I do have a lot of color variety, which is good for when I make a retail bouquet. I can make it bright and fun.”

Typically, her bouquets will include about a quarter native flowers. She prefers growing a variety of blooms for retail bouquets rather “than trying to grow 200 stems of one color” for the wholesale market, she said.

Trudell came to flower farming in an indirect way. She has a master’s degree in early childhood education and was a teacher for six years. After her maternity leave for her second child, she decided not to return to teaching.

That’s where her path to flower farming began. She recalls trying to buy a bouquet of local flowers for a friend and not being able to find any. Google searches in her quest for locally grown flowers led her to the slow-flower movement and its founder Debra Prinzing.

“It kind of snowballed from there with me researching and learning more,” she said.

What followed was a crash course in flower growing. She enrolled in a Growing New Farmers program put on by Lowcountry Local First, a nonprofit that promotes local independent businesses. During the six-month program, she was paired with a mentor and worked on a farm as well as spending time in the classroom. She earned a certificate in sustainable agriculture.

Around the same time, she also earned a certificate in floral design and spent time working in the back of a florist shop. It was there that she gauged interest from florists in buying from new local flower farms. Some were interested, some not so much.

“Some were very straightforward: ‘Why would I buy that when I can get anything I want anytime during the year.’ But it was good to get that feedback.”

It’s that reliance on big wholesalers that can deliver flowers grown all over the country and world that Trudell has found is a barrier to a broader embrace of local flowers. It’s one of the reasons she added the Certified American Grown label to her business. She wants people to know her flowers were grown locally in Charleston.

“I’m someone who supports transparency when it comes to the origin of things,” she said. “When you’re at the grocery store, you can see whether you’re buying strawberries that have been imported from Florida. That kind of knowledge is something I use all the time when I make decisions about buying food.”

Labeling such as “fresh-cut flowers” can be deceiving because the flowers can be from anywhere, she said. She sees some greenwashing going on, an effort to put on an environmentally friendly façade.

That’s something that can get her up on her soapbox.

“Having the certification and being able to tie that into my brand means I don’t have to get on a soapbox all the time,” she said. “Especially since moving forward, I really want to have a lot of grab-and-go bundles available in different places and I’m not there to personally say, ‘Yes, I live in the city of Charleston, I grew all of these and none of them are imported.’ Just having that sticker on the rack will provide that knowledge in the same way saying the strawberries are grown in Florida.”

To further that message, Trudell has trademarked a motto for her business: “Flower your life with local.” She also is a co-founder of the Lowcountry Flower Growers Association, a group of about 10 growers.

For the future, Trudell will continue to develop her One Wild Acre. She is working with a landscape architect and wants to create an inviting place where people can come to learn about flowers. She sees cut flowers as her bread and butter. But she will continue to pursue things like a floral oil she has made for a local perfume-maker and perhaps growing edible blooms for a local baker.

“I’d like to be the person who can grow those things, with a quality that is top notch, and provide them to other people in my community to create with them,” she said.

Make Your Floral Design Dreams Come True with Shawna Yamamoto

Order by April 16 to Get Your Floral Box from Mellano & Company!

The Field to Vase Experience on April 24 is not only your chance to be whisked away virtually to experience the 50-acre ranunculus farm at the iconic Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, it also includes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try hand at floral design!

Photography @thekomans

During the virtual event, renowned floral and event designer Shawna Yamamoto of Shawna Yamamoto Event Design will lead a demonstration using flowers and foliage from Mellano & Company. To participate, simply choose the Full Floral Experience or Floral Delivery option when you reserve your ticket. You’ll receive a farm fresh floral box featuring The Flower Fields beloved ranunculus, along with other blooms and foliage and a materials checklist, so you can design along with Yamamoto.

 

Nervous but enticed? Don’t worry, Yamamoto will be using common household items in her designs (think water glasses and vases), but is sure to get creative, bringing her mixed media vibe by turning blenders, cupcake pans, tea pots and other kitchen items into floral vessels! You’ll design along with her using clever finds from your home.

Photography @aliciaminkphoto

The result? Hand-created arrangements that look like you spent hundreds of dollars at a flower shop!

Yamamoto has spent a decade creating events in the U.S. and internationally that wow attendees. She loves to mix fresh flowers and greens with custom props she and her team build to bring events to life. When we chatted, she was creating an entire Indiana Jones-themed event complete with live jungle-like flora and fauna.

Photography @apicturelife

Which is all to say, Yamamoto is sure to make your floral designer dreams come true! But to participate, you’ve got to sign up by April 16.

Want to receive the fresh flowers but don’t want to be a designer? That’s fine, too! Just place your order and then on event day, sit back, relax and enjoy the virtual experience!

We also thought you’d like to know that all ticket sales from Field to Vase Virtual Experience support Certified American Grown, a nonprofit that advocates for and promotes American flower farms and the families that own and operate them.

Reserve Your Ticket

 

Photography @sarahmackphoto

 

On Bees Wing Farm, a flower farmer is right at home

On 12 acres in Bluemont, Virginia, Graves and her husband are running Bee’s Wings Farm where they grow scores of flower varieties that they sell wholesale, by subscription, for weddings and at farmer’s markets.

Photography: @meganreiphotography
Bride: @grayems

Although she’s back where she started, Graves did not map out her life that way – to be back on her home turf being what she calls “a joyful and hopeful farmer.” She went off to college, earned a degree in horticulture and civic agriculture at Virginia Tech and worked on farms growing mostly vegetables and some flowers before circling back home.

During her eight-plus years of working on farms, she learned two important things: She really liked flower growing and working for other farmers was not a viable career path.

“I loved working for these other families, but I knew if I ever wanted to have my own family, I wasn’t going to be able to sustain myself and others on 10 bucks an hour,” she said. “Farming is hard on your body, and I felt like if I was going to break my back, I was going to do it for myself, not someone else.”

After starting and working for an urban farming cooperative in Roanoke, Virginia, she felt the time was right to strike out on her own and return home. Her parents invited her back to the old homestead where they continue to live in a farmhouse built in 1819. Graves and her husband, Chris, live in a newly built cabin on the property with their baby boy who was born in June 2020.

In 2014, Bee’s Wings Farm was born. In deciding to grow flowers, Graves could see that a lot of other people in the area were growing vegetables and that there was a good demand for flowers. All that time working for other people gave her a foundation for her own farm.

Bee’s Wing Farm Map

“I worked for farmers who were willing to take big risks and I worked for farmers who were very conservative, very careful with their money and resources,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been able to look at their experiences, and through trial and error, take a middle road. We haven’t expanded our business at an exponential rate but we’ve haven’t played it too small either.”

Graves had the growing part down but the business component was something new. She’s relied on word of mouth and some social media to bring in customers.

“My husband and I are both from the area and we are blessed with having a very supportive family and community,” she said. “And we’re really committed to growing and styling really high-quality products. I feel like oftentimes the flowers speak for themselves. And when we get them into the hands of some people, they really spread the good word.”

She has focused on doing weddings, selling at farmer’s markets, offering flower subscriptions, dropping bouquets at local shops and doing some wholesale. It’s all very time-consuming – growing, designing, selling. And with a new baby, she is looking at doing more wholesale, which would keep her closer to home. She’s excited about being part of a new co-op of 20 local flower growers who have banded together to sell their products wholesale.

“We’re trying to find ways of still making the same amount of money, but being able to be on the farm more, which means we can be with our son in a bigger way,” she said. And looking to the future, that means having time on weekends to attend Little League games or music recitals.

The timing, too, might be right, she said.

“I feel like we’re kind of in a transition phase,” she said. “And with the conversations that are going on around the floral wholesale market on a larger global scale, I think there’s an opportunity for us to jump in, in a bigger way.”

Stewardship of the land and organic practices are part of the fabric of the farm. In joining Certified American Grown, Graves sees those kinds of bigger issues she wants to support.

By supporting American growers, she’s also supporting land stewardship and social justice principles that aren’t necessarily followed in other countries whose imports dominate the flower trade in the U.S.

“I think American-grown has this awesome capacity to meet a lot of demand, and have some really big growth,” she said. “Obviously, we’re teeny tiny, and we aren’t going to be able to meet the demands of big accounts. But I still think it’s important that those big accounts are supporting American growers that are making the right choices for people and the environment. So, I’m excited to be a very teeny, little sliver of that conversation and part of that movement.”

In western Michigan, a farmer spreads the word about local flowers

At Creekside Growers & Flower Farm in a small town in western Michigan, owner Sue Dykstra is trying to kickstart a local flower movement.

She hopes that one day, local florists will seek flowers first from local growers rather than relying on distributors who fly flowers in from all over. Where she lives, it’s an uphill battle.

Photography: Kelly Lewis

“I think there’s a big disconnect,” she said. “When you talk to florists, they like the idea of buying local, they’re just not ready to commit. They are so used to working with flowers that can only be shipped. We’re trying to educate people that there is beautiful stuff right here that they haven’t been using, that can’t be shipped on an airplane. But in Michigan, it’s hard because they’ve never needed to.”

Dykstra has been in the plant business for more than three decades and has been growing cut flowers since 2016. She is in her 21st year of owning Creekside Growers and has a loyal customer base in the area of Middleville, Michigan, a town of about 3,400 people that’s part of the metropolitan area of Grand Rapids, which is 20 miles away. Those customers helped her weather the downturn of 2008 and the slowdown brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photography: Kelly Lewis

Dykstra started Creekside Growers after working for other growers for 10 years. She started as a wholesaler of perennials and annuals. She soon started adding structures and realized she needed more revenue to justify the additions. That’s when she opened her retail garden center.

Photography: Kelly Lewis

She now has two acres of greenhouses and another acre of outside space. She tends her operation with one full-time year-round employee and a seasonal workforce of up to 20 people. Creekside Growers has built its business on perennials and annuals but in 2016, Dykstra expanded into cut flowers; hydrangeas, lisianthus, zinnias, snapdragons and dahlias are among the many varieties she grows. Creekside Gardens also hosts potting parties, community events and offers bouquet subscriptions.

Photography: Kelly Lewis

In the process, she has embraced the slow flower movement and all it stands for – seasonal flowers that are grown locally, ethically and in ways sensitive to the environment. She has worked to learn all she can about the local flower movement and has taken online classes from local flower advocates Ellen Frost and Jennie Love. It’s that ethos that she’s trying to spread in her area.

“We’re a little behind other places with buying local,” she said. “It’s different here. We’re just not there yet.”

But Dykstra is doing her part. On her website above her bio are the words “cultivating a passion for growing a stronger community through local flowers.”

Creekside does its own bouquets, but Dykstra wants to build relationships with local florists. She has reached out to them by taking them samples, hosting a flower design event and inviting them to come see for themselves.

Photography: Kelly Lewis

“We want them to know that we can meet their goals and give them what they need. We might not be able to give them an exact flower because we’re not shipping it in. But we can definitely give them a beautiful flower. We keep sending them things and showing them all the different things that will work. And they’re starting to pick up on it and understand it. They say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know you could use that in a bouquet.’”

She said she wants florists to know “that we’re your friend, we’re your partner, we want to work with you.”

“We’re working to get them to understand why it’s a great idea to buy from your local flower grower, to buy American Grown and to really understand the whole idea of where flowers come from.”

Photography: Kelly Lewis

That’s one reason Dykstra recently became a Certified American Grown grower. She’s looking to become part of a network of like-thinking growers. She also wants to connect with growers who can provide flowers in the cold winter months of December through February so her customers have American Grown sources they can rely on.

She sees signs that her work promoting local flowers is paying off and is optimistic about the year ahead. She’s in it, she says, for the long haul.

“I’m just really excited for this year,” she said. “I feel this is a big, positive step for me. I’m expecting a lot of growth and positive things to come this year.”

Photography: Kelly Lewis

Spring Flowers Boost Mood, According to Science

It’s Stress Awareness Month! According to a study, spring flowers and foliage aren’t just beautiful, they can actually make a positive impact on your mood.

Spring has sprung! 🎉 March 20th officially kicked off the beginning of the season. As we head into the first full month of spring, we also want to highlight that April is Stress Awareness Month. While this has been recognized since the 90s, it feels even more important to highlight after this past year. 

Designer @petalsbytheshore
Photography @bethcaldwellphotos
Flowers sourced from @resendizbrothers @mellanoandcompany @josephnsons @greenvalley_1973

A survey by Wakefield Research revealed that 68 percent of people are stressed on a weekly basis and 32 percent are stressed every single day. So, how do we combat that stress during April Stress Awareness Month and beyond? One simple answer that can help boost your mood: Spring flowers!

Flowers and foliage are not only beautiful to look at, but they can also help reduce stress. According to a study by the University of Florida, simply having flowers in and around your home can make a positive impact on your mood and could reduce stress by over five points on the Perceived Stress Questionnaire. Explore additional health benefits of owning (or gifting!) flowers and greens here.

 

Ideas and Tips for Boosting Your Mood With Spring Foliage

Flowers sourced from @bloomiaflowers

 

Before you buy your spring flowers, here is a list of spring flowers and foliage that are in season: 

  • Tulips: Nothing says spring quite like a tulip! Their vibrant colors are sure to brighten up your space. Each color represents a unique meaning, which makes them the perfect gift for a friend or family member. Pro tip:  In a vase tulips are both phototropic and geotropic. They will bend towards the light and away from the earth so keep them out of direct sunlight to last longer.

 

  • Daisies: White daisies are very common and they’re what we usually think of when a daisy is mentioned, however, there are a variety of colors to choose from with the Gerbera variety—including green and pink! Add a splash of color to your home or keep it neutral.

 

  • Daffodils: With daffodils being one of the first spring flowers to bloom, they signify a fresh start—like a new season or a new chapter—making them a thoughtful “good luck” gift for a friend or colleague. Bonus: They are budget-friendly!

 

  • Ranunculus: These trending blooms are more popular than ever…and for good reason! These rose-like beauties come in a variety of colors and when they are cut before they’re fully open, Ranunculus can last 10-12 days in a vase. If you want to add these to your garden, plant Ranunculus in bright light and well-drained soil; they do not thrive in heat or humid climates.

 

  • Hydrangeas: (American Grown hydrangeas are available May through December!) Nothing like a bunch of pastel hydrangeas to add some color to your kitchen or dining room (and a great excuse to dust off your favorite vase!). Bonus: Under proper care, they last a long time!

 

Find even more spring flowers in season, and check out this bloom time chart to add spring and summer bulbs to your flower garden.

 

Keep spring flowers around all season with this list of tips, ideas and at-home activities: 

 

  • Pick spring flowers that are long-lasting with a strong, natural smell. 
  • Research and properly care for your blooms to ensure they last as long as possible.
  • Buy homegrown flowers and foliage! American Grown is always in season. Look for the Certified American Grown Seal from a farmer near you or shop online
  • Start your own garden, and pick your own bunch each week to keep it fresh and new.
  • Test different floral arrangements—from bunches to single stems—after buying American Grown. Explore tips for arranging flowers like an expert.
  • Try placing stems or floral arrangements in new parts of your home or outside to complement a front door, patio or bird feeder.

 

Buying fresh, spring flowers this month and beyond is a win-win. Reduce stress and boost your mood. Celebrate the start of the spring season and brighten up your home. Buy local to support American grown flower and greens farmers. If you don’t see the Certified American Grown seal, ask for it! 

 

Show us your spring flowers by posting and tagging us on Facebook or Instagram, and join our email list to stay updated on all things Certified American Grown!

 

We’re bringing Field to Vase right to your neighborhood!

Sitting on the sideline is so 2020.

Americans are putting a renewed effort into multi-sensory events this year, and Certified American Grown is excited to lead the way with our virtual Field to Vase flower farm experience on April 24. For this event, guests will be whisked away virtually to sunny Southern California onto the 50-acre Ranunculus farm at the iconic Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.

It’s a totally new approach that opens these iconic evenings to every corner of the country. No plane tickets, no rental cars, no hotel costs. You can immerse yourself in the most spectacular moments nature has to offer in a matter of moments.

Guests will log on and participate in a live virtual program that includes a welcome reception with live music and a tour hosted by farmer Mike A. Mellano of the fully bloomed field, giving a behind-the-scenes tour of all things Ranunculus! Next, you’ll be treated to a fabulous design demonstration with Shawna Yamamoto of Shawna Yamamoto Event Design whose imagination will fill your need for beauty in your everyday life.  A sunset serenade will wind down the sure to be memorable evening.

Best of all, ticket proceeds go towards supporting Certified American Grown, a non-profit organization promoting and advocating for flower and foliage family farms across the United States.

It’s a sensory-rich evening, and Certified American Grown provides everything you need in this customizable adventure. We ship the appetizers: a cheese and charcuterie delight from Venissimo Cheese Shop in Del Mar, California, that contains three cheeses, three meats, Marcona almonds, dried fruit and local honey. And don’t forget the wine! Your package comes with 375 ml each of a red and white wine locally sourced from small boutique wineries in the Golden State. It’s enough to satisfy two to three people. We recommend grabbing friends, neighbors or family to enjoy as a group! Also, the perfect virtual date night!

You’ll also receive a farm fresh bouquet featuring ranunculus. We invite you to follow along with Shawna’s floral designer presentation and design your own fabulous arrangement using your favorite vase.

This unique Field to Vase evening offers three packages to choose from:

 

Option 1: Full Floral Experience with Wine + Wine

  • Wine, cheese and floral shipped to home.
  • Collateral and supporting documents.
  • Includes welcome reception, farm tour, floral demo, and sunset closing remarks.
  • $225

 

Option 2:  Virtual Experience + Floral Delivery

  • Floral delivery shipped to home.
  • Collateral and supporting documents.
  • Includes welcome reception, farm tour, floral demo, and sunset closing remarks.
  • $100

 

Option 3: Field to Vase Virtual Experience Only

  • Digital of collateral and supporting documents.
  • Includes welcome reception, farm tour, floral demo, and sunset closing remarks.
  • $50

 

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to mingle with top professionals in the floral industry and have your questions answered directly. You are free to join and rejoin as you please throughout the duration of the program as well. It’s OK to create the experience that resonates with you!

To register, visit our event page HERE!

We look forward to hosting you from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. PST on April 24!

The Dress That Spurred Floral Recognition

First Lady Jill Biden’s Floral Ensemble Gives a Nod to American Grown Flowers

On the evening of the presidential inauguration, First Lady Jill Biden, Ed.D., donned a dress and coordinating cashmere coat adorned with embroidered flowers representing every U.S. state. At heart level on the dress was the state flower of Delaware, her home state, representing that home really is where the heart resides. Flowers from every other state cascaded out from there.

 

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A post shared by Gabriela Hearst (@gabrielahearst)

The dress, coat and a matching embroidered face mask, all created by designer Gabriela Hearst, were seen worldwide when the President Joe Biden and the First Lady appeared in the White House and on a balcony for the evening inauguration concert.

There was no missing the floral theme or the nod to the variety and beauty of flowers and foliage grown by American flower farmers in every state in the nation.

At Certified American Grown, we’re still beaming about the floral nod! And we’re excited about what it can mean for American cut flower and foliage farmers.

Which is why we’re convinced there’s no better time to ask President Biden to support American farmers with an executive order declaring that the White House will use only American Grown Flowers in its arrangements. And that the administration pass the American Grown Act, which requires all federal agencies to only procure cut flowers and greens grown in the United States for their facilities, events and ceremonies.

Imagine if the dress seen around the globe spurred real action to support American famers. Imagine how far the symbolism of using only American Grown flowers and greens could go in supporting domestic farmers. Imagine the economic impact passing the American Grown Act could have in supporting hardworking flower farmers and their families. After all, the president already recently signed an executive order supporting American manufacturing, so supporting domestic flowers and greens is a reasonable stretch.

Which leads us to the next step – and an easy, clear cut way you can help. Whether you’re a farmer, a florist, a wholesaler or a consumer, you can support American flower farmers by adding your signature to our list of supporters of the American Grown Act. It takes less than one minute, but that minute could be as valuable to the industry as the floral ensemble seen around the world!

And you can take it a step further and share our story on your own social media creating even greater awareness and support for the American Grown floral community. Don’t forget to tag!

@drbiden

@flotus

@gabrielahearst

@americangrownflowers

#americangrown

#originmatters

#americangrownact

Join us. Support American flower and foliage farmers, and what they mean to the U.S. economy and the heart of our nation!

Passionate Floral Pros Hear the Origin Matters Message

Over 300 floral designers gathered for the Team Flower Conference the first week of January in Southern California to learn, grow and build bridges between the various sectors of the floral industry. 

The event, the third of its kind, included a presentation by Certified American Grown’s own Anna Kalins. She took to the stage to share the hundreds of varieties of domestically grown flowers and foliage available 365 days a year from American flower farmers. She also shared the #originmatters message, explaining how florists, wholesalers and others connected to the flower industry can meet consumer demand – and spread the word – about the freshness, diversity and value of buying American Grown flowers. 

 

During the multiple-day event, several educational topics in the areas of design, business and flower farming were also spotlighted by speakers, including floral installations, centerpiece and bouquet design, marketing and testimonials, and growing dahlias and roses.

The annual event is scheduled for March 3-5, 2021 in Albany, New York.

Cindy Magan Announced as Floral Designer for Field to Vase Dinner in Sacramento

‘Fresh Romantic’ Style Will Grace Tablescapes

Cindy Magan of Hillside Blooms Floristry will be the featured floral designer at the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner on the lawn of California’s state Capitol in Sacramento on June 12.

Photos courtesy of Cindy Magan.  Photos courtesy of Cindy Magan.

Magan, a California native, says she can’t wait to create tablescapes and other installations from the dozens of flower varieties grown up and down the state of California. She’ll be familiar with the blooms, having grown up in Fallbrook, California, where proteas are grown, and being a frequent visitor to San Diego and Half Moon Bay, home to many flower farms.

 

“I feel connected to these places and I can’t wait to play with the amazing flowers from throughout California,” Magan says. “I’m honored and I’m going to throw my entire heart into the designs.”

 

Dinner guests will appreciate Magan’s on-trend aesthetic, something she calls “fresh romantic,” that features a garden style paired with a special accents to keep the designs current. Think novelty accent flowers, surprise fillers and lots of texture.

 

 

“Flowers are an artistic medium for me; I love playing with textures and getting creative with flowers and greens,” Magan adds.

Guests at this dinner are in for a treat as they dine on in the shade of the Capitol building at tables adorned with Magan’s lush romantic garden look.

Seats are going fast for this unique location!

 

Wondering What a Field to Vase Dinner is Like?

These Photos Capture the Magic!

If you’ve always wanted to attend an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner but haven’t yet, or if you’re a past guest who’d like to relive the magical experience, check out these incredible photos from the first stop on this year’s dinner tour!

Guests were awed by the rainbow of colors surrounding this beautifully designed table and the Pacific Ocean within view.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Mike A. Mellano of Mellano and Company, was the host for the evening and led guests on a farm tour sharing both the history and the science behind farming at The Flower Fields. Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Smithers Oasis and FloraLife sponsored the boutonniere bar where guests had a fun opportunity to make their own.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Wine and hors d’oeuvres were enjoyed before the dinner began.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Our inaugural 2019 dinner was held last week in Carlsbad, California, at The Flower Fields and was hosted by Mellano & Company. Guests dined in fields of ranunculus at tables bursting with homegrown flowers, thanks to floral designer René van Rems, who added an extra splash with fresh flower chandeliers overhead!

Featured designer, René van Rems, created these amazing floral chandeliers that graced the ceiling of the table.  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

 

Take a look that the photos. Then take a deep breath and imagine yourself at one of these dinners!

Every guest went home with an armful of flowers and swag!  Photo by Carrie McCluskey Photography.

We’ve got five more stops on this year’s tour and seats are going fast!