Honestly, I don’t even know where to begin. The past three weeks have been the most insanely beautiful blur of flowers, emotions, new friends, old friends, photoshoots, writing, learning, struggle, flowing with life, fighting the current, things falling apart in my hands, new paths opening up, profound breakthroughs, deep exhaustion, gripping fear, blind faith and everything in between.
This morning as I was sifting through the thousands of images that Chris captured I was so overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of it all and felt a bit lost about where to start. So much has happened over the past few weeks and trying to tie it all up with a bow felt way too daunting to tackle in just one post. So instead, I thought I’d show you a behind the scenes peek at a Floret Seasonal Floral Intensive Workshop.
We teach two different workshops here on the farm. The first is a Farmer-Florist Intensive which is focused on small scale, high intensity flower production and the second is a Seasonal Floral Intensive which focuses on natural design techniques using locally sourced blooms and foliage. The farming courses are typically in the early spring and fall, when growers can get away from their farms and the design classes are smack dab in the middle of flower season. Each design class focuses on a different primary flower theme. This year we’ve chosen to highlight peonies, wildflowers and dahlias.
Both workshops include three jam packed days where we take attendees through a ridiculous amount of information, demos and then a ton of hands on practice. Of everything we do here at Floret, the workshops are my all time favorite. There is nothing I love more than these classes and the beautiful souls who travel here from around the world to learn with us.
Many of you have emailed for information about upcoming classes. Our 2015 workshops are completely full, with very long waiting lists. Over the next few months we’ll be putting together tentative dates for next years line up. I will be sure and update you once we get the details pulled together. Newsletter subscribers get the scoop first, so if you’re not already signed up, pop over and get on the NEWSLETTER list so you won’t miss out.
For this particular workshop we put the spotlight on the queen of the late spring/early summer garden, the peony. Originally we had planned to take attendees to my favorite peony farm up near the Canadian border, but with the crazy hot weather we’ve been experiencing here in Washington, the fields that are normally in full bloom during this time of year were actually already bare.
So, since we couldn’t go to the farm, we brought the farm to them. 45 different varieties of peonies were on display to see, touch and smell. With so many exquisite choices available, it was nearly impossible to stay focused or pick a favorite. My wish list grew by at least 20 new varieties after seeing all of the choices up close and personal.
Day one started at the beautiful A. J. Johnson barn which is only a few miles from our place. Once we got to know each other a bit, we headed over to our little farm to pick flowers and tour the flower fields. Watching the ladies explore the flowers and harvest the ingredients that they’ll be using in their bouquets is always such a thrill.
This particular group was so focused on enjoying the flowers that they completely abandoned their harvesting task, only cutting 10-12 buckets total. Thank goodness we had already filled the barn with a sea of greens and blooms! It was the ongoing joke that none of them should pursue flower farming as an occupation because they were so bad at harvesting.
The next two days were filled more local flowers than I’ve ever seen in one place. They were pretty much dripping from every corner of the barn. We talked business, marketing, goal setting and made a staggering number of bouquets. Lifetime friendships were formed, dreams were created, thousands of photos were taken and so much goodness and love filled that amazing space.
But none of it would have been possible without the amazing team that came together to put this incredible workshop on. We spend months planning and preparing for the Floret workshops, getting every last detail in place, and when our team comes together to bring it to life, it’s like hearing a beautiful symphony unfold. Each of us bringing our unique gifts to the table and together, creating the most spectacular experience imaginable.
Way back when I first dreamed up Floret, had I of known that this would be waiting for me in the future, I wouldn’t have believed it. Getting to spend my life, working alongside such inspiring and generous people is something I will never take for granted. It is all so unbelievably amazing.