Don’t we look at home in our natural habitat? We were honored to be featured in the July 2020 issue of Walter Magazine in a beautiful story by Jessie Ammons Rumbley about the Piedmont’s “blooming farm culture.” The story highlights a handful of local flower growers and sustainably-minded florists in the Triangle area to acquaint readers with leaders in this artistic, inspiring community. Jessie shares helpful context about how flowers capture the hearts of those who grow them, why local matters when buying flowers, and the promising opportunity this specialty crop offers for small scale farmers. Since we have made an intentional shift in our business model over the last year towards predominantly designing with local flowers, it meant a lot to be part of this story alongside farmers like Stephanie Hall of Sassafras Fork Farm and Kelly Morrison of Color Fields Farm, who have inspired us for years.
In this story you’ll find gorgeous photos of both our garden and studio spaces taken by Liz Condo. Serendipitously, Liz was available to photograph on the same day we were making dozens of bouquets for Mother’s Day, so we had a studio full of flowers from the garden, Happy as a Coneflower Farm, and Parker Farm and Vineyard. You’ll surely recognize favorites like peonies, ranunculus, poppies, and snapdragons in the photos; keep an eye out for harder to find varieties like sweet peas, scented geranium, heuchera, allium, agrostemma, and columbine. There are boundless botanical treasures to be grown and found in our abundant region.
The 1/8 acre garden we tend just outside of downtown Raleigh is in a borrowed space that Hannah has been cultivating organically for five seasons. Growing our own flowers (as well as buying from other local growers to supplement our supply) lends inspiration to our natural aesthetic, minimizes our exposure to the toxic chemicals used in large-scale agriculture, reduces our costs of operation, deepens the quality and novelty of the product we offer, opens up the option to work with rare and delicate blooms that don’t ship well, shrinks our carbon footprint, grants us more time outside during the work week, and helps us keep our dollars in the local economy, supporting other women-owned businesses. The more we learn and grow as floral designers, the more important sustainability has become as we envision the kind of business we want to build, the kind of community we want to be part of, and the kinds of farming practices we want to support and practice through our work.
We encourage you to remember your local flower farmers next time you’d like to liven up your table or plan an intimate gathering. Local markets like Carrboro Farmers’ Market, Durham Farmers’ Market, South Durham Farmers’ Market, Midtown Farmers’ Market, Moore Square Farmers’ Market, and Downtown Cary Farmers’ Market are great places to find high quality, sustainably grown blooms. You can also shop with us for weekly garden bouquets and flower buckets at shop.wylde.co during the growing season. There is such gratifying, grounding joy to be found in growing and working with flowers, and we hope you’ll weave more locally grown flowers into your own life after learning more about this colorful portion of the Piedmont farming community. Happy gardening, friends!