by Christine March, WPICC, of Imprint Weddings
Working with your florist to plan and design your wedding day florals is a happy task for most brides. Amongst all the discussions surrounding designs, blooms, and colours, does the word sustainability enter the conversation? Do you stop to consider where the blooms are sourced? Are you comfortable bringing in blooms from thousands of miles away? Do you expect your florist to work with locally-grown flowers? Are you even aware that locally grown blooms are a choice?
In today’s post I hope to expand your floral world by bringing it closer to home.
Fun Fact: In Ontario alone there are more than 200 greenhouse growers who provide locally grown cut flowers year-round. Over 75 varieties are available right here in our backyard; everything from A (alliums) to Z (zinnias). It’s a huge industry and makes a significant contribution to our regional economy.
Nipping at their buds, however, is an emerging sector: farmer growers who are leading the trend to sustainably grown, local flowers.
Meet Sas Long. Sas is a farmer-florist in lovely, bucolic Prince Edward County. About seven years ago, Sas ditched life in the big city to pursue her dream of running a flower farm. Today that farm, FloraLora, is a leader in the farmer-florist movement. Sas sells her blooms from her own farm, farmers’ markets (including the Toronto Flower Market) and directly to retail florists seeking her high quality, sustainably grown blooms. Sas is a floral trailblazer who is disrupting the world of retail floristry. And she’s not alone. By my count there are over 50 farmer-florists across the country, and that number grows with each passing season.
Imports from South America and greenhouse-grown flowers play a vital role in sustaining a vibrant retail floral design industry. They ensure that brides (and all floral consumers) have access to a wide variety of stunning flowers, whatever the season.
But life is cyclical. And the cycle of sourcing beautiful blooms for weddings is looping back to where it all began: to local growers providing beautiful, seasonal flowers harvested fresh from the farm.
In speaking with florists and growers, I sense an industry that is ready for a fresh attitude. As designers and consumers learn to appreciate the superior value of locally grown flowers, the demand will continue to explode. And that’s good news for everyone.
When you sit down with your florist don’t be afraid to ask where they source their floral products. And if you like the idea of working with local, seasonal blooms, say so. There are many reasons to support the farmer-growers, but I think the photo above says it all: local flowers are as beautiful – possibly more so – as anything flown in.
Christine finds it inspiring that even though we live in a cynical, instant-gratification world there are still thousands of couples who every year, stand up in front of beloved family and friends and declare, “We love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives together.”
Her great affection for romance aside, she loves putting two people together on that one special day and ensuring it all runs perfectly.
As a certified wedding coordinator not only is she eminently qualified to plan your wedding, but by nature she is good at it and enjoys it. In addition to her qualifications and experience, she possesses a background in floral design, catering and business communication.