My friend Lorraine introduced me to the term "fangirl," which Merriam-Webster defines as a girl or woman who is an extremely or overly enthusiastic fan of someone or something. While new-to-me, M-W cites 1934 as its first known use. Why all this fangirl talk? Because I've decided that I'm a fangirl of flower professionals be they farmer or florist.
|Kiana Underwood of Tulipa featured in Country Living, April 2017|
Earth Day is the perfect day to share a list of regional flower industry favorites. Website links are included and can provide all the basic information you need so I'll just share thoughts about what makes these places so special to me.
Wicked Tulips Flower Farm, Johnston, Rhode Island
If you're in the Rhode Island area and you're reading this today (late April) or in the next few weeks, consider planning a trip ASAP to Johnston (about twenty minutes north of Providence) where tulip farmers Jeroen and Keriann Koeman have turned a quiet patch of land into a tourist destination seemingly overnight.
Almost immediately after learning about Wicked Tulips last winter, I contacted the owners and became a volunteer. My favorite job is wrapping armfuls of tulips in kraft paper on the white tables beneath the tents, especially the 4 o'clock shift when there's a good chance to witness a brilliant sunset over the cheerful rows of thousands and thousands of hardy tulips. Visit WickedTulips.com.
Dame Farm & Orchard, Johnston, Rhode Island
Across the road from the tulip farm is Dame Farm and around July their field of sunflowers is a spectacular site.
I'm also a huge fan of zinnias and so I'll be sure to visit during the heat of the summer. Visit DameFarmandOrchards.com.
Cape Cod Lavender Farm, Harwich, Massachusetts
I love spending time on Cape Cod and my guys know that before go-karts and after taffy, there's going to be a trip to the lavender farm. It is a truly magical spot with a cottage shop -- the interior outfitted strands of violet fairy lights overhead -- open 24-7 on the honor system.
In addition to waving fields of purples, there is a path that leads to a miniature medieval castle and "enchanted" garden. Visit CapeCodLavenderFarm.com. Related blog posts: field trip; boho style.
Morrice Florist, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
I've been following Morrice Florist on Instagram and so when I took a daytrip last summer to Martha's Vineyard, I really wanted to stop by. Little did I realize that Morrice's also carries wonderful paper and home decor lines. Owner Emily Coulter, has "the mojo" and her shop is breathtaking, reminiscent of Terrain, but with more character and heart.
Last month I orchestrated a sisters' trip based around attending one of her monthly workshops and let me tell you, it was dreamy! A reporter from The Martha's Vineyard Times was in attendance and wrote all about it in her piece Women, wine, and flowers. Visit MorriceFlorist.com.
Plant Nite Cape Cod
Just last week my friends and I attended a Plant Nite event, kind of a mobile Tupperware party held at a restaurant function room where attendees can sip and snip and leave with a living project.
Flowers by Semia, available at Ellies Bakery, Providence, Rhode Island
Everything about Ellie's makes me happy, everything has a special touch. The staff is always friendly for reals, the serveware is so Parisian, and the displays of baked goods are as tasty as they are pretty. Thursday through Sunday, Ellie's offers bouquets from Flowers by Semia: inspired bursts of color wrapped in brown paper and tied with wide ribbon. Flowers, coffee, and a slice of whatever looks yummy = pure indulgence! Visit ElliesBakery.com; visit FlowersbySemia.com.
The Greenery, Warren, Rhode Island
Awesome owner Bridget Tierney has a cool shop on historic Water Street filled with flowers, home accents, soaps and more, and she's open to doing workshops -- just ask her! Visit ShopJust.com.
Back at My Backyard
As for me, I'm no green thumb. My favorite weather is when it’s bright and sunny with a slight chill in the air, just enough for a light cardigan. That’s when you’ll find me outside staring at my neglected lawn, plotting and planning and even venturing to a nursery for containers of bright flowers, perhaps even some leafy, fragrant herbs. But alas, in New England, those glorious conditions are short-lived and precarious. Once I break a sweat and must swat away a few bugs, I’m out, or should I say, in: inside with the air conditioning on. See those flowers in the window box? Um, they're fake, or shall I say faux.
Good ol' buttercups and the lilies of the valley that appear each year! I do enjoy playing florist! On special occasions the Hubs brings me a bucket of market flowers from which I tinker an assortment of arrangements.
And of course tinkering bottles, jars and cans into vessels to hold real flowers.