LOCAL FLOWER SOURCES
Rosalinds Garden Blooms
Rosalind grows flowers at her home in the city, inspired early in life by her grandfather’s small garden plot, where he would grow flowers to cut and arrange for her grandmother. Over the years Rosalind’s moved a lot, and every garden she has ever nurtured has been left better than when she found it. During a stay in Victoria, she took a placement at a cut flower farm while studying horticulture. Drawn to the blooms she encountered there but not to the large scale of farming, she decided then to grow flowers on a smaller scale yet still striving for abundance and diversity.
Her current English style garden design is steeped in organic and permaculture no-dig principles. She has a few beds where she grows things in rows, but her principal is to respect the space she is in, putting the plants “where they like to be.” Her garden is full of colour, height, texture and shape.
While she sees herself as a gardener, Rosalind is not just growing flowers. Cutting flowers and bringing them into the house is a big part of her experience. Rosalind notices that “when you cut flowers from your garden and take them inside, let them rest and then arrange them, it’s a much more intimate relationship with what you are growing.” She always picks only what is best. Her philosophy is evident in the stillness, softness and beauty that surrounds her home. “For me, it’s about the garden, the soil, nature and the environment, going around and picking what’s best that day.”
Her deep appreciation for her garden and for the flowers she grows is paralleled by the enthusiasm she has for their Latin names, which she knows very well. Sometimes, Rosalind only grows a plant because she loves its Latin name. “Cercidiphyllum japonicum or Kirengeshoma palmata - beautiful names, you’ve got to grow that. I love the flowers, their gorgeous names.”
Because of the scale of her business and her love for community, Rosalind has been able to work with other local flower growers trying to help them form connections. She successfully established and manages the Ottawa Flower Market, a thriving monthly market that connects local flower growers and consumers.
Rooted Oak Farm
Nikki is co-owner of Rooted Oak Farm, a certified organic vegetable and cut flower farm located just outside of Ottawa. She started growing flowers on a whim to add biodiversity and to attract more pollinators to the farm and quickly fell in love with the space for creativity that growing flowers brought.
With a background in restoration ecology, Nikki believes that farming practices should be done in a way that stewards the land and works towards the continual improvement of the soil. In her flower fields, she grows intensively using no-till techniques and, as a caretaker of the soil, introduces a lot of compost and green manure to her flower beds. These sustainable growing practices, which she learned so well in vegetable production, have led to an increase in the health and productivity of her flowers.
Growing flowers has been an opportunity for her to practice mindfulness and gratitude, for when you grow flowers commercially, it is nearly impossible to catch every bloom at the perfect stage for harvest. At first, she felt like she needed to cut all her blooms, as each stem brought in profit. But then she realized that if she didn’t get to some flowers, the pollinators would, and she now considers these blooms as a gift back to the environment in return for her use of its space.
Franktown House Flowers
Danielle is the owner and farmer at Franktown House Flowers just outside of Wakefield, Quebec. After studying at Alfred College with an idea of growing vegetables, she found flowers and never went back. In the first years of flower farming, Danielle was also working full time with the government and had two small children. Giving up a secure government job to become a full-time flower farmer was a process for her. With 25 years of experience growing, she made the switch six years ago. She describes this change as succumbing to the flower child she had been while growing up. For a long time, she repressed that, knowing she couldn’t eat flowers and feeling like they were a luxury choice as a grower.
Danielle loves the energy of the short-lived specialty flowers, the “fleeting magnificence.” In spring her garden is overflowing with the inspiration of new growth; tulips, lilac, lily of the valley, narcissus, ranunculus and anemones. As the season progresses, her gardens change landscape, giving way to more favourites: snapdragons, cosmos, scabiosa, monarda, delphiniums, and chocolate lace flowers.
Last season, Danielle began relying more on perennials. While still seeing a purpose and feeling a love for annual flowers, Danielle sees them as a huge investment in time and energy. This aligns closer to her original intent in flower farming to grow native perennials. Her favourite perennials are the 40-year-old peonies she inherited when she bought the farm. She also loves to grow Veronica Spicata, admiring the unique way they grow and act in both the garden and the vase.
Danielle notices how local flowers are on the coattails of the local food movement, which she relates to our desperate need for soul food and to a revolution in nurturing. She experiences the healing energy of flowers constantly — harvesting the flowers in the garden, processing them, grunt work, hard labour, it’s always there. She sees them as an ephemeral expression of nature, the final explosion of life for the pollinators.
Sylvia's 4th Line Florals
more info coming soon....
more info coming soon....