I began my flower journey in Horticulture. I learned genus and species of thousands of varieties of garden plants, spent my days wandering college campuses identifying trees by leaves and bark and learned the exceptional magic of starting one large living organism from a seed the size of a grain of sand.
So when I think of floral design, I think of the beginning of things; all the work someone had to put into bringing this beautiful bloom to life, where it came from, where it lived and how it made its way to me.
This is why farms have a place in my heart. Particularly Holmgren Historical Farm. I came to this place first through a dear friend of mine. A lover of books and literature and travel who one day brought me here, and showed me this barn, looking like Noah’s ark that her own grandfather had built, by soaking giant wooden beams in the pond. The place is haunted. In a good way. In a way that you know it's protected. By the spirit of those who have come before and by the fierce spirit of the family who still lives here, committed to keeping it alive, raising cattle and chickens and ducks who think they are chickens, growing herbs and flowers and distilling the essence of them into hydrosols in a fascinating old-world copper contraption. Simply loving the place into life.
I was lucky enough to be granted access to the farm for an entire day, foraging the wilder areas for silvery Russian Olive and magical pink feathery blooming Tamarisk, watching the family gently chase a wayward calf back into the coral with Mom, burying my face in a blooming lilac and just staring quietly up at those incredible light littered beams. Even better, I was joined by a photographer who I deeply admire (Haley Nord), two beautiful souls (Hadley Rampton and Christine Wallace) and my favorite MUA (Victoria Plant) who all played an enormous role in bringing this vision to life. Haley and I spent months dreaming up this shoot together (no pressure) and I really could not have imagined anything better than what she created. As soon as she sent me the photos, I spent the better part of an hour slowly going through each photograph and just tearing up.
This shoot became the perfect reflection for me of my whole experience of flowers.
They are this tiny, simple life force, that connects all of us. There are so very few humans who don’t actively light up in the presence of them.
So when I design with flowers, it becomes not only about the flowers I’m using, but about the environment in which they are grown, or grow wild for themselves and the people who I have made them for.
Haley, Christine, Hadley, Tori, Shari and the Zollinger family...these flowers were for you. Thank you for helping me bring them to life.
Photos Haley Nord
Venue Holmgren Farmstead
HMUA Victoria Plant
Models Christine Wallace + Hadley Simms
Bouquet Wrap 88 East
Jewelry Third Eye Company
Wardrobe Shop the Few + For Love and Lemons