I had my first flower patch at age four in my mother’s huge kitchen garden on our 5th generation family farm in central Pennsylvania. I put a diminutive white picket fence around it and forbade my three older brothers entrance for fear their big feet would smash my delicate straw flowers and nasturtiums. My soul has ever since been connected to the shifting of the seasons and the nurturing of unfurling petals and leaves.
Ironically, I needed to run away to the big city to realize just how much farming meant to me; how I couldn’t resist the pull of the land. But by the time I could no longer deny my need to nurture nature, I had already put down serious roots in Philadelphia that I wasn’t keen to dig up. And so, Love ‘n Fresh Flowers was born as one of the first and few urban flower farms located within a big city’s limits. Urban flower farming has proven to be just about the best thing I could have ever dreamed up for myself. I find it even more gratifying to be the stewardess of two acres of dwindling urban green space than it would be to own a vast expanse in a more rural locale. It means the world to me to be able to create and sustain a healthy ecosystem within this concrete jungle.
The flowers that I grow inspire every single element of this little flower business. It’s an amazing gift to be able to walk the fields, cut what is at the peak of perfection, and take it into the design studio to create a piece of living art. Somehow that never gets old for me, even after thousands of bouquets.
My design philosophy is quirky and unconventional. I make no apologies for that. I’ve never been one to follow the rules. I have studied with some of the best floral artists in the world, including Ariella Chezar and Shane Connolly, both inspirational and humbling souls I adore. I believe fine craftsmanship is priceless and far too rare anymore. I seek to surround myself with a bevy of passionate artists, business owners, craftsmen/women, and even inventors so Love ‘n Fresh can be the very best it can be. Good people attract good people.
I get asked at least once a week what my favorite flower is. The answer changes nearly as often. I fall head over heels for each new bloom that comes into season in the fields. Hellebores, ranunculus, parrot tulips, sweet peas and bleeding hearts in early spring give way to larkspur, nigella, foxgloves and peonies in late spring which in turn give way to astrantia, pin cushion flowers, bee balm and eryngium in early summer which then give way to lisianthus, antique hydrangeas, zinnias in late summer until it all finally ends with the dahlias, amaranth, antique mums, and seed heads of autumn. Every single bit of it is beyond stunning.
While flower farming and event design is exhausting, all-consuming work, I never ever tire of the flowers and their charms.