Flower Arranging workshop with Gardeners on the Green!

When Jill, the event coordinator for Gardeners on the Green in Longmeadow contacted me to see if I’d do a workshop for her group, I was really excited! March in Massachusetts is fairly dreary: still cold, despite the calendar saying it’s spring, and we have plenty of snow and ice. Usually there’s not a flower to be seen!

My version of the spring flower arrangement I demo’d for Gardeners on the Green.

Luckily there were plenty of flowers at the wholesaler and I chose a Rosie Posie vase for the gardeners to work with, since this shape vase is really great for a low, wide arrangement but can also be used for a rounder, taller arrangement as well.

First I told them a little bit about myself, and then we got to it. I’d foraged birch branches from my yard to add something of the woods to these bouquets (I’m going to make #woodsyboho a thing!) and brought in lots of spring blooms: daffodils and larkspur with some spray roses, wax flower, and eucalyptus. I also found acacia, which lends a wonderful textural contrast to the other flowers. After a brief demonstration I gave them free rein, and they got to work!

The Gardeners were able to choose whatever blooms they wanted from the buckets of flowers and greenery I brought.
I taught them how to add a little structure and greenery to the vase before adding flowers.
Almost done!
Showing off the finished product!
One great thing about a DIY workshop is everyone has something to take home at the end!

  

About

As long as I can remember, I’ve loved plants and gardens. In middle school I planted a vegetable garden in the weeds in our yard, giving myself an intense case of poison ivy in the process. In high school I had a garden of houseplants lined up in front of my window. During college, I supplemented my publishing internship working at a plant nursery and florist, which I enjoyed much more than filing book jackets and answering the phones .

I went on to teach high school, work as a librarian, start a non-profit, freelance in publishing, advocate and speak about parenting children with special needs, and write books, but it never occurred to me to follow my original passion until circumstances led me to manage a farmers’ market. I saw first-hand how people were making a living from their land, honoring all things local, and creating lives connected to nature. I resolved to do the same.

In 2015 my family moved to western Massachusetts after 21 years in central North Carolina. The move meant a lot of things to us: better opportunities for my younger son, who has a neurobehavioral disorder, a change in employment (for the better) for my husband, and for me, learning a new climate that included a harsher winter than I was used to, understanding native plants, invasives, and trying to make new connections in my community.

Our rustic little house came with a barn, a shed, an outhouse (!) and almost 3 acres of sandy, but fertile soil. I set to work.

The result is Passalongs Farm and Florist. I started out selling at local farmers’ markets, added a roadside cart in 2016, and in 2017 set up a 4-season floristry design studio, specializing in personal, thoughtful floral design for special events, weddings, and special occasions.