summer bouquet of flowers

Fundraiser Flowers!

flowers on a workbenchYou may not know this about me, but I haven’t always been a flower farmer and designer. I spent 17 years working in (mostly) public schools and also founded and have been running a nonprofit to help families impacted by a neurobehavioral disorder (FAFASD) for the past 10 years.

I’ve always volunteered, organized, and donated to causes I believe in. My work has always been more than “just” about making money.

One of the core values of my flower farming business has been giving back whenever possible. I’m really proud of the fact that as my business has grown and for the first time in my life I’ve had some income to spare, I’ve been able to increase donations to organizations that are important to me.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how to do this in a way that connects with my local community. I can, and will, keep giving money,  but I’d also like to give what I DO: meaning give flowers, my design labor, and time, and then multiply those skills and that organization through your purchases.

So – my desire to help PLUS my ability to DO = my new fundraising program!

The idea is this: I sell my flowers to our community and I use the funds we raise together to support various causes. Easy, right?

The flowers will be on sale for a specific amount of money, a specific amount of time; delivered on one specific day. This makes it efficient and above all, economical for me, so most of what we raise is going to the community organizations I support.

You can buy the flowers for yourself, for a friend, or even have them sent to a local nursing home! My contribution is the organization, labor, design, and delivery. You are providing financial support AND getting (or giving) a pretty and fun floral arrangement in the process. And together we are raising awareness about important local causes.

Funds raised will be focused on local non-profit organizations who support families and children in need. I will run the fundraisers from April – September. To find the CURRENT fundraiser, please visit the “SHOP” link or follow me on Instagram.

If you run a local organization and would like to be part of this fundraising effort, please email me at passalongsfarm@gmail.com

Since April, 2022, we’ve raised money for:
April: Welcome Home Refugee Resettlement.

 

bride and groom

Sunshine-y fall flowers at a light-filled Valley View Wedding

I am not exaggerating when I say that 99% of the pictures of Colleen and Matt at their lovely fall wedding are of her laughing or smiling, and him looking at her like he’s just won the lottery. Look – I appreciate all the images that I’m sent of the weddings I flower. I think: “how sweet,” “how adorable,” “how beautiful.” But for this one I honestly teared up. I mean – to be as happy as Colleen looks and to be as adoring as Matt – this is the dream, right?

All photos of this gorgeous wedding are by Kelly F. Peterson Photography.

The location, of course, is Valley View Farm in Haydenville, MA.

Flowers are by me, and feature a color scheme I sometimes call fall pastels, or sunny fall neutrals. Or just, fall but not orange-orange.

bride holding flowers
Photo by Kelly F. Peterson Photography

Here’s one of the only pictures where Colleen isn’t laughing! Probably because Matt’s not in it! Here’s what was requested for the wedding flowers, starting with her bouquet:  rustic, simple, and neutral, seasonal colors, including dried flowers, but not too bright. Nailed it! Colleen’s bouquet included dahlias, sunflowers, roses, goldenrod, eucalyptus, eryngium, and dried thlaspi, or pennycress.

wedding flowers
Photo by Kelly F. Peterson Photography

Prospective couples often ask me the difference between the bride’s bouquet and the bridesmaids’ or groomsmaids’ bouquets and I think this picture shows the contrast well. First – know that you can do whatever you want for your attendants. Same colors, different colors, no colors – whatever. I always defer to your vision. That said, this is what MOST of my clients decide: attendant bouquets that are similar to the bride’s, but smaller and simpler. So while the bridal bouquet may have 20-25 main flowers, attendant bouquets may have half that. I also try to make the attendant bouquets somewhat similar, but I happen to think a benefit of working with a grower is that I can work with lots of variety, so no two are ever really the same.

wedding ceremony
Photo by Kelly F. Peterson Photography

See what I mean? More laughing, more adoring looks!

wedding flowers
Photo by Kelly F. Peterson Photography

The arch installation was fun to make because it was a whole lot of texture, including dried thlaspi (pennycress), a fantastic early foliage that I grow here at Passalongs. It actually grows itself – seldom coming up where I put it and pretty much coming up anywhere I haven’t. I’ve learned to go with it.

barn table centerpieces
Photo by Kelly F. Peterson Photography

This is a great view of the beautiful barn tables at Valley View, decorated with a centerpiece I call, for lack of a better description: the “eclectic vase” centerpiece. It’s a really pretty, effective, somewhat casual but easily dressed up and afforable centerpiece option for the amazing wooden barn tables at Valley View Farm. I’ve mentioned this in previous blog posts, but as a grower I especially like this centerpiece because I can use all the funky bits and bobs I have growing, no matter stem length or size of bloom. Each one is different, but the whole is very harmonious.

flowers in vases
Photo by Kelly F. Peterson Photography

I spy a Breakout dahlia, orange spray heirloom chrysanthemums, goldenrod, dried millet, fern, an Apple Blossom dahlia, and the list goes on.

table with flowers
Photo by Kelly F. Peterson Photography

After the ceremony, the staff at Valley View took down the arch installation and put it at the foot of the sweetheart table. I think it looks amazing! I create arch installations on site and I don’t make them so they’ll look any special way if moved, but I find that event folks are experts at doing this sort of thing.

bride and groom
Photo by Kelly F. Peterson Photography

Congratulations to the happy couple! The wedding was gorgeous, but now for the best part: your marriage!

bride surrounded by flowers

A picture perfect wedding at Easthampton’s The Boylston Rooms

The photos from Jenna and Chuck’s wedding are so beautiful, aren’t they? Obviously due to their talented photographer, Kim Boualavong, but also because of the light-filled setting at The Boylston Rooms and all the pretty details they chose – including mis-matched but complementary bridesmaid dresses, which are my new favorite thing!

bride holding flowers
Photo by Kim Boualavong Photography

Jenna’s bouquet was soft whites and neutrals, including me-grown dahlias and lisianthus, as well as roses, nigella, eucalyptus, anemone, and some local seasonal grasses for softness and texture.

groom
Photo by Kim Boualavong Photography

Chuck’s boutonniere complemented Jenna’s bouquet, and featured samples of almost everything she held, including the cute grass heads.

bride and groom
Photo by Kim Boualavong Photography

They got married in front of the beautiful big windows in Boylston Room East, and I created a flower and foliage installation for the arch to go with Jenna’s bouquet, as well as two hanging foliage chandeliers. They later moved all of these to the reception space.

bride and bridesmaids
Photo by Kim Boualavong Photography

Now for these dresses! I LOVE this so much! You can see that in addition to the colors in the dresses, Jenna chose to have her bridesmaids hold color as well! I used dahlias, zinnias, hydrangea, lisianthus, eucalyptus, and more grasses for their bouquets. They were really sweet.

bridal bouquet
Photo by Kim Boualavong Photography

A close-up of Jenna’s bouquet. Beauty all around!

bride and groom
Photo by Kim Boualavong Photography

Congratulations to the happy couple! The wedding was gorgeous, but now for the best part: your marriage!

bride and groom

Sweet summer pastels at Valley View Farm in Haydenville

A beautiful day, beautiful location, and a beautiful couple!

Christina and Cameron were married at the peak of summer at Valley View Farm, in Haydenville, one of my favorite locations to flower! They wanted lots of colors – which I love – and lots of variety – which I also love – and as many locally grown blooms as possible – LOVE!

All photos of this wedding were captured by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

bridal bouquet
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

Christina’s bouquet featured the very first of my dahlias, plus lisianthus, snapdragons, delphinium, celosia, and a few roses and eucalyptus thrown in for good measure.

wedding
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

We built this custom hexagonal arch for the two of them – I love how this looks!

bride and bridesmaids
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

Bridesmaid bouquets were similar to Christina’s, but smaller and a touch more simple. I feel like these dresses were made for the touch of light blue delphinium we added to the bouquets! Maybe bridesmaid dress designers should start calling the colors flower names? Just a thought…

wedding table centerpieces
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

The tables at Valley View are so amazing! They really look good no matter what you put on them. This centerpiece design is one I do often at that venue. I call it an “eclectic vase” design. Maybe it has another name? Anyway, as long as the food is plated (not passed, family-style) it’s really perfect for this set-up since it’s light, airy, casual, but really pretty. As a grower it also lets me use funky little flowers that I might not have a million of but which look great in these fun little containers. If you look at the vases on the far right and far left of this picture you’ll see I used anise hyssop – the little purple flower with the pretty green leaves. It smells like licorice.

flowers on a table
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

Christina and Cameron also worked with The Borrowed Teacup for their dishware. See that cute little bread plate? Vintage! Love it! The whole look was very much “old fashioned garden party.” So sweet.

bride and groom
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography.

Congratulations to the happy couple! The wedding was gorgeous, but now for the best part: your marriage!

Turn of the century-themed wedding at Wisteriahurst

Jessica and Mike wanted a turn of the century themed wedding, and what better location than Wisteriahurst, the historic mansion and cultural center in Holyoke. After the ceremony they and their guests traveled to the Roosevelt Room at Union Station in Northampton – more of the turn-of-the-century theme as it’s the great hall of the railway station in Northampton, built right before 1900.

wedding party
I love how dark and moody this picture of Jessica and Mike’s wedding party looks. The darker pictures that Brian Marsh Photography took of the couple and their guests remind me of a John Singer Sargeant painting. So gorgeous!

Locations:
Ceremony: Wisteriahurst, Holyoke;
Reception: Roosevelt Room, Union Station, Northampton
Photos by Brian Marsh Photography

Continue reading “Turn of the century-themed wedding at Wisteriahurst”

flowers on a table

A light, bright and (up in the) airy fall wedding at The Boylston Rooms

When I first met with Grace and Chris it was clear Grace had a vision for her wedding. She wanted her flowers to be unique – mainly orange, but not earthtones-of-fall-orange – orange and blue and white – with a very special element: balloons! Giant balloons! She showed me a picture of what she wanted and since I’m game for anything I said sure…but then was very relieved when she found a balloon specialist! All I needed to do was provide the flowers and foliage for the balloons, and voila – a super special tablescape was born.

Location: The Boylston Rooms, Easthampton MA
Photos by: Trish Kemp Photo
Balloons courtesy of Jexsy Balloons
Flowers by me! Passalongs Farm

Continue reading “A light, bright and (up in the) airy fall wedding at The Boylston Rooms”

white bridal bouquet

Sam and Joe’s intimate fall wedding at Valley View Farm

Sam and Joe were married the end of September at Valley View Farm in Haydenville, MA. A perfect time of year in New England, a perfect time for flowers, and a perfect time for guests and family and loved ones to travel far and wide to our fair Pioneer Valley.

Unless it’s 2020. And we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

So plans had to change.

Some things stayed the same: September is still the perfect time of year to be married in western Massachusetts. Flowers are still at their peak. But hundreds of friends and family traveling from far and wide? Not so much.

Instead, a few friends and family. Instead, a more intimate – but still very special – celebration.

Continue reading “Sam and Joe’s intimate fall wedding at Valley View Farm”

Cloudy with a chance of…happily every after!

Kylie and Anthony were married on the only rainy day of my 2019 wedding flower season – but guess what? It didn’t matter a bit! The slight rain and cool overcast skies only complimented the moody floral hues they chose for their wedding – and they and their wedding party – not to mention the staff at Quonquont! – were such troopers that their day was perfect. Cloudy with a chance of…happily ever after!

All photos of Kylie and Anthony’s wedding are by Love and Perry Photography.
Location: Quonquont Farm, Whately.

Kylie and Anthony’s florals featured the jewels of fall: dahlias! For the dahlia nerds out there: I spy Cafe au Lait, Diva, and Arabian Nights! Photo by Love and Perry.
Kylie and Anthony’s burgundy and blush color scheme is a classic – for good reason! Perfect for fall, and spring! Look at these gorgeous women! Photo by Love and Perry.
The day was a little rainy, so we had to quick change the arch installation into a pavilion installation, but luckily the beams at Quonquont are a perfect backdrop for what we had planned! Photo by Love and Perry.
So many sweet and personalized touches at this wedding! Photo by Love and Perry.

 

Photo by Love and Perry.
Photo by Love and Perry.
And now for the best part of the wedding: being married! Photo by Love and Perry.
wedding couple

Summer Sunset Colors for a Romantic Valley View Wedding!

When Dana told me she wanted her wedding flowers to be the colors of a pale summer sunset, I knew exactly what she meant. At the peak of summer, days in New England are long, just the right amount of warm, and perfect. And summer sunsets give way to summer nights! (Cue up Summer Lovin’, Grease soundtrack). Tell me more…

Pale summer sunset. Yellows, pale pinks, peaches…a perfect color scheme to match what’s growing on the farm mid summer! Plus a few sunflowers, because: sunflowers!

All photos by Kelsey and Liam, Ke-Li Photography.
Location: Valley View Farm

Continue reading “Summer Sunset Colors for a Romantic Valley View Wedding!”

wedding flowers

Purples and pinks and the Seven Sisters in the background: a fall wedding in Amherst

We loved the flowers and received so many compliments from our guests!

Sophie and Dane got married in Sophie’s grandmother’s backyard, which sounds sweet, right? And when Grandma’s backyard abuts the Holyoke Range state park, you get a view for days – a perfect backdrop for their family and friend-filled wedding. Something doubly sweet: Sophie’s parents were married in that same backyard!

This wedding is a perfect example of a fall wedding with almost 100% seasonal blooms, but whose colors were anything but “seasonal.” September on my farm is full of all the colors, and I was thrilled that Sophie wanted purples and pinks and whites – I had plenty!

Photos of Sophie and Dan’s wedding: Nystedt Photography
Location: Sophie’s grandmother’s gorgeous backyard, South Amherst MA

Continue reading “Purples and pinks and the Seven Sisters in the background: a fall wedding in Amherst”