Growing Cut Flowers Sustainably

The best way you can source sustainable flowers might be to grow your own. 

The flower farmer movement has taken off in recent years, inspiring many to grow and support locally grown flowers vs. flying in flowers from half way across the world. This is a great trend and it is making a difference.

Local flower growing still uses a lot of resources that we don’t necessarily have. That’s why I was intrigued when Ferriss Donham told me about the flowers she’s been growing in Maine with rainwater and compost.

I’ll be hosting Ferriss at the flower school on September 10th for an interview, demo, and workshop. You’ll walk away with the following info!

-How to grow flowers with minimal resources

-How to grow flowers with rainwater and compost

-How to select the best flowers for your climate

-Why and how floral designs need to change to support sustainable flower growing

A packet with all of Ferriss’s best tips will be sent out to students!

If you are currently a career student, you will automaticallty be enrolled!

Book your spot here!

See you in class,


Flower and Garden Retreat May 2022: Lisbon

I haven’t had a chance to share our retreat photos! I don’t think photos can capture some of the incredible moments we had discovering secret gardens in Lisbon and meeting likeminded souls who also work to build and share green spaces, flowers, and gardens. Here is a summary of our time in Lisbon. I’ll share our countryside time (where future retreats will be focused), in the next post.

-On the night everyone arrived, the kitchen was full of locally grown flowers for the guests to make a bedside arrangement. The kitchen was also full of local fruits, breads, cheeses, and jams for guests to snack on. Each attendee received a special little basket that included a travel guide, flower arranging scissors and tools, a special Lisbon garden book, and more!

-That evening, we made our way to the other side of the city on a special walking route that highlighted the local Jacaranda trees and ended at a local’s favorite tasca that has recently been reinvigorated by a local chef.

-The next day we went shopping for flowers from one of Lisbon’s most well known flower growers. We went back to the beautiful guest house kitchen and made hand-tied bouquets and petit vase arrangements.

-On the following day, we had a secret garden tour with Tomas Tojo, the director of Lisbon’s Jardins Aberto program.  He led us into green spaces in the city, secret gardens, and a tropical paradise built inside of a city house! We ended at a secret botanical library in Lisbon’s center. This tour was the highlight for our group!

-That evening we went across the river to eat a fish feast by the water!

Pictured are a few snaps from our day shopping for flowers in Lisbon and arranging hand-tied bouquets and bedside arrangements. Shopping and garden photos by Alison, Jayeon, and Kyungmin.

A special thank you to our collaborators who made this such a beautiful experience:

Rafael at Casa C’alma 

Flower Growers: Alcina das Flores, Mariana Marques at Flora Daninha, James and Ann at Quinta Sant’ Ana, Lise from Buntschuh Flowers

Tomas Tojo of Jardins Aberto and Nuno Prates for partnering with us and opening Nuno’s house to us. 

Paula Guimarāes our event producer and co-host.

If you’d like information on future retreats, contact Chelsea here or sign up for our retreat emails. We are currently confirming our May 2023 retreat dates.

*Disclaimer: Despite going above and beyond government regulations for COVID, we had 4 cases of COVID in our group. We have since increased COVID measures to include mandatory PCR testing, and revised our itinerary to only outdoor activities. We’ve also revised our scheduling to include more time between retreats to avoid future cancellations and postponements as much as we can. We will still include daily testing, mandatory vaccination, masking when in transport and indoors, and distancing as necessary. 

June News

Beautiful work by Jaeyon from our flower and garden retreat.

A June update!

-We had an incredible flower and garden retreat here in Portugal a few weeks ago, despite our challenges with COVID. I will have lots of photos to share soon as well as updates for our attendees for editions two and three. See gorgeous student work from our retreat by Jayeon, above.

-If you ordered the flower clippers, you will be receiving them this week! They shipped on Saturday.

-I’ll have news soon for live classes for our floral career students this summer.

-I am currently prepping my new set for a new round of virtual team building classes for corporate teams. Contact me if you need a date, as I am almost booked for June.

More soon!


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