The first week of September we traveled down to Virginia to visit some of our favorite east coast growers and teach The Weddings Workshop at the beautiful Lynnvale Farm. It was probably the hottest weekend of the summer...
Stacey from Broadturn Farm in Portland Maine came along for the ride, and we landed Wednesday night at Bob Wollams farm. Bob is a notorious grower. His hydrangea and viburnum collection is unparalleled. Wollam Gardens is propelled by one of the most successful internship programs I've ever seen. We had the pleasure of staying at Bob's for a few nights and had the chance to catch up and learn more about him. He's a treasure!
Another highlight of the prep for this class was a visit to the infamous Don Dramstad of Don's Dahlias in Leesburg, Virginia. Don has served as president and on the board of the National Capital Dahlia Society and often judges at dahlia competitions. So you can imagine the standards to which he grows his own! Each bloom is the result of thoughtful care and coaxing. Disbudding, perfect fertilization, overhead shade cloth all attribute to near-perfect specimens. Don's dahlias are the standard. It's a treat to be able to spend time with him and his wife Rhonda and learn a bit more from them each time we visit.
After two days of collecting materials we landed at Andrea's farm: Lynnvale. Andrea is a talented grower and designer; her fields reflect her amazing eye for color and texture. She grows some of the most beautiful 'creamy rose' celosia, many beautiful basils, love-in-a-puff-vine...her zinnias defy the norm and trust me in spring her brown and rose ranunculus are to die for. She was kind enough to open her farm and home to 10 students from around the world looking to start or expand their wedding and event work.
We hope the results of these two special days - spent sweating it out in the flower studio and talking through the pains and pleasures of business - pays off, and that our students are moving forward in their wedding work with a bit more confidence and wisdom.
p.s. We're currently holed up working on our Winter class schedule. We'll post it later this week.