Fresh Sheet

Flower-Farm Direct

By: Debra Prinzing
DebraPrinzing-JelloMoldFarm-157
http://www.debraprinzing.com

Debra Prinzing is the author of six books including The 50 Mile Bouquet: Local, Seasonal and Sustainable Flowers (St. Lynn’s Press, April…

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Farmer Vivian Larson raises healthy field-grown cut flowers from Everyday Flowers in Stanwood, Washington. Photo: Debra Prinzing

Ever wonder where the most sophisticated floral designers find the flowers, stems, and leaves that show up in their dazzling bouquets and elegant arrangements? Increasingly, creative florists are making connections with local cut flower growers in their area, sourcing artistic, uncommon—and farm-fresh—blooms.

And now, at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, you can buy direct from the flower farmer, too.

Located in a turn-of-the-century warehouse in Seattle’s Georgetown
district, the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market serves as a central
resource for floral designers, mass-market flower buyers, special event and wedding
producers and now, the public. Photo: Debra Prinzing

This flourishing resource started in 2011, when growers from Washington, Oregon and Alaska formed a nonprofit, cooperative marketplace to serve the greater Seattle area. Beautiful ingredients–straight from local flower fields–fill stalls in a vintage warehouse space located in Seattle’s hip Georgetown district. Three mornings a week, the market’s loading dock overflows with buckets of blooms as designers, wedding and event planners, grocery store and restaurant customers load up flowers destined for their shops and studios.

A happy Seattle Wholesale Growers Market customer. Photo: Debra Prinzing

Demand from DIY designers and flower lovers who yearned for access to the seasonal bounty recently prompted the market to establish public shopping hours. On Fridays, from 10 am to 2 pm, the SWGM is open to the public with retail pricing and a $5 entry fee.

Janet Foss of J. Foss Garden Flowers, Chehalis, Washington,
brings a wide variety of special perennials, all field-grown, to her stall at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. Photo: Debra Prinzing

“Our vision is to cultivate a Northwest floral industry that values and supports local growers,” says Diane Szukovathy, president of the SWGM. “Now we’re able to answer a strong level of interest from the public for locally-grown flowers, and this also helps our flower farmers sell surplus product.”

Peterkort Roses, a third-generation family rose farm located in Hillsboro, Oregon,
supplies SWGMC and its customers with locally-grown hybrid tea roses on a year-round basis. Photo: Debra Prinzing

Nineteen flower farms offer professional quality cut flowers, foliage, and potted plants year round, including peonies, roses, calla lilies, Asiatic and oriental lilies, orchids, blooming branches, and specialty bulb and perennial flowers. With a few exceptions, all of the flowers and plants are locally grown, ensuring the freshest quality.

Buckets of Dahlias from Dan’s Dahlias. Photo: Debra Prinzing

Uncommon Floral Ingredients Found at SWGM:

Artichokes and Cardoons (Cynaria)

Chestnut Branches (Castanea)

Coral Peonies (Paeonia ‘Coral Charm’, Coral Sunset’, ‘Coral Supreme’)

Crabapple Branches (Malus)

False Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Fruiting Quince Branches (Cydonia)

Globe thistle (Echinops)

Hellebores (Helleborus ×hybridus)

Lupine (Lupinus)

Ornamental Grasses

Poppy Pods (Papaver somniferum)

Raspberry Foliage with young berries

Shoo-fly (Nicandra physalodes)