Illinois Grown Flowers at the Governor's Mansion

One of my many passions is gardening and specifically growing cut flowers. When I’m choosing any plant to add to my landscape, one of the requirements is that it has to be useful as a cut flower or foliage, in addition to just being a great garden plant. Similar to growing your own food in the vegetable garden, there is just something so satisfying in being able to say that I grew that particular flower when I tuck it into a bride’s bouquet or centerpiece!

That being said, flower farmers have a tough job! I thoroughly respect those farmers who work day in and day out to produce flowers locally here in Illinois. My cut flower patch is nothing compared to growing acres and acres of cut flowers.

Flower farmers and florists are also really friendly people and we like to network and help each other out. This summer the opportunity came up to help deck out the newly renovated Governor’s Mansion in Springfield with locally grown flowers and I knew I wanted to help. I didn’t have any extra stems I could donate because all of mine were already dedicated to our farmer’s market bouquets, but I could sure design!

You might have heard of the Slow Food movement in recent years, but there is actually a growing Slow Flowers movement in the US as well. The Slow Flowers Movement puts a priority on sourcing American-grown flowers. As a Slow Food chef cooks with what is seasonally available, a Slow Flowers florist designs with what is seasonally available. And that is exactly what we did this summer at the Governor’s mansion.

Check out a few of the designs this awesome group of flower farmers and florist put together!

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Many thanks to Becky from Wren’s Gate for being our fearless leader and the other great florists who donated their time to design and flowers farmers that donated locally grown product!

Read more from the local newspaper here.