Last week designer Francoise Weeks came to visit me. Francoise is an internationally published floral designer and she is a very dear friend. Over the two day visit we cut from my gardens and I took her to see some of Virginia’s finest growers and farms. Francoise lives in Portland Oregon, where there are many resources for cut flowers. It was so much fun to show her what Virginia has to offer. Our first stop was to visit my friend Don.
It was during this visit that I had my final realization that Francoise and I are full out floral designer renegades. Don kept trying to explain what an approved or official dahlia should look like. We however kept falling in love with the dahlia misfits. This was the final proof I needed. Francoise and I don’t like rules when it comes to flowers or design.
This mini orchid dahlia had us mesmerized.
Next we headed to Bob Wollam’s. This was a super fun trip and I am so glad I finally got to meet the very well known and recognized grower Mr. Wollam. Because of my work schedule I never take the time to visit these growers. Because we have been hosting so many designers this year and having workshops, we have been making time to visit all of the local farms. Bob’s place was truly amazing. He has over six acres planted.
This foliage had Francoise totally enamored, this is the foliage from the pineapple lily. The flower is insane and it is one of my favorite local products.
This is a liatris that I must have.
In addition to several employees, Bob also has an intern program for those interested in farming or growing. The young lady watering flowers was from France.
The best part of the trip was when Francoise found a birch tree full of peeling bark. This was a huge find for us. Francoise has been bringing these bark shavings to DC when she comes to teach. She explained in Portland that the bark is collected, bagged, and sold to designers at the flower market. The bark is paper thin and it is used as an accent piece. Next thing you know, Bob and Francoise are collecting bark, and I was writing a check!!!