JoLee Blooms Flower Share: Week 1 - PART TWO

And here we go!

 A signature Garden Wild Arrangement featuring late Spring and early Summer annuals like sweet peas, poppies, scabiosa, and laceflower.

A signature Garden Wild Arrangement featuring late Spring and early Summer annuals like sweet peas, poppies, scabiosa, and laceflower.

Our weekly summer flower shares have officially begun and we are so thrilled to share our harvest with you!

First of all, heading out to the field to hand select each and every stem for a number of different individuals was such a thrill!! 

Often times harvesting for weddings consists of gathering up larger quantities of fewer items. All of the stems are going into similar designs for one big event. The culmination is always so gratifying, but the process can become more mechanical, especially when you're cranking out centerpiece after centerpiece. And harvesting for florists is similar, as it makes the most sense to gather up larger quantities of fewer items, counting 10 stem bunches, tying them with rubber bands and sorting them for delivery. The end result is buckets of beautiful blooms and smiling florists. Not too shabby!

That said, harvesting for you all was something all together different. As I went through the field, I hand selected color palettes that worked well together - a few stems of soft pink sweet peas, coral poppies, silvery dusty miler, white scabiosa and pops of purple sage. For others, I conjured up more robust colors; with bold red gladiolas, purple sweet peas, and magenta foxglove. Whatever the specific blend of colors and textures your bouquet or arrangement has, just know I carefully gathered and hand-crafted each one and it was such a treat, so THANK YOU!

A few additional flowers I couldn't help but add in were coral carnations, pure white ammi majus and blush yarrow from our friend Zoe's flower field at Front Porch Farm in Healdsburg. 

IMG_8017.jpg

Flowers and leaves to keep you nose out for...

One thing that can become foreign when we are used to buying spermarket bouquets are flowers with real scent. You'll quickly learn our bouquets are often busting with aromas - from the herbal leaves and the more antique garden flowers. This week's mixes include fragrant sweet peas, sage, mountain mint, scented geranium, yarrow, feverfew and carnations. Yes, those bright coral carnations are the clove-like smell you are experiencing and if for no other reason, I am on mission to bring carnations back to popular flower scene for their incredible scent - it's just so heavenly!

We hope you enjoy your bouquet and make sure to check out our previous post (http://www.joleeblooms.com/flowerlog/flowershare-week1), especially the section titled "Getting Started," to help review how to keep your flowers fresh for the long haul.

Hope you have a lovely weekend, full of flowers, friends and family!

~ Daniele and Jeremy

IMG_2438.JPG

Join our Summer Flower Share here: http://www.joleeblooms.com/shop/2018flowershare

JoLee Blooms Flower Share: Week 1

June 7 & 8, 2018

IMG_7277.jpg

Welcome to the 2018 JoLee Blooms Flower Share

As many of you know, JoLee Blooms & Design is a 1/4 acre sustianable farmette, an event design studio and wedding coaching and coordination business owned and operated by Jeremy and Daniele Strawn. 

This is is now our 6th season growing and designing flowers for weddings, special events and special occasions, and our 3rd season as JoLee Blooms & Design; offering all of the above and day-of coordination and event coaching. Between all three of these ventures, we have created a life full of adventures, hard work, and - most importantly - LOVE (for our plants and natural environment they thrive in, for the couples and clients we get to know so well throughout the event process, our community we serve as a whole, and, of course, each other).

One thing that has always been a conundrum since year 1 of growing and designing flowers, is how often we are swimming in more flowers than we know what to do with (not a bad conundrum or problem to have, we know)! In addition to growing flowers for our own floral designs, we also sell directly to a few florists and to the Sonoma Flower Mart. Even with those additional sales, we still have more flowers than we know what to do with. So, this winter, while the days were short, dark and cold, we snuggled up to the fire with blankets and our cat ("Ammi majus," named after the lace flower more commonly known as Queen Anne's Lace) and created our first ever vision board (see picture below) for 2018.

Out of the process, we realized that there was a real desire to create more room in the business for sharing our flowers with weekly or consistent clients. While we love working with our wedding couples, it is rare that we keep in steady longterm touch with those clients. Their lives go on in wedded bliss, and we go on meeting and serving other young couples ready to embark on the great next step of the journey. It is a truly wonderful experience! However, we realized that in addition to building those, more fleeting, relationships we are also excited to begin building more sustained relationships, with clients we hope to serve and work with for many years to come.

After testing out different concepts with our close friends and family, the Summer Flower Share concept was born and we are so thrilled you are embarking on this next adventure with us! From the bottom of hearts, thank you so much for becoming a part of our little farm this season and welcome to our Flower Share!

~ Daniele and Jeremy Strawn

 The 2018 vision board. Take note of the top left/middle, with the quote "give the gift of gardens, spread the joy." This is the small inspiration that got us conjuring up this flower share!

The 2018 vision board. Take note of the top left/middle, with the quote "give the gift of gardens, spread the joy." This is the small inspiration that got us conjuring up this flower share!

Getting started!

To help kick of the 2018 Flower Share season, we wanted to share a few reminders and provide you with a heads up about the process:

  1. We harvest and design a weekly hand-tied bouquet or vase arrangement for you each week. 
  2. Pick up is once a week, from your host site indicated in a private email sent to you with the link to this blog post. Each pickup site has hours they will be open for you to pick up from on the designated day of the week (i.e. Petaluma pickup is scheduled for Thursdays, Bloomfield pickup is scheduled for Fridays).
  3. If you are unable to come during the pickup hours, on the designated pickup day, your flowers may be made available by the site host by placing them in a well protected outdoor location. PLEASE NOTE: Once the flowers are placed outside, they are no longer the responsibility of JoLee Blooms or the site host and in order to insure you get your flowers each week, please arrange your schedule to pickup during the designated times we have specified. Thank you!
  4. If your your share is a weekly vase arrangement, please note that you are responsible for returning your vase the following week. We have a variety of vases we will be cycling through this summer, and hope that you will help reduce and reuse our starting inventory, which helps keep your share at the affordable price point we have set. Thank you!
  5. This is a brand new concept for our small business. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with ideas about how we can improve and make the overall experience better for you! 
  6. For a full list of details, terms and conditions, visit the Flower Share sign up page: http://www.joleeblooms.com/shop/2018flowershare 

Why Local?

By choosing to buy your flowers from a local flower farmette, you will have the opportunity to learn more about what is happening on the farm and what is coming out of the field through our weekly updates. I encourage you to take note of how what we're planting, prepping and harvesting throughout the season changes, learning what flowers are seasonally available here in Sonoma County. You will find that often times the flowers we see all year round (for example; sunflowers, carnations, red roses, in January) are often grown in hot houses, with excessive harsh chemicals and likely come from South America. Needless to say, those flowers are best to avoid for a number of environmental and social reasons that I hope to explore a bit more in later blog posts, but in case you are ready to dive into those topics now, check out these resources with some of the hard cold facts about our global vs. local flower economies:

From Slow Flowershttps://www.flickr.com/photos/shedstyle/sets/72157647649565076/

From author Amy Stewart: Flower Confidential and fact sheet:  https://www.amystewart.com/docs/FlowerConfidentialFactSheetpb.pdf

From the Field

All of the flowers you will enjoy each week are grown here in Sonoma County and will be freshly harvested within a day or two of your pickup. The vast majority come from our farmette and, in the case where we have a slower flower production week, we will supplement flowers and foliage with those grown at our neighboring flower farms here in the county - farms we trust who use similar practices to our own.

This week's harvest includes (some of these flowers will be included in your share):

  • Garden Roses
  • Sweet Peas
  • Foxglove
  • Nicotiana
  • Nigella
  • Alstromeria
  • Yarrow
  • Statice
  • Dusty Miller
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Mint
  • Scented Geranium
 Our melt-your-heart garden roses <3

Our melt-your-heart garden roses <3

This week in the field, we have already planted and are tending to many different flower babies, including:

  • more Foxglove (one of my all time favorites!)
  • Snapdragons
  • Asters
  • Lisianthus
  • Scoop scbiosa
  • Rudbekia
  • Zinnias
  • Dahlias
  • Reseda Alba
  • Feverfew
  • more Dusty Miller (a staple in many of our bouquets)
 Jeremy peaking through a bundle of last seasons snapdragons - can't for these beauties to bloom!

Jeremy peaking through a bundle of last seasons snapdragons - can't for these beauties to bloom!

Getting started from seed this week:

  • Sunflowers
  • Lace flowers (like Ammi, Daucus, Dill and Fennel)

Getting planted this week:

  • more Snapdragons
  • more Lisianthus
  • Geum
  • Hibiscus
  • more Dahlias

Preserving your blooms

Because our flowers are coming straight from our field, and the fields of our nearby farming neighbors, your blooms are just about as fresh as they can be! That is a great start to a floral arrangement that will hold up well, or (as we say in the bizz) "has a long vase life."

In addition to a fresh start, you will want to follow these few steps/best practices to ensure your flowers hold up for as long as possible:

  1. Refresh the water regularly (daily or every other day): an easy way to refresh the water in your vase is to tilt it while holding the flowers in place and letting all of the old water drain out. Then pour fresh water into the vase, again while holding the stems in place.
  2. Refresh your flowers with flower food. When we design your bouquets, the stems are always cut fresh and placed in a vessel with a splash of liquid floral food. If you would like to buy some packets from me, let me know and I will be sure to supply you with some! Or perhaps you already have some of your own from the craft supply store. If you don't have any, but you want to make sure you flowers last as long as possible, you can make your own floral food substitute with a tiny drop of bleach and pinch of sugar. I recommend using a small glass to mix the ingredients in, with a little bit of tap water, and then add to the vase when filling with fresh water.
  3. Trim the stems (every other day): using sharp scissors or flower snips, take the flowers out of their vase when refreshing the water. Under a gentle stream of water from your kitchen sink, trim about a 1/4 inch of our stems and replace in the vase with fresh water. NOTE: if you have a weekly hand tied bouquet, this should be no problem. If you have a weekly vase arrangement, this could be much trickier as we will often tape our vases to create structure for the stems to stay where we want them to stay. If you see tape around the rim of your vase, it is best to just refresh the water vs trying to pull out and cut the stems.
  4. Remove flowers that are beginning to fade or wilt. By taking out the stems that have past their prime, you will be freeing up those that are still in good condition to thrive with less chance of mold, decay, or the off-gassing of ethylene which will speed up the decay of the fresher flowers.
  5. Place your flowers in a cooler focal spot that is out of direct sunlight. The two things that progress a flower's life from bud to seed the quickest are direct sun and heat, so best to avoid either of these factors whenever possible.

Don't have time time or the interest to do this much leg work - not a problem! Our flowers typically hold up well for several days, if not more than a week. We will do our best to give you the longer lasting varieties, that require less care and consideration. Occasionally we will put in some blooms that fade faster, with the hope that you will enjoy their fragrance for the few days they are in their prime and then remove them from the bouquet, while still enjoying the other longer lasting flowers throughout the rest of the week.

 Life inside our little greenhouse!

Life inside our little greenhouse!

Most importantly, we hope you love your flowers! Let us know what we, your farmer florists, can do to make this flower share the best it can be for you!!

 

This week from the farm: 7/17/2017

OUR GARDEN ROSES ARE HERE <3

 Picture of Hedda Brorstrom, of  Full Bloom Flower Farm , with a beautiful bouquet she designed using a mix of our garden roses.

Picture of Hedda Brorstrom, of Full Bloom Flower Farm, with a beautiful bouquet she designed using a mix of our garden roses.

It sure is overwhelming how much beauty we are experiencing on a weekly basis at this time of year! In addition to more and more lisianthus buds popping open each day, we have a lovely selection of garden roses; some David Austin's and a whole slew of inherited bushes from two fabulous rose growers, Bonnie from Dragonfly and my dear friend, Freddy who grew garden wild cut roses for years, selling primarily in Marin. Because we have such a wide variety of rose bushes, it can be difficult to harvest just one variety per bunch. That said, we do have many varieties in similar shades and will harvest and bunch according to colors. So even though they are listed as mixed bunches, that can be misleading, and if you want a specific color bunched for you, do not hesitate to ask. For example, last week we had multiple bunches of these mixed bunches of simply gorgeous shades of peach and muted pink tones.

Heads up - I thought last week would be the end of the sweet peas, but they are still cranking and we have such a lovely selection - both in color and in smell. This may truly be the last good week of pure heaven, so don't delay on these babies!

Click HERE for a complete list of our availability this week.

ORDER IN ADVANCE:

Let us know what we can harvest for you this week. We will be at the Sonoma Flower Mart this Wednesday (in Sebastopol, behind Taylor Maid and California Sister) from 7am-1pm. We may also be there this Thursday - TBD. If it is easiest for you to pick-up straight from the farm, in Occidental, that works, too, just let us know.

All pre-orders must be placed by Tuesday before 9am. Text or call 707.775.0101 or email flowers@joleeblooms.com

Hope you have a beautiful and bright week in flowers!

All the best,

Daniele and JoLee Blooms & Design

Annie + Rob

Work in Progress - This blog post is posted for the pictures, more content to come soon!

Photography ~ Heather Armstrong

Venue ~ Family Home in Healdsburg, CA

Coordinator ~ So Eventful, Jennifer Maudru

Congratulations Annie and Rob!

Thanks to Jennifer, from So Eventful, this wedding was a breeze to design - which makes it all that much more fun as the artist! In addition to Jennifer's help, Annie's mom, Billie, was a great support and together the three of us, along with Annie and Rob, crafted a completely homespun wedding at their stunning family property alongside the river just outside of downtown Healdsburg. The entire family, the couple, all of the vendors - everything and everyone was so kind and endearing - we just know that Annie and Rob are set up to have a long and loving life together ahead! <3 

 

Announcing JoLee Blooms & Design!

It's official folks!
After 3 1/2 seasons with my first love as a farmer florist - Chica Bloom Farm & Floral - I am branching out on my own with JoLee Blooms & Design! 

JoLee is named after my grandfathers, Joseph and Lee. Both men were midwest farm raised and avid gardeners throughout their lives. My first experiences in gardens were those made in my grandfathers' sanctuaries where tomatoes grew fresh on the vine, weeds needed pulling and fresh food needed harvesting. I have the fondest memories of visiting them in their gardens and remember the honor of being invited inside to help out, ask questions, and taste delicious food right from where it grew.

Now, all these years later, and long after both have passed on, I am carrying on the garden farmer family tradition, hoping to make Lee and Joe proud as they look down from above. And I'm truly excited to invite you all into my virtual garden here on the web with the full disclaimer that this is still a work in progress.

Stayed tuned for my official OFFICIAL launch on 7/15!

Excitedly yours,

Daniele Jeanne

Jena + Nick

Work in Progress - This blog post is posted for the pictures, more content to come soon!

Photography ~ Julia Hole

Venue ~ Swedenborgian Church, San Francisco, CA and Greens Restaurant

Flowers grown by ~ Chica Bloom Farm and the

Congratulations Jena and Nick!

I met Jena and Nick through their sister and brother-in-law, Emily and Matt. Having just worked with one of the Hunt Sisters, it was so much fun to partner up again with this family! Jena's mom, Vicky, is a delight and the two of us, along with Jena, had a lot of fun collaborating on this wedding. One of the things that made this wedding stand out forever for me, was the ceremony location - the Swedenborgian in SF. This little historic church is easy to miss walking along it's street in Presidio Heights, but if you manage to find it I definitely recommend stopping in - pure magic in there! To the delightful couple, I wish you all the best in your wedded life ahead! <3

Emily + Matt

Work in Progress - This blog post is posted for the pictures, more content to come soon!

Photography ~ Cara Robbins and Julia Hole

Venue ~ Family Home in Kenwood, CA

Flowers grown by ~ Chica Bloom Farm and the North Bay Flower Collective

Congratulations Emily and Matt!

This adorable couple, along with stellar support from Emily's parents, threw a fabulous wedding at their family estate. The property was done up to the tee and everything looked and felt like a top notch wedding venue. These two were so sweet to work with and the love they share show in every one of these gorgeous photos. Every time I think of them on their wedding day, my heart fills with such joy! Wishes for many long and happy years to come! <3

Courtney + Houston

Work in Progress - This blog post is posted for the pictures, more content to come soon!

Photography ~ JD Hudson

Venue ~ Triple S Ranch, Calistoga

Flowers grown by ~ Chica Bloom Farm and the North Bay Flower Collective

Congratulations Courtney + Houston!

What a scorcher this Napa Valley wedding was! But even so, Courtney and Houston were as cool as could be and their wedding was as relaxed and enjoyable as these two are themselves. Many wishes for a long and love-filled life together <3

Jennika + Jesse

Work in Progress - This blog post is posted for the pictures, more content to come soon!

Photography ~ Kristen Marie Parker

Venue ~ Rancho Wikiup, Santa Rosa, CA

Dress ~ Loho Bride

Design Collaboration with Venn Floral

Flowers grown by ~ Chica Bloom Farm and the

Congratulations Jennika and Jesse!

Words can not describe the thoughtful love and intention that went into every detail of this wedding. And what made it all that more special was how involved both Jennika AND Jesse were leading up to their big day. The lodge at Rancho Wikiup was the perfect destination for their friends and family, from near and far, to gather with this fun-loving couple for the entire weekend. Big hugs and warmest wishes to this couple for years and years to come! <3

Annika & Travis

Work in Progress - This blog post is posted for the pictures, more content to come soon!

Photography ~ Scout DeNatale

Hair & MakeUp ~ Ethereal Beauty Elite

Venue ~ Travis Moreda Dairy

Flowers grown by ~ Chica Bloom Farm and members of the North Bay Flower Collective

Congratulations Annika & Travis!

Annika & Travis celebrated a June wedding on their beautiful family ranch in Petaluma. I loved working with this stellar DIY bride and groom and was thrilled with how it all came together. Lots of love to them in the future! <3