Meet the Farmer

I have been dreaming about sharing a more in-depth, behind the scenes look into The Local Bouquet so that our readers and followers can get to know us more and feel a deeper connection with our brand. To do that, I have designed a special "Friday Feature" that I will be writing once a month showcasing one of the amazing flower farmers that I work directly with to source all of the flowers and foliages you see in our designs. These articles will be a Q&A style interview, highlighting topics such as girl-boss, flower farming, and even fun facts about the woman behind the brand. My hope is that this monthly article will inspire us all to get out and achieve those big, beautiful dreams we have for ourselves, because these ladies sure are! 

 This week I talked with the talented, kind, and generous farmer, Phoebe Poole, owner of Weatherlow Florals. Weatherlow Florals is located in the coastal and rural town of Westport, MA and is part of Weatherlow Farms. Their 200 rolling acres of pasture, field, woodlands, and wetlands are home to a growing abundance of livestock, wildlife and Phoebe's beautiful flowers!

 Phoebe had eight years of growing experience before she started Weatherlow Florals in 2016.  Her past farm experience included vegetable and livestock farming, as well as edible and cut flower production. During the off-season, she can be found traveling, visiting other farms for inspiration, and pouring over seed catalogs. Phoebe lives in Dartmouth MA with her farm dog, Daisy.

Read my interview with her to learn more about this amazing farmer making big waves in the local flower movement!

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A veterinarian and a marine biologist!

Why flowers?
Because they’re challenging, there are endless varieties and new things to learn, and you can fit a lot in a small space!

How did you come up with the name of your company?
I’m the flower arm of Weatherlow Farms, so therefore Weatherlow Florals.

What inspires you as you are building your brand?
Seasonality

What is your favorite thing about your farm?
Our high tunnels - they extend the season earlier into the spring, and later into the fall, and protect crops from our strong spring winds!

What inspires you as an entrepreneur?
Sustainability, both business-wise and farming-wise - making the community and the soil better through growing and selling flowers.

Name the biggest overall lesson you’ve learned in running your business?
Setting realistic goals and sticking to them.

Name your greatest success (or something you’re most proud of) in your business? Go ahead, brag a little!
Emailing incredible floral designers that I’ve admired forever and getting an email back!

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting out?
Write a business plan.

What does success mean to you?
Helping to meet the demand for local flowers and foliages, and inspiring more demand!

Favorite season for locally grown flowers?
Early spring - flowering branches and bulbs, sweet peas and anemones. Enough said!

If you could only grow one thing for the rest of your life what would it be?
Poppies for sure - which is cheating because there are so many varieties - because they are delicate but have amazing impact.

Name a woman or women whom you admire or look up to?
Very cliche, but Erin Benzakein of Floret Flowers in Washington state. She is an incredibly talented flower grower and business person.

What is one thing you couldn’t work without?
Good, sharp clippers.

What is one thing you never leave home without?
Same - good, sharp clippers! They’re always in the car, just in case I see some neat foliage by the side of the road!

What is your favorite thing to come home to after a long day? 
A glass of wine and a flower magazine - and my sweet dog, Daisy.

What kind of music pumps you up?
Terrible 90s pop!

Favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip.

If you weren’t flower farming anymore, what would you be doing?
Raising dairy goats.

Which of your traits are you most proud of?
Perseverance

 

 

If you enjoyed this interview and want to visit Weatherlow Farms and learn first hand from Phoebe, consider joining us this summer at our Farmer Florist Series- "Dahlia Dreaming". For more information to reserve your seat for this beautiful and informative workshop click on the link below:

Photographer: Erin McGinn
Venue: Weatherlow Farms

Garden Romance

"If I had a flower for every time you made me smile and laugh I'd have a garden to walk in forever" 

A budding and blooming flower garden is always the best place to be come the Spring! So when this beautiful couple chose to have their wedding at Independence Harbor, our team was excited to have such a colorful backdrop for their "I-do's"!  Independence Harbor, in Assonet, MA is known for their thoughtfully planned and well maintained flower gardens. From the moment you step onto the grounds of this venue you are immediately greeted by color, luscious scents, and a welcoming feeling almost as if you have entered a dear friend's garden. Add a sprawling back deck, good cocktails and a fun and vivacious family and you have the makings for a great wedding!

 

Hannah and Elliot were wed on June 3, 2016 surrounded by their loving family and beautiful scenery. From the beginning we were excited to design for this young and energetic couple because of their great love for one another and their excitement for their new life together. Hannah, a designer at heart, chose a beautiful spring palette of soft peach and pink coupled with hints of sage green. With the boys wearing slate gray suits and the girls wearing blush pink, this palette complimented all of the natural details in the surrounding landscapes. Early June is one of the best times of year for locally grown flowers because you have the most amazing Spring blooms including anemones, poppies, ranunculus, and sweet peas combined with early summer favorites like peonies and lisanthus! We chose to keep the designs classic, natural and definitely romantic for this garden-inspired wedding. 

Photographer: Melissa Rabbit Photo

Venue: Independence Harbor

 

American Grown Makes Front Cover: A look Behind the Scenes

Southern New England Wedding Magazine announces its 2017 front cover....and it is filled with local and American grown flowers!

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart." - Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

In 2016 I set out to achieve one of my career goals, to have my floral designs published in print. Up until this point I had never had my work published in a magazine or even a newspaper. Only on blogs, websites, and on social media which has always been an honor and something I am super grateful for as it is a win for the Slow Flowers Movement!  However to me, print is the highest of these honors, preserving your work or words for a moment in time, not to be replaced by the next big thing.

Although I did not know how this dream would come to be, I knew I needed to surround myself with great people who shared a similar aesthetic as me and who created work that I believed in.  So I called in my dream team! The first step: great photography! Photography that invites you in to its warm and glowing pictures, allowing you to imagine yourself in the very spot where the picture was taken. This meant Maaike Bernstrom. For anyone who knows Maaike and her work you know that her ability to capture the natural light is out of this world! Her photos are so crisp and clean that each image tells the perfect story of the day. To compliment Maaike's style, I knew that part of the inspiration behind this shoot needed to be about the rural farming landscapes, beautiful golden sunlight, and the seasonality of the time of year. 

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Seasonality? Well that is what The Local Bouquet does best! As the core of our mission, all of our designs use 100% local and American-grown flowers that are seasonal and sustainable. I wanted to let the flowers be showcased in a very natural and effortless way. Flowers were chosen that were rich in color and full of texture including locally grown dahlias, lisanthus, ornamental cabbage, shiso, smokebush, and private berry. From the bouquet our bride held, to the table we set, the whole shoot aimed to inspire any bride getting married here in Southern New England by highlighting the abundance that Fall offers.

To achieve an effortless yet refined look, I brought in another local talent, Jenna Kinghorn from Styled by Jenna. Jenna is a home and events stylist who has an incredible eye for setting the most perfect table while adding chic and cool elements that are outside the box like this plaid shawl turned table cloth. Jenna's style makes you want to stop and stay while taking in every last detail. With the locally grown flowers as her inspiration, Jenna chose warm tones, bringing in softer natural elements like the linen and jute runners and warmer metals including the copper and antiqued brass. A touch of modern was added with the glassware but then a more traditional pattern was picked with the place setting- all of which was graciously provided by The Pottery Barn.   

This stylized shoot would not have been complete without the unique and locally made elements including the beautiful hand woven table runner and napkins found on the table which were made by Amy C. Lund. Finally, the stunning calligraphy by Posh and Prep owner, Julie Mancini joined our team to add the perfect element of romance and natural beauty to the look.  

 

In the end, not only did this shoot get a four page spread in Southern New England Wedding Magazine's 2017 issue, but it received the huge honor of getting front cover. Talk about a career high! I am so thankful for the amazing team that helped create this vision and I love knowing that an American grown bouquet will be on newsstands for the entire year, inspiring brides near and far! Pick up your copy today!

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Photographer: Maaike Bernstrom

Venue: Private Residence

Event Styling: Jenna Kinghorn

Model: Sarah Stebbins

Dress Company: Celia Grace

Table Settings: The Pottery Barn

Table Linens: Amy C. Lund

Calligraphy: Posh and Prep

Dessert: Easy Entertaining