I have always felt most energized and at peace outdoors. Growing up, my sister and I learned about flowers from parents and grandparents in town and on the farm. The seasons brought a succession of native and cultivated flowers and fruits, and our mother introduced us to them all. A visit to our great-grandmother, past 90, at her home in a small Kansas town, helped me recognize the lifelong gift of the gardener. When we arrived, she was tending her seedlings. At the end of our stay, as we drove away, I saw her return to her plot of earth.
Travel has influenced my plantings, particularly a trip to Eastern Europe. In the towns of Hungary, many houses were surrounded by cottage gardens, overflowing with intermingled flowers, fruit trees and vegetables. Seeing this centuries-old method deepened my belief that, no matter their circumstances, people share a basic need not only for food but also for natural beauty.
My husband and I moved into our bungalow in 1990. Its large yard became my canvas, with only two ancient spirea bushes remaining, along with a red ‘Blaze’ climbing rose on the front porch and a lonely patch of orange daylilies in the backyard. In time, we've gone in the direction of those Hungarian gardens, filling this space with many types of material for cutting.
Out of my practice of giving flowers as gifts, this business grew. In 2011, a friend asked for flowers for her daughter’s wedding. Word spread, and I now know many clients as friends.