Anything but a hobby, flower farms, despite the poetic name, are companies in all respects and as such must be economically sustainable. The center of production is the cut flower but it is necessary to diversify the services and products, such as workshops, set-ups for weddings and events and the sale of derivatives.
From slow flowers to flower farms
In Italy, flower farms have a fairly recent life, especially when they follow the slow flowers philosophy: a movement born in the United States that proposes a responsible choice of the flower as well as for slow food principals: great attention to how it is produced and to the origin.
The birth of a movement that is more attentive to the sustainability of flower production was born partly from the thrust of a greater awareness and demand from consumers but also thanks to a skilful storytelling work carried out through social media and communication channels. The slow flower movement brings with it a new aesthetic of the flower linked to a research that looks to the wild, to the local territory, to seasonality and unusual varieties as a source of wonder.
Flower farm and biodiversity
"A flower farm also stands out for its biodiversity, says Laura Cugusi who, together with her sisters Mara and Teresa, founded Puscina Flowers on the slopes of Val d'Orcia. Their flower farm was one of the first to take root in Italy. "We deal with small productions with a lot of variety, with experimentation with lost varieties and with non-chemical methods of cultivation."
The possibility of buying in a local market are a sustainable alternative to imported flowers, Olga Campagnoli knows well that, in her Olga's Flower Farm, has made her stylistic signature of narcissus, tulips and dahlias - typically from Holland. “I started my business driven by the desire for new colors. From an early age I loved intermediate tones and shades that broaden the perception beyond the strongest and most common colors. Starting to look for and reproduce them went hand in hand with awakening that latent desire for unusual color in people."
Flowers in the decor
This parallel work between supply and demand, in fact, passes from the patient cultivation of a sensitivity towards new compositional styles, new botanical species and a vastness of possible shapes and colors not contemplated by large retailers. A job that has as its inseparable companions the professionals of the creative industries - florists, designers, stylists and illustrators - as well as the final consumers.
Educating designers on the unpredictability of nature
"Part of my job, and here the work of story on Instagram also helps, is to educate about the unpredictability of the flower grown in a natural way. - says Olga - Accustom the florist that there is no single and predictable length of the stem, that one's proposal must be synergistic with the change of season and climatic conditions. "Generating a visual culture that broadens the concept of beauty is essential to make the flower an "object" that accompanies the most emotional moments of life: a celebration, a wedding, a loss.
“The flower is what most affects our emotional connections, recalls Laura. Perfume and color are elements that connect to our emotional sector in a non-rational way. It is fundamental in our work to listen to the desire for what the customer wants to hear and share and, based on this, to build the floral design. It is also fundamental for us that these feelings are also recalled through a constant attention to nature."
"I define my flowers as coming from sustainable floriculture, to encompass local, seasonal production and respect for organic principles", explains Olga.
Hunting for inspiration in Flower Farm
Beauty Generators, Puscina Flowers and Olga's Flower Farm are also wonderful to visit. Both do not miss an opportunity to offer wild flowers, dried elements, grasses and other species that in the past would never have been considered noble enough to be sold. For Laura of Puscina Flowers "it is important that walking in our garden one can perceive a way of being in contact with nature, a feeling of relaxation but also see how the so-called weeds are an integral part of an ecosystem."
There is no true beauty without respect for the earth
Now that there are more and more wild floral design proposals on instagram, it seems trivial to think of the imaginative effort that growers and florists have made in seeking a new harmony. "Harmony for me does not mean symmetrical or perfect - this is how Olga describes her working method - it means seeking unexpected understandings between shapes and colors, letting us guide the particularities of each vegetable element".
In our scrolling images of wonderful bouquets, in amaze ourselves in front of a floral installation, we do not forget the greatest teaching of Flower Farms: taking into account sustainable cultivation systems, water saving and fertilization and fight against parasites while respecting the soil. There can be no true beauty without respect for the earth.
Cover photo: Puscina Flower Farm, ph Lisa Poggi