Feature

Blossoms by the Bunch

Is there anything better than a bouquet of fresh flowers? They brighten up your mood and any living space. Just as the eat local movement has taken off, so too has the local flower movement. Area …

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Is there anything better than a bouquet of fresh flowers? They brighten up your mood and any living space. Just as the eat local movement has taken off, so too has the local flower movement. Area farms are growing gorgeous – and often chemical-free or organic – blossoms. No matter what part of the growing season it is, you’ll be able to find olfactory gems in almost any corner of the state that you can pick yourself or choose from a variety of hand cut options.

Get Creative
The Little State Flower Co. in Portsmouth not only provides seasonal, organic and sustainably grown cut flowers and plants, but you can choose from over 50 different types. Be on the lookout for dahlias, zinnias, sunflowers, lisianthus, dianthus, scabiosas, cosmos, gomphrenas, strawflowers, globe amaranths, celosias, ornamental grasses and grains, herbs and a variety of foliages. Find their flowers at several local stores, including their booth at Aquidneck Grower’s Market every Saturday in the spring and summer. For those who want the freedom to create their own bouquet, thumb through their buckets of greens and flowers. Portsmouth. 401-424-1331, LittleStateFlowerCo.com

Freshly Cut
The traditional post-and-beam farm feel isn’t the only thing that puts the “sweet” in Sweet Berry Farm. Their farm stand is filled with cut flowers – including zinnias, celosias, strawflowers, cosmos, salvia, marigolds, amaranths, grasses, decorative okra and pumpkin peppers, sweet annies and at least 15 different varieties of sunflowers. While you’re there, don’t forget to make a stop at their self-serve café where you can choose from daily selections for any meal of the day, including desserts and Susanna’s award-winning ice cream that’s made on-site. A stunning bouquet and a freshly packed pint of ice cream? Sign us up. 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown. 401-847-3912, SweetBerryFarmRI.com

Visions of Holland
Jeroen and Keriann Koeman created Wicked Tulips in Johnston with the dream of bringing the beauty of Holland’s tulip farms to Rhode Island. Jeroen grew up on his family’s tulip farm in Holland, and Keriann is a native New Englander who is familiar with the local climate. Together they’re the perfect team. This past spring, the couple grew over 250,000 different types of tulips in preparation for the grand opening of their “u-pick” field. They offer the first and only locally grown tulip bulbs in New England, and use certified organic bulbs imported from Holland. The u-pick field will open again in 2017 when the tulips bloom, usually in mid-to late-April, for about three to five weeks. When closed, the Koeman’s sell their organic bulbs on EcoTulips.com, the only certified organic flower bulb company in the US. 90 Brown Avenue, Johnston. 401-400-2806, WickedTulips.com

Take It From The Experts

At Pezza Farm you’ll find everything from hay to honey and eggs to expertise, and they encourage anyone to come by for harvesting advice and planting tips. Find out what perennials are best in fall and how to care for them, or if you’d rather leave all the work to the pros, stop by their stand at Neuakonakit Hill Farmer’s Market on Mondays or downtown Providence near Burnside Park on Tuesdays for their freshly cut stems. 2279 Plainfield Pike, Johnston. 401-943-2727, PezzaFarm.com

Old-Fashioned Farming

The women of Sidewalk Ends Farm do their farming the old fashioned way, using hand tools and creating their own compost through organic matter. Their flowers are chemical-free and this season they’ve grown scabiosas, dahlias, sunflowers, zinnias, snapdragons, strawflowers, sweet annies, ammi majus and so many more. Explore what they’ve picked at the Armory Park Farmer’s Market in Providence every Thursday. If you’d like to dig deeper into farm life, the farmers host multiple workshops where they share what they’ve learned about farming with schools, camps, organizations and other farmers, so you can trust they know what they’re doing. 47 Harrison Street, Providence. 617-817-6598, SidewalkEndsFarm.com

Size Doesn’t Matter

Blue Skys Farm may be smaller than your average farm, but they grow just as large of a selection. This season’s cut flowers include dahlias, zinnias, strawflowers, statices, lisianthus, salvias, sunflowers, celosias, globe amaranths and gladioli which you can pick up at Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. You can choose from a variety of fresh cut bouquets, or make them yourself when you buy mixed flowers by the bucket. Have a flower obsession? You still have until October to sign up for receiving bouquets made just for you every week. 35 Pippin Orchard Road, Cranston. 781-603-4894, BlueSkysFarm.com

Pick To Your Heart’s Content
With over 40 years of experience, West Beach Farm has been providing South County with flowers and produce. Anyone can come by the farm and pick from a wide variety of flowers. Now in season are zinnias, black eyed Susans, forget-me-nots, globe amaranth, snapdragons, cosmos, blue ageratum, verbenas, celosias and sunflowers. Or, if you’re in a hurry, choose from the many cut flowers at their stand, as well as at Charlestown Farmer’s Market on Fridays and Richmond Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. 16 West Beach Road, Charlestown. 385-628-7143, Facebook.com/WestBeachFarm

Floral Design
Polly Hutchison’s love affair with flowers began with her mother’s English Cottage-style gardens and now she shares that passion with her husband Mike. Together with their love for horticulture and design, they run Robin Hollow Farm. This season you’ll find their cosmos, tuberoses, sunflowers, sweet williams, sedum autumn joys, snapdragons, eryngiums, salvia, rudbeckia, lilies, hydrangeas, gomphrenas, crocosmias, celosias, delphiniums, asters, asclepias, ageratums, dahlias, zinnias, lisianthus, scabiosa, phlox, anemones and asclepias tuberosa at Hope Street Farmer’s Market and Coastal Grower’s Market on Saturdays, and Aquidneck Grower’s Market on Wednesdays. For those with a knack for creativity, you can buy two-gallon buckets filled with the perfect balance of flowers and greens that can fill up to ten jars now until October. When the couple’s not working an event, you’ll find them giving lectures and workshops on flower production, labor issues, marketing and floral design. 1057 Gilbert Stuart Road, Saunderstown. 401-268-7070, RobinHollowFarm.com

Build a Better Bouquet
Now that you know where to get locally grown flowers, learn how to expertly arrange them. Using only 100% American grown cut flowers, The Local Bouquet creates floral décor that compliments the time of year. This season features dahlias, zinnias, cosmos, sunflowers, sedum, nigella, celosias, bachelor buttons, scabiosa, privet, ornamental cabbage and grasses, fruit branches and fresh herbs like rosemary and mint. Owner Mary Kate started the business with a love for design and during her upcoming fall workshops at local farms and studios she’ll be sharing her techniques. She also offers a private party option for those who want to host a workshop-themed party in the comfort of their own home. P.O. Box 1031, Little Compton. 401-598-6812, TheLocalBouquet.com