Debra Prinzing

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Episode 390: Connecticut-Grown Flowers with Evelyn Lee of Butternut Gardens

February 27th, 2019

A spectrum of dahlias from Butternut Gardens in Connecticut
The Little White Flower Cottage at Butternut Gardens

Our theme for 2019 — Fifty States of Slow Flowers — continues today with Connecticut. And because I was so wrapped up in the conversation I recorded with my guest, Evelyn Lee of Butternut Gardens, this is an extended State-Focus episode. A lot of exciting flower news is coming out of Connecticut and I’m glad we took the time to discuss it to share with you.

Evelyn joined Slow Flowers several years ago and I’ve enjoyed meeting her on a few occasions, including last year’s Slow Flowers Summit in Washington, D.C. I also interviewed her for a farmer-florist article a few years ago. Ironically, that article appeared in Southern Farm & Garden magazine, and while Connecticut isn’t exactly “the south,” the editors loved her story. Here’s a link for you to read the article.

Evelyn Lee of Butternut Gardens in Southport, Connecticut

Here’s more about Evelyn Lee and her flowers:

Little White Flower Cottage sales building and floral sales tent

A number of years ago, with kids in college and beyond, Evelyn set her sights on the unlikely endeavor of creating a flower farm in the middle of the suburbs. Call her crazy, but she believed, then and now, that people truly appreciate fresh flowers, and that people, our environment and our economy all benefit from locally grown blooms.

Labeling used by Connecticut's agriculture producers
Labeling used by Connecticut’s agriculture producers

Butternut Gardens is a fabulous little flower farm, design studio and garden workshop tucked away in Southport, CT. It is the only cut flower farm in Connecticut’s Fairfield County, offering the freshest of blossoms harvested daily at the peak of perfection.  No shipping. No storage.  Just rich, vibrant, delicious-smelling flowers every time.

A beautiful peony mix from Butternut Gardens

Evelyn shares this on her web site:

When you choose Butternut Gardens flowers, you also choose flowers grown in an earth friendly manner on a Bee Friendly Farm by Evelyn Lee, a NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professional. Not only is our goal to bring the true beauty, fragrance and astounding variety of freshly-cut flowers to your special events and into your daily lives, but also  to share knowledge and best practices for sustainable suburban gardening, landscaping and land use.

Butternut Gardens’ springtime bouquets

Butternut Gardens flowers do not receive synthetic fertilizers, and great care is taken to not only “do no harm” but to also protect and enhance soil, water and living organisms. At Butternut Gardens, we leave plenty of flowers and pollinator-friendly habitat for neighborhood honey bees and an abundance of native pollinators, which call our land “home.” We strive to lead by example in our suburban neighborhood and hope to teach others about eco friendly gardening practices that can be applied to their land and gardens as well. A little education can go a long way!

During the growing season (March to November) Butternut Gardens crafts an ever-changing parade of seasonal flowers, fruits, seeds, branches and other interesting natural botanical elements from the several hundred of varieties locally grown into seasonal bouquets and arrangements.

A vivid summer floral palette from Butternut Gardens
Another cottage portrait (left) and more varieties of blooms (right)

Here’s how to find and follow Butternut Gardens:

Butternut Gardens on Facebook

Butternut Gardens on Instagram

Thanks so much for joining my conversation with Evelyn Lee of Connecticut’s Butternut Gardens. I’m continually inspired by the momentum and energy that is taking place in key regions across the continent. What’s happening with flower farmers and floral designers in Connecticut is also playing out elsewhere, spearheaded by creatives as passionate as Evelyn is. To be sure, we’ll continue hearing their stories here, on the Slow Flowers Podcast.

Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, seeking new and inspiring voices, people with passion, heart, commitment and expertise to share with you. I hope today’s episode gave you at least one inspiring insight or tip to apply to your floral enterprise. What you gain will be multiplied as you pay it forward  and help someone else.

Truly, we have a vital and vibrant community of flower farmers and floral designers who together define the Slow Flowers Movement. As our cause gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of the American cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious.

I know you feel it, too. I value your support and invite you to show your thanks and with a donation to support my ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right.


Florists’ Review magazine. I’m delighted to serve as Contributing Editor for Slow Flowers Journal, found in the pages of Florists’ Review. It’s the leading trade magazine in the floral industry and the only independent periodical for the retail, wholesale and supplier market. Take advantage of the special subscription offer for members of the Slow Flowers Community.

The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Formed in 1988, ASCFG was created to educate, unite, and support commercial cut flower growers. It mission is to help growers produce high-quality floral material, and to foster and promote the local availability of that product. Learn more at Coming right up, on March 23rd, is the Urban Farming Conference in St. Louis. More details can be found here.

Syndicate Sales, an American manufacturer of vases and accessories for the professional florist. Look for the American Flag Icon to find Syndicate’s USA-made products and join the Syndicate Stars loyalty program at

Johnny’s Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company that provides our industry the best flower, herb and vegetable seeds — supplied to farms large and small and even backyard cutting gardens like mine. Check them out at

The Slow Flowers Summit is five months away on July 1 & 2nd in St. Paul, Minnesota. Make your way to to learn all about the many opportunities to join us — from flower farm tours and dinner on a flower farm to business and branding presentations to interactive and inspiring design sessions . . . all designed to serve you! Subscribe to Summit news and updates at

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 414,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. Thank you all!

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast.
Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto iTunes and posting a listener review.

The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.

The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. Learn more about his work at

Music Credits:
Children of Lemuel; Rabbit Hole; Gaena; Perspirationby Blue Dot Sessions http://www.sessions.blue

Lovely by Tryad

In The Field
Music from:

One Response to “Episode 390: Connecticut-Grown Flowers with Evelyn Lee of Butternut Gardens”

  1. Episode 390: Connecticut-Grown Flowers with Evelyn Lee of Butternut Gardens – American Florist Association Says:

    […] episode. A lot of exciting flower news is coming out of Connecticut and I’m glad […]Episode 390: Connecticut-Grown Flowers with Evelyn Lee of Butternut Gardens this post has been replublished from the original […]

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