Episode 519: A Bloom-Filled visit to floral icon Françoise Weeks’ studio and to Sid Anna Sherwood’s flower farm
August 18th, 2021
Today, I’m thrilled to introduce Françoise Weeks and Sid Anna Sherwood. In celebration of our Slow Flowers Podcasts 8th anniversary, we launched our new, live-stream video format — calling it the Slow Flowers Show — with the goal of sharing the faces and voices of our members, as well as tours of their farms, their shops and their studios — and most of all, their flowers. In addition to finding the show notes for this episode at debraprinzing.com, you can watch the replay of our video interview, including some special floral design ideas and a show-and-tell of just-harvested blooms from our guests’ studio and farm.
Françoise Weeks is a past guest of the Slow Flowers Podcast on a few occasions. She is known for teaching botanical couture around the world. Today, we’ll discuss one of her dreams — to teach a workshop combined with students picking their own design ingredients at a flower farm and collecting woodland materials in a forest.
And thanks to the imagination of farmer-florist Sid Anna Sherwood, owner of Annie’s Flower Farm in Sequim, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula, that dream will be a reality later this month.
Long-time Slow Flowers member Sid Anna is a nature-inspired flower farmer and florist who creates beautiful and lush arrangements with the flowers she grows.
Through Sweet Annie’s Floral Design, she offers wedding florals, sells DIY wedding flowers and supplies hand-tied market bouquets to CSA customers and to local neighborhood grocery outlets.
Sid Anna grows more than 300 varieties of cut flowers using organic and sustainable methods.
Françoise Weeks, a floral design icon, was born in Belgium and started her business in 1996. She has infused her work with a quintessential European reverence for flowers and nature. Combined with creativity and mechanical ingenuity, she has crystalized her singular style of Textural Woodlands and Botanical Haute Couture pieces, garnering a global following.
Françoise’s studio is located in Portland, Oregon. Her innovation and love of teaching have brought her to many cities in the US in studios, at wholesalers, at garden clubs, Art in Bloom events and conferences, including at AIFD Symposium. She also taught in Mexico, Canada, England, Sweden, Iceland, France, China and Australia.
In 2019 she was invited to participate at two international flower events in Belgium: Flower Time at city hall in Brussels and Fleuramour at the medieval castle in Alden Biesen.
Her dynamic work has been published in national and international publications such as Nacre, Fusion Flowers, Modern Wedding Flowers, Huffington Post, Flutter and Millieu.
Françoise teaches and offers online courses, including Zoom workshops. And she is the author of “The Herbal Recipe Keeper” published by Timber Press in 2018.
The two women have teamed up to offer a Françoise Weeks Botanical Couture and Woodland Workshop, a four-day floral retreat taking place August 22-26 in the historic town of Port Townsend, Washington. Students will stay at the 416-acre Fort Worden in an restored residence, with meals and lodging, as well as all materials and instruction included in the workshop price. The beach of the Salish Sea is steps away and hiking trails are nearby.
Françoise will cover botanical headpieces, purses and jewelry, as well as woodland design centerpieces. A model and a photographer will capture each student’s work for use in their portfolio.
Last week, we scheduled and recorded a 3-way call to visit and talk with both Francoise and Sid Anna. Both have some lovely show-and-tell to share, as they discuss their creative practices and inspire us with botanical couture and woodland designs, as well as just-picked seasonal flowers.
Thank you so much for joining our conversation. As Sid Anna mentioned there are a few more spaces for students needing lodging and day students who might want to attend from close by. And I’m excited to see what happens when a flower farmer and floral designer collaborate. This approach is truly the heart of the Slow Flowers Movement and Sid Anna and Françoise are modeling a creative partnership that each of us should emulate.
Bonus Content for You
If you’re looking for some inspiring summer reading material, I have a few things to share — free to you — and you can find the links below.
First up, you’ll want to read “Flowering Filoli,” just published in the Slow Flowers Journal online — a room-by-room tour of the Slow Flowers Summit floral takeover at Filoli’s historic house.
With detailed photography by Missy Palacol and Jenny M. Diaz, you’ll read about the immersive floral takeover that occurred on day one of the Summit. See the flowers contributed by generous member flower farms and farmer-florists in attendance; and appreciate the floral artistry of our member designers who created installations worthy of the mansion’s grand scale.
And if you’re more in the mood to watch something fun, I’ll share the replay video of my Garden Design Magazine Q&A with publisher Jim Peterson, as he hosted me for a conversation about our new book, “Where We Bloom” and tips to design your perfect outdoor getaway space. We featured five of the book’s inventive floral-filled environments as I shared the stories of the designers and their floral pursuits. I’ll share that link in today’s show notes, too — so everything will be easy to find.
Thank you to our Sponsors
This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, the free, online directory to more than 880 florists, shops, and studios who design with local, seasonal and sustainable flowers and to the farms that grow those blooms. It’s the conscious choice for buying and sending flowers.
Thank you to our lead sponsor for 2021, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting more than 20 U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $9 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at farmgirlflowers.com.
Our next sponsor thank you goes to Rooted Farmers. Rooted Farmers works exclusively with local growers to put the highest-quality specialty cut flowers in floral customers’ hands. When you partner with Rooted Farmers, you are investing in your community, and you can expect a commitment to excellence in return. Learn more at RootedFarmers.com.
Our next thanks goes to Longfield Gardens, which provides home gardeners with high quality flower bulbs and perennials. Their online store offers plants for every region and every season, from tulips and daffodils to dahlias, caladiums and amaryllis. Check out the full catalog at Longfield Gardens at longfield-gardens.com.
Our final thank you goes to 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. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at johnnysseeds.com.
Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 755,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much. As our movement gains more supporters and more passionate participants who believe in the importance of our domestic cut flower industry, the momentum is contagious. I know you feel it, too.
I value your support and invite you to show your thanks to support Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right at debraprinzing.com.
I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem at a time. 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. Thank you so much to Andrew for helping me set up our new Video Podcast platform and teaching me the technology! I’ll be relying more on his talents in the coming days. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at soundbodymovement.com.
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