Debra Prinzing

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Episode 589: Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Joseph Abken introduces the 2023 Slow Flowers Summit Host Venue

December 21st, 2022

Hello again and welcome back to the Slow Flowers Podcast with Debra Prinzing, This is Episode 589

This is the weekly podcast about Slow Flowers and the people who grow and design with them. It’s all about making a conscious choice and I invite you to join the conversation and the creative community as we discuss the vital topics of saving our domestic flower farms and supporting a floral industry that relies on a safe, seasonal and local supply of flowers and foliage.

Bellevue Botanical Garden
The Perennial Borders at Bellevue Botanical Garden

On December 1st we opened up registration for next year’s Slow Flowers Summit and it’s so gratifying to see how many of you are jumping on our $100-off Early Bird Ticket offer.  Today, I also want to share more about our fantastic host venue — Bellevue Botanical Garden in Bellevue, Washington, just outside Seattle.

Joseph has an extensive background in management, merchandising and buying at independent garden centers and five more than five years, he served Executive Director of Kruckeberg Botanic Garden in Shoreline, just north of Seattle. He joined the Bellevue Botanical Garden as Society Director earlier this year and is an avid garden photographer — something that is a daily practice at the Botanical Garden.

And since it’s currently holiday season when the BBG hosts its special winter light show, Garden D’Lights, I filmed a nighttime video tour of the gardens illuminated with twinkling, botanical-inspired installations. So today, you’ll meet my friend Joseph Abken, director of the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, the public garden’s programming, membership and development arm, as he shares a bit about the history and mission of this very special place. The light show continues through December 31st, so if you’re in the Seattle area, schedule a visit at dusk!

Thanks so much for joining us today. Joseph and garden director James Gagliardi will give the opening remarks at the Slow Flowers Summit. In their presentation, “GARDENS FOR PEOPLE, they will set the tone for our two-day immersive experience at Bellevue Botanical Garden and share the story of this important cultural resource serving the people of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Celebrating its 30th Anniversary in 2022, BBG is known for its world class perennial border, the result of a partnership with Northwest Perennial Alliance. We’ll learn about the flowers, plants, and people of this beautiful destination. I’m so excited to share this gem with our guests, flower growers, floral designers, and flower gardening enthusiasts who will be inspired by both our program and this very special setting.

Learn more about Bellevue Botanical Garden, our 2023 Slow Flowers Summit Host Venue.

Follow BBG on Instagram and Facebook

Slow Flowers Summit Early Bird Tickets

Remember, Early-Bird Discount Expires December 31st, so register now to take advantage of the lowest ticket prices available!

$749    Slow Flowers Member                                                               
$849    General Registration (Non Member)
$873    Slow Flowers Member + Dinner on the Farm*                                                                $973    General Registration (Non Member) + Dinner on the Farm*  ​

*Dinner on the Farm is a separately ticketed event that will take place the evening of Sunday, June 25, 2023 at a local flower farm. Save $25 on your dinner ticket when purchased at the time of Summit registration.

Monday, June 26th @Bellevue Botanical Garden​

Tuesday, June 27th @Bellevue Botanical Garden, Seattle Wholesale Growers Market & Mayesh Wholesale Florist​

News for this Week

If you missed out December 9th Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up — all about Value-Added Flower Farm Products — you can catch the replay video above. You’ll hear from Natasha McCrary of 1818 Farms and Sarah Wagstaff of SUOT Farm and Flowers, as they share how many of their floral crops are reimagined into botanical products that extend the seasons into year-round revenue.

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 850 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.

Farmgirl Flowers 2022

Thank you to our lead sponsor, Farmgirl Flowers. Farmgirl Flowers delivers iconic burlap-wrapped bouquets and lush, abundant arrangements to customers across the U.S., supporting U.S. flower farms by purchasing more than $10 million dollars of U.S.-grown fresh and seasonal flowers and foliage annually. Discover more at

Thank you 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

Thank you to Mayesh Wholesale Florist. Family-owned since 1978, Mayesh is the premier wedding and event supplier in the U.S. and we’re thrilled to partner with Mayesh to promote local and domestic flowers, which they source from farms large and small around the U.S. Learn more at

Thank you to The Gardener’s Workshop, which offers a full curriculum of online education for flower farmers and farmer-florists. Online education is more important this year than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than one million 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. If you’re new to our weekly Show and our long-running Podcast, check out all of our resources at

Debra in the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Thank you for listening! Sending love, from my cutting garden to you! (c) Missy Palacol Photography

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Show & Podcast. The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Brenlan. 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.  Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time.

Music credits:
Homin Brer; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

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