Episode 611: A conversation with Julie Remy of Fleuris Studio and Blooms and a tour of her prolific cutting garden on Vancouver Island
May 24th, 2023
Last month, passports in hand, I traveled by car and ferryboat to the Island of Vancouver in British Columbia. The trip was to celebrate my mother’s 88th birthday, enjoy high tea at the famed Empress Hotel, tour the spring borders and displays at the famed Butchart Gardens, and enjoy this beautiful destination for a few days.
Of course, I had to invite myself to meet some of our Slow Flowers members in Victoria while there. As I mentioned, we took a ferry ride — 90 minutes to cross from Twassen to Schwartz Bay, and the views were incredible. On the first morning, we set out to visit Fleuris Studio and Blooms, and to meet Julie Remy in person. Julie greeted us, settled my mom and her book on a cozy chair for a while, and we embarked on a lovely tour of the small island farm where Julie and her partner live and work.
Fleuris Studio’s tagline is: Elegant & Eco-Friendly FLOWERS.
It was fascinating to learn about the journey that led Julie to this special place and to a life focused on growing and sourcing sustainable flowers for her luxurious florals, wedding designs, unique floral subscriptions, and private flower arranging workshops.
As she explains on her website: “I want to connect others to nature through the beauty of flowers. My business perfectly draws on my greatest passions: gardening, photography, interior design, antiques and a love of all colours, textures and lines.“
I loved learning how Julie has travelled the world as a humanitarian photographer, after which she settled on Vancouver Island and built a small floral design studio surrounded by the flowers that she grows and work with.
We’ll start with an interview, recorded in Julie’s studio. If you’re interested in watching our 20-minute virtual tour of the gardens and flower production areas at Fleuris, check out the video above at the 35:45 time mark.
Julie’s story is a lovely example of how one woman chooses to leave a positive impact on her environment by thinking creatively and sustainably about the ways in which she grows, sources, and arranges flowers. This includes regenerative growing methods, focusing on seasonality, using recyclable packaging, and never using non-biodegradable floral foam in her designs. As she briefly mentioned, Julie sells her flowers through the Island Flower Growers, Slow Flowers members and a producer-owned co-operative of cut-flower growers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada. In a few weeks, you’ll learn more about this vibrant and vital regional flower hub when I host a conversation with Lorna Jackson, one of the founders and board president. I can’t wait to share that episode with you.
Find and follow Fleuris Studio & Blooms:
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News of the Week
In news of the week, I recently recorded two interviews and I want to share them with you.
First, check out the May issue of Shawn Michael Foley’s Fleurvana magazine, which includes a really fun conversation we recently recorded for video viewing. You can find the free link to read this monthly interactive floral design magazine, including my video clip with Shawn, in our show notes — good through the end of May.
Shawn has shared some Slow Flowers promotional codes for anyone interested in a membership in his Fleurvana+ educational hub and a significant discount to one of the upcoming Fleurvana retreats.
Here is the public link for viewing, free during the month of May:
Fleurvana+ Membership 50% Slow Flowers Discount with Code: SLOWFLOWERS
Fleurvana Retreats: Take a $600 discount with Code: SLOWFLOWERS
Next, I was delighted to be a return guest of Jennifer Jewell’s award-winning public radio show, Cultivating Place, which aired on May 11th. What a fun experience to catch up Jennifer and her listeners on the Slow Flowers Society, the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit, and Bloom Imprint’s latest release, Furrow & Flour. Click above to listen to Episode.
Speaking of the Slow Flowers Summit, last Friday’s May Member Meet-Up featured two of our keynote speakers who will take the stage — Amy Balsters and Lennie Larkin. These two floral luminaries shared a preview of what they will teach and demonstrate at the Slow Flowers Summit and you can watch the replay video above.
Thank you to our Sponsors
This show is brought to you by Slowflowers.com, 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.
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 farmgirlflowers.com.
Thank you to Red Twig Farms. Based in Johnstown, Ohio, Red Twig Farms is a family-owned farm specializing in peonies, daffodils, tulips and branches, a popular peony-bouquet-by-mail program and their Spread the Hope Campaign where customers purchase 10 tulip stems for essential workers and others in their community. Learn more at redtwigfarms.com.
Thank you to the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, a farmer-owned cooperative committed to providing the very best the Pacific Northwest has to offer in cut flowers, foliage and plants. The Growers Market’s mission is to foster a vibrant marketplace that sustains local flower farms and provides top-quality products and service to the local floral industry. Visit them at seattlewholesalegrowersmarket.com.
Thank you 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.
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 SlowFlowersSociety.com
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. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!