Debra Prinzing

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Episode 652: Building a niche supplying flower seedlings for farmers and gardeners with Kate Skelton of Gratitude Flowers

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024

In the run-up to spring’s arrival in a few weeks, join me on a visit to Gratitude Flowers outside Tacoma, Washington, a boutique home-based floral business, where Kate Skelton specializes in growing and supplying lisianthus starts to flower farmers and offering a wide array of cutting garden plants to her community.

Kate Skelton of Gratitude Flowers
Kate Skelton of Gratitude Flowers

At the end of last month, I took a Friday afternoon outing to Edgewood, a community located about halfway between Seattle and Tacoma near me, to visit today’s guest, Kate Skelton, owner of Gratitude Flowers. It’s a boutique, home-based floral business that reflects Kate’s passion for growing flowers from seed.

The day was chilly, but beautiful, and the drive there gave me a front-row view of Mount Rainier in all its snow-capped glory. I was in a great mood, and Kate and her story lifted my spirits higher.

Kate Skelton with tulips and a lisianthus bouquet
Kate Skelton with tulips and a lisianthus bouquet

I first me Kate last fall when Jodi Logue of Moss & Madder Farm hosted a flower farmers’ pie-and-coffee (you can watch or listen to that interview in Episode 633 from October 25, 2023). A lovely group of local growers, including several Slow Flowers members, came together on a Sunday afternoon to chat and network over delicious homemade pie and warm beverages at Jodi’s home in Olalla, Washington, on the Kitsap Peninsula. My conversation with Kate was fascinating, as I learned that she is a community college math professor who launched her flower nursery and seedling venture during the pandemic.

Gratitude Flowers plant sale
Gratitude Flowers plant sale

I also learned about her seedling offerings – especially lisianthus – which she grows for other flower farmers. Being a greenhouse owner and aspiring seed-starting gardener, I was intrigued. And after Gratitude Flowers joined Slow Flowers as a member, I knew that I wanted to feature Kate on the Slow Flowers Show.

Healthy seedlings
Healthy flower seedlings from Gratitude flowers

Gratitude Flowers offers timeless farm-grown, organic, specialty plants for cutting gardens and seasonal floral blooms for floral enthusiasts. Kate plans to open for the season on Saturday, March 30th.

Follow Gratitude Flowers on Instagram and Facebook for more details.

Sign up for Gratitude Flowers’ newsletter.

Download Kate’s Lisianthus Growing Guide.

Slow Flowers Member (Virtual) Meet-Up for March

Photo courtesy of District 2 Floral Studio: (c) Mike Machian Photography
Photo courtesy of District 2 Floral Studio: (c) Mike Machian Photography

Don’t forget to pre-register for the March 8th Slow Flowers Member (Virtual) Meet-Up – 9 am PT/Noon ET. The topic: Native Flowers for Farmers & Florists. We are so excited to welcome a panel of four members who will help us think about the possibilities of integrating native perennials and other native plants into farming and design efforts. They include:

Holly Lukasiewicz of District 2 Floral Studio, Omaha, Nebraska
Deborah Majerus of Iron Butterfly Farm and Lodging, Rochester, Minnesota
Kate Watters of Wild Heart Farm, Rimrock, Arizona

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show is brought to you by, the free, online directory to more than 750 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 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 than ever, and you’ll want to check out the course offerings at

And thank you to returning 2024 Podcast sponsor, Store It Cold, creators of the revolutionary CoolBot, a popular solution for flower farmers, studio florists and farmer-florists.  Save $1000s when you build your own walk-in cooler with the CoolBot and an air conditioner.  Don’t have time to build your own?  They also have turnkey units available. Learn more at   

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thank you 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. Thanks so much for joining us today and I’ll see you next week!

Music Credits:

Drone Pine; Gaena; Heartland Flyer
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field