Debra Prinzing

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Episode 425: Flowers in Washington’s San Juan Islands with Erin Shackelford of Camas Designs and Jenny Harris of Catkin; plus, our state focus: South Dakota

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019
Slow Flowers visits the San Juan Islands
Slow Flowers visits the San Juan Islands! From left: Erin Shackelford of Camas Designs; Jenny Harris of Catkin; her rose-growing partner Elaine Frazel; and Debra Prinzing

The San Juan Islands are home to many beautiful gardens and homes, romantic wedding venues and, of course, flowers.

A few weeks ago, the San Juan County Master Gardeners Foundation brought me to the island for their fall workshop. What an privilege to deliver the keynote presentation on the Slow Flowers story — and the fact that two Slow Flowers members who live on San Juan Island were in attendance made the experience even better!

Today, you will meet them both. I arrived early enough on October 18th to connect with floral designer Erin Shackelford of Camas Designs and grower-designer Jenny Harris of Catkin who you will hear in today’s episode.

roses on the san juan islands
Beautiful, healthy and enticing David Austin garden roses, grown by Jenny Harris of Catkin and her client & friend Elaine Frazel

Jenny had invited us to tour the garden where she grows David Austin garden roses for local floral customers, including Camas Designs. The property is an extension of Jenny’s friends and garden design clients Elaine and Miles Frazel. Elaine and Jenny collaborate on their small-scale garden rose venture. After the tour, Elaine graciously warmed us up with mugs of tea and hosted us around her dining table for this recording. You’ll hear from Erin, Jenny and a few comments from Elaine! Hope you can keep everyone’s voices straight!

more roses
Just-picked roses from Jenny Harris of Catkin and Elaine Frazel

Here’s a bit more about our San Juan Island guests:

Erin Shackelford of Camas Designs

Camas Designs’ motto is “locally sourced happiness.” Erin’s studio primarily sources from local farms and she believes a direct path to happiness is one with simplicity at its core. As co-owner of Camas Designs, along with her artist/educator husband Robert Shackelford, Erin creates floral arrangements for weddings and special events in the San Juan Islands and greater Seattle area. Partnering with local farmers to capture the beauty of the season, Erin designs with nature, sun, and clients as close collaborators. She creates designs that embody the couple, the environment of their event, and the mood they wish to instill for guests.

Flower cart and flower truck
Camas Designs’ iconic flower delivery truck along with the custom-made flower cart that helped to launch Erin’s “chapter two” floral business.

Erin’s passion is flowers and their ability to convey feelings, emotions, and meanings beyond the realm of words. She has created bouquets for neighbors, friends, and strangers (often anonymously) since she was eight-years-old. After decades in corporate America, Erin’s revelation was her heart is only fulfilled when immersed within the elegance and simplicity of nature. Happiness for Erin is found creating floral designs for others, and whenever possible, sourcing the flowers locally from farmers she calls friends.

A Camas Designs’ bridal bouquet incorporating roses grown by Jenny and Elaine, as well as other San Juan Island-grown flowers from Dancing Seeds Farm, Mama Bird Farm and Aurora Farm.

She writes this on the Camas Designs web site: “We’re proud to be part of the “slow flower” movement meaning the majority of our flowers are sourced from farms within our region. This local sourcing ensures your wedding florals are one of a kind and contain the freshest ingredients around. Whether it’s a beautiful café au lait dahlia, a vine with swirling tendrils or seed pods to add just the right amount of texture, we likely know the farmer that grew each stem and we bring that personal touch to your bouquet, arrangements and more.

One of the evocative floral scenes featuring Erin Shackelford’s florals with photography by Kestrel Bailey — featured in the October 2019 issue of Florists’ Review

I’ve recently written about one of Erin’s design projects, a moody autumn styled photo collaboration, for the October issue of Florists’ Review. You can read the article here:

A Moody Tale

Jenny Harris of Catkin

Jenny Harris and I first met more than 15 years ago when she lived on nearby Lopez Island and ran a Bellwether Perennials, a nursery for unusual perennials and shrubs suited to the island environment, as well as a landscape design business. She has since relocated to San Juan Island and describes herself as “a grower of plants, teacher of gardening.”

More of Jenny’s talents are on display in Elaine Frazel’s San Juan Island garden

About two years ago, Jenny reached out with this note: Debra: “I’ve unintentionally created an obsession, in the best possible way, in a client turned friend for pursuing growing cut flowers.” She went on to reveal her interest in growing roses, shrubs/woodies, and perennials for the local San Juan Island market only, writing: “no annuals for me nowadays,” and added, “we’ve just read your 50 Mile Bouquet and might very well be headed in that direction!”

It’s so rewarding to reconnect with Jenny in person earlier this month after so much time has passed and to pick up exactly where we left off, sharing similar interests in environmental stewardship and soul-enriching plants.

A floral arrangement, grown and designed by Jenny Harris of Catkin.

Through Catkin, Jenny’s work is holistic, highlighting the native and natural, low-water use, organic, conscious and harmonious approach to living with and caring for plants and other beings.

She writes: “I believe that gardening and gardeners can have significant positive influence on the myriad stresses upon our earth and her family of living creatures. I have been creating gardens, helping others in their own gardens and learning and sharing about plants since 1989 ; most of those years in the San Juan Islands though my formative time was in an old garden in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. While I have formal horticultural training I have found my greatest learning has come from working alongside more learned and elder gardeners and the plants and gardens themselves. I learn something in every garden and from every gardener I meet. I bring to my life’s work an interest in plants that extends far beyond the confines of a particular ecosystem; what matters to me is that a plant can not only survive where it finds itself but thrive within a plant, human and animal community.”

It’s all about roses!

With Elaine Frazel, Jenny’s relatively new rose-growing project currently includes 13 varieties of David Austin roses and a few old ones. They take orders for 12-stem bunches — mixed or sometime single variety — during the growing season to supply floral designers, businesses and individuals interested in weekly, biweekly or monthly pickup. These are truly special flowers grown naturally with love on San Juan Island.

More local and seasonal blooms in a vivid bouquet by Camas Designs. They feature roses from Jenny and Elaine (c) La Vie Photography

Thank you so much for joining my conversation today on our lovely and inspiring tour of the San Juans, especially San Juan Island where Camas Designs and Catkin are based. Find and follow Erin and Jenny at these social places:

Camas Designs on Facebook and Instagram

Catkin on Instagram

I am in so inspired by the conscious choices my two guests have made to establish lives and businesses in an environmentally precious place on the planet. I hope you have learned at least one lesson from their stories and I would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please reach out and share them in the comment section below.

flowers by monica pugh
Flowers grown and designed by our South Dakota guest, Monica Pugh of Floras and Bouquets

Our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – continues today with Moníca Pugh of Floras and Bouquets, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Moníca and her husband Glenn Pugh tend to an urban flower farm where, as she says, “they concentrate on stuffing as many perennials in our front and back yard as possible.” They also rent a small garden space west of town to grow our annuals and have recently expanded to a neighbor’s borrowed lot.

Luscious and local in South Dakota!

Moníca continues: “I got started in the flower business because of adventure and always wanting to follow my instinctual heart for growth.  Growing various perennials and annuals has always been a labor of love for me, so I thought I would gather my seasonal blooms and bring them to a farmer’s market that I was already attending. When they didn’t sell well, I followed my instinctual heart to a local specialty store, who placed their first order of artisan bouquets that same week. Thus, Floras & Bouquets was born.

Wedding flowers in South Dakota
Wedding flowers in South Dakota, from Floras and Bouquets

Follow Floras and Bouquets at these social places:

Floras and Bouquets on Instagram

Floras and Bouquets on Facebook

The annual fields at Floras and Bouquets, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 534,000 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 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.

Thank you to our sponsors:

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.

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

NW Green Panels. Based in Madras, Oregon, NW Green Panels designs and constructs a wide array of wood-framed greenhouses offering versatility, style and durability. Their greenhouses are 100% Oregon-made using twin-wall polycarbonate manufactured in Wisconsin, making NW Green Panel structures a great value for your backyard. The 8×8 foot Modern Slant greenhouse has become the essential hub of my cutting garden — check out photos of my greenhouse visit to see more.

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  

(c) Mary Grace Long photography

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:
LaBranche; Betty Dear; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

Lovely by Tryad

In The Field Music from:

Episode 305: American Flowers Week Recap & Rebecca Reed of David Austin Roses

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

David Austin English Garden Roses are becoming more important than ever as cut flowers for floral design.

This week we’re continuing to celebrate the success of the third annual American Flowers Week, while also hearing from Rebecca Bull Reed, U.S. Sales Executive for David Austin Roses, this week’s guest.

I’m so pleased that Rebecca agreed to lecture on David Austin Garden Roses to the florists and farmers of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market this past spring. I was able to record Rebecca’s presentation in late April and I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to share it with you.

But first, let’s wrap up the news of American Flowers Week! I have new campaign numbers to share — 5 million and counting! That’s the social media impressions generated by YOU and YOUR Instagram & Twitter Posts in the past 30 days!! #AmericanFlowersWeek has exploded — just like fireworks!

Rita Anders of Cuts of Color in Weimar, Texas, delivered American Flowers Week bouquets and bunches to Central Market stores in Houston.

In our third year, participation in AFW more than tripled the impressions generated last year, putting #americanflowersweek on the map in all 50 states!

[Imagine the true metrics if Facebook let us track hashtags? Just sayin’!]

Thank you to each one who joined in! The Slow Flowers Community has the momentum to effect change in the marketplace, so continue posting and sharing the #slowflowers message every week of the year!

Tammy Meyers of First & Bloom outside Seattle created a beautiful styled photo shoot for American Flowers Week.

The 3rd Annual American Flowers Week has come to a close and it was our best ever! With participation across the U.S. in all sectors of the floral industry, this New Floral Holiday is waving the flag and making a splash from coast to coast.

This year, Slow Flowers, which presents American Flowers Week, commissioned five floral-inspired fashion shoots depicting iconic American grown blooms. The designers who contributed their creativity and artistic talents teamed up with generous flower farms that donated stems straight from their fields and greenhouses.

Four of the five looks are shown above. We’re saving the final look to feature in an article that will appear in the August 2017 issue of Florists’ Review — so stay tuned for the big reveal! Our All-American floral looks would never have been possible without the support of Slow Flowers’ sponsors, including Certified American Grown, Arctic Alaska Peony Cooperative, Longfield GardensSyndicate SalesSeattle Wholesale Growers MarketJohnny’s Selected Seeds and Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Flower farmers and floral designers threw design, education and arranging parties around the country during American Flowers Week. This signage announced the Zinnia-themed design event staged by the new Lowcountry Flower Growers at a Charleston, S.C.-area farmers market.

American Flowers Week inspired grocery stores like Town & Country Markets and New Seasons in the Pacific Northwest, Central Market in the Houston area and Whole Foods Markets in the Mid-Atlantic region. Farmer groups in the Southeast, in Maryland, in New York’s Hudson Valley staged flower arranging parties and partnered with creative florists, continuing to build community and educate floral designers and consumers in their marketplaces.

Get out your crayons: Our American Flowers Week Map of State Flowers!

In other places, florists created beautiful styled shoots and designed promotions to benefit charities, like Kathleen Barber of Erika’s Fresh Flowers, whose flowers raised funds for Northwest Battle Buddies, a nonprofit partnering combat veterans with professionally trained dogs.

The media paid attention, too, with feature articles appearing in leading trade magazine Florists’ Review and a beautiful spread by Janet Eastman in The Oregonian.

Be sure to check out our show notes and links to posts at to see beautiful photographs of campaigns, photo shoots, inspired posts and other resources. And stay tuned for next month when we announced plans for 2018 and how you can get involved in the planning for even more exciting ways to promote you, your flower farm and your floral designs!

Rebecca Reed, US Sales Executive for David Austin Garden Roses

Next up, Rebecca Bull Reed of David Austin Roses. I’ve known Rebecca as a professional friend for years — dating back to 2002, 3 and 4 when I was just getting started with my garden writing career and Rebecca was a garden designer who worked in sales at one of my favorite shops in town called Herban Pottery.

We continued our friendship through the Garden Writers Association after Rebecca moved to the Southeast to join Southern Living Magazine as a garden editor there for nearly a decade. We would see one another at annual GWA symposia and I always wished there was a way to reconnect with her more than once in a while. I was so excited when Rebecca returned to the Pacific Northwest in 2014, where she is now based as the US Sales Executive for David Austin Roses.

She is an accomplished horticulturist and garden communicator specializing in David Austin English Roses, bare root roses, own root roses, sales, marketing, project management, lifestyle publishing, photo shoot story production, instructional writing, garden design, product promotion, education, and public speaking.

I’ve seen so many of the David Austin’s garden roses at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, most of which are supplied as cut flowers by Dawn Severin of All My Thyme, a past guest of this podcast. Hearing from Rebecca may make you want to go back and listen to last year’s interview with Dawn — you’ll be inspired to add more David Austin garden roses to your cutting garden or flower farm — and to incorporate these beauties into your floral designs.

Find/follow David Austin Roses at these social places:

David Austin Roses on Facebook

David Austin Roses on Twitter

David Austin Roses on Pinterest

David Austin Roses on Instagram

Rebecca generously shared some of her lecture slides for me to post here.


Thanks so much for joining me today. It has been a crazy month and I’m so pleased that you have joined the conversation to hear from leading voices in the Slow Flowers Movement.

The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded nearly 210,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you to each one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.

If you value the content you receive each week, I invite you to show your thanks and support the Slow Flowers Podcast with a donation — the button can be found on our home page in the right column. Your contributions will help make it possible to transcribe future episodes of the Podcast.



Thank you to family of sponsors:

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of 50 family farms in the heart of Alaska providing high quality, American Grown peony flowers during the months of July and August. Visit them today at

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. Find them at

Longfield Gardens 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. Visit them at
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
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

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:

by Blue Dot Sessions
Acoustic 1
by Dave Depper
Additional music from: