Debra Prinzing

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Episode 509: From Cutting Gardens to Flowers for the Home, a Conversation with the Horticulture Team at Filoli Historic House & Garden, Jim Salyards, Kate Nowell and Haley O’Connor

Wednesday, June 9th, 2021
The Wedding Garden at Filoli Historic House & Garden (c) Gretchine Nievarez

Over the past year, you’ve heard from many of the panelists and personalities scheduled to present at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit, scheduled for June 28-30, which is right around the corner. And today, I’m bringing you straight to our Summit destination, Filoli Historic House & Garden based in Woodside, California, where we will gather for the first two days of the conference.

Filoli’s remarkable Georgian Revival architecture (c) Gretchine Nievarez

I am so excited for the opportunity Summit attendees, speakers, sponsors and guests will enjoy as we immerse ourselves in the beauty and legacy of this Bay Area cultural institution. We will spend two full days experiencing the historic property, including Filoli’s legendary landscape and cutting gardens, which you’ll learn more about today. We also will have unprecedented access to design a ‘floral takeover’ in ‘The House,’ California’s most triumphant example of the Georgian Revival tradition and one of the finest remaining country estates of the early 20th century.

From left, today’s guests: Jim Salyards, Kate Nowell and Haley O’Connor of Filoli’s Horticulture Staff

For now, I’d love to introduce you to the horticulture team at Filoli, because they are the ones whose involvement in the Slow Flowers Summit will ensure a thoroughly immersive plant and floral experience.

Today, join me in a conversation with Jim Salyards, Kate Nowell and Haley O’Connor.

Jim Salyards is the director of horticulture, a 26-year veteran of Filoli!

Kate Nowell is the horticulture production manager, with about one decade at Filoli, and Haley O’Connor is Filoli’s new formal garden manager who joined about six months ago.

Let’s jump right in and take an audio (virtual) botanical tour with three talented plants people.

Attendees of the Slow Flowers Summit will have full access to the beautiful grounds at Filoli Historic House & Garden during our workshops and immersive floral experiences

Thank you so much for joining our conversation today! There are still a few spaces left to attend the Slow Flowers Summit and you can find all those details at We are so excited to welcome our attendees to a safe, in-person, COVID-compliant and mostly outdoor setting at Filoli Historic House and Garden. The countdown begins!

The Garden House at Filoli

And by the way, if you’re not attending the Summit, watch Slow Flowers Society on Facebook, Slow Flowers Society and Slow Flowers Summit on Instagram for live feeds coming to you from the Slow Flowers Summit, including a behind-the-scenes tour that I will lead on setup day, Sunday, June 28th.

Something really fun happened this past week as I traded places at the microphone and answered questions posed to me rather than being the person asking those questions. Our good friend Jennifer Jewell, producer and host of Cultivating Place, an award-winning public radio program and podcast, invited me to join her to discuss all things Slow Flowers. I’ll share the link to that episode in today’s show notes. You’ve heard Jennifer here as a past guest and you may already subscribe to Cultivating Place. If not, please check out her amazing, inclusive and expansive weekly radio program about plants, people, place and other conversations about natural history and the human urge to garden. Jennifer is coming to the Slow Flowers Summit as our capstone speaker on day two — and I’m so honored that she shared our story – your story – the story of Slow Flowers – on her terrific show.

Our 2021 Botanical Couture Collection for American Flowers Week 2021

As you know, in the buildup to American Flowers Week, June 28-July 4, there is much to celebrate. This Friday, you’re invited to join our Slow Flowers Member Virtual Meet-Up, June 11th at 9 am Pacific/Noon Eastern. The topic: Botanical Couture for American Flowers Week 2021 Collection. The guests? Several of the creatives responsible for this year’s expansive and flourishing fashion collection! Get a peek at the behind the scenes and hear from the creatives — Slow Flowers member farmers, designers and floral artists who rose to the open call for floral wearables. We have one-dozen looks in all this year — a feat of talent, ingenuity and inventiveness! Can’t wait for you to join us — all the details and the link to log in are available in today’s show notes. See you there!

Thank you to our Sponsors

This podcast is brought to you by, 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.

Farmgirl Flowers Banner

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, and providing competitive salaries and benefits to team members based in Watsonville, California and Miami, Florida. Discover more at

sponsor logo bar

For each Podcast episode this year, we thank three of our Major Sponsors., is a leading wholesale flower distributor that sources from carefully-selected growers to offer high-performing fresh flowers sent directly from the farm straight to you. You can shop by flower and by country of origin at Find flowers and foliage from California, Florida, Oregon and Washington by using the “Origin” selection tool in your search. It’s smarter sourcing. Learn more 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. Find the full catalog of flower seeds and bulbs at

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

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 734,000 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

Debra Prinzing

I’m Debra Prinzing, host and producer of the Slow Flowers Podcast. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow 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:

Flattered; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field