Debra Prinzing

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Episode 584: Farmer-florist Dee Hall of Mermaid City Flower Farm and founder of Black Flower Farmers

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

I’m so thrilled today to share my recent conversation with Dee Hall. Dee is the owner and creative energy who operates a specialty cut flower and urban micro farm in Norfolk, Virginia, named Mermaid City Flowers.

Dee Hall in her garden
All photography (c) Sarah Bartley of Lumiere Creative Co.

She is featured in Black Flora by Teresa J. Speight, published by BLOOM Imprint earlier this year. Dee is quoted in the opening lines of the book, saying,

“I wanted people to know my business is rooted in joy. I wanted to take something I love and share it. Flowers are beautiful but also serve such a practical environmental function. I feel lucky to be a steward of the garden.”

Dee Hall, Mermaid City Flowers
Dee Hall with flowers

Dee follows sustainable, regenerative growing practices and has a special interest in native perennials. Her floral enterprise grows blooms for local customers, mostly sold through CSA subscribers and as everyday arrangements for local delivery.

Dee Hall cutting garden

Dee is collaborative and community-minded, having founded two important floral groups, The Tidewater Flower Collective, an organization providing continuing farming education, farm visits, and efforts to connect consumers with the source of their flowers, and Black Flower Farmers, an online virtual community of Black specialty cut flower farmers, found on Instagram and through the website

dee's porch

Lucky for me, Dee traveled from Virginia to Washington State last month to attend and design the flowers for a friend’s wedding here). She had time to swing by the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden on her way out of town, so we enjoyed lunch together inside my greenhouse, followed by a conversation we recorded for you. I so admire the leadership, gifts and talents that Dee brings to our Slow Flowers community, and I hope you get to know her! 

Find Mermaid City Flowers at these social places.

Mermaid City Flowers on Instagram

This Week’s News

2023 Member Survey

We’ve lots of fun announcements and opportunities to share this week:

First, the Slow Flowers Annual Member Survey opened on November 1st and continues through December 2nd — and we’d love for you to take a few moments to answer our questions. Your name will be entered into a drawing for 2 great thank you gifts:
(1) complimentary premium level membership for one year, valued at $249; and
(1) complimentary 2023 Slow Flowers Summit registration, valued at approximately $750. Those dates are June 25-26, 2023 and they will be held in Seattle. As I mentioned, to be included in the drawing, you must complete the survey by December 2nd and share your name and contact information with us.

Slow Flowers Journal Fall 2022

Next, hot off the press, have you seen our newest edition of Slow Flowers Journal? The digital quarterly is gorgeous and packed with inspiring and informative stories, essays, floral design, and creative resources. Slow Flowers Journal is a GardenComm gold award-winning publication and the subscription is free for Slow Flowers Members.

We’re sharing free access only to the Fall 2022 issue and you can find the link below. Starting in 2023, nonmembers will be asked to subscribe, so check it out and enjoy!

Thanks 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 CalFlowers, the leading floral trade association in California, providing valuable transportation and other benefits to flower growers and the entire floral supply chain in California and 48 other states. The Association is a leader in bringing fresh cut flowers to the U.S. market and in promoting the benefits of flowers to new generations of American consumers. Learn more at

Thank you to 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   

Thank you to the 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

Slow Flowers Podcast Logo with flowers, recorder and mic

Thanks so much for joining us today! The Slow Flowers Podcast is a member-supported endeavor, downloaded more than 900,000 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. 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:

Yarrow and Root; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field