Debra Prinzing

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Episode 536: A Slow Flowers Reunion with Robin Hollow Farm’s Polly & Mike Hutchison and a tour of Robin Hollow Flowers, their new retail space

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Our episodes this month have included a series of studio tours with holiday decor demonstrations — and today you’ll be treated to another inspiring visit. I’m delighted to welcome Polly and Mike Hutchison, owners of Robin Hollow Farm in Saunderstown, Rhode Island.

Mike and Polly Hutchison
Mike and Polly Hutchison of Robn Hollow Farm and the NEW Robin Hollow Flowers retail store in Providence, Rhode Island

I first met Polly and Mike in 2012 when the annual Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers conference was held in Tacoma, close to me. I had donated a feature article to the auction for the ASCFG Foundation and Polly was one of the successful bidders. The following year in August 2013, I was on the east coast and invited myself to visit Robin Hollow Farm. I had literally just started the Slow Flowers Podcast the month before, and proposed that the three of us record a conversation for an episode. Polly and Mike were gracious hosts, as I not only stayed with them at Robin Hollow Farm, they also toured me around as they harvested and delivered flowers. It was a pivotal visit for me — and really influenced my understanding of what was possible for a viable enterprise based on local flower agriculture.

You can listen to that conversation in Part 2 of Episode 104 (Polly and Mike’s segment starts at 15:45). You’ll want to go back and listen to our earlier conversation, which will bring Polly and Mike’s inspiring story into further focus.

Robin Hollow Flowers
The new Robin Hollow Flowers storefront in Providence’s Farm Fresh retail destination

In what feels like a “where are they now?” segment, I connected virtually with Polly and Mike last week to celebrate their new retail venture. Robin Hollow Flowers is located in Providence, about 25 minutes away from the farm, but much closer to their subscribers and to their farmers’ markets.

bridal bouquets by Polly Hutchison
A delicious summer wedding palette — grown and designed by Robin Hollow Farm (c) Laura Klacik Photography

I asked them to give us a tour of Robin Hollow Flowers and discuss the evolution of their business. As a holiday bonus, Polly shares her design skills as she creates a signature wild and colorful holiday wreath — you’ll be sure to pick up some tips on a wide range of topics, from managing growth to building infrastructure to seeking funding from the USDA.

more flowers by Polly Hutchison
More beautiful floral designs by Polly Hutchison of Robin Hollow Farm

As Florist-Farmers, Robin Hollow Farm produces the majority of the flowers used in their designs. Robin Hollow Farm grows a wide range of gorgeous flowers in their fields and greenhouses, as well as a few special herbs and plants.

The studio at Robin Hollow Farm provides full-service floral design for all types of weddings and events. Known for using their flowers and sourcing domestic flowers when needed, Robin Hollow’s specialty is to listen carefully and create gorgeous arrangements that reflect the vision of their clients. “Our point of view is to focus on the flowers themselves, with an opulent, fresh style, whether the event is modern or romantic, large or small. We specialize in unusual and botanical design,” Polly says.  

wedding flowers by Robin Hollow Farm
Seasonal flowers for a local wedding, designed by Polly Hutchison of Robin Hollow Farm

You can find and follow Robin Hollow Farm at these social places:

Robin Hollow Farm on Facebook

Robin Hollow Farm on Instagram

Slow Flowers Summit 2022 – Early Bird Ticket Prices Expire Soon!

2022 Slow Flowers Summit logo

There’s just two more weeks to take advantage of the early-bird pricing for attending the Slow Flowers Summit — our fifth gathering, which takes place June 26-28, 2022.

You can find all the details at, and if you act now and register before the end of December, you’ll receive the lowest price ever — $749. Registration to the 3-day event includes breakfasts, lunches, refreshments and an opening day welcome cocktail party reception.

Here’s what a few of our past attendees shared about the Slow Flowers Summit:

The Slow Flowers Summit is such a well curated, unique experience filled with such meaningful and important conversations, ideas and connections. I plan to continue to attend each year!

I would definitely recommend attending the Slow Flower Summit, and joining the Slow Flower Society. The content is unbeatable and presentations amazing and inspirational…..always some practical take-away!

The 2021 Slow Flowers Summit was pure fuel for the creative mind—so encouraging to pursue more sustainable business practices, collaboration, and floral experimentation. the summit is a treasure trove and will continue to boost my work throughout the year.

Those are just a few of the wonderful raves we received for this past year’s event — and our 2022 venues and programming will be equally rave-worthy. We’d love you to join us! You can add the exclusive farm to table culinary experience of dinner at Blue Hill Restaurant to your Summit registration for an additional savings. You can find all the details at Slow Flowers Summit ( and we will share the links in today’s show notes.

Thank you to our Sponsors

This show 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. Discover more at

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

Thank you to Rooted Farmers. 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

Thank you to 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

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 795,000 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 and consider making a donation to sustain Slow Flowers’ ongoing advocacy, education and outreach activities. You can find the donate button in the column to the right 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. Next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more Slow Flowers on the table, one stem, one vase at a time. 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. You can learn more about Andrew’s work at

Music Credits:

Betty Dear (Piano Feature); Horizon Liner; Turning on the Lights; Gaena
by Blue Dot Sessions

by Tryad

In The Field

Lola Creative, A Floral Design Studio’s Innovative Business Model (Episode 168)

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Emily Ellen Anderson of Seattle's Lola Creative.

Emily Ellen Anderson of Seattle’s Lola Creative.

Today’s awesome podcast guest is Emily Ellen Anderson, a landscape architect and sculptor-turned floral and event designer.

Emily brings a fresh, remarkable, and out-of-the ordinary point of view to the work of her Seattle area-based studio, Lola Creative.


Sculptural (and eco-friendly) taxidermy by Lola Creative.


A Lola Creative Event Venue.


Emily Ellen Anderson LOVES Sticks!

Wowzer - a beautiful, edible centerpiece by Lola Creative.

Wowzer – a beautiful, edible centerpiece by Lola Creative.


A Kokedama Hanging Moss Chandelier by Lola Creative

Lola Creative
I’ve been on the road for the past two weeks. Speaking about and promoting the Slow Flowers Movement has taken me to Rhode Island, Colorado and New Mexico. In addition to racking up a lot of valuable airline points, I’m so thrilled that in each destination, I’ve connected with America’s flower farmers and the floral designers who value their unique, homegrown blooms, botanicals and foliage.

The Slow Flowers design workshop at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island - a fantastic burst of creativity.

The Slow Flowers design workshop at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island – a fantastic burst of creativity.

A huge bouquet of gratitude goes to Julie Christina, Kris Greene and Gail Read of Blithewold Mansion in Bristol, Rhode Island, for inviting me to speak at their fundraising luncheon – and to teach a hands-on floral workshop on the grounds of this illustrious American architectural treasure.


SLOW FLOWERS Podcast: Wildflowers and Field-Grown Bouquets (Episode 104)

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

This week’s podcast features two interviews that I recorded during an 11-day trip to many beautiful venues.It’s my summer vacation gift to you!

Miriam Goldberger

Here’s the smiling Miriam Goldberger, surrounded by a sea of golden coreopsis flowers.

I met up with Miriam Goldberger of Wildflower Farm, a fellow author whose forthcoming book Taming Wildflowers promises to educate and inspire those of us in the floral industry.

Confusion about the terms “wildflowers,” “native plants” and “indigineous plants” always raises a red flag for me. I’m never sure what’s okay to grow or harvest and I certainly do not want to pick endangered plant species. Miriam’s mission is to demystify those terms as she singles out 60 flowers and grasses that fall into these categories. These are plants that are adapted to North America and have been since the first Euopean settlers arrived. They can be easily grown from seed and find a home in your garden, flower farm and floral arrangements.


Taming Wildflowers cover

Taming Wildflowers will be published by St. Lynn’s Press in February 2014.

Here’s a little background about how Miriam and her husband Paul Jenkins started Wildflower Farm in 1988:

Founded in 1988, Wildflower Farm began as wholesale dried flower growers. In 1991, Wildflower Farm expanded to become a pick your own flower farm. This quickly attracted the attention of people in Southern Ontario, drawing thousands of people to the farm during the summer months.

Over the years, Miriam and Paul became increasingly interested in the low maintenance advantages of growing native wildflowers. Working with plants that required no watering, no fertilizing and minimal annual maintenance was very attractive. At that time there were very few sources for truly native wildflower seeds and the seeds that were available were very expensive and of dubious quality and origin. Seeing an opportunity, in 1997, Wildflower Farm expanded its focus and has since blossomed into becoming a leading native seed grower supplying hardy, native perennial seeds and site specific wildflower seed mixes to homeowners, landscape contractors, municipalities and corporations.

During this same time, what began as a simple walk in the forest planted a seed in the minds of Miriam and Paul, when they spotted clumps of a rich green grass growing in the deep shade of the northern woods. Perhaps, they thought, these emerald patches could be used as natural grass pathways for their wildflower meadows. Trial and error led to the development of the drought-tolerant, low maintenance turf grass Eco-Lawn™ from a blend of fine fescue grasses, a move which has changed the face of “lawnscaping” for homeowners and businesses across North America.

Wildflower varieties range from Yarrows (Achillea millefolium) and Alliums to Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum) and Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea). By the way, she mentioned Parthenium integrifolium, wild quinine — one of her favorite floral ingredients and I thought you’d like to see what it looks like.

Wild Quinine

Wildflower Farms’ super-cool annual “Wild Quinine” — an uncommon variety favored by Miriam Goldberger.

Miriam’s book, Taming Wilflowers: The Complete Wildflower Cutting Garden Guide, will be published by St. Lynn’s Press in February 2014. Its subtitle is: “From Seed to Vase – Growing, Gardening & Designing with Wildflowers.” You can pre-order her book at the Taming Wildflowers web site here. 

A few days after my conversation with Miriam, I traveled to Saunderstown, Rhode Island, to visit Polly and Mike Hutchison of Robin Hollow Farm. Polly and Mike specialize in flower growing and full-service wedding and event flowers through their floral studio. They fall into that unique category of “farmer-florist,” doing it all beautifully, with passion, artistry and professionalism.

RHF Sign

Robin Hollow Farm’s sign at the local farmers’ market stall, surrounded by fresh-picked flowers.

I spent a wonderful 24 hours with these talented flower farmers who welcomed me into their home, shared amazing local seafood with me (thanks Matunuck Oyster Bar!), toured me through their growing fields, let me tag along on flower deliveries and observe the design process. Before I left, we grabbed a few minutes to sit down and talk about their lives and work as organic growers for today’s podcast.  Here’s some background on Polly and Mike: 

At Robin Hollow Farm, a wide range of gorgeous flowers and plants are grown in the fields and greenhouses. Mike and Polly farm using sustainable and/or organic methods on about five acres in Saunderstown, RI, just minutes from Newport and Providence.

Our flowers are grown without chemical pesticides, for our health and yours. Our fields are maintained with our cultivating tractor, our hoes, and mulches for maximum organic effect. We use these flowers at farmers markets, in our events, and for arrangements. Robin Hollow Farm is a proud member of ASCFG , the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Polly is currently President of ASCFG.

Discover and enjoy some of my favorite images from my 24-hour visit with this creative and dynamic couple:

Mike with Tran

Mike Hutchison (left) chats with Tran. She’s a lettuce and greens grower who has been volunteering at Robin Hollow Farm to learn more about growing flowers.