Debra Prinzing

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Episode 426: Ponderosa & Thyme’s Katie Davis; plus, our state focus: Tennessee

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019
Katie Davis of Ponderosa & Thyme (right) with one of her hand-tied, seasonal bouquets. Portrait of Katie (left): Ivy and Gold Photography

I’m delighted to introduce you to Katie Davis of Ponderosa & Thyme.

Katie and I first met in the spring of 2014 while attending a Little Flower School workshop at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens in Salem, Oregon. I was there to produce an article about the class for Country Gardens magazine and Katie, a hometown gal, was one of the many talented designers who attended.

Katie and I joined up about 3 years ago this month — at Mayesh Wholesale Florist in Portland.

A few years later, when Mayesh Wholesale Florist planned its Portland, Oregon-branch’s grand re-opening, Katie and I were invited to present design demonstrations at the party (above). It was such a thrill to share that experience with her — and it certainly gave me a new appreciation for Katie’s artistry and affinity for designing with color, texture and nature as her muse.

Ponderosa & Thyme joined Slow Flowers as a member in 2018 and I’ve been wanting to interview Katie and share her amazing story with you ever since. As I say in our conversation, it’s silly that Katie and I live in adjacent states and yet have waited this long to record this episode.

Let’s blame this lapse in part to our mutual busy travel schedules. Katie has been a nomadic floral design educator for the past several years and well, you know I’m always on the road myself.

Flowers and Fruit, designed by Katie Davis (c) Kim Branagan Photography

To be fair, though, she is not a nomad, but an artist whose desire is to develop and lead experiences and opportunities centered around creativity, authenticity, and personal growth. Floristry is the artistic medium Katie uses to facilitate these experiences.

Katie is known for nurturing supportive and inspiring learning environments that are immersive, intimate, beautiful, and warm. She values environments where people can be truly present and connect honestly with themselves and others, in their pursuit of artistic expression and a sustainable life. 

Left: Seasonal and foraged elements (c) Orange Photographie from a Ponderosa & Thyme Workshop; Right: Katie (c) Kim Branagan Photography

Katie Davis is an internationally acclaimed florist based in Salem, Oregon, the heart of the Willamette Valley. Since founding Ponderosa & Thyme in 2011, Katie has become known for her textural designs inspired by nature. Her floral designs use the most luxurious and beautiful flowers available while incorporating locally foraged, unique, and sensory plants into each arrangement. The result is a visually breathtaking experience.

An installation made in Portland, Oregon by Ponderosa & Thyme (c) Maria Lamb Photography; Model: Muse Management

Katie’s design aesthetic could be best described as playful, romantic, herb-y, and fragrant. In addition to creating florals for intimate weddings, Katie and her team host incredible workshops worldwide for florists and other creatives to explore the art of floral design. Ponderosa & Thyme continues to offer wedding and event services, specializing in intimate and heartfelt experiences.

With a heart for education, Katie has been teaching floral design since 2014, serving clients across the globe. Flowers are a language of their own, and while teaching in English, Katie is able to cross cultures with her thoughtful and emotional approach. Just as comfortable teaching the basics as she is pushing experienced professionals to expand their creative boundaries, Katie loves to help people grow, discover, and connect.‍

Left: Cool-toned and ephemeral florals by Katie Davis for a Ponderosa & Thyme photo shoot (c) Sierra Ashleigh Photography; Right: Katie Davis in her new Salem, Ore., workshop space (c) Ivy and Gold Photography

The PONDEROSA WORKSHOP RETREATS have taken Katie to Italy, Scotland, France, Australia and New York. She has also been invited to teach in Korea, Mexico and across the U.S.

With the advent of 2020, the Ponderosa Classroom in Salem, Oregon, is gearing up for a full series of workshops, including one-day and two-day intensive sessions that focus on specific skills, techniques and designs to facilitate artistic expression in floral design.

In our conversation, you’ll hear Katie discuss her decision in 2018 to lease a brick and mortar location in her beautiful hometown.‍ I’m thrilled to share our chat with you.

Find and follow Ponderosa & Thyme at these social places:

Ponderosa & Thyme on Facebook

Ponderosa & Thyme on Instagram

Ponderosa & Thyme on Pinterest

An installation made in Portland, Oregon by Ponderosa & Thyme (c) Maria Lamb Photography; Portrait, Sarah Pearson (left), Ponderosa & Thyme business manager; Katie Davis (right)

Thank you so much for joining my conversation today with Katie Davis of Ponderosa & Thyme. My heart is filled with admiration and affection for Katie and I’m delighted you joined us.

Be sure to check out the Ponderosa Classroom Online, a new project that Katie created as a response to requests for affordably-priced, in-depth online education, monthly Floral Meditations to inspire your creativity, recipes for arrangements, Information and online discussions on relevant business and creative topics, Access to music playlists, Access to full length IG Live Video Replays from @ponderosa_and_thyme, high-quality content accessible 24/7, connection and community with like-hearted flower friends– and more. Monthly memberships are just $9.99 USD per month, and annual memberships are only $99 USD per year — you can find more details here.

Flowers grown and designed by Laura Bigbee-Fott of White’s Creek Flower Farm (left) and Laura (right)

And today we are continuing our theme for 2019 – Fifty States of Slow Flowers – with Laura Bigbee-Fott of White’s Creek Flower Farm in White’s Creek, Tennessee.

Peonies at White’s Creek Flower Farm

Established on Earth Day in 2012, Whites Creek Flower Farm is an artisanal permaculture flower farm just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Whites Creek is a historic rural area;

What a generous and beautiful selection of Tennessee-grown blooms!

Laura’s flowers are lovingly grown and organically managed.

She grows many unusual varieties, specializing in an English country garden aesthetic.

Her bouquets are elegant and imbued with a sense of whimsy. And they are raised with a profound respect for the ecosystem of which they are a part.

Find and follow Laura at White’s Creek Flower Farm at these social places:

White’s Creek Flower Farm on Facebook

White’s Creek Flower Farm on Instagram

White’s Creek Flower Farm on Twitter

Thank you so much for joining me today! The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 537,000 times by listeners like you. Thank you for listening, commenting and sharing – it means so much.

In fact, for the month of October 2019, which we just wrapped up, more than 13,700 episodes of the Slow Flowers Podcast were downloaded – an all-time record!

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.


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 — the Buy One Gift One holiday promotion!

FarmersWeb. FarmersWeb software makes it simple for flower farms to streamline working with their buyers. By lessening the administrative load and increasing efficiency, FarmersWeb helps your farm save time, reduce errors, and work with more buyers overall. Learn more 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

Arctic Alaska Peonies, a cooperative of family farms in the heart of Alaska working together to grow and distribute fresh, stunning, high-quality peony varieties during the months of July and August – and even September. Arctic Alaska Peonies operates three pack houses supplying peonies throughout the United States and Canada. Visit them today 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:
Home Home at Last; Betty Dear; Gaenaby 
Blue Dot Sessions

Lovely by Tryad

In The Field Music from: