At the centre of the Slow Flowers movement is the notion that faster is not better. Borrowing from the tenets that have formed the Slow Movement – which started in 1986 as a backlash against a McDonald’s opening near the Spanish Steps in Rome – Slow Flowers emphasizes the value of local, seasonal and sustainably grown flowers. More than this, though, Slow Flowers welcomes a return to growing flowers and connecting contemporary consumers with the source of their flowers. Putting a face to flower growers, farmers and designers helps to shape the cultural shift that is starting to slowly capture the floral industry, where attention to sustainability and seasonality is (thankfully) becoming more widespread.
This return to connection is indeed the driving force behind Slow Flowers. A connection to the who, what and where of our everyday lives. Who is behind what we consume and enjoy? What do they grow or produce for us? And where do these products come from? Rather than demanding that our flowers transcend seasonality so that anything we want can be available anytime we want it, consumers are – slowly – starting to reconnect with the seasons and prize what is available during different times of the year. The emergence of tulips in spring signals the start of the growing season; the budding of lilacs tells us that summer is on its way; and the turning of leaves in autumn lets us know that change is in the air (all of this is true for me – in my Zone 4 garden in Calgary, Alberta).
Debra Prinzing is the fairy godmother of all things slow when it comes to flowers. She founded Slow Flowers in 2014 and helped establish a place for flowers in the broader Slow community. She has spearheaded the cultural revolution that is encouraging us to do things as well as possible, rather than as fast as possible. To reclaim the value of growing flowers and enjoying them when they bloom for us. By choosing to purchase flower that are grown locally and sustainably, we are also able to enjoy the added benefit of flowers that are grown without the use of unnecessary chemical and pesticides. By choosing Slow Flowers, we can tread more lightly on this precious Earth.
Prairie girl flowers is founded on the principles of Slow Flowers: to do things as well as possible, rather than as fast as possible; to care about where our flowers come from and who grows them; to work hard to embrace the seasons here in chilly Canada; and to preserve the environmental integrity of floristry. Flowers are a beautiful part of our lives. They elicit joy in those who receive them. They are an integral part of the most intimate ceremonies of our lives – providing decoration and solace from birth to death. And they provide a connectivity to the seasons wherever we live. As such, I choose to complete all our floral arrangements using only Canadian grown flowers and without the use of floral foam. I choose to grow many of my flowers myself and rely on as many local growers as possible. And I choose to embrace the seasons.
For more information on Slow Flowers:
Prinzing, Debra. 2012. “The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers” St. Lynn’s Press.
Prinzing, Debra. 2013. “Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow and Farm”. St. Lynn’s Press.
Benzakein, Erin. 2017. “Floret Farm's Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest, and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms”. Chronicle Books.
Byczyndki, Lynn. 2008. “The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower's Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers, 2nd Edition”. Chelsea Green Publishing.