Seasonal, Local Bouquets
The idea of choosing locally sourced flowers may seem limiting because of seasonal restrictions, but for some, the benefits prevail.
For Eva Provenzale, owner of EcoFlora floral boutique, "local flowers" is defined within an area code. "By local, I mean 614-maybe 740," she says.
So why would anyone want to limit themselves to flowers grown only within the local area code? There are a few reasons, says Provenzale, including longevity and the ability to personally pick floral selections.
Gretel Adams, owner of Sunny Meadows Flowers Farm, agrees. "Something that shipped across the country or from South America-or wherever it's coming from-is out of water, in a box. So when a florist gets it, it may look OK and it may not and it may rehydrate and it may not," she says.
The possibility that flowers won't rehydrate means that a prepared florist must always over order a couple's floral supply. Local flowers, on the other hand, are not dried and therefore Columbus flower farms and florists are able to reduce waste. Bits and botanicals can also be salvaged from forest floors. Adams often forages foliage from nearby sites to incorporate with grapevines on arbors.
But along with reducing waste, vitality and fragrance are also more predictable from locally sourced flowers, as is the ability to hand-select particular blossoms. "One of the huge benefits to locally grown flowers is handpicking," says Provenzale. "I get to go out and go to the farms and choose exactly what I want. So, say I call and I say, 'Hey can you pull me some dahlias?' and I get there and they're the wrong color. Then, I can walk out and see what they have."
But good eco intentions and their qualitative benefits can come at a cost. Heather Waits, owner of Bloomtastic Florist, knows that the added cost and more limited selection of local blooms can be a turnoff for even eco-conscious couples and therefore, Waits focuses Bloomtastic's earth-friendly efforts on sustainability. "To me, the big thing is that the flower production is not harming the land, so that there's not the environmental impact, like the ozone disappearing," says Waits.
To helpkeep watch over the impact of orders, Waits often sources from Veriflora-certified international farms. The certification ensures that a respective farm conserves water, builds soil and looks after its employees.
But even local growers understand they can't be all things to all people. "We try to encourage brides to just use our flowers-which most of the time they're OK with that," says Adams. "But sometimes it's like, 'Grandma had a yellow rose, so I have to have a yellow rose in my bouquet.'"
A Sampling of Columbus Local Blooms by Season
- Oriental Lily
- Scented Geranium
- Orchids (grown in local greenhouses)