Jeanine Wardman, of Marlborough's cut flower farm Verve, is quite possibly New Zealand’s foremost proponent of the rising phenomenon of the “farmer-florist”. The farmer-florist concept was built on momentum around the "slow flowers” philosophy, and on concerns in the US about the ethics of the “food miles” travelled by imported cut flowers.
About to embark on its fourth commercial season, Verve is breaking new ground in New Zealand as a model for small, niche, yet diversified flower farming. They’ve well and truly learnt a few things along the way about a field-to-vase approach to cut flower growing and Jeanine’s workshop will showcase this knowledge in the language of ordinary gardeners and amateur flower arrangers alike.
It isn’t overly complicated to grow flowers for occasional picking in home gardens, but arranging flowers like the professionals do – with a lushness of novelty, interest and variety often only possible via a large commercial flower market – is more of a feat, and one Jeanine is keen to demystify. Growing an epic selection to pick from is easier to achieve in your own backyard than you might think.