This will be my last Regional Report and I want to thank everyone for giving me this opportunity, it’s been a pleasure to be on the Board. Traveling to board meetings was a nice change from the day to day grind of a challenging farm and isolation. I would encourage others to consider running for office, it’s a great way to get to know the organization.

I hope to see you all in Oklahoma, in addition I have great hopes of a very late season Regional Meeting here in the Southeast, so keep on the lookout for that information.

Weddings have become a big part of our business. I believe we would have regular jobs by now if it weren’t for weddings. This year we are offering bucketfuls of petals to our brides. Being the cheap farmers that we are, we quickly adapted to making the buckets up at the end of our Saturday market. Chopping up great unsold flowers is sad but it’s been a huge hit with brides after we posted photos on my blog http://shady-grove-gardens.blogspot.com/2010/07/lesley-and-peters-wedding-july-24th.html. We charge $30 per bucket and it includes mixed colors of petals and whole flowers. Most brides buy 4 buckets along with bouquets and arrangements.

Another outlet just developing is funeral and memorial services. ASCFG members are a great source during the growing season for more non-traditional flowers for the non-traditional service.

I’ve put together a few last bits of reference material and sites I like. I hope you will enjoy poring through the information during the winter as much as I do. These are sources for mostly flower arranging information.

For good, bad and out of fashion videos, try these sources:
l YouTube – most of these are home videos but some are from well-known gurus of the flower world.
l iTunes – free podcasts on gardening, some farming and flower arranging as well as apps. Check out the university section. Most everything is free or 99 cents.
l Netflix -Martha Stewart – young and old – videos live here. Some are boring details about tablecloths, but also lots of clips from the Martha show with floral designers. You’ll need a subscription. Lots of higher quality flower arranging how-to.
l Florists’ Review – one of the best florist magazines offers many free videos right on its website http://www.floristsreview.com/main/

Every wedding site has hundreds of photos of weddings. Here are some good ways to keep up with the magazines and the trends.
http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/
http://www.weddingwire.com/
http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-pictures.aspx
http://www.weddingmagazine.co.uk/galleries/1/flowers.html
l http://www.thebrideandbloom.com/

Photo sharing websites have hundreds of groups devoted to weddings of all types. I use www.flickr.com (a Yahoo product). You can develop contacts or join groups to follow new photo additions. Last year I started a group called ‘Real Weddings with Locally Grown Flowers’ http://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/ Anyone can join but we have mostly ASCFG members, and one florist that buys from our members. Check this out and add your photos to the current 265 items.

Many florists, event planners and photographers use blogs to promote their work. Try a Google search for blogs of interest to you. If you don’t have a blog to promote your business, now’s the time to start one – it’s easy. Try Google’s blogspot.com.
l http://www.sprout-flowers.com A florist with great topics.
l http://growingideas.johnnyseeds.com Farming and gardening.
l http://shady-grove-gardens.blogspot.com My blog with photos.

Check out these ASCFG member websites:
l http://www.starvalleyflowers.com/gallery2.html
l http://www.da-sh.com/index.aspx
l http://auntwillieswildflowers.com/
l http://www.floretflowers.com/
l http://www.cuttinggarden.com/weddings.html
l http://www.flowersbulbs.com/
l http://www.liliesandlavender.com/
l http://web.mac.com/theafolls/follsflowers/Welcome.html

Susan Wright

Shady Grove Gardens & Nursery [email protected]