Holiday Open House at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

Holiday Open House at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market

The warehouse at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market was awash with holly, greens, and festive floral arrangements for its Holiday Open House this week.  Here are a few photos of some truly inspiring holiday decorations.  Please do try this at home with gleanings from your winter gardens, woods, and trails.

Wreath of densely packed succulents

Wreath of densely packed succulents

The moss softens the texture of this twiggy wreath from Oregon's Best Specialty Growers

The moss softens the texture of this twiggy wreath from Oregon’s Best Specialty Growers

Vintage Santa and holly from J Foss Garden Flowers

Vintage Santa and holly from J Foss Garden Flowers

More woodsy wreaths from Oregon's Best Specialty Growers

More woodsy wreaths from Oregon’s Best Specialty Growers

Garland from scabiosa pods, J Foss Garden Flowers

Garland from scabiosa pods, J Foss Garden Flowers

These potted succulents reminded me of a box of living ornaments

These potted succulents reminded me of a box of living ornaments

More vintage trimmings at J Foss Garden Flowers

More vintage trimmings at J Foss Garden Flowers

Orchids in a white bucket

Orchids in a white bucket

Books for sale -- The 50-Mile Bouquet

Books for sale — The 50-Mile Bouquet

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and twinkling lights

Seattle Wholesale Growers Market and colored lights

“I shall not be likely to go to town while the lilacs bloom.”
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Lilac bouquet

Lilac bouquet on the kitchen windowsill

Lilac

Have you ever noticed the thin purple edge on a lilac leaf?

The scent of lilacs is such an ephemeral gift.  The lilac bloom in Seattle is in its last days, and I just cut another fresh bouquet while I had the chance.

Here are some tips for cutting lilac bouquets from Gretchen Hoyt of Alm Hill Gardens, who was featured in The 50 Mile Bouquet:

  • “Harvest lilacs when most of the florets are open, perhaps with a few closed florets at the top of the bloom.  They never open past the stage when you pick them.”
  • “Using a sharp knife, ‘shave’ the cut stem as if you are shaving a pencil.  This exposes the under bark, which creates more area for water to be absorbed by the flower.”

Snowballs and callas displayed by Oregon Coastal Flowers inside the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market warehouse

Yesterday the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market celebrated its one-year anniversary with a festive party at their Georgetown warehouse.  It was a joyous occasion, full of color, supportive buyers and friends, fresh blooms, and good food.  Debra Prinzing and David E. Perry, author and photographer, were on hand to sign copies of their new book, The 50 Mile Bouquet.  (The New York Times recently wrote an interesting article about the book and the “buy local” flower movement.  You can link to it here.)

Starting June 1st, the market will open its doors to retail buyers on Fridays from 10 – 2 and will charge a $5 fee for this privilege.  I appreciated getting an invitation to the Anniversary Party, even though I am not a wholesaler or florist.  I am proud to know this group of local flower growers who are working so hard to promote sustainability and local markets in the flower industry.  Small is beautiful!

Here are some photos of the day:

Twig baskets on the loading dock, from Oregon Coastal Flowers

Bucket full of calla lilies, Oregon Coastal Flowers

I simply cannot resist including another photo of these gorgeous calla lilies.

Buyer selects individual blooms from the choice inventory of J Foss Garden Flowers.

Janet, owner of J Foss Garden Flowers

Janet writes up a sale.

Another buyer

Casual seating area

Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farm flanked by author Debra Prinzing and photographer David E. Perry with their book, The 50 Mile Bouquet

Debra Prinzing signing book

Debra Prinzing signing copies of her new book, The 50 Mile Bouquet

Photographer David E. Perry signing copies of his book, The 50 Mile Bouquet

The focus is on super fresh, seasonal flowers like these tulips.

Flower arranging demonstration

Flower arranging demonstration

Diane Szukovathy speaking passionately to local buyers and florists

Diane talking with her hands

Jello molds at the warehouse from Jello Mold Farm

Reflections in a mirror at the warehouse

Purchases on the loading dock

Diane Szukovathy, President of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market Cooperative