Field + Floral Design has become my refuge, my passion, and my outlet. It started out little more than a dream that turned into a spark, and now a bud that is about to erupt into a beautiful, bold, sweet mess! Honestly, I never thought I’d actually bite the bullet and start my own business, but here we go. Funny how life can carry you along towards something and you don’t even have a clue.
My name is Shawna Rude, I’ve been creating with flowers for 16 years now and I’m so grateful for all those years! They’ve built me up, and helped me understand what I feel/know is important for the floral industry to start working on and what I can do differently. My friends, this industry is so incredibly wasteful. It’s such a shame. I’m learning to take responsibility for my creations. Are they sustainable? Reusable? Am I using products that will harm the earth that I love so much, that I’m in awe of everyday? Floral design experience, check! Flower farming….? It’s a work in progress!
What practices have I taken on to lower my impact? Well, let me tell you! Here’s some things that I have given up since owning my own business where I’m able to make the decisions. I refuse to use floral foam, believe me, it’s scary stuff. The animals in the ocean would agree with me. When I wrap my bouquets I do not use plastic, I use Kraft paper, yay! I do not use floral preservatives, although I do have my own techniques to help the flowers last longer, ask me if you’d like! I do not use an overhead sprinkler to water the flowers, I have invested in drip line irrigation. This helps a lot, time wise and we use less water that way! I do not buy dyed flowers. I mean I don’t even understand it, why mess with a good thing? I buy naturally hand dyed, locally made ribbon for that extra little treat for the bride/groom. There’s really nothing like it! Better than ribbons that are made with acetate and petroleum. I buy most of my seeds/tubers/bulbs from local sources which means less fuel needed, also yay! I could really go on and on and on and on. But really, I encourage you to do your own digging on how something so natural and pure has become a tainted, GMO, pesticide laden disaster. I’m not jaded at all…
This is my second year growing flowers now, and I’m slowly getting the feel for this farming thing. I’m trying many new flowers, and even different vegetables that are a fun addition to a bouquet. It’s really something else, being there for the whole process, choosing the seeds to arranging the flowers! I really have my hand in everything I do, and the joy I get when I see my customers faces when I hand them their flowers! So much love goes into everything I do.
The seasons are so much more in focus to me now. I remember a time when seasons were measured with what was happening in my high school, but now it’s measured in the seasons of different flowers. Like right now, blossoming branches, daffodils, soon to be tulips, it’s Spring! I can find beauty in each season, yes even Winter! Dried ferns and thistles, evergreens and hellebores! Foraging is a delightful walk in the forest, taking a little here, a little there being careful to not take too much. Finding little treasures I can add to a wreath, it’s all very magical.
I’m pretty impressed with my family, how supportive they are with all my craziness. I have a 4 and 7 year old that I’d like to say help me out in the farm, but alas, they mainly just dig holes where I DON’T need them, ha! We homeschool them and it’s pretty great, they are natural learners! So, designing, farming, homeschooling, hiking, foraging, and good food is really what our lives look like right now. It’s a wild adventure and we are loving it.
If you’ve read all of this, WOW, well done. And I hope to do business with you real soon.