The SustainableFlowers Project
a from soil to vase, 3 day workshop exploring sustainability in floristry
Becky Feasby of Prairie Girl Flowers
TJ McGrath of TJ McGrath Design
hosted annually at
Jardin de Buis, Pottersville New Jersey
A little about us
Becky is a passionate and outspoken proponent of sustainability in the floral industry. She has spent almost 25 years working as a landscape designer, ornamental horticulturist, horticultural therapist, florist, and flower grower. She is currently completing her Master's degree in Sustainability at Harvard University and is the Canadian Ambassador for the Sustainable Floristry Network and the Canadian representative for Slow Flowers.
TJ is a generous teacher and an intuitive designer who is passionate about increasing the awareness of the need for sustainability of the floral industry. With many years in event floristry, TJ has seen it all and focuses on teaching florists how to approach floral events with sustainability in mind. TJ's design work is deeply rooted in The Slow Flowers movement and he tirelessly advocates through lectures, workshops & the designs he creates, the environmental and economic benefits of supporting your local flower farming communities.
Becky Feasby, @prairiegirlflowers
TJ McGrath, @tjmcgrathdesign
Lets start with the why's?
1. Floristry needs to become environmentally friendly...the time is now, there is no time for baby steps, radical change is essential to the survival of our planet.
2. Why Jardin de Buis? Simple, Andrea Filippone and Eric T. Fleischer of F2 Environmental Design are restoration specialists in organic landscape management; comprehensive landscape design; landscape diagnosis & health management; soil science and so much more. Flowers grow in soil and if we understand how to care for our soil, we shouldn't need much to grow them. We feel pretty darn lucky to be able to host this workshop where they live, breath and manage their own property the same way they restore landscapes across the country-sustainably and organically.
3. Currently there are few options offering a comprehensive, from soil to vase look at sustainable floristry. Floral design institutions and educators need to explore every aspect of sustainability; the environmental and social justice issues have to be addressed if we are to move forward as a global industry. We offer this workshop because we (the industry as a whole) need it.
4. There are tools available that make it easy to remove floral foam from the equation. Floral foam has no redeeming properties, it's just bad for the environment. Thanks to an incredibly generous sponsorship from NEW AGE FLORAL we were able to share/teach a variety of sustainable options.
Next, the What? Really more like, What the Heck did we do!
2022 was the first SFP and we learned a great deal. There is much we've already put in motion to improve on for next year; but there is so much to celebrate from this the first The Sustainable Flowers Project.
Our instructors, Ingrid Carozzi Tin Can Studio - Lucy Hunter The Flower Hunter - Amber Tamm incredibly generously, shared their passion, experience, techniques and inspiration wildly beyond our expectations. Day one was all about soil. Andrea and T inspired, educated and made it all seem so easy (because it really isn't that hard once you understand the science of soil and growing). We really do have all we need and if we need to intervene on behalf of our beloved flowers and landscapes, we need to do it organically and regeneratively. The planet wants us to, she's actually screaming, (wild weather all over the globe!) pleading with us to be mindful and better care takers.
What we did, and I roughly quote because I heard it several times from so many different folks who attended, was create a program and an environment where folks could- feel comfortable; feel part of the process; be ok with where they are on their journey toward more sustainable practices in their business'; opened dialogues free of judgement; presented tools and new ways of thinking about how things could be done; inspired; laughed, and cried a little; exchanged ideas and empowered one and other. We achieved all of this and more because; our team of instructors left ego out of the equation and arrived with the same open minded-willingness to learn as our participants had and; because as far as I can tell, no-one has all of the answers; but our intention and goals were & are aligned...THE TIME FOR CHANGE IS NOW.