s_IMG_1840To kick of the spring season, the Ethical Writers Coalition put together a trio of sustainable floral workshops. Held in the bright DUMBO studio of vintage jewelry retailer Mode Marteau on a Sunday, attendees had hands-on tutorials on arranging flowers, making flower crowns, and product design using salvaged sails to make wall planters. The event came together with the help of Slow Flowers, an online directory to help you find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers who are committed to using American grown flowers. This site is the creation of Debra Prinzing, a writer, speaker, outdoor living expert and advocate for American flower farming. She provided her two books, Slow Flowers: Four Seasons of Locally Grown Bouquets from the Garden, Meadow and Farm (St. Lynn's Press, 2013) and The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local and Sustainable Flowers (St. Lynn's Press, 2012) for a giveaway to our favorite Instagrammers of the day. It was an all-around perfect way to spend a drizzly Sunday – amongst flowers and friends.

Flower Crowns by La Vie Rosie

Flower Crowns Xristina of La Vie Rosie makes flower crowns and wreaths whose herbs and flowers can be dried and used again for sachets, teas, and other pretty little uses. Fresh living plants are incorporated into her designs so that they continue to root and grow over time. La Vie Rosie strives to use as many sustainable materials as possible so that her designs can live on! She gave us a tutorial on flower crown making, then let us loose on the flowers she brought.What struck me was how each woman, using the same selection of flowers, came up with completely different interpretations of flower crowns.
We made our flower crowns by making little bouquets and attaching them to the wire frame. Photo credit: Julia Pinter

We made our flower crowns by making little bouquets and attaching them to the wire frame. Photo credit: Julia Pinter

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Sachets to hold the dried chamomile, eucalyptus and lavender from the flower crowns. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Sachets to hold the dried chamomile, eucalyptus and lavender from the flower crowns after they wilted. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

In my finished flower crown. Photo credit: Julia Pinter

In my finished flower crown. Photo credit: Julia Pinter

   
Photo credit: Julia Pinter

Photo credit: Julia Pinter

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Xristina of La Vie Rosie suggests turning a tiny crown into an arm cuff.

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Xristina of La Vie Rosie

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Elizabeth Stilwell of The Note Passer

Elizabeth Stilwell of The Note Passer

Elizabeth Stilwell of The Note Passer

Elizabeth Stilwell of The Note Passer

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Slow Flowers by Debra Prinzing was a prize we gave to our favorite Instagrammer. Photo credit: Julia Pinter

Slow Flowers by Debra Prinzing was a prize we gave to our favorite Instagrammer. Photo credit: Julia Pinter

Emma of Past Fashion Future. Photo credit: Julia Pinter

Emma of Past Fashion Future. Photo credit: Julia Pinter

Photo credit: Julia Pinter

Photo credit: Julia Pinter

Planters by The Garden Apartment

The Garden Apartment is a collaboration between two product designers, Miriam Josi and Stella Lee Prowse. Based in New York and Paris, they make flat-packed planters from reclaimed sails. The showed us how to construct wall planters out of reclaimed sails, giving us a peek into the product design process.
Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Stella Lee Prowse of The Garden Apartment. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Stella Lee Prowse of The Garden Apartment. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Miriam Josie of The Garden Apartment. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Miriam Josi of The Garden Apartment. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Sustainable Flower Arranging

For the last workshop, Taproot Flowers and Molly Oliver Flowers, who both source local, in-season flowers, arrived bearing gorgeous bunches of in-season flowers, ready to teach attendees how to put them into spring arrangements. Attendees learned flower arranging tips and tricks, the importance of sustainable flowers, and how to best care for their arrangement. They covered topics like cutting stems, water temperature, sizing for containers, floral grids, and more. Participants left with their own gorgeous arrangement.  
Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Rachel Gordon of Taproot Flowers and Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Juliette Donatelli of Spades + siLK. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Juliette Donatelli of Spades + siLK. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Rachel Gordon of Taproot Flowers, and Molly Culver of MOlly Oliver Flowers. Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Deborah Greig of Molly Oliver Flowers, Rachel Gordon of Taproot Flowers (middle) and Molly Culver of Molly Oliver Flowers (right). Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell

Photo credit: Elizabeth Stilwell