Why Local Flowers?

One of the questions I’ve been asked in my first season as a commercial cut flower grower is, “What’s the difference between your flowers and those I can buy at the grocery store?” or “Why is buying local flowers important?” I know it can seem like these flowers are the same, but several key differences are worth noting. So in this week’s blog post, I thought I would share some of these differences and why I am so passionate about the local flower movement.

A Bucket of Freshly Harvested Specialty Cut Flowers

Before becoming an avid gardener, I wasn’t even aware of a local flower movement. And I certainly didn’t know the story behind internationally versus domestically grown flowers. It wasn’t until I joined a local farm’s vegetable CSA that included u-pick flowers that I noticed a difference between the fresh flowers I was picking at the farm and those I bought at the grocery store. After doing some further research and learning more about the topic, I became increasingly passionate about local flowers, and here’s why:

There Are Differences between Internationally versus Domestically Grown Flowers

Fresh is Best: The fresher the flower, the longer it will last. Imported flowers are typically cut a week or more before they make it into your hands. Over that time, the quality of the flowers and their vase life declines. Surprisingly, almost 80 percent of flowers sold in the United States and Canada are not grown in North America. So when you purchase your flowers from a local farmer, you know they will be fresh and harvested at their peak for the best vase life.

The Fresher the Flower, the Longer It Will Last

Unique and Seasonal Blooms: Flower farmers are passionate about their plants, and they grow a diverse range of flowers, stems, and foliage. Buying from a local grower will expose you to varieties you will not find elsewhere. Many commodity-type flowers are bred to fit in a box for shipping, limiting the types to those that match the shipping criteria. Without shipping concerns, local growers can grow a large variety of blooms with unlimited colors, forms, and scents. Local flowers are also seasonal, so not only will you get a sense of what types are growing in your locale at the time, but you’ll also get fresh, healthy flowers growing at the time they should be.

Flower Farmers Grow a Diverse Range of Flowers That You Will Not Find Elsewhere Due to Shipping Criteria
Specialty Cut Tulips That Are Grown and Sold Locally
Local Flowers Are Seasonal

Supporting the Local Wildlife: Flower farmers, especially those that utilize sustainable practices, support the local wildlife by providing a diverse habitat. Bees, other pollinators, and a range of insects and birds are all supported by these farms. These creatures are a vital part of our ecosystem as they pollinate the food we eat and help sustain us.

A Monarch Caterpillar Grazes on Butterfly Weed on Our Farm
Flower Farms Provide Habitat for Pollinators Such as Bees
A Wide Range of Insects, Birds, and Butterflies Are Supported by the Plants Grown on Flower Farms

Supporting the Local Economy: We all know that shopping locally is best. When you are shopping for flowers, it should be no different. In addition, buying local helps support jobs for fellow community members and puts money back into your local economy.

Buying Local Puts Money Back into Your Local Economy

Making a Connection: Buying local flowers offers a connection to your community, your farmer, and their flowers. Building those relationships can be very rewarding. By getting to know your local farmers, you can also choose to support those that align with your preferences. For example, choose a farm that uses sustainable practices if you care whether your flowers are pesticide-free or if sustainably grown flowers are important to you. In addition, when you purchase flowers from a local grower, you know where your flowers came from and how they were grown. You typically can’t say that for a grocery store bouquet.

Buying Local Flowers Offers a Connection to Your Community, Your Farmer, and Their Flowers

So, to recap why I feel so strongly about the local flower movement, let me leave you with these thoughts. First, when you buy local flowers, you know they will be fresh, seasonal, and harvested at their peak for the best vase life. The fresher the flower, the longer it lasts. You’ll also know where the flowers came from and how they were grown. Buying local is better for the environment as the flowers are grown near you instead of flying from around the world, creating a smaller carbon footprint. Supporting local flower farms also helps the pollinator populations in your area. Finally, when you buy a bouquet from a local flower farmer, you’ll help a business in your community and create a connection with your farmer and their flowers.

Support the Local Flower Movement!

It’s now easier than ever to find and support your local farmers. Small, local U.S. flower farms are popping up all over the country daily. With so many reasons to buy locally, why not give it a try? And who knows? Perhaps you, too, will become passionate about local flowers.

8 Replies to “Why Local Flowers?”

  1. I am passionate about restoring the native flowers and shrubs and trees that pollinators of all sorts need—to feed the birds, to grow our food, to support other insects to keep the cycle going—and lovely flowers support the soul. They are all just stunning, Dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree, Linda. Natives are so important and flowers do support the soul; well said. Thank you for your kind words and for your passion to restore natives and support the pollinators.


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