Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'Field to Vase Flowers' Extend 'Farm-to-Table' Vibe for Entertertaining

Blue thistle provides an accent in a bouquet at
Pistil and Vine in Chicago.
               Photo by Bob Stefko for WSJ.

Kelly Legamaro, 46, needed a rosemary garnish for her prime rib roast. Rather than run out to the store, she plucked a sprig from the bouquet of orchids, herbs and pincushion-shaped protea that was standing in a vase on her kitchen counter.
"I had it in my flowers, so I took it out," says Ms. Legamaro, a Chicago homemaker and church volunteer, who makes a weekly fresh-flower stop at a local florist.
Rosemary, basil, dill, kale and artichokes are among the vegetal plants popping up in loose, hand-tied floral bouquets that dinner guests are giving as hostess gifts and brides are ordering as wedding centerpieces.
The arrangements share a seasonal farm-to-table aesthetic—or "field to vase," as it's known in the flower industry. They are idealized bouquets of local meadow blooms collected at a farmers market or farm share, including short-stemmed anemone, sweet pea, ranunculus, scabiosa, lisianthus and hyacinth. Along with edible elements, they create a fresh, strong-scented, untamed bouquet.
When doing her weekly grocery shopping online, marketing manager Florence Li, 29, bought a $30 bouquet from Silver Lake Farms, a Los Angeles micro farm that offers community-supported agriculture shares in cut flowers and edible crops. The flowers—a "really amazing bouquet," Ms. Li says—were delivered to her home in a plastic bag, and she took them out and placed them in a Mason jar. She didn't recognize many of them but says they gave her dining room a "bohemian, wild" look. The names didn't matter, Ms. Li says. "I chose not to investigate or look it up."

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