Gardening with Gardner: American Flowers Week

Gardening with Gardner: American Flowers Week

Celebrating domestically grown flowers, American Flowers Week 2022 runs from June 28th through July 4th. It encourages participation from everyone — from flower seed and bulb producers to growers; from designers to retailers; from cutting garden enthusiasts to artists.

A bouquet with a red rose, white baby's breath, and blue bachelor buttons next to an American Flag
A garden-grown bouquet with a red rose, white baby's breath, and blue bachelor buttons.

Started in 2015 by journalist Debra Prinzing of Slow Flowers, American Flowers Week is a grassroots, social-media focused campaign to promote the benefits and values of domestic flowers. It focuses on outreach, education, and advocacy. If you search the tags on social media, you’ll find everything from beautiful bouquets to creative clothing!

American Flowers Week banner

Slow Flowers

Did you know that an average of 80% of the flowers sold in the United States are imported? The Slow Flowers movement parallels the ideas behind the Slow Food movement: supporting local producers, sustainability, and seasonal availability. Florists can emphasize in-season ingredients the same way a chef might.

Local Blooms

Tropical countries can grow roses in winter much more easily than we can in the northern hemisphere. While these industries are important to their local economies, flowers like these come with costs we often aren’t aware of: low wage jobs; high volumes of fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides; and a large carbon footprint. If you aren’t sure how and where the flowers you’re using as a salad or drink garnish were grown, there’s a chance they may have been treated with chemicals (pesticides help prevent insects from hitchhiking, which could cause import issues) and shipped many miles before you purchased them. When you compare a flower grown locally and cut fresh to one that was imported and shipped, you might be surprised that a bloom you thought was just colorful actually should have a wonderful fragrance, too (like a spicy carnation)!

Join the Celebration

How can you participate? It’s simple:

  • Take photos of your flowers — flowers and foliage that you grow, harvest, or design with.
  • Visit your local farmer’s market and pick up a bouquet of flowers grown just a few miles from your home and cut that morning. Meet a local grower who might be able to supply your wedding or event. 
  • Ask your local florist where they source their flowers from.
  • Look for a tag indicating that a grocery store bouquet was grown in the US.
  • Start your own cut flower garden!

Get out there and share local flowers! Enjoy the seasonal variety and the range of color and fragrance available from your local grower. Post the images to social media and use #americanflowersweek and #slowflowers and tag @myslowflowers.