• Image of 2017 ~ the farmer florist: masters workshop

the art of growing & sustaining an AmericanGrown flower farm
Gainesville, Virginia

August 9th & 10th
9am - 5pm
, minimum 8 attendees

ENTER "LVSWORKSHOP100" for $100 OFF ~ expires 12/31/16

ENTER "LVSTEAM100" for $100 OFF two or more registrations

Well over a decade in the making. this workshop examines what it takes to build a successful flower farm & farmer florist business. Nestled within the stunning LynnVale Studios & farm, students will draw inspiration from acres of seasonal blooms amongst the picturesque landscape of Andrea & Lou Gagnon's 8th generation family owned farm.

At LynnVale our success has been the ability to recognize, to respond to and in some cases to drive industry trends to help cultivate a balanced and profitable business model. This workshop is designed to provide students with an in-depth, hands-on design experience coupled with an intensive & introspective look into the philosophies and practical strategies of growing "big" as a farmer florist.

Andrea & Lou Gagnon started their flower farm and art studio in 2002 by growing & selling primarily at local markets. With a professional design education as an architect Andrea expanded her artistry into wedding florals and as the demand for her flowers grew, she began serving a curated list of the country’s top designers. A leader in the American Grown Flowers movement, Andrea has also served as Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and Treasurer of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and has lectured on cut flower growing on a local, regional and national level.

Designed with new, aspiring & evolving farmer florists in mind - this workshop offers students the opportunity to explore the many paths toward growing a successful farmer florist farm & studio.

in the studio
Wednesday, 9apm - 5pm

We’re excited to announce that Andrea will be partnering again with long-time designer and client, celebrated chef, former restaurant owner and author, Sidra Forman. Recognized as one of Martha Stewart’s Top designers, Sidra brings a wealth of expertise in creating gorgeous florals as well as designing & sustaining a diverse business model that hinges on seasonality. Sidra’s DC based flower studio is part sophisticated home restaurant, part urban garden where flowers, fruits and herbs compete for space within an always peaceful artistic oasis. Students will delight, as well, in Sidra's culinary artistry as she and her talented team provide delicious farm-to-table fare each day.

In this studio intensive day, Andrea & Sidra, will guide students through hands-on design sessions {luscious bridal bouquets, exquisite boutonnieres & corsages, lush centerpieces} and expert demonstrations {gorgeous garlands, large scale work/urns & the mechanics & designs of large structures}, while sharing their design philosophies, practical tips & techniques.

We’ll expand our “studio” into the field as we guide students on a tour of LynnVale farm, reflecting on the unique qualities & challenges of successful designer/flower farmer relationships and the amazing opportunities and freedoms when you grow with designers in mind.

growing concerns
thursday, 9am - 5pm*

Running a diverse flower farm requires a farmer florist to wear many hats. Once successful, it is virtually impossible for any one person to “do it all.” As your business grows, so too will your need to improve efficiency in every aspect of your operation. Andrea will share our systems and strategies for successful communication with our designer clients, discerning brides, contractors and within our own team. Expect to take home copies of our floral contracts, availability lists and demos of current favorite programs, services &/or apps that make chaos more manageable and keep you out of the office and in the studio & field.

No matter the size of your farm, understanding the most efficient & profitable use of your land is a weeklong workshop in itself. For us, this means continuously evaluating and re-evaluating our crop selection from year to year. Less a primer on “how” to grow any particular flower, we’ll share our expertise and systems for choosing “what” to grow, “how much” & “why.”

What crops we would invest in if we had to do it all over again?

How do we choose what to invest in now?

What are our goals for the future?

How do we “flower on” during the off-season?

We will share over a decade of observations, successes and failures in an effort to help students determine their own list of “right” questions to ask as they develop personalized plans for success.

*We invite ALL interested students to arrive early on Thursday (from 7am on) to observe, participate in our daily harvest and/or explore our farm at their own pace.

~ NEW for 2017~
“How Art Works: Understanding Color”

thursday, one hour session, timing TBD.

Few elements of design are as influential & integral to our success as farmer florists than “color”. We spend days defining & refining color palettes with our brides, hours coordinating orders to match our designer’s needs, weeks & weeks of research and development coordinating & forecasting color “trends” for our retail markets.

In this session, artist Lou Gagnon, of How Art Works, will lead us through a series of empirical exercises that will clarify the misconceptions and fill in the voids surrounding color theory. You’ve "seen" all your life. After this you’ll see what you’ve been missing.

As a professional artist, art educator, architect, and former Disney Imagineer, Lou has received regional, national and international awards for architecture, entertainment design and fine art.

collaboration & exploration
thursday, 3pm - 5pm

Our overall goal for this workshop is for each attendee to receive personal attention and ultimately enjoy an immersive, explorative and challenging experience. During this student-directed “open studio” session, each student will have the opportunity to design, independently or collaboratively, to delve deeper into any design, process, or farming related conundrums with expert guidance from Andrea & her LynnVale Design team.

NOTE: all class registrations are non-refundable, workshop will be held rain or shine, students wishing to transfer their registration accept full responsibility for any/all arrangements to do so.

All floral materials, supplies, clippers, refreshments & lunches both days included. Floral material will consist of LynnVale grown &/or foraged foliage and blooms along with select flowers from some of our favorite local, regional and national American flower farms.

Students are responsible for their own lodging. List of recommended hotels/ accommodations available on request.

Photos: LynnVale Studios, bouquet featured above top right by Katie Smaglinski of The Rustic Bunch, bouquet detail second from top by Elizabeth of Bluegreen Gardens