Episode 343: Florist Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas of Sacramento-based Flourish on her California-grown sourcing practices

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Episode 343: Florist Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas of Sacramento-based Flourish on her California-grown sourcing practices

This past week the American Horticultural Society announced that I am the 2018 recipient of a Great American Gardener Award , one of 12 such awards given this year. What’s really special is the specific award — named for Frances Jones Poetker , a floral designer, author and lecturer. First given in 1988, the award recognizes significant contributions to floral design in publications, on the platform, and to the public. Frances Jones Poetker, First Lady of Flowers Who is Frances Jones Poetker? I thought it important to meet her! Frances Jones Poetker was born on April 14, 1913 and grew up in Walnut Hills, Ohio. She later earned a degree in botany from Vassar College. She also attended the University of Cincinnati and received her master’s degree in plant ecology. Frances’s family owned Jones the Florist and operated floral shops in Ohio and Kentucky for more than a century. She was proud of her lineage, as her ancestors were originally named Jonaz, a floral dynasty dating to the early 1500s when they provided flowers to the courts of Holland. Frances was a remarkable woman, known as “First Lady of Flowers” in the floral industry, both locally in Ohio and internationally. She received numerous awards and recognitions over her lifetime for her achievements as a botanist and horticulturist. She wrote a book titled Receiving God’s Gifts: Flowers, Herbs, Grasses, Trees and Water; she co-authored a prize-winning ecological book, Wild Wealth, had a syndicated column called “Fun with Flowers,” and presented a nationally syndicated TV course on plant ecology. She also received an Olympic medal as co-chair of floral decorations at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics and was named to the Floriculture Hall of Fame in 1967, which is the industry’s highest honor. In addition, her antique posey-holder collection is displayed in a permanent position at the Smithsonian. She died in March 2008, a decade ago. Why am I so excited about receiving this recognition?! To me, the award legitimizes all of the efforts of the Slow Flowers Community as we work tirelessly to change the floral landscape in the U.S. I have no idea whether Frances Jones Poetker was a Slow Flowers kindred spirit, but I like to imagine that she was, if only because of the decades that her career encompassed. I have to think she was a Constance Spry type of florist, one who relied on local flower growers and greenhouses to stock her Cincinnati flower shop. At any rate, this is OUR award, for the entire Slow Flowers Community , and its existence moves what many consider a “fringe” movement to the mainstream where the consideration of seasonal, local and sustainable flowers is top of mind. It’s merely a piece of paper that I can frame, but I’m honored to accept it and share it with you. Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas, Flourish Okay, on to today’s guest. I am so pleased to introduce Shannon Cosgrove-Rivas of Sacramento-based Flourish . Shannon and I figured out that we met through Chapel […]