Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the problems associated with flowers shipped from far away, from the long distances flowers must travel to the chemicals used to grow them and preserve them for shipping. It's really a no-brainer: the same issues apply to cut flowers that apply to our foods. Who wants all those chemicals?
It's still a challenge to find a bouquet that's both organic and local so you just have to do the best you can sometimes. (In our region, you can only find bouquets that are both locally-grown and organic from spring to fall.) But in any case, it's better than flowers shipped from far away and grown with chemicals.
I wrote about locally- and sustainably-grown flowers here two years ago. Since then, more florists are championing the benefits of flowers that have been grown in our region using fewer or no chemicals. The movement has been aided by the recent publication of several books celebrating the locally-grown, organic bouquet: Debra Prinzing's newest book, Slow Flowers and her previous book, The 50-Mile Bouquet and Valerie Easton's Petal and Twig, both of which provide inspiring and beautiful examples of how to grow, shop for and design captivating locally-grown and organic bouquets.
There are several organic cut flower growers nearby, in the Mosier and Hood River areas, but they don't use greenhouses, so only supply cut branches and flowers during the growing season. We do have a local, wholesale cut flower grower, Peterkort Flowers, supplying their wholesale-only flowers to the Portland Flower Market with roses, lilies, orchids and other flowers and greens year-round from their greenhouses. According to their website, they are "as close to organic as is humanly possible" - meaning, they aren't 100% organic but they are using IPM (Integrated Pest Management) and are about as local to us as you can get, in Hillsboro, OR. Remember, you cannot purchase from them directly unless you are a professional member of the Portland Flower Market, but you can ask for them at your favorite local florists. Support local growers who use fewer or no toxic chemicals by asking for locally-grown, sustainably-grown or organic cut flowers whenever you buy flowers!
Fieldwork Flowers: stop by during open hours, Thursday to Saturday 12-4 pm and pick out your flowers. You can order on-line or by phone. Delivery can be arranged. Address: 4807 SE Division St, Portland OR 97206 / Tel: 503-688-4557 or 503-719-1950
Flowers in Flight: stop by during open hours Monday to Thursday 10-5 or Friday 10-6 (Friday 3-6 is "Happy Hour for Flowers," when all flowers are half-price! You can also order on line or by calling. Delivery can be arranged. Address: 308 SW 1st Ave, Portland, OR 97204 / Tel: 503-274-7088.
Françoise Weeks: place your order by calling 503-236 5829. Delivery can be arranged.
Sammy's Flowers: you can visit either store Monday to Saturday 8 am to 8 pm and Sunday 9 am to 6 pm (Nob Hill store at 2280 NW Glisan / 503-222-9759 and Pearl District store at 1128 NW Lovejoy / 503-281-0310) or call to place your order. Delivery can be arranged.
You can also find locally- and sustainably-grown cut flowers at New Seasons Markets. Or just go to your favorite local florist and ask to see what magic they can make with local, seasonal or sustainably-grown flowers.