Born and raised in the Netherlands, I grew up with a passion for petals in rural Twente. My father, a concrete truck driver often used cement to “enhance” the yard but my mother, unperturbed never failed to find (or at times created!) a crack in that concrete to plant some of her many, many flowers, there was always a need for more blooms. Her enthusiastic flower sense inspired a passion in me that eventually received the focus it deserved when I trained with the Floral Design Institute and became a professional floral designer.
Ralf Waldo Emerson so aptly proclaimed that ‘the earth laughs in flowers’ and I’d always agreed, but soon after launching Petal Passion in 2005 did I realized that the flower industry was not making “the earth laugh”. aggressive growing practices and flowers that had traveled long distances, covered with chemicals, made me rethink the profession I had chosen.
Being an avid gardener, growing the flowers myself was a logical but not simple next step. However I felt strongly a greener option was essential, so I enrolled in an Organic Master Gardeners course to learn more about organic gardening. Soon I started planting more and more varieties of cut flowers and greens, but it was not long before I ran out of the space. Realizing that many areas in my neighborhood were either underused or neglected and an eyesore, I thought flowers could only make things better. My hands were itching, my seed-tray overflowing and my shovel idle..….
So I approached my neighbors with my somewhat audacious plan and to my delight, many offered their plants or spaces for me to grow more varieties of cut flowers.
Now, in addition to conventional options, Petal Passion offers fresh flower bouquets and arrangements that are sustainably grown in “harmony with nature and the neighborhood”. These “Audacious Bouquets” are available from April through September.
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My sister sent me the most beautiful get well bouquet. Such a happy memory!