Holiday Spirit Grows At Flower Blossom Farm’s Wreath Parties
By Lisa Green
“I eat, sleep and breathe flowers,” says Kim Thomas, flitting around her studio like a bee pollinating blossoms. “But I’m not a florist. I’m a flower farmer who does custom designs.”
Not just custom, though. The chief flower fairy at Flower Blossom Farm in Ghent, New York, who has more energy than the sun, wants to share what joy flowers bring with the community. Which is why she started her wreath-making (and other décor) parties last year. You’re invited to join in the floral festivities this holiday season.
But first, a little background, because Thomas doesn’t just grow a few roses and tie them with twine. She and her husband, Karl Thomas, a landscape designer, worked by day at Karl’s business, Ghent Landscape, but lived on former dairy farmland that was waiting to be cultivated. Five years ago, the couple began to grow Asiatic lilies for their landscape clients, and a year later began to sell lilies at the end of their driveway. Every year, they added to their planting beds. Two years ago, with ever more flower varieties on hand, Kim started her wedding business. Now she farms 87 varieties of annuals, quadrupling her flower output within the five years.
Floral Blossom Farm is bustling, offering everything from full-service design to “buckets of blooms” for those who want to walk the fields and choose their flowers. Thomas juggles a thriving wedding and event business. She decorates homes and exteriors for the holidays — Al Roker and Deborah Roberts are clients — and in the summer runs a flower CSA. She’s planning to add even more varieties this spring, and if you’re a bride with a specific flower request, she’ll plant it for you if there’s enough time. (See: energy, amount of.)
But for someone who practically proselytizes flowers, it’s really much more fun for her to have those parties, whether they’re bridal groups DYI-ing it for a wedding or private groups that just want to have fun with floral arranging.
“A lot of my repeat customers come for the food,” Thomas admits. Along with the greenery, ribbons, wire, baubles and glue gun (all supplied, with much of the natural elements foraged from the farm), she brings in holiday nibbles and beverages from local caterers and bakers. It’s a community thing, she says, which extends to her mission to procure anything she can’t grow herself (like flowers in the winter) from other local businesses.
The community aspect is also palpable at the parties. Guests gather around the long tables in her aromatic studio (transformed from a barn to a spacious, custom workshop and showroom by her husband) as Thomas confers with each participant, offering instruction and ideas. By the end of the evening, it’s a festive show-and-tell session, and all the wreaths (and decorated boxwood topiaries or holiday centerpieces, for which there are separate parties), are beautiful because, says Thomas, it’s whatever makes you happy. “Flowers are happy!” she practically sings.
The parties are just $65 per person, and Kim opens up the “shop,” offering a ten-percent discount on ready-made wreaths, boxwood trees, centerpieces, mailbox covers, swags, kissing balls and chocolate gift baskets (chocolate courtesy of The Chocolate Moose in Chatham). For hostess gifts, she suggests. Or trimming for your tree and fireplace mantel.
Ribbons ready for wreaths.
Speaking of festive accessorizing, what does the master floral artist do for her own holiday decor in the couple’s farmhouse a stone’s throw from the studio?
“Oh, I don’t have time to decorate,” she says. “I’m a wreathmaker with no wreath.”
Holiday wreath, boxwood and centerpiece workshop parties at Flower Blossom Farm
See website for dates and to reserve a space.
967 County Rt. 9, Ghent, NY