Kinzie Riehm Photography 

Kinzie Riehm Photography 

Farmer Florist Workshop

Swallowtail Farm

Alachua, Florida

Saturday May 19th - Sunday May 20th 9:30- 5:00pm

We are excited to open our farm for a collaborative hands-on flower farming and design workshop! Nestled in the rolling hills of North Central Florida, students will find inspiration from fields of seasonal flowers in peak bloom. Day one will focus on growing fundamentals, including soil fertility, variety sourcing and selection, harvesting, and post harvest handling. Day two students will learn about the principles of floral design and have the opportunity to design their own personal flowers and centerpiece. It’s sure to be a weekend full of hands on learning and creativity! Please join us on this inaugural intimate event and meet like-minded flower lovers from the surrounding area and beyond. All skill levels welcome.


Day One: Growing Fundamentals

Led by Mariana Riehm of Ladybug Blooms

The first day of the course, we will focus on all things growing, from soil preparation, seed sourcing and sowing, bed design, planting, weed management, harvesting, tools of the trade and favorite varieties.  In the morning we'll tour our propagation house, practice different seed starting techniques, and explain how we’ve evolved our practices over the years. We'll take a walking tour of the farm to examine our crop planning and succession sowing.  We’ll also cover irrigation, fertigation, and fertilization. Be prepared to get a little dirty during this stroll as we’ll fill buckets and take snips to the field to harvest blooms together! You’ll learn the how to identify the proper stages of harvest, efficiency of movement, and post harvest handling. In the afternoon we'll dive into variety selection, and how to develop a plan for a well-rounded selection of flowers throughout the season. We'll explain how our small business has developed strategies to wear the many hats of a farmer florist and balance successful management of production, sales, marketing, communication, and design work.

About Mariana:

Mariana began farming in 2008 after studying Anthropology and Organic Crop Production at the University of Florida. She was fortunate to find a mentor in Rose Koenig, of Rosie’s Organic Farm where she learned to manage a 10-acre certified organic vegetable, herb, and flower farm and 100 member Community Supported Agriculture operation. In 2013 she joined the team at Swallowtail where she founded Ladybug Blooms, the Floral Design Studio at the farm. She now manages all things floral on the farm including crop planning, wedding and event design, market bouquets, and CSA bouquet subscriptions. Her passion for flowers is infectious and her desire to continue learning about them is insatiable.

Day Two: Principles of Floral Design

Led by Amy Armstrong of Conservatorie Floral

Our second day together will begin at 9:30 as we wander the fields and make some choice selections to add to the flowers you’ll be designing with throughout the day. We’ll cover the principles of floral design as we tackle each arrangement beginning with personal flowers. Each student will have the opportunity to make a bangle wrist corsage, a head wreath, a boutonnière, and a hand tied bouquet. The later afternoon will be spent constructing a centerpiece using a ceramic urn made locally by ceramic artist Bridget Fairbanks. The vessel is yours to take home at the end of the workshop. The main goal of the workshop as a whole is for a hands on in depth experience with plenty of one on one time. You can expect each arrangement we make together to be demonstrated at the beginning of each segment. You will then be let loose with the tools and flowers needed to make your own creative version. Feel free to bring your own clippers, or knives, however we will have a few handy if you need to borrow some.

About Amy:

Amy Armstrong has been a floral designer for the past 10 years. After receiving a degree in marketing she decided to embrace the life long passion she had with flowers by obtaining a floral design certificate from the South Florida School of Floral Design. She worked in several florists learning the laws of the land and all sorts of techniques before branching out on her own. She owned her own wedding and event business for about 8 years collectively. In that time, she recognized her passion for sustainability in the industry and now owns and operates her own small farm in Saint Augustine called Conservatorie Floral. Her Father, Danny plays a big role in her floral passion as he has quizzed her on the names of plants from a young age and laid the foundation for her love of gardening by teaching her how to use a shovel, plant seeds, and roll up a hose when she was young. He has joined her on the farm as they start growing flowers for the first time together this season.  

$700 per person

Interested in setting up a payment plan? Just email us!

This workshop is an immersive experience and we're so excited to grow and share with you! We highly encourage attendees to stay locally and hang with us! Our farm is open throughout the two day workshop to engage in conversation, partake in farm chores, and explore the farm at your own pace. Camping IS an available option for free and is totally encouraged. Feel free to pitch a tent and join us at the bonfire! We have a 7 student minimum to host this class.


Cancelation: All class registrations are non-refundable. Workshop will be held rain or shine. 

Materials: All materials, supplies, and clippers included. Florals will be sourced predominantly from Swallowtail Farm, The Conservatory Gardens, and foraged foliage and blooms as well as some of our other favorite local flower farms.  

Food: Farm to Table lunches provided by Fables Catering & Such each day. All refreshments included. 

Lodging: Attendees are responsible for their own lodging. List of recommended hotels/accommodations available upon request. Camping IS an available option for free and is totally encouraged. Feel free to pitch a tent and join us at the bonfire! 

What to bring: Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle, light weight long sleeve shirt, sunscreen, and gloves if desired for sun protection during harvesting & time spent in the field. Closed toed shoes are recommended for field walks as we do have some fire ants on the farm. If you have a favorite pair of clippers, feel free to bring them too!