On the road with Foxglove Floral Designs {Destination Meadowburn Farms, Vernon, NJ}

I always enjoy collaborating with the ladies behind Foxglove Floral Design Studio in Brooklyn. Besides the fact that Jessica and Justine are sweet and fun and extremely talented with flowers, they strive to work with local farmers and native blooms. I admire their commitment to sustainability. It is this same commitment that brought them together with Debra Prinzing. Ms. Prinzing has begun a Slow Flowers Movement (read more about it here), aiming to bring together florists and American flower growers. Through this campaign, Jessica and Justine were put in touch with Quill Teal-Sullivan, head gardener for Meadowburn Farms in Vernon, New Jersey. They planned a visit to Meadowburn and asked if I’d like to accompany them to document the excursion and learn more. And thus the nature of our road trip…

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Justine reads us a bit of history of Meadowburn on the drive – It’s a historic estate and diary farm, formerly the country home of Helena Rutherfurd Ely, a pioneering figure in American horticulture. In her day, Ely was considered one of the premier garden experts in America and her gardens at Meadowburn were recognized among the finest in the country. Under the current ownership of the Coster Family, the design of Ely’s gardens has remained unchanged as they saw value in preserving the gardens in their original form. In an effort to continue with the preservation and open the gardens to public visits, the latest generation sought the help of The Garden Conservancy. The Garden Conservancy connected the Gerards with Quill, who at the time was a Fellow in the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture.

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Quill met us upon our arrival to the gardens and immediately started showing us around. She is so enthusiastic about the preservation and growth of the gardens, it was a pleasure listening to her talk about the plantings, some of which have been around for over one hundred years!

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

At the time of our visit, they were working on the dahlia beds for the summer season… Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

There are dozens of stone works scattered around the property that I just love! Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Tulip trees…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

The main house, accompanied by one of the two Golden Retriever pups Quill adopted. They definitely made the day more fun with their antics :)

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

We are all smitten by the beauty of the landscape at Meadowburn…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

The Gardens are open for event rentals, including weddings. Brides, seriously consider this location, it’s gorgeous! I can easily envision ceremony spaces and photo locations all over the property, especially in these next few photos…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

 

Seriously cool backdrop for vows…

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

The Picking Garden, below, was in full bloom with one of my favorites, poppies, as well as a variety of irises… Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Ok, I got a little carried away with the poppy pictures, but they’re just so pretty!

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

I love this next shot, all three ladies were so happy and excited talking about the flowers in bloom, as well as the industry as a whole. I learned quite a bit on this journey :)Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Not a bad life at all for these pups…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Next up, the ladies discuss peonies. Quill estimates that these plantings are probably close to 100 years old!Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

We also learned the stripes on this guy actually originated from a virus amongst the strains… Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJFoxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Our tour was not complete without a stop to visit the baby goats :) It’s not everyday you can get a back massage from one of these guys…

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJFoxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Justine’s expressions are just priceless…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

After our tour, the ladies collected some buckets to do some picking. Quill had happily agreed to let Jessica and Justine gather some blooms and do some floral arranging…

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

The pups are eager to help as well :)Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Jessica gets to work with some of the more wild plantings on the property…

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Justine headed straight for the beautiful lilacs and braved the bees to get a few blooms!

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Guarding their finds…

 

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Time to start arranging! Even though they split up to collect their floral pieces, everything they gathered separately coordinated really well with the other’s picks. The sign that Jessica and Justine are a true team!!!

 

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Momentary sadness as an iris broke off its stem…Jessica proved resourceful and stuck it in her ponytail :)

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Rosie and Nettles took turns supervising the work and napping under our feet :)Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Jessica perfects the cuts on the stems of her arrangement…

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Tools of the trade…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

I can not say enough good things about Quill. She is just an amazing human being who opened her world to us, providing countless stories, ice coffee, and some tasty apple pears!

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Finishing touches…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

It was hard to concentrate on taking pictures of flowers with these horsing around…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

This is literally how they stopped in the middle of play to take a mini break. I mean, how cute is this?!!!

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Finished arrangements in the Cedar Grove. I love the dripping yellow blooms…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

A second, smaller arrangement, adorned with some Japanese Maple leaves. I love the creative genius these ladies employ…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Love the use of coordinating arrangements for the “ceremony” area…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

The ladies of Foxglove…Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

This next arrangement was definitely my favorite of the day. Unfortunately poppies are super delicate, which is why you don’t seem them used a whole lot in centerpieces. But they are just gorgeous… Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Even the “waste” bucket looks pretty :)Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Upon entering Quill’s place to use the restroom, we were greeted with a sign on the door to watch out for the kitten inside and not to let her out. You can’t say kitten and not expect me to look for her! Meet Dandelion…

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Rounding out our visit was a stop next door to the Meadowburn dairy farm. Lots of baby goats and calves to see and they were generous enough to let us take home some fresh cheese!

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

Seriously, these ladies are as close as sisters, sharing an afternoon treat on the ride home ;)Foxglove Floral Design visits Meadowburn Farm in Vernon, NJ

All in all, not a bad way to spend a Wednesday! I can not thank Jessica, Justine and Quill enough for allowing me to tag along and document a complete inside look at the floral industry. I think the ongoing collaboration between local farms like Meadowburn and eco-conscious floral designers such as Foxglove can only help to spread the Slow Flower Movement and the idea of sustainability. I highly recommend everyone take the time to listen to Foxglove podcast with Debra Prinzing to learn more!

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3 thoughts on “On the road with Foxglove Floral Designs {Destination Meadowburn Farms, Vernon, NJ}

  1. What a lovely documentation of the day, it looks like so much fun. Massive love for these girls, their flower skills are magical xx

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