Meet Amanda and Natalie, the lovely duo that is Forage & Bloom. We recently teamed up with them to offer
fresh cut bouquets in the shop on the last Friday of each month, available for purchase from 2pm until the following
Sunday at closing. Barely into our third round of Fresh Flower Friday and we are hooked! The arrangements are
simply stunning, with tons of home grown and foraged blooms. We have seen the most incredible dahlias come through
the door, and I love getting to know some of Vancouver’s seasonal floras. It’s truly a treat to be able to offer our
customers such beautiful and unique bouquets whether they be to treat oneself or to brighten someone else’s day.
Bouquets range from $20-$30 and will be available this weekend starting at 2PM Friday September 30.
In the meantime, read our Q+A with Amanda + Natalie below!
xo Amy + Jenn
Q+A with Forage & Bloom
TELL US THE STORY BEHIND FORAGE & BLOOM.
It definitely began with our love for dogs and plants. Our friendship was evolving, and we both wanted to nurture our creative side and step away from the clinical environment of a hospital. Our families are also true garden-people, and that has shaped our own passion and admiration for all things green. What began as an idea, truly took off when Natalie’s parents gave us space in their yard, and slowly we’ve inhabited more and more. We wanted to follow a sustainable, local and seasonal ethos, where we had a direct connection with the flowers that we use, and what we can grow here in Vancouver.
HOW DID YOU BOTH GET STARTED IN THE FLORAL INDUSTRY?
Through our gardening and houseplant addiction. Our natural affinity to shape, gather and tie things. We are self taught. Our curiosity about what nature has to offer is fed by the books and blogs we read. There is ‘wonder’ that follows sowing seeds, bulbs and tubers and watching them sprout and thrive.
WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO ?
We want to showcase plants and educate people, helping them to see the beauty of what surrounds us. Our desire is to reveal what locally-grown flowers look like throughout the seasons, from a full-blooming frenzy, to seed pods, and beautiful bare branches. The plant installations and moss balls we create, using driftwood and live-edge wood are a further extension of nature’s bounty.
WHAT MAKES FORAGE & BLOOM UNIQUE?
There is only one team Natanda! The way each of us sees the world, shapes us. For us, growing and foraging is our foundation. We are small-scale farmers and designers. The juxtaposition of these roles is what defines us, the wild and the pretty.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED GROWING YOUR OWN FLOWERS?
Weather and bugs. Space and time.This year has been so different from last. We’ve been challenged by the unpredictability of sun and rain, and an abundance of pests. Aphids are our true enemy! The elusiveness of time. As new business owners, it feels like there is never enough. Lastly, we would love more land to farm, expanding our repertoire. But as urban gardeners in a city like Vancouver this is a true challenge!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITES TO GROW AND WHY ?
Growing anything from seed is challenging, yet rewarding. Dahlias are generous in their abundance, but the scent of Sweet Peas makes us swoon. Bells of Ireland are a new love, also anything with seed pods or thistles, like Nigella and Sea Holly. But really we ‘shout out with joy’ at each new growth!
CAN YOU EACH SHARE ONE OF YOUR MOST FAVOURITE FLORAL EXPERIENCES YOU’VE HAD SO FAR ?
Natalie: Gardening and creating. I have loved getting to work in a garden again. Ever since moving into an apartment, I’ve missed having land. Getting the chance to grow and learn about so many different plants, flowers and herbs with each passing season has been a dream. Being outside rain or shine, surrounded by flowers we grew and foraged, is definitely my favourite thing.
Amanda: This past spring we did a photo shoot and it was the most wonderful experience. Having friends and even a few strangers volunteer their time to collaborate on our vision, was incredibly encouraging and affirming. It was such a great opportunity to freely create with our flowers. Afterwards, we wrote our first blog and looking back now at the gorgeous photos and our designs, makes my heart full.
WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR INSPIRATION ?
Everywhere! That may sound cheesy, but a hike through the wilderness or a wander in the ‘hood’ can be equally inspiring. We love researching plants that can grow and flourish in this climate.
WHAT HAS THE FUTURE GOT IN STORE FOR FORAGE & BLOOM ? To thrive as a business by bringing flowers and plants to the people, in a unique way. We dream of making this our full-time gig, perhaps with a micro shop, or studio. We want to continue to create something special for people’s events and everyday lives. And to always, always dream in flowers.
Thanks for reading!