Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont will host a free public program featuring the benefits of growing and utilizing local flowers on Sunday, Oct. 2.
The event will begin at 2 p.m. with a showing and discussion of the short film Local Flowers, Local Farmers: A Growing American Movement. A floral arrangement demonstration will follow. Admission is free and no reservations are required.
The short film, by Bayley Silleck who also directed the critically acclaimed movie Rappahannock, illustrates the movement of locally grown cut flowers gaining strength across the United States. Through interviews with farmers, buyers, florists and researcher John Dole, the film demonstrates the benefits of local flowers over imported flowers.
The discussion will be hosted by the film’s co-producer, Josie Crowson, and local flower grower Barbara Lamborne of Greenstone Fields in Purcellville, Va. Crowson owned a cut-flower farm in East Texas before moving to Fredericksburg in 2011. Lamborne and her husband, Dennis, started Greenstone Fields in 2006, after moving to the 400-acre, multigenerational farming community of Wheatland in Loudon County. Both are officers in the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.
Local floral arranger Kathy Wirtala will lead the demonstration following the film. Wirtala owns a local studio-based floral design business, Virginia Flora. She recently earned a floral design certificate from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and is committed to buying in-season flowers and foliage directly from local farms and greenhouse growers. Wirtala is a floral design instructor at the University of Richmond’s School of Professional & Continuing Studies, conducting seasonal floral workshops.
Gari Melchers Home and Studio, both a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark, is located at 224 Washington St. in Falmouth, across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 1 through Oct. 31. From Nov. 1 through March 31, the museum is open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For directions and more information, call 540-654-1015, or visit the museum website at www.GariMelchers.org.