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Flower farmer Nellie Gardner's wreaths go national

Nellie Gardner, horticulturist at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House Complex on Jewett Parkway, is featured in the Fall 2018 issue of Country Gardens magazine (Meredith, $4.99). The topic is the botanical wreaths she makes from flowers she grows at Flower Fields, her specialty cut flower farm.

She dries the flowers herself, along with seed pods, berries, grasses, pine cones, little red peppers and other natural materials.

The article is called “Fresh Potential: A flower farmer shares her resourceful recipe for long-lasting wreaths.”

Included is an interview with Gardner as well as a list of her top plants for drying and instructions on making a wreath.

"The article captured the essence of what I do," said Gardner, a longtime believer in seeing potential in all the locally grown, natural materials available to her, and never wasting anything.

"I’ve been doing that since Day 1 just because of my experience as a kid (growing up on a self-reliant farm on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia) and my experience in my flower shop – being very resourceful and using everything around me," she said.

"I think the article really encapsulated not only the visual aspect but the whole experience of collecting and crafting something of your own from the beauty around you,” Gardner said.

Gardner offers wreath-making workshops at the Darwin Martin House. For group workshops in the future at her new flower barn in Spencerport, email her at

Side notes: Gardner also is spearheading the landscape restoration at Graycliff, the Wright-designed Martins’ former summer home in Derby. She was featured in the Buffalo News’ "Fashion Friday" feature in June. She wore some of favorite gardening clothes and accessories.

Take a look:

Fashion Friday: Meet horticulturist Nellie Gardner



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