Nancy Weigandt

The first summer I planted flowers of any consequence was in 1984 when in my early 30's I worked at a high power management corporate job. Although I had mistakenly planted a peony and a clematis in the wrong light and soil conditions and watched them struggle for two seasons, I became hooked on gardening. Season after season I continued to expand my knowledge and hands-on experience and learned from every mistake I made.

Every winter (this is before the internet) I would take out every plant book I could peruse and learn from. Then, during the growing season I expanded my own garden and worked in many others, including friends and my landscaping clients. I have always been drawn to unusual annuals, glorious frilly blooms and inspiring foliage. I cannot think of any plant I have not wanted to grow and understand and they have all served to help me develop my horticultural skills.

Today I continue to scour gardening books and have acquired champion Googling skills. I'm innately curious about nature and I think that is what led me down the path and brought me to where I am now; all these years  have added to my store of facts and gardening wisdom, which has allowed me to become a  flower farmer. I eventually left the corporate world and have experienced great joy at pursuing my passion for flowers full-time.

Flowers feed my soul and my imagination in that they provide me with a sense of wonder for their abject sophistication and beauty. I'm practically overwhelmed with joy to provide a seed with what it needs to become a living plant that I can share with others. When anyone appreciates the beauty of our bouquets, I feel the same sense of awe that they do. What I love most about the business of flower farming within our community is sharing my knowledge and joy with others.

 

Julia Griffin

Julia worked with Nancy for three years to help us develop Detroit Abloom. She was our first full-time employee who has moved on this season to start her own floral design business, called Willa Rose Floral Design. Nancy is proud to have trained Julia in all aspects of flower farming. We feel as if she is our daughter who has found her passion in life and we wish her all the success in the world.

Tom Milano

All my life I've been fascinated by the beauty and wonder of nature. Ever since we started Detroit Abloom and began building flower gardens to repurpose vacant blighted lots for the betterment of our community, I've seen how people are naturally attracted to flowers. Not everyone is keen about vegetable gardens, but hardly anyone objects to flowers.

I've watched with delight to see Nancy and Julia become increasingly drawn into the wondrous world of flowers and I have to admit that my interest has grown significantly. When we market our flowers, I've noticed how often people are eager to support the goals of The Garden Detroit by purchasing bouquets and other value-added items. This goodness in peoples hearts has given me a glimpse of the tremendous potential for others to join our vision to create jobs and beautify our Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood.

On another note, I've got to say that flowers inspire my faith in God. Knowing God is the life force that animates every aspect of Creation, I often find myself marveling at His or Her artistically exquisite handiwork. I find it also fascinating and challenging to meet the specific requirements of different plants so that they thrive and we can include more varieties in our gardens. In short, I'm thrilled that we at Detroit Abloom can share our love for flowers and community with others. I'm realizing that flowers have great potential to open peoples hearts, put smiles on faces, and help unite our community in a business and vision that we can all be proud of. In my heart, I see Detroit blooming from within and without just like some of the most beautiful flowers we grow.