"Until we can comprehend the beguiling beauty of a single flower, we are woefully unable to grasp the meaning and potential of life itself." Virginia Woolf
Another Virginia—Jackson’s own Virginia King—is bringing to life the beguiling beauty of single blooms through her brand-new business, Bitterbrush Farm and Flora. As a fledgling flower farmer, Virginia transformed her living room into a greenhouse, replete with hoop houses and grow lights. As intrepid as the plants, she spent the spring experimenting and now finds her beds budding out.
We are thrilled to feature the first fruits of her labors every Friday this summer through a weekly pop-up shop on our deck, with bouquets available for purchase. So without further ado, we introduce Virginia!
How did you land in Jackson?
I landed in Jackson via its beauty: it brought me here and keeps me wanting more.
Jackson had been in mind for years before Colin, my boyfriend, convinced me to move here. Jackson immediately felt like home: the valley and canyons, the various mountain ranges, the sagebrush, the people we met, the farmers, the food scene, and the Snake River.
I came to flowers like I came to Jackson—in a roundabout way and through a love of the valley’s wild and rugged beauty.
So WHY FLOWERS? In a way, it runs in the family. My grandmother had a gorgeous cutting garden. She planned it so that she would always have something blooming, so that no matter the season, she could have a flower to bring to a friend or to decorate her home for company. Last summer I found myself making bouquets for friends in what little time-off. One day, it occurred to me: If bringing flowers to friends is what I do for fun, why don't I try doing it full time?
Why LOCAL FLOWERS? Local or slow flowers is a movement that’s gaining momentum much like the local food movement. Jackson imports an enormous amount of flowers to supply the wedding and hospitality industries, etc. Many of those blooms are farmed in ways that harm the environment and the people who farm them. Imported flowers require an enormous amount of packaging and incur expensive (to our environment) costs.
The Jackson community cherishes the environment and locally-produced meat, vegetables and artists; I think it will appreciate more locally-grown flowers as well.
How did you hatch this concept? Was there a specific ah-ha moment, or did the idea grow on you?
When I realized I loved sharing flowers with friends—and the need for a solution for clean flowers in Jackson—things kind of snowballed and Bitterbrush Farm and Flora was born!
What challenges have you faced nurturing your flower beds in JH?
Anyone living in Jackson knows the weather can be harsh here. My flowers are definitely survivors!
My biggest challenges are daily temperature swings, frost, short growing season and seasonality of blooms. Garden space (or the lack there of) is also a big challenge.
At Persephone, we celebrate the bounty of our valley, from produce harvested nearby to products batched locally. With this locavore ethos in mind, we couldn't be more thrilled to feature your valley-grown bouquets. What do you hope to share with people who purchase blooms from you?
From the beginning, I wanted my flowers to be available to everyone, accessible in price point so people can integrate it into their daily routine. I'm most excited to do smaller arrangements, the size of bouquet that feels like you're delivering flowers to a friend. Bringing flowers into people's everyday space—maybe their desk, their van, their hair—we all gift a little lift.