Alex W. Crowder Is Never Out of Season With Her Flower Arrangements


Alex W. Crowder at Vanishing Point Farm.

Photo: Winona Barton-Ballentine

“I need to see where flowers grow, what they look like in the wild,” says the New York City–based florist Alex W. Crowder, whose sculptural arrangements use only local flora, nearly all of it in season. It’s June and she’s just back from Vanishing Point Farm (pictured), one of several nearby sources. A wealth of new material will soon be at her fingertips: bearded iris, Queen Anne’s lace, yarrow, hydrangea, and her current favorite, crown vetch, a purple flowering plant that’s often considered a weed. “I spent a lot of my childhood alone in a forest, looking at the tiny flowers you only notice as a kid,” recalls Crowder, who grew up in the Ozarks and studied graphic design at Missouri State University. Since moving to the big city eight years ago, she has retained that curiosity about the natural world, be it Japanese barberry (a thorny invasive), milkweed (the host plant for the monarch butterfly), or the crowfoot violet that springs up in the cracks of city sidewalks. These days, her company, Field Studies Flora, creates weekly arrangements for Roman and Williams Guild and La Mercerie, along with a growing list of private clients. Working with the seasons is not always simple. “As it gets colder you have to be more creative,” she explains. “I use a lot of seedpods, dried elements, and evergreens.” It’s worth it, she says, to disrupt the unsustainable systems (waste, transportation emissions, unregulated labor) ingrained in the floral industry. “How do we reorganize this?” she asks. “The thing that gets me the most excited is problem-solving.” fieldstudiesflora.com



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