Chloe Roy hadn’t realized how much the fantasy of the farmhouse and the countryside touched many people. Above all, how inspiring her example of a business that started from nothing, built by women and managed by women. With Floramama, her first book, she wants to share knowledge accumulated in nearly a decade of floriculture and demonstrate that this flowery dream is more accessible than it seems.
When she embarked on her agricultural adventure in 2014, Chloé Roy had just completed a two-year training course in intensive organic market gardening at the Jardin de la Grelinette. She had no experience in floriculture other than seeing beautiful bouquets, not even buying them! In Quebec, the cultivation of flowers was still underdeveloped. Floramama, his small business located in the Eastern Townships, was among the first to offer a model of organic flower farm.
His book is also a pioneer. It is the first reference guide in floral culture written in French and adapted to Nordic conditions. “Everything that is done at Floramama, however, applies to a 10 square foot garden”, specifies Chloé Roy who participated in putting forward the slow flower, this movement which advocates the reduction of the ecological footprint and a production on a human scale.
“I didn’t want to grow conventional vegetables like everyone else. When I came across the flowers, it was obvious, “says the one who nevertheless considered this universe too feminine before knowing it better. Working with flowers for years, something changed, she notes.
Floramama’s visual signature is characterized by softness, pastels and a love for nature that is expressed through simple, yet powerful arrangements. “These are bouquets of moving delicacy,” describe the owners of the Ferme de la Grelinette, in the preface to the book. It is for the slightly twisted and unique flowers that Chloé Roy has the most affection, even if all receive the same artistic treatment and the same attention.
Nature is his element. The child of the city already dreamed of living in the countryside. Her parents had a chalet in Saint-Calixte where she savored every moment. When leaving for Montreal, the young girl used to fill a small container of hay to smell in case of blues. When her father moved to Bedford when she was 11, she jumped at the chance to move in with him. “I belonged there,” she recalls. The countryside and me is a great love story. »
Chloé Roy cultivates beauty with sensitivity, but Floramama is nevertheless a company that she conducts with rigor. Firmness, efficiency and delicacy are necessary to get started in floriculture, she says.
In nine years of practice, his passion has never wavered. “As soon as there is a new flower that arrives, it is magical. And then there is a whole interaction between ecosystems that fascinates me every day: we have lots of insects, lots of birds… This beauty of nature touches me and amazes me. I see planting, cultivating and giving flowers as a beautiful act of love. »
How do you make a proper floral arrangement? “My trick is to start with the foliage and then add the focal flowers, which are the biggest and the ones that catch the eye first. I end with more airy accent flowers, advises the flower grower. As I like bouquets that have a natural look, and there is a lot of green in nature, I always put more foliage than flowers. »
When making, she first determines the shape that the bouquet will take. Before integrating a flower, she assesses its height by placing it in front of the arrangement and makes sure to vary the length of the stems to create volume. The empty spaces are as important as the flowers themselves, she notes. Avoid overloading your bouquet.
Located in Tingwick, in the Centre-du-Québec region, this flower farm offers a dozen varieties of flowers that it arranges in floral creations that are all messages of hope, because “as long as there are flowers, is that there will be beauty to share,” the company stresses. Her bouquets are available at various points of sale and on order. Summer subscription includes three bouquets ($100).
It is on the roof of the Agricultural Center, in the Central District of Montreal, that grow about twenty varieties of flowers that contribute to the greening of the city. La Vixen bouquets are sold at the Atwater, Jean-Talon and Maisonneuve markets, or as a seasonal subscription ($300 for 12 bouquets).
At a few times during the summer, this flower and market gardening farm in Coteau-du-Lac, in Montérégie, presents its FestiFleurs. Visitors can then stroll and picnic on site, and compose their own U-pick bouquet in a reserved area where the 200 species it cultivates are concentrated. La Belle de Coteau-du-Lac also offers pick-your-own strawberries and sunflowers, and various farm products.
Since 2007, this company located in Saint-Anicet has specialized in the production of dahlia tubers for which it is renowned. However, it offers other local flowers from May to September, in two packages ($229 for 8 bouquets or $140 per month). Her floral arrangement services are also available for special occasions.
During a short trip to Saint-Édouard-de-Napierville, just 30 minutes from Montreal, on the Montérégie side, you can go pick yourself in the field to compose your bouquet at the Ail Lys flower farm. The company also offers various workshops and craft products that feature its dried flowers.