Imagine fields of snapdragons and dahlias and tulips and ranunculus, a rainbow of color as far as your eyes can see. Lucky for Gwynn Hamilton and Bert Webster, that’s their view nearly all year long.
At Stonecrop Farm in rural Newport, Hamilton and Webster grow countless flowers to satisfy the appetite for blooms throughout Virginia’s New River Valley. In spring, Hamilton says, the farm is awash in tulips and ranunculus. “Then we move into wildflowers and, toward summer, it’s larkspur, rudbeckia, and snapdragons,” she explains. Lisianthus and a rainbow of dahlias come next, along with zinnias and sunflowers. The list goes on, with a few heirloom vegetables thrown in for good measure. “Bert has the farming background, and I was an art major in college,” says Hamilton. Now, she creates artful bouquets and flower arrangements almost every day.
A new breed of farmer florists, Stonecrop Farm, grows responsibly managed, seasonal cut flowers available through Blacksburg’s Sugar Magnolia and the city’s Farmers Market. “Each of our bouquets is different,” Hamilton says. “Other places usually have a formula and follow a specific recipe” three pink tulips, four ranunculi, six daffodils. They all look alike. “We take the time and let our designers be creative and follow their instincts.” The Stonecrop team works to create arrangements suitable for the table or altar. And events, especially weddings, are a big part of their business.