Having grown up farming and gardening, Hannah Warfield finds that Western North Carolina is an ideal place to grow the flowers she loves. She gained her love of gardening from her mother and grandmother and remembers tending old fashioned cutting gardens as a small child. She is drawn to heirloom flowers like zinnias, anemone, love-in-a-mist, peonies, sunflowers, antique roses and native wildflowers. Hannah now grows many of these in her home garden in Reems Creek Valley, which she bought in 2012 because of the fertile, creekside soil. She now brings home-grown greenery and blossoms to 25 North Main Street in Weaverville to use in her floral bouquets. She calls herself a “Farmer/Florist,” a term used to describe this background in both growing and design.
After graduating from Appalachian State in 2002, Hannah managed the grounds and wedding/events at Tuckahoe Plantation, the boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson in Richmond, Virginia. (www.tuckahoeplantation.com) There she tended 7 acres of formal estate gardens, cutting gardens for wholesale and fell in love with historic garden restoration. Her career at Tuckahoe grew to include managing weddings and developing her talent for wedding floral design, using flowers from the historic gardens and grounds.
With this type of professional background, when Hannah first moved here, she worked as a landscape consultant for homes in Biltmore Forest, where she advised on the care of mature gardens, reviving and rejuvenating them. In fact, she still enjoys garden consultation, helping clients see the potential in their own backyard.
The emphasis at Brown’s is in providing beautiful bouquets of flowers for all kinds of occasions—birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals, and many other occasions—through her shop. For example on the table nearby was a wrist corsage for a father-daughter dance Saturday night. It certainly displayed an artistic touch for a special occasion. On a more somber note, Hannah said, “She has found it a meaningful part of her work to arrange flowers for someone’s passing, for the funerals or graveside services.” She herself has experienced some difficult personal losses in the last few years so can empathize with the sorrow and is sensitive to needs of families during difficult times. She often helps with the flowers at West Funeral Home & Memorial nearby in Weaverville. Her arrangements are delicate and unique with a choice of flowers not often seen together.
For unique varieties of the freshest and most beautiful cut flowers Hannah either grows them herself or supports a number of local famers like the Never Ending Flower Farm of Kurt & Loretta Ball in Barnardsville or the Flourish Flower Farm in Candler by Niki and William Irving. Of course their floral offerings change with the season, but the flower quality is exceptional. The blooms haven’t traveled for weeks to get to this area so will undoubtedly stay fresh and last longer. She particularly likes to incorporate fragrant flowers, such as garden roses, lily of the valley, lilacs and sweet peas. She has found that many of her customers react to a particular fragrance that remind them of something from their past—their grandmother’s garden, walking on a path in their childhood, or a place they visited.
Planning and organizing the floral arrangements for weddings has become a big part of her work life these days. The incredible beauty of this area combined with some wonderful resorts and hotels has made Western North Carolina to become known as a “destination place for weddings.” Brides come here throughout the year, but particularly from April through November. Hannah has helped brides and their families plan weddings at many local venues, including the Inn at Blackberry Cove and Claxton Farm. Each bride has her own ideas of what she would like to have on that special day, perhaps with a favorite color palette or favorite flower. Hannah works closely with the family, so that the flowers express that personal touch and still remain within budget. She and her staff work meticulously and plan every detail beforehand to convey the desired mood and tone to add beauty and elegance to the wedding and reception.
Of course Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and there is still time to take advantage of a 15 percent discount on any order placed before Feb.7. For possible gifts and their prices, just go to www.brownsfloraldesign.com. However, the store no longer works with a wire service, such as Teleflora or FTD, all arrangements are custom and locally created. Flower deliveries are made to the greater Asheville area, most of Buncombe County and parts of Madison County—for an additional charge. Hannah sells a variety of cut flowers in her shop, as well as unique vases, rare orchids, succulents, and other botanical treasures. If you are stopping by to pick up a pastry at Well Bred Bakery, why not just cross the street to take home a rose or bouquet for the dining table? You would be sure to make a great hit at home! The winter hours for the store are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tues-Thurs, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday. More information can be found on the website: www.brownsfloraldesign.com, or call (828) 645-6544.