The Camrose Hill Story
Twenty years ago I had a dream to live an authentic life in the country, a simple meaningful life - close to nature. A floral designer in a downtown Minneapolis flower shop for five years, I was leaving to visit England for 6 months. On my last day at the flower shop Ben Gowen –“ peony grower extraordinaire” came into the shop and asked me what I would do when I returned from England. I confessed I wasn’t sure – something to do with flowers though! And he said these life changing words….”why don’t you do what I do?” Ben is a grower of cut flowers and perennial plants. – and he was suggesting that I try my hand at growing. So – with that thought tucked in my mind I visited England and was impressed by many people leading country lives – growing flowers, herbs, keeping chickens, producing honey. I was struck by how simple and nature based their lives were. Ben’s words kept coming back to me. I began to imagine a simple country life - a life filled with growing flowers, and making arrangements for my customers. I imagined being able to make a difference. I imagined creating beauty on a whole new scale – on the landscape.
And so – upon return from England this very beautiful 1880’s dairy farm was for sale – and Camrose Hill became mine! The name was inspired by my beautiful golden retriever whose kennel name was Camrose. And when you come to visit you will surely see that I live on a hill!! Over time I have converted abandoned farm fields into beautiful gardens and old barns into workshops. Being able to step out my door and have nature’s bounty at my fingertips has had an amazing impact on my work as a floral designer. My designs mirror my ties to the earth with their natural, elegant, garden fresh style. There is nothing quite like walking out the door on an early morning and picking the flowers and vines and branches that will make up a Bride’s bouquet or a dinner party arrangement!!
Even so – my vision was tiny – compared to all that has unfolded in my work and in my life. Meeting design challenges and working with many wonderful customers with grand ideas has made my work and life evolve in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. I have always tried to follow my heart and allowed my life to be led by the beauty of flowers. In fact I always say that “I let the materials be my guide and let my work speak of nature”. I am touched by the essence behind my work – which is to create beauty and give joy. I feel fortunate to live to my life through following my heart and nature’s beautiful inspiration.