Lauren Child, founder of Flower Child Heirlooms, has a weakness for Zinnias. The resilience and hearty nature of these flowers hold sentimental meaning for Lauren. A gift of Zinnia seeds from her mother, Tara, was the genesis of Lauren’s love for flowers.
Lauren’s appreciation for gardening has origins far back in her maternal lineage. As a child, her family frequently relocated. Her mother planted seeds in every place they lived to lay down her family’s roots. She vividly recalls visiting her grandmother’s garden and breathing in the fragrance of fresh herbs on her hands.
As she emerged into adulthood, Lauren planted pots of herbs on every apartment patio and planted a garden soon after moving into her new home with her husband, Nathan. When Lauren’s son was born, she sought a way to support her family. After pursuing various degrees, Lauren concluded that “they just didn’t resonate.” For the first time, she considered creating a livelihood from her life’s passion–cultivating flowerbeds.
Nursery Turned Community
Flower Child Heirlooms was born. Originally an heirloom plants nursery, the concept developed into a community of people who aspire to become seasoned gardeners. Flower Child Heirlooms has created and maintained five Petal Plots, or urban gardens. These are integrated into the Charlotte metropolitan area and provide workshops for novice gardeners.
Rather than approach gardening as a formula to be cracked, Lauren’s didactic style nurtures her guests’ “child-like curiosity” and seeks to strengthen their gardening intuition. Lauren helps new gardeners understand the unpredictable beauty of the environment and empowers them to take challenges in stride. Topics range from Seed Starting Basics to Growing your Own Petal Plot and Harvesting and Designing with Local Flowers.
Flower Child Heirlooms also offers Petal Passes. These allow you to pick your own flowers and create unique arrangements. Choose from the native species that Lauren has a strong admiration for, including perennials like bee balm and swamp sunflowers. Flower Child Heirlooms also provides a Floral CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), which is the opportunity to purchase their artfully designed bouquets.
Along with aesthetics and texture, Lauren’s understanding of the “role each variety plays,” in the garden informs the way in which she constructs her arrangements. Her bouquets frequently showcase cover crops such as crimson clover that prove beauty and functionality can coexist.
Bouquets from Beneath
What differentiates Flower Child Heirlooms’ homegrown creations from store-bought arrangements is the way in which they physically manifest the attentive care and dedication that these local gardens foster. There is something special about a bouquet that comes from the very same ground that’s beneath your feet.
Lauren looks forward to expanding Flower Child Heirloom’s infrastructure and capacity to provide locally grown flowers. Alongside her husband Nathan who frequently assists her in the garden, Lauren’s daily life involves the rituals of hauling compost and sowing seeds. As gritty as her work can be, she finds every aspect to be gratifying. Inspired by Lisa Mason Zieglar’s book Vegetables Love Flowers, Lauren believes that elements of gardening such as the “strength of diversity,” have metaphorical significance in our lives.
It is this philosophical backbone that gives Flower Child Heirlooms’ its magic. Support local agriculture for yourself by visiting the online shop.