Susan is a floral designer, artist and instructor who creates unusual, boundary-pushing floral art including elaborate floral wearables, large-scale installations, and her signature succulent jewelry. Her soulful, seasonally-inspired creations have been described as exquisite living artwork.
A passionate teacher, Susan offers private design instruction for new and professional florists in her studio, on her online class platform, and through destination workshops.
Susan’s work has been featured on the cover of Fusion Flowers Magazine twice, and in leading industry publications and websites including Martha Stewart Weddings, Florist's Review, My Modern Met, Refinery 29, SELF, Buzzfeed, Belle Armoire, Cosmopolitan, Ebony, and Grace Ormond Wedding Style. Susan is a member of Chapel Designers and Slow Flowers. Her first book, The Art of Wearable Flowers will be released March 3, 2020.
Abra Lee describes herself as a horticulturist extraordinaire who is half country bumpkin, half bougie, occasionally extra, and inherently Southern. "The opportunities I’ve been fortunate to experience during my career in the garden industry have far surpassed my ancestors’ wildest dreams! And I’ve been taking notes on plants + pop culture."
Based in Atlanta, where she writes, speaks and consults with brands and cultural institutions, Abra formerly managed the landscapes for two major international airports (Atlanta and Houston).
She has a B.S. in Horticulture from Auburn University College of Agriculture and is a Longwood Gardens Leadership in Horticulture Fellow.
Abra is under contract with Timber Press for her first book on the history of Black Americans in Horticulture.
After receiving his degree in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley, Max Gill was compelled by more creative pursuits, eventually finding floral design the perfect medium as it seemed to him to draw from all of his greatest passions: gardening, sculpture, painting and art and theater history.
Originally from upstate New York, Max has called the Bay Area home for almost 35 years. Perhaps best known for his work at Chez Panisse where he has done the flowers for over a decade, Max started Max Gill Design in 2005 and now offers full floral services for weddings, special events and private clients such as Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and Lauren McIntosh.
Informed by natural process, Max’s work is distinguished by his reliance on specialty blooms and botanical rarities gleaned from local growers, his own formidable cut flower garden in North Berkeley, and a long list of bay area nurseries.
Kellee Matsushita-Tseng (they/them/she/her) is a queer, fourth generation japanese-chinese farmer. They are an educator and instructor at CASFS (The Center For Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems) at UC Santa Cruz, training folks to grow a variety of fabulous fruits, flowers, and vegetables. They train growers in flower production, design, and sales for fresh markets and special events. They believe that cut flowers should be accessible to everyone, both for their cultural and spiritual significance, as well as for their beauty and sensory delight. Kellee is delighted to be part of creating a flower movement that is rooted in social and environmental justice. They are currently enamored by our native Matilija poppies, and excited to continue exploring design possibilities with other great natives.
A desire to help grow social justice and care for our beautiful planet led Molly to community organizing around food justice, then to rural organic farming, and eventually, to farm education and cultivating and designing flowers.
Throughout her adult life experiences, the connective tissue has always been people, soil, and plants. At the core, Molly cares deeply about equity, inclusion, sustainability and loving kindness and she aims for these values to serve as a foundation of her business. Molly has worked as a farmer and educator for the past 9 years, as well as a floral designer. Teaching clients and community about the value of supporting local flowers is a passion, as is teaching about Soil Science. Molly taught "Growing Soils" at Farm School NYC for 8 years, and now teaches on Soil Science at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Her work as a farmer, farmer-florist, and Slow Flowers advocate has been featured in Bust Magazine, the New York Times, Well Wed, Modern Farmer Magazine, Brides Magazine, Florists’ Review, the Slow Flowers Podcast, Radio Cherry Bombe and more.
University of Washington Masters in Landscape Architecture
Emily's 8 years of horticultural experience blend production agriculture, landscape maintenance, garden and floral design. She has worked for several notable Bay Area farms including, Fifth Crow Farm, Bluma Farm and Hidden Villa.
Prior to entering the University of Washington's Masters in Landscape Architecture program in the fall of 2020, Emily served as the former Lead Horticulturist at Filoli, where she looked after the rose garden, cutting garden and orchard. Her design aesthetic is a blending of her work experience - foraged and cultivated, wild and formal - always designed with seasonality and senescence in mind. A strong believer in the healing powers of nature, through her gardens and floral design she hopes to facilitate this connection for all.
LORENE EDWARDS FORKNER
Artist and designer, writer, editor and educator Lorene Edwards Forkner is a columnist for the Seattle Times' weekly gardening column called GROW. She is author of five garden books, including The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening: Pacific Northwest, and Handmade Garden Projects, bestselling titles from Timber Press.
Lorene owned a popular and beloved boutique specialty nursery in Seattle for more than a decade, called Fremont Gardens; she has served on the boards of a number of horticultural organizations, has edited a horticulture journal and is the designer of two gold medal display gardens at the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival. Lorene’s creative life can be found on Instagram, @gardenercook, where she shares “Seeing Color in the Garden.”
Pilar Zuniga is owner and lead designer of Gorgeous and Green. A California native, she attended UC Berkeley. Her interests then and now include biology, art and culture. She is fond of painting, drawing, ceramics, sewing and embroidery, remaking old things, finding vintage goods, gardening and ballet. She is a feminist, a Latina and a colorful individual who loves dogs and smiles often. Her floral design is born out of a desire to be creative and support a local movement of flower growers.
Pilar founded Gorgeous & Green in 2008, which operated as a retail florist from 2010-2016. Since then, the design studio has continued Pilar's commitment to local and seasonal flower sourcing, sustainable design and other green practices. Pilar has lectured on sustainabilty and entrepreneurship at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business.
Jennifer Jewell is the creator/host of Cultivating Place, an award-winning public radio program & podcast on natural history and the human impulse to garden. Jennifer's writing and photography have been featured in publications including Gardens Illustrated, House & Garden, and Pacific Horticulture.
Her first book, The Earth In Her Hands, 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants, centering women transforming horticulture around the world, was published in 2020 by Timber Press.
Photo by Eddie Altrete
Debra is the producer of SlowFlowers.com, the online directory to American grown farms, florists, shops and studios who supply domestic and local flowers. Each Wednesday, approximately 2,500 listeners tune into Debra's "Slow Flowers Podcast," available for free downloads at her web site, debraprinzing.com, or on iTunes and via other podcast services.
She is the creator of American Flowers Week, launched during the July 4th week in 2015 with more than 5.0 million social media impressions in 2017. Debra's newest book, Slow Flowers Journal - Volume One, was published in 2020 by Wildflower Media.