In the spirit of making magic out of the mundane, flower enthusiast Romane Recalde, founder of Le Jardin Flower Farm in upstate New York's Hudson Valley, takes us on a journey through her garden and shares with us the magic of connecting with nature through her love of florals.
Who doesn’t love flowers?! In India they play an important role being a country filled with the most incredible varieties of blooms, though, essentially, the flower in any colour represents love. It is a tradition in Indian culture to exchange heavily weaved garlands of blooms during their wedding ceremony, what a beautiful tradition. What do flowers represent to you?
I love that beautiful representation! To me, flowers represent the fleeting quality of life. Each bloom is here for a short window of time, they demand you to stop and notice. Blink, and you’ll miss the miracle. They teach us to be truly present and enjoy each moment of every season.
They remind us that every stage of growth is necessary, there will be no flowers before leaves or stems. There is slow, steady, invisible work behind the mesmerising blooms. Nature never rushes, yet it all unfolds perfectly.
When was Le Jardin Flower Farm established and why?
Le Jardin Flower Farm was created in 2021, born from the love of growing flowers and the desire to share that magic with my community. Through images and videos, as well as online and in person workshops! I want people to play with growing and arranging flowers and let their creativity out! Gardening and designing with flowers has this ability to make you slow down, it’s a very meditative process. I often zone out and before I know it 4 hours have passed by and I feel so recharged. It also puts you in touch with nature, you can’t help but become aware of its delicate balance and inspiring tenacity all at once.
How many varieties do you grow and do you have a favourite flower?
I grow about 65 varieties. This is the impossible question! How could I pick? I love them all! If you’re going to make me choose one, I would have to say Cosmos. They come in so many amazing colours. White, blush pink, to bright orange (I call it Hermes orange)! I use them to dye fabrics, decorate cakes (since they are edible) or press them to freeze them in time forever! They also magically dance in the wind, which is oh so romantic!
What is the easiest flower to grow?
If you’re new to growing flowers, start with Cosmos (aren’t you sold yet?), Zinnias and Sunflowers. They are the easiest! Pick a sunny spot, put them in the ground and boom, magic. There are so many colours and varieties. I bet you didn’t know you could grow chocolate sunflowers… What about Teddy Bear sunflowers? The possibilities are endless! Go explore!
Do you have any top tips to keeping pests away, chemical free, for any of us budding growers?
Absolutely! I believe in organic farming and refuse to use chemicals, ask my husband who has to weed the driveway by hand. If you start with good soil with lots of organic matter, the plant will have all the nutrients needed to defend itself against pests and diseases. I like thinking about it as building its immune system. You can build your soil health by adding a good layer of compost at the beginning and end of each season, at least one inch thick, more if possible.
I also swear by companion planting! Some plants attract beneficial insects and some deter pests. A good book to learn more about companion planting is “Tomatoes Love Carrots” and “Roses love garlic”. Thirdly, pluck out any weeds to keep your garden beds clean. That’s where aphids and other pests love to hide.
Do you host any gatherings on your grounds? How dreamy would your grounds be for photoshoots or small events!
Yes! I’m hosting a flower arranging workshop on Sept 3rd, where the flower focus will be dahlias. Being on a flower farm and surrounded by flowers is truly magical and I love sharing that feeling with people. I'm also planning a dahlia tuber workshop and a dried flowers wreath workshop in November. Details and bookings are on www.lejardinflowerfarm.com
For photoshoots or small events at the farm email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
One of our bigger projects is to renovate a guest house looking over the flower field. I’d love to have folks stay there overnight, I know it’d be special. If you want to follow the journey and receive updates or inquire about visiting the farm, the best way is to find me on instagram @lejardinflowerfarm and reach out there by email.
We adore your donkeys, they seem like so much fun! What are Butter and Basils’ roles on the flower farm?
Butter and Basil (our donkeys) are the heart and soul of our home and farm! They also keep coyotes away, you’re more likely to find a coyote trampled by a donkey than a donkey attacked by a coyote! Many farmers use them to protect their herd of sheep or goats. This means I can get some more vulnerable animals now! I’m thinking ducks and goats are next.
I also practice regenerative farming so we compost their manure to create more nutrient rich soil for our flower beds.
Where can our flower girls (and guys) purchase your blooms?
You can find me at the Millerton farmer’s market in NY starting mid-July! I also offer arrangements for dinner or events, big or small, including weddings. Reach out to me by email at email@example.com with any inquiry. Pop-ups and events are always announced by email so make sure you get on the list (info on lejardinflowerfarm.com). And join our flower lover community on instagram @lejardinflowerfarm!
How would you describe your floral styling?
Like a romantic garden in a vase! I love naturalistic designs with effortless shapes and movement.
What do you love about Daughters of India and what is your favourite Daughters of India design and why?
I love Daughters of India’s mission of empowering women! We need more of that and it’s so inspiring to see what can come from caring. Daughters of India sets the examples for other brands by embracing slow fashion and creating dresses in small batches (applaud). The celebration of the hand block printing tradition is so beautiful to me. I’m a hopeless romantic and there is something profound about keeping traditions and cultures alive. I mean… I could cry thinking about how important this is. Emotional I know…
Seems like a trick question! How am I supposed to choose? Ugh!!
I’ll have to go with the Kyra Mini Dress (I’m not choosing a colour and you can’t make me!).
I love how breezy it is. I wear it barefoot in the grass or in the sand and dress it up with cute boots when I’m in the city!
Through her wholehearted devotion to sharing what brings her joy, Romane reminds us to stop and smell the flowers ~ literally! Her vivacity and passion for doing what she loves is truly inspiring. We loved going on an adventure with Romane and look forward to following her flower journey!
With love and flowers, Daughters of India xx
(Words by Britt Overeem & Ella Josephine Archer)