Urban gardener offers fresh floral arrangements, classes

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The leaves are turning, the pumpkins are ripe and the air is crisp. Autumn has arrived, and if you’re in need of some fall-inspired decorations, look no further than Bluegrass Blooms and Botanicals.

Bluegrass Blooms and Botanicals is an urban garden and floral design company owned and operated by Elizabeth Sainte.

Sainte grows heirloom and classic flowers from a garden behind her husband’s shop on Tech Drive in the Winchester Industrial Park. She provides fresh arrangements for weddings, events and build impromptu bouquets.

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Sainte said she first became interested in gardening as a young girl working alongside her grandmother as she grew flowers and produce.

“My grandmother used to grow vegetables and flowers and show them. She was really good at it,” Sainte said. “She also did arrangements for her church and garden clubs. She let me tag along and she let me grow, too.

“I learned a lot from her.”

For the past 20 years, Sainte has been growing flowers and produce for personal use, but two years ago, she decided to make a career out of it.

“I’d been growing my own vegetables and flowers and decided I wanted to give it a try,” she said. “I thought I’d start doing it commercially because I’d love to do weddings. A friend made a website for me and I started taking orders from there. I love it so far. It’s fun.”

Having previously worked in the horse business for 23 years, Sainte started a garden and floral design business out of her home.

She said her yard resembles “a postage stamp,” so she needed more space.

“My husband (Bob Sainte) said we could either get a small farm or I could grow in the area behind his shop in the industrial park,” she said.

She now has two plots tucked away in the middle of a busy manufacturing sector of the community.

“It’s right in town and it’s easy to get to,” she said.

Despite the unusual placement of her gardens, Sainte said she still sees plenty of wildlife, which makes spending time in her gardens even more enjoyable.

“Sometime the wildlife gets to the plants and I suffer some losses because of that,” she said. “But, that’s just part of it. It’s one of the joys of being out there — when the animals come to visit.”

Sainte currently only grow outdoors, but is exploring options for growing indoors as well.

“I’m interested to see how well-received that concept would be,” she said.

She also offers seasonal floral workshops, including most recently how to build succulent centerpieces. The next class will be 2 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. The hands-on workshops include step-by-step instructions to create a succulent-topped pumpkin arrangement.

Participants will also learn how to care for, handle and prune the centerpieces, which should last through the fall season, as they grow.

Previously, Sainte sold winter container gardens at the Winchester-Clark County Farmers Market Christmas market. She plans to offer classes to build the container gardens this winter.

To sign up for the succulent pumpkin workshop, email Bluegrassblooms@gmail.com or call Sainte at 859-749-6868. Enrollment is limited, and reservations are required. The class is $50 per arrangement and will be hosted at 671 Tech Drive.

For more information about Bluegrass Blooms and Botanicals, visit bluegrassblooms.com or facebook.com/bluegrassblooms.

Contact Whitney Leggett at whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com.

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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