the farmer florist: masters workshop

the art of growing & sustaining an American grown flower farm

LynnVale Studios & Farm, Gainesville, Virginia

rescheduled to August  2021

dates, speakers, program TBD

8am ~ 5pm

7 students minimum

Join us in August for an intimate flower farming & design experience.  We’ll examine, in detail, what it takes to build a successful flower farm & farmer florist business. Our workshop is designed to provide you with an in-depth,  hands-on design experience coupled with an intensive & introspective look into our perceptions and practical strategies of growing “big” as a farmer florist.

Our success is rooted in the ability to remain flexible by recognizing, responding to and driving industry trends.  Flower farming for over sixteen years has taught us that the  secret to profitability does not necessarily translate into simply growing more & more flowers for more & more customers.  We learned we had to farm smarter and find a system for evaluating where to focus our energy.   We developed the habit of stepping back & asking questions, a lot of questions.  Answers to these questions formed the foundation of our first masters workshop in 2016 and the systems and strategies continue to evolve every year as we find new ways to help others create their own systems.

Andrea & Lou Gagnon started their flower farm and art studio in 2002 by growing & selling at local markets.  Andrea used her professional design education to expand her artistry into wedding & event florals. As the demand for her flowers grew, Andrea began serving a curated list of the country’s top designers.  A leader in the American Grown Flowers movement, Andrea has also served as Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and Treasurer of the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers and has lectured on cut flower growing on a local, regional and national level.

Designed with new, aspiring & evolving farmer florists in mind – this workshop offers students the opportunity to explore the many paths toward growing a successful farmer florist farm & studio.

day one

color & design


This year Lou & Andrea are happy to welcome Jenn Pineau of Nature Composed.

Celebrated floral artist, on a list of Martha Stewart’s top florists, successful shop owner and plant obsessed gardener, Jenn Pineau is most comfortable planting seeds with kindred spirits. Endlessly curious about natural systems, her design and business philosophies are driven by her permaculture & whole systems approach.


Jenn’s formative educational experiences include attending art school at VCU and studying permaculture design at GMU. Her unique flora journey began as a rose stripper on the design floor of a Telefora/FTD florist in Richmond, VA & evolved toward seasonally inspired “garden to vase” designs for the Kluge Estate as their greenhouse manager/florist.  Inspired by the work of Ariella Chezar Jenn followed an opportunity to move west and assist Ariella’s inspiring team on large scale events and weddings.  Assisting botanically inspired designer and gardener Max Gill at Chez Panisse was a particularly transformative work experience.

Started in 2008 as a home-based design studio in rural Virginia, Nature Composed has deep roots in the Charlottesville wedding industry.  Over the past 11 years Nature Composed has grown naturally to include a thriving floral/garden shop in Middleburg, Virginia.   Inspired by nature and committed to sustainable practices in all aspects of design Nature Composed has been #foamfree since day one and has developed many novel techniques to avoid flower foam.


In any given week, Jenn can be found creating art for an editorial shoot, speaking to a garden club, teaching a workshop for food & flower enthusiasts, laying out a new kitchen garden, foraging van-loads of unusual beauty with her team, tending to her home vegetable and flower oasis, hunting wild mushrooms with her family or elbows deep in her prized vermiculture bins.  A deep connection with the natural world and the desire to connect with others to spread nature’s good ideas is what drives the Nature Composed mission and keeps Jenn going.

~ Welcome ~

Jenn Pineau

Nature Composed









Jenn Pineau of Nature Composed
If your flower farming dreams include opening a retail space, don’t miss this opportunity to talk shop with us!

flowers by Nature Composed ~ photos by KT Merry, Laura Gordon

“How Color Works”

lou gagnon

wednesday, one hour session



Understanding how we see color empowers us as designers & as growers.  We spend days defining & refining color palettes with our brides, hours coordinating orders to match our designer’s needs, weeks & weeks of research and development coordinating & forecasting color “trends” for our retail markets.


In this session, artist Lou Gagnon will lead us through a series of empirical exercises that will clarify the misconceptions and fill in the voids surrounding color theory.  You’ve “seen” all your life. After this you’ll see what you’ve been missing.

As a professional artist, art educator, architect, and former Disney Imagineer, Lou has received regional, national and international awards for architecture, entertainment design and fine art.

You’ve “seen” all your life.

After this you’ll see

what you’ve been missing.

day two

growing concerns


Running a diverse flower farm requires a farmer florist to wear many hats. Once successful, it  is virtually impossible for any one person to “do it all.”  As your business grows, so too will your need to improve efficiency in every aspect of your operation.  Andrea will share our systems and strategies for successful communication with our designer clients, discerning brides, contractors and within our own team.  Expect to take home copies of our floral contracts, availability lists and demos of current favorite programs, services &/or apps that make chaos more manageable and keep you out of the office and in the studio & field.

What crops we would invest in if we had to
do it all over again?
How do we choose what to invest in now?
How do we “flower on” during
the off-season?
What are our goals for the future?

No matter the size of your farm, understanding the most efficient & profitable use of your land is a weeklong workshop in itself.  For us, this means continuously evaluating and re-evaluating our crop selection from year to year.  Less a primer on “how” to grow any particular flower, we’ll share our  expertise and systems  for choosing “what” to grow, “how much” & “why.”

*We invite ALL interested students to arrive early on Thursday (from 7am on) to observe, participate in our daily harvest and/or explore our farm at their own pace.

collaboration & exploration



During our “open studio” session, each student will have the opportunity to design, independently or collaboratively, to delve deeper into any design, process, or farming related conundrums with expert guidance from Andrea & her LynnVale Design team.

Our goal is for each attendee to receive personal attention & enjoy an immersive, explorative & challenging experience.

Each student’s work will be professionally photographed with digital images of their work available for their own portfolio use – professional photographer to be announced.

we’re excited to


you artistically and equip you with fundamentals of floral design principles & “foam free” mechanics.


your assumptions about visual perception, how it relates to your designs and how it influences & informs your growing choices


you to think critically & reflectively about your successes and failures  to inform the decisions you make moving forward.

Join us in 2021!

LynnVale Studios & Farm, Gainesville, Virginia

August 2021 – dates TBD

8am ~ 5pm

7 students minimum

$1,495 estimated full price (final TBD)

$1,595 estimated with payment plan (final TBD)

per person


coupon code


for $300 off

expires 3/1/2020

farmer florist Andrea Gagnon of LynnVale Studios, photo by Kate Headley

Payment schedule

Payment 1 of 3: $595 due to reserve | register

Payment 2 of 3: $500 due April 1, 2020

Payment 3 of 3: $500 due June 1, 2020


ALL class registrations are non-refundable, workshop will be held rain or shine, students wishing to transfer their registration accept full responsibility for any/all arrangements to do so.


All floral materials, supplies, and clippers included.  Floral material  will consist of LynnVale grown &/or foraged foliage and blooms along with select flowers from some of our favorite local, regional and national American flower farms.


Farm-to-table lunches will be provided each day – chef to be announced.  All refreshments included.


Students are responsible for their own lodging. List of recommended hotels/ accommodations available on request.  Closest airport is Washington DULLES (IAD).

photos by LynnVale Studios, Kate Headley, Linda Blue Photography 

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