“I’ve always been a gardener. But I was getting married during the pandemic and decided I could grow the flowers for my own wedding,” says Marisa Mender-Franklin, owner of the Midtown Bramble & Bloom micro flower farm in Midtown, Memphis. “I just loved it so much I wanted to keep growing at that scale.”
After successfully scaling up her flower-growing endeavors, Mender-Franklin has expanded the operation to specialize in delicately-arranged bouquets. She also runs flower-focused workshops for the community.
We spoke to Mender-Franklin about how flowers connect people to special moments and the enduring appeal of dahlias. We also got the scoop on making seasonal succulent pumpkins.
Growing with the Community
Mender-Franklin says that securing enough land to grow on was an initial problem to overcome when launching Midtown Bramble & Bloom.
“I grow in the middle of the city, so having access to enough space to grow is an issue,” she says. “At my own home, I just have a little patch in the front yard. So I’ve had to get really creative in where I’m growing.”
Mender-Franklin’s solution has involved recruiting her neighbors. “I’m currently growing in seven yards and empty lots,” she says.
Everybody Loves Tulips & Dahlias
When it comes to the most popular blooms in Mender-Franklin’s collection, she says that tulips are a guaranteed winner during the spring. “Dahlias are always a favorite in the fall, too,” she adds.
Crafting Succulent Pumpkins
After Mender-Franklin noticed succulent pumpkins popping up on her social media feeds, she decided to try her own hand at crafting them.
“They’re really fun,” she says of the idea of using a pumpkin as a decorative vessel for flowers. “We have pumpkins and succulents, so it was an easy way to transition into the fall.”
Mender-Franklin adds that she’s currently brainstorming ways to waterproof the pumpkins for the upcoming harsher weather, while also running succulent pumpkin community workshops.
Read more: It’s time to celebrate pumpkins!
Flowers Build Community
“For me, it’s the community aspect of it that I find most rewarding,” says Mender-Franklin of her farming adventure. “People use flowers during really important parts of their life and to build a connection with other people. So I feel like I get to be a part of important moments in their lives.”
Follow Midtown Bramble & Bloom at Instagram.