Voting is a beautiful right and duty. To illustrate that point and to celebrate those submitting mail-in ballots, last week florists in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey adorned mailboxes with intricate floral installations.
“The action of voting this year has been cast over with a negative connotation in terms of the integrity of the vote,” said Thi Lam, who co-owns Floraltology in Philadelphia with his sister, Ngoc Lam-Mathis. The siblings immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam when they were children. “We wanted to do something, but we are not the most eloquent speakers and we don’t have a lot of political pull.”
United by Blooms, a nonpartisan outdoor event October 14-16, fit the bill swimmingly. The brainchild of Philadelphia farmer-florist Kate Carpenter, co-owner of EMA Blooms, the event drew together more than 15 florists and growers in the Mid-Atlantic who donated their time and flowers to provide a positive public experience while raising awareness for the importance of voting.
Designers were encouraged to put their installations near — but not on — mailboxes or ballot drop boxes to draw attention to voting by mail and the necessity of the U.S. Postal Service, which has received heavy criticism in recent months.
“It’s an opportunity to thank the postal workers, who are essential workers, and to get the community engaged about participating in our democracy,” Carpenter said. “Plus, it gives growers and designers the chance to take their talents to the streets and give people something to enjoy right now.”
Carpenter’s rainbow-inspired design, in Philadelphia’s Mt. Airy neighborhood, featured lush greenery and dahlias arranged in patches of colors. She placed a QR code at the site that showed visitors a map with the other installations’ locations.
“Nothing has cheered me up in the last six months like seeing this,” said Claudia Raab, who lives a block from Carpenter’s installation. “Flowers are glorious, and the mailbox is our most important weapon right now.”
To read about more of the installations, click here.
Check out how other industry members are getting in on the political scene this fall.
Katie Vincent is the senior contributing writer and editor for the Society of American Florists.