Abingdon gardener, florist to offer Valentine’s bouquet-making workshop | Local News

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Blue Door Garden in Abingdon

Want to go?

» Blue Door Garden is hosting a bouquet-making workshop on Feb. 11, 6-8 p.m., at The Girl and the Raven, 380 E. Main St., Abingdon. Cost is $50, which includes a sweet or savory snack, a coffee drink and a take-home of a hand-held posy and a tabletop bouquet in a vase. All materials are provided.

» To register, email bluedoor444@gmail.com.

» Call 276-475-8121 or 276-628-3213.

» Visit bluedoorgarden.net

ABINGDON, Va. — For Deni Peterson, growing flowers is both an avocation and an art.

“I grow my own flowers, and I dry them in my house,” said Peterson, a resident of Abingdon.

She raises a variety of blooms at Blue Door Garden. She caters to wedding parties. And she sells her crop at the Abingdon Famers Market.

What’s more, she’s getting ready to teach students how to make bouquets — just in time for Valentine’s Day.

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Deni Peterson works on a wreath in her Blue Door Garden workshop in Abingdon.

“Valentine’s Day means the beginning of the spring season,” Peterson said.

Peterson, 58, grew up at Darien, Connecticut. She lived in Grays Lake, Illinois, just before coming to the greater Abingdon area 21 years ago.

Over the past two decades in Southwest Virginia, Peterson has held a variety of jobs — including the creation of the “Leaning Landscapes” project for local schools through Appalachian Sustainable Development.

Still, her heart belongs to what blooms at her gardens off Walden Road in Abingdon.

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Deni Peterson selects dried flowers for a project in her Blue Door Garden workshop in Abingdon.

“I’m a farmer. I’m an educator. I have a master’s degree in education. I have always wanted to teach about the earth and gardens,” she said.

Besides bouquets, Peterson makes wreaths.

“And they’re all over town,” she said. “They’re hanging all over the place.”

Blue Door Garden began in 2001 and was incorporated in 2008. Today, it’s a two-acre operation where Peterson grows dozens of flower varieties.

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Deni Peterson shows a finished bouquet at her Blue Door Garden workshop in Abingdon.

“We grow organically,” she said. “Put your nose in and inhale. Smell to your heart’s content.”

Last year, Peterson said, “I grew so many extra flowers that I now have all of these beautiful dried flowers.”

So she’s hosting a bouquet-making workshop on Feb. 11, 6-8 p.m. at The Girl and the Raven in Abingdon.

“It’s a fun evening of playing with flowers,” she said.

Peterson plans to teach participants how to use dried flowers in arrangements that will last for months.

“You can bring them back out in the fall,” she said.

For the bouquets, she’s using “everything that’s been grown in the 2021 season.”

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Deni and Tom Peterson, owners of Blue Door Garden in Abingdon.

That includes celosia and feverfew plus wheats and oats. She also adds sticks of pussy willows and peaches with fresh eucalyptus and rosemary.

This Friday night workshop is followed by a bouquet sale on Feb. 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Girl and the Raven.

Peterson doesn’t handle this flowery business alone. She is assisted by her 58-year-old husband of 30 years, Tom Peterson.

“I help to grow and dry them, and she takes over with the design work,” he said. “She makes people happy.”