A Tour of Grace Rose Farm with Founder Gracie Poulson
This year, we’ve partnered with Gracielinda and Ryan Poulson of Grace Rose Farm for our Mother’s Day bouquet. The farm, located in Santa Ynez, California, is home to over 5,000 roses, each one organically grown, hand-picked, and incredibly fragrant, which means each of our bouquets is as special as mom is! Gracie’s talent, dedication, and hard work is evident not only in her bouquets, but in the farm itself, and we’re happy to share a few behind-the-scenes peeks at the grounds with you here. We also chatted with Gracie to get the details on our bouquet and hear how they’re making things work in the age of social distancing.
terrain: Hi Gracie! Thank you so much for joining us. Your love for roses shines through in every photo of your gorgeous farm. Where did you first discover your passion for the flower?
Gracie: Hi there! My grandma had a beautiful rose garden outside her home, and when I was a little girl, I used to love picking the roses with her and pretending they were mine. I had my own names for all the roses and she would always go along with what I called them. I can’t look at a rose without thinking of my sweet grandma Grace.
terrain: We read that you had to transplant 5,000 roses when you moved to your current farm in 2017. What was that process like?
Gracie: The thought of moving 5,000 roses certainly wasn’t appealing but we agreed that it’d be best to find our forever home then instead of in a few years when we had a greater chance of destroying their root systems. We purchased a 10-acre equestrian farm in the charming town of Santa Ynez, CA. Within a few weeks, we’d removed acres of horse pastures and grasses, tilled the soil, flagged the location where the rose bushes would go, and set up an irrigation system.
For the following three weeks, we had a crew working at our old farm carefully digging up 5,000 roses and a crew at our new farm digging holes and planting the roses the next morning. We’re not entirely sure how it happened but within a few months, we had roses blooming on our new farm for the start of the 2018 season!
terrain: This spring certainly has been one of adaptation for everyone (to say the least). How has the “new normal” affected life on the farm?
Gracie: After it became very clear that the virus was going to change all parts of life, we didn’t know what to expect on the farm this season. It felt like every day another wedding or wholesale order was cancelled. All our roses are tended by hand, grown organically, and require constant care. We’ve consistently scaled up each year, our farm is located on prime California land, and we provide our employees with an excellent standard of living. All of this comes at a cost, which means it’s been a scary time for us as farmers. With that said, we are so thankful we had the foresight to add a retail component to our wholesale business in 2018. I’m not quite sure how to adequately express our gratitude for the support we have received from our extended community over these past few weeks. We have had friends, family members, and Instagram followers share our message and show up to support us! We’re busier than ever which means we’re able to reach, uplift, and encourage more people than ever before with our roses! We are so grateful!
terrain: We’re so thrilled to be partnering with you on our Mother’s Day bouquet this year. We’d love to hear your take on what makes the bouquet so special.
Gracie: The roses we chose for the terrain bouquet are some of the prettiest colored old world roses we have in our fields! The beauty of offering assorted bouquets is that we can choose the very best blooms at the time that we make the bouquet. We wanted this bouquet to feel uplifting and luxurious! We included Evelyn, which is one of our most fragrant roses (and my favorite rose to grow on the farm). She's the real garden rose version of Juliet, but prettier and with so much more movement and individuality. Distant Drums is an unusual beauty with ombre petals. The centers start out sepia with light pink outer petals that mature to mauve. This rose fades beautifully as it ages and smells similar to myrrh. Francis Meilland is our absolute favorite ivory-to-pale blush rose! We recently planted 500 more of this rose and expect to cut thousands of stems each week.
terrain: Especially because so many families are probably celebrating Mother’s Day apart, it feels like sending mom a bouquet is even more special this year. What do you hope moms feel when they receive their Grace Rose Farm Mother’s Day bouquet?
Gracie: I think a bouquet of garden roses has the power to remind moms of their unfailing beauty. Motherhood is such a beautiful (and exhausting!) journey, and moms deserve to be celebrated in the prettiest way possible. I think the best thing about sending our roses is that they’re non-toxic, free of chemicals, and farm to table! Not to mention they’re beyond fragrant, making your home smell like a beautiful rose garden! What mother wouldn’t love that?
You have until Wednesday, May 6th at 10am EST to order your Grace Rose Farm Mother’s Day bouquet in 12 or 24 stems!
Photos 1+ 4 Courtesy of Gemma Ingalls from Martha Stewart Magazine May 2020 Edition; Photos 2, 3, + 5 Courtesy of Jose Villa Photography