May 2020 Feature Story: Tarry Grove Flower Farm + Design

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

Ashley Kirnan | Floral Designer | Tarry Grove Flower Farm + Design

I met Ashley at our Winter Styled Shoot this past March in Rochester, NY. Each shoot, I try to work with new vendors to always build my network of amazing businesses in the area. So each styled shoot is kind of a shot in the dark. And boy did she deliver!

Her floral designs are so unique and creative. She thinks about every little detail that goes into designing floral arrangements. From centerpieces and bouquets, to arbor installations and more! She doesn’t miss a thing.

She exudes energy and excitement for this craft. It only took me 10 minutes to witness this. One thing I admire about all of the vendors I work with, is the love they have for their craft. Which is why I continue working with them even after our styled photoshoots.

I’m so excited that Ashley will be participating in our Summer styled photoshoot. She is also a part of the team creating our Fall Adventure Elopements. These couples are so lucky to have her designing all floral for their special day.

Enjoy her story below.

Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what did you wish to be when you grew up?

I'm married, a mom to three active kids (11, 9, and 7), and rely on God's grace every minute of the day. I'm a flower farmer/florist and work from my barn studio here at our home and farm, Tarry Grove. I'm from Alden, NY. I'm the oldest of three, and grew up playing outside with my siblings - trying to catch tadpoles, running around in the field, and reluctantly weeding the garden. My dad taught us how to plant beans (we used a little six inch stick to measure where to drop the seeds) and my mom canned all those beans we grew, along with tomatoes. I wanted to be a veterinarian when I grew up; I've always loved animals (especially baby animals), so I guess I'm now living out part of that childhood dream surrounded by our collection of animals on our little farm.

What brought you to where you are today?

My husband and I bought our nine acre property in 2016 to escape suburban life and started a new business hosting weddings and events in/on our barns and property. We renovated our back barn to make a usable reception space, and spruced up the front barn with a bar and cocktail hour space. We hosted weddings for two seasons (which was exhausting, glorious, stressful, and such a joy and honor), and, after a series of issues, made the heartbreaking decision to close the doors on the venue portion of our business. My five year plan was to host weddings for as long as the barn wedding trend was alive, and then move into growing and designing flowers for weddings and events. Flowers have always been an intense passion of mine, and they hold such a deeply meaningful place in my heart. Creation (especially flowers) just takes my breath away. I've gardened basically my whole life, and grew flowers and sold them at a local farmer's market during the summer of our last wedding season. I am now entering into my second full wedding season of floral design. My sweet husband is such an amazing support and goes along with all my crazy dreams and ideas, and builds me basically anything I even hint at wanting/needing. I'm very sustainably minded, and love to support other local food and flower farmers as well. I use mechanics that are more eco-friendly (I avoid using flower foam), strive to design seasonally, and love being challenged and being a lifelong learner. I also offer cut flowers for other local florists to purchase. I grow bulbs, dahlias, and lots of annuals and perennials.