Urban Flower Farmer Dee Hall on Cultivating Community

Ep.10 Cultivating Community With Urban Flower Farmer Dee Hall of Mermaid City Flowers


Introduction to Dee Hall and Mermaid City Flowers

Dee Hall runs Mermaid City Flowers, an urban cut flower farm in Norfolk, Virginia. Her unique model involves growing on several smaller plots throughout the city, totaling about an acre. Dee also practices floral design and has a strong focus on sustainability in her farming practices.

The Journey of Mermaid City Flowers

Dee shares how her journey into flower farming began with a desire to find locally grown flowers in bulk. Unable to find what she was looking for, she decided to take matters into her own hands and started growing flowers herself. Her forward-facing lot in a garden neighborhood provided her with opportunities to engage with the community and expand her growing spaces through word of mouth and social media connections. Dee currently farms on multiple urban plots throughout her neighborhood and community.

From her grandmother’s garden with night-blooming cactus in St. Lucia to her childhood urban plot in Brooklyn, Dee doesn’t remember a time in her life when she was without flowers. Growing beautiful things is a part of her legacy.

The Importance of Local Flower Farming

Dee emphasizes the significance of local flower farming in supporting the environment, attracting wildlife, and mitigating the effects of climate change. By growing native plants and incorporating them into her arrangements, Dee not only provides beautiful blooms but also educates the public on the importance of sustainability and the impact of sea level rise on coastal communities like Norfolk.

The Black Flower Farmers Collective

Dee is also the founder of the Black Flower Farmers Collective, a group that aims to connect and support black flower farmers across the country and internationally. With a diverse range of members, the collective provides a space for sharing knowledge, resources, and opportunities within the flower farming community. Dee’s vision for the collective includes creating a nonprofit to support aspiring black flower farmers and organizing retreats for members to connect and learn from each other.

Dee Hall, Founder of Black Flower Farmers

Growing Native Perennials

Dee’s special interest in growing native perennials stems from her desire to attract wildlife, support the ecosystem, and extend the growing season. By incorporating native plants into her arrangements, Dee not only provides homes for creatures but also ensures a longer range of blooms throughout the year. She encourages listeners to consult local resources, such as native plant societies and extension services, to learn more about growing native perennials and their benefits.


In this episode of the Backyard Bouquet Podcast, Dee Hall from Mermaid City Flowers shares her journey as a passionate flower farmer and advocate for sustainability and native plant cultivation. Her dedication to local flower farming, community building, and environmental stewardship serves as an inspiration for aspiring flower farmers and gardeners alike. Tune in to the full episode to learn more about Dee’s insights, experiences, and valuable tips for cultivating wisdom and joy through flowers.

Don’t miss out on the heartfelt stories and expert advice shared by Dee Hall and host Jennifer Gulizia on the Backyard Bouquet Podcast. Join the conversation and let your backyard bloom with the beauty of locally grown flowers.

In this episode, you’ll hear about: 

  • 00:01:29 – Dee Hall’s Flower Farming Journey
  • 00:06:36 – Utilizing Available Growing Spaces
  • 00:07:19 – Community Support and Collaboration in Flower Farming
  • 00:08:57 – “Why Not Me?”
  • 00:10:22 – Benefits of Creating Flower Farming Communities
  • 00:14:34 – Childhood Influences on Flower Farming Passion
  • 00:16:51 – Planning and Preparing for Flower Growing Season
  • 00:19:43 – Favorite Flowers to Grow
  • 00:22:33 – Managing Growing Spaces and Plots
  • 00:26:29 – Flower Farming Business Model and Offerings
  • 00:27:13 – Local Farmer’s Markets
  • 00:27:43 – Farmer’s Market Schedule and Season Duration
  • 00:31:32 – Formation and Purpose of Tidewater Flower Collective
  • 00:36:33 – Growing and Using Local Flowers for Weddings
  • 00:44:44 – Black Flower Farmers Collective
  • 00:53:03 – Focus on Native Plants and Sustainability in Flower Farming
  • 00:56:04 – Encouragement for Experimentation and Learning in Flower Farming

Learn more about Dee Hall and Mermaid City Flowers:

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