Laura Quatrochi, product designer and university trained botanist oversaw the wildflower division of a prominent wholesale seed grower in Southern California before starting her own seed company in 1987. For 20 years, she created private-label seed products for seed companies and retailers including the Nature Company and Smith & Hawken before creating her own gift line, BloemBox. In 2005, she introduced BloemBox at the New York International Gift Fair with rave success. In the past, Laura created hundreds of products that include a clever botanical card-sorting system, "The Gardener’s FlowerSelect" to a popular “Flowering Lawn”, but now devotes most of her time to developing BloemBox products.
From an interview with Laura at her rural Northern California seedhouse:
“I can’t live without a fresh bouquet of flowers or herbs, listening to music and creating a delicious meal.”
“I enjoy growing poppies from seed. I selected the Shirley Poppy as the signature flower for BloemBox. Using our seed ribbon makes planting small seeded varieties like poppies easy. Poppies are prolific re-seeders and every year they fill my garden with an early flush of colorful blooms.”
“I learned to garden from my mother who grew flowers, vegetable and herbs from seed. She buried vegetable peels and egg shells to fortify the soil long before composting was in vogue. She was a terrific cook and incorporated fresh vegetable and herbs in every meal. She pressed garden flowers and sold beautiful pressed flower collages.”
“If I wasn’t designing gardening products I would design women’s shoes.”
“When I’m not in the garden I love to run 3 to 5 miles in the early morning. My husband loves to run too so when we travel we always take our running gear. Two of our favorite places to run are the Marina on San Francisco Bay and Central Park in New York.”
“I don’t collect anything because I hate clutter and too many possessions.”
“My essential gardening tools are a rototiller, small pick, hand clippers, hoe, shovel, string and wooden plant markers.”
“My favorite gardening tips are to scrape a bar of soap to keep the soil from building up under my nails and rub your hands with rosemary oil to keep them from drying out.”
“Two of my favorite garden fragrances are the soothing perfume of lavender and in the early evening, the heady, intoxicating scent of Jasmine Tobacco."
“I am excited about designing new BloemBox products. I have hundreds of ideas and only a limited amount of time to develop, design, trial and produce new products each year.”
“I love perfection and when something is beautifully made. I’m never satisfied with my work. I study the details and make improvements.”
“To have a successful garden you need to start small! A few flowers, vegetables and herbs in large outdoor containers or in small garden beds won’t take lots of time but are significantly rewarding. Nutrient-rich soil, adequate preparation that includes eliminating weeds, sufficient water and full sun are key to vigorous growth and bloom.”