Latter-day Saint Life

As a floral farmer, I know all about wilting—and blossoming. This reminder from my zinnias helps me every day

Brianna Hall Wells in her flower farm.
Photo by Lizzography

My love for floriculture started when I was young. At five years old, I would regularly visit and observe a florist neighbor put together her arrangements. My passion grew over time until I started my own floral company and spent over 15 years creating floral arrangements for weddings and events.

I later earned a master’s degree in agriculture, and this path blossomed into a chance to start my own flower farm, Artisanal Blooms, as well as share what I have learned as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University.

I enjoy growing many different types and varieties of flowers at my farm. This last season, I noticed all my zinnias were really struggling. The poor flowers had not adjusted well to the winds and summer sun; they now exhibited browned, crisped foliage.

My mom suggested I pull the struggling zinnias out, but even though they looked dead, I wanted to give them a chance. Despite their burned-looking exterior, I had faith that these zinnias were grown on a foundation of strong roots.

I germinate all my flowers indoors before they are transplanted to the farm. By hand, I individually plant each tiny seed in its own cell. I use heating pads, grow lights, space heaters, and large plastic film to provide ideal conditions for germination.

This last season, I germinated over 22,000 seeds in a makeshift germination chamber set up in my living room. My goal is to help each plant develop as robust a root system as possible before I move them outside.

Working at my farm reminds me of Jesus’s teaching about the mustard seed. Each season, I love to witness the tiny seeds I pour so much effort into growing to become strong and thriving flowers. I can see the same growth happening as I watch my three young children run down the rows of my farm. Because of the One who created this world around us, my family and every single person on the earth has an opportunity to bloom in their own way.

My efforts to nourish the soil for my seed and figuratively for my children give me a small insight into how Jesus Christ does the same for us.

Sometimes we might find ourselves struggling like my zinnias. We feel as if we are planted in a challenging place, wondering if we will even last the season. Our emotions can wilt, and we may become tired as the weight of the world beats us down.

However, Jesus Christ is the very best gardener for us, providing us with everything we need. Even in the most terrible of life’s windstorms or scorching moments, He can help us become more resilient.

Growing flowers has taught me it doesn’t matter how wilted we feel on the inside. If we put our effort into building strong roots in the perfectly nourishing love of Jesus, we will all blossom into something more beautiful than we could have imagined.

With a bit of extra help, patience, and care, those wilting zinnias grew to be as tall as I am, displaying vibrant pink, red, yellow, and orange blooms. While I love their beautiful petals, I’m more inspired by their strong roots that could accept the nourishment from the soil and make their journey of beauty and growth possible.

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