Sustainable Living: Growing and building your own floral bouquets


This week’s guest was Kali Rabaut of Blue House Florals… who among many other talents, grows her bouquets organically on her home property.

About our guest

Kali Rabaut is a serial entrepreneur, artist, and teacher. Blue House Florals uses 100% locally grown flowers. Frustrated with the narrow definition of cut flowers, Kali encourages her customers to ponder what is beautiful and what is valued.  She grows traditional cut flower favorites, as well as incorporating native and Florida-friendly flowers as well…. All done in a zero waste, totally organic way in Tampa Heights. She says: We’re not just growing a garden; we are creating a robust ecosystem!

We are all working together as we promote a balance of people, profit, and planet.

Some parts of the conversation:


*3 things people can implement this week to be more sustainable.

1 create soil by composting green and brown yard and kitchen waste.

2 do something you feel passionate about so you. Continue to do it.

3 interact with your neighbors… it also teaches them how to grow gardens themselves.


*You started Suncoast composting, a home program that you sold a couple of years ago….

Kali knows having good active organically grown soil is #1 importance so developing that for herself as well as others is critical for growing healthy plants. It’s still provided by another owner.

* What do you say to people who believe that cut flowers are wasteful? Giving flowers to someone you love connects people primally. It lifts us all up… AND some herbs and cutting can be restarted for new plants OR can be composted after they are done.

*What are some of the unsustainable practices in conventional floristry? AND what are the ways you switched that to be more sustainable regarding zero waste?

(Conventional cut flowers travel 2,300 miles on average. Besides the carbon dioxide emissions from airplanes and trucks, there’s also the energy costs of refrigeration. About 75% of the cut flowers in the US are imported from overseas, sometimes as far away as the Netherlands, or Africa.)

(I forgo the conventional florist mechanics such as floral foam, wires, and tape in favor of natural elements such as twigs and twine.)

Social impact

Flowers bring us together. Sharing local, organic, healthy flowers with our community is very important to me. Every year, at least 5% of profits are donated to local causes through special events, or heartfelt bouquets.

Some past organizations include Metropolitan Ministries, Moms Demand Action, Sulphur Springs Battleground, Project No Labels, Creative Mornings St Pete, Palm Avenue Baptist Tower Assisted Living Facility, and more.


*Creating an organic garden also encourages wildlife interaction…. We had a call in about having hummingbirds in the garden and found that

UF IFAS gave us the best list of flowers to get.

How do we create the floral arrangements?

Create a nest of foliage that’s pretty by itself, add focus flowers, support flowers, spikes then texture last as the delicate at the end.

A good way to design is to look for a pleasing color pallet’ stick with warm colors or cool colors in each single bouquet. Also look for sculptural shapes or even a single type of flower bunched together…. Really whatever makes you happy!

Kali offers classes and experiences to learn how.

“Build your own bouquet and garden tour”

She also has a new (Anni’s FAVORITE) service…. The SINGING telegram!!! (With floral bouquet)


Email: [email protected]


Kali is also doing a workshop this Saturday

@Museum of Fine Art in St Pete with Clementine Cafe with edible flowers and floral arranging.

Make SURE to Tune in next Monday morning at 11 for the next Sustainable Living Show. It will be World Carnivorous Plant Day!Follow our Facebook page Sustainable Living WMNF to stay in the loop. Also, to listen to our past shows Just go to “listen on demand” on

EVEN a SINGLE person or act can make a big difference…. Remember, if you are looking for someone to save the world – look in the mirror!

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