In 1991 the United States attempted to undermine illegal drug production in Andean countries by boosting legal industries, like flower growing, with duty-free imports. Roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, and orchids began to be shipped north—and U.S. flower farming was hit hard.
GRAPHIC: NGM STAFF. SOURCE: U.S. BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
The trade agreement has since expired, and U.S. floriculture is bouncing back. Consumers are being encouraged to select local flowers by groups like Slow Flowers, founded by writer Debra Prinzing, and Certified American Grown, which allows farmers to label their blooms as U.S.A. grown.
“The more awareness the American consumer has about where flowers come from, the better for all of us,” says Andrea Gagnon, a flower farmer in Gainesville, Virginia. “It’s just like asking, Is this a local tomato for my BLT? Now people can ask, Oh, is this a local dahlia?”
RELATED VIDEO: FLOWERS BLOOM BEFORE YOUR EYES
Witness dozens of different types of flowers unfurling in this stunning time-lapse video from filmmaker David de los Santos Gil. He used 5,000 out of 50,000 shots of his floral subjects for the final video, which was filmed over a period of nine months.