Second generation flower farmer and florist harnesses the blooms to create art





Hannah Rose Rivers Muller is essentially a farmer-florist by birth. She was born at Full Belly Farm, located in the rural, charming Capay Valley of Northern California, and works there to this day. She gained her expertise, similar to how plants absorb water, through osmosis—her skills and knowledge a result of the very soil she was raised on. Here she learned the inner workings of the flower fields, small hands exploring the ground, taking naps in harvest baskets between colorful rows, watching seasons change in vibrancy and texture, and admiring her mother who skillfully nurtured and expanded the flower fields over the decades with care.

Full Belly Farm grows much more than just flowers, with over 350 acres dedicated to certified organic fruits, vegetables, and livestock. While only fifteen of those acres are devoted to cut flowers, they are Hannah’s entire existence. Growing up at the farm provided a sense of purpose. Over time her childhood play plot became a place of passion that lured her back as an adult. She now works alongside a crew of 80 and is in the process of becoming one of the seven owners.

There are three main things the Full Belly crew adheres to when selecting plants for drying: plant material or blooms that hold color, flowers that do not easily shed petals, and specimens that offer a unique shape, texture, or color for arranging. Hannah explains that there is a lot of trial and error, especially when it comes to keeping color, which was the catalyst for writing Designing With Dried Flowers, which provides 40 years of collective experience on the craft. In her book, Hannah beautifully bullets each step of this process, making the art of preservation attainable and exciting. She breaks down each flower from every season and then dives into the role each of these play for a number of dried flower designs. She has become a master at utilizing forever flowers for full, complex, and unique arrangements and it is quite possibly the most robust and thoughtful floral book recently published.

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