Meet Eileen

For as long as I can remember, I’ve truly loved gardening. My parents were avid gardeners and we spent countless hours outdoors cultivating vegetables, fruit, and of course flowers. They taught me to appreciate nature and all that it provides, and I am ever so thankful to them for the early introduction to what has become a lifelong passion.

My name is Eileen Tongson and after all these years, I’m still just as inspired by the natural beauty and cultivation of flowers. I consider myself a city dweller, turned home-grown FarmGal.

Life has taken me to the west coast and back, but my heart and my home has always been in the Sunshine State and the beautiful city of Orlando, Fl. It is where I have raised my family, and now with great enthusiasm that I get to share my love for flower farming and floral design with my community.

Over the years, I have studied floral design at numerous locations including Floret Flower Farm and Flower School New York. I also completed the University of Florida IFAS Master Gardener Program in 2009. I continue to expand and refine my skills regularly through floral design and flower farming workshops across the country and as a member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

In addition to teaching private workshops, I am a Gardening and Floral Design instructor at Harry P. Leu Gardens and East End Market. My flowers and gardening expertise have been featured in Flower Magazine, Florists Review, Edible Orlando, Slow Flowers, Orange Appeal magazine,, The Spruce, and most recently, in Floret Farm's book, "Small Plot, Big Impact: Inspiring Stories, Profiles & Advice from 30 Flower Growers From Around the World" and Debra Prinzing’s book, “Where We Bloom.” I was voted Best Florist in Best of Winter Park 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019. I was named the Garden Club of Jacksonville's Designer of Distinction in 2022. Clients and collaborations have included The Ford Motor Company, Chico’s (clothing), Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Williams-Sonoma Winter Park, Pottery Barn Winter Park, the Orlando Museum of Art, and the Orlando Magic. I am also a contributor to the Growing Kindness Project where I share my knowledge and skills for growing flowers in hot climates and encourages others to “garden and give.”

I believe in locally and sustainably grown, seasonal flowers that support and beautify our community. And, if I am successful in creating a delightful bouquet or arrangement of freshly cut beauties for my clients and local friends, then that makes me one HAPPY home-grown FarmGal!

Why Local?

You might think of food first, but flowers are just as crucial a part of the buy-local movement. After all – flowers feed the soul. Locally grown flowers…
  • ...last longer. Since local growers don’t have to worry about shipping long distances and packing flowers without water, you can rest assured we’ve picked your blooms at the peak time to outlast commercial options.
  • ...require less energy. Did you know that most cut flowers in the U.S. are imported from South America, Thailand, and parts of Africa? Shipping flowers such long distances generates thousands of tons of carbon dioxide and expends enormous energy.
  • ...smell better. Small production farms breed flowers in their most natural state, unlike large producers who modify their flowers to have thicker stems and less fragrance.
  • ...are safer for your family. When you bring in a bouquet from the grocery store or a large commercial chain, you’re also bringing in unwanted pesticides. Many countries in Latin America rely on toxic chemicals long since banned in the United States, but imported flowers aren’t checked for pesticide contamination once they enter our country.
  • ...are grown with passion and love. Small farms take the time and care to nurture their flowers in real sunlight and real soil. In sharp contrast to huge commercial growers that mass-produce flowers in greenhouses and under tarps, our blooms are born of fresh air and attention to detail.