The Wild Beauty of Heritage Haven Farm
Mary Martin crafts jewelry, cards and bookmarks using pressed wildflowers that grow on the property.
Mary and Dave Martin have a soft spot for nature. The couple are the sixth-generation owners of Heritage Haven Farm in Smithville, a homestead founded by Mary Martin’s paternal great-great-great-grandparents, who operated a dairy and grain farm there. Today, the property and its history serve as inspiration for Martin’s artistic endeavors: pressed flower jewelry, bookmarks, cards and sun prints.
“My grandma had a big vegetable garden, but she had just as big of a flower garden,” Martin says. “And you were just always in awe of the beauty of flowers … [and] you could walk through the woods and find little native wildflowers that you couldn’t grow in the garden.”
To create her delicate works, Martin collects, dries, arranges and presses seasonal wildflowers from the property, and she estimates that at least 25 varieties grow there. Necklaces feature blue violet and Virginia spring beauty, while the pressed bookmarks and cards are typically created with larger florals, like Philadelphia daisy, lilac and dandelion. The sun prints feature unique designs in which the summer sun is used to capture images of pressed flowers on chemically treated paper.
That love for showcasing these fleeting seasonal blooms of our natural world has been a passion for Martin since childhood.
“When I was little … I’d know dad was going to mow on Saturday,” she recalls. “So, I would run out and pick little bouquets of wildflowers, put them in a little empty jar and set them on the windowsill. I just loved that.”
For more information, visit heritagehaven.farm.