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'Little Gay Garden' grows stunning blooms in Salt Lake City

Posted at 6:44 AM, Jun 13, 2024

SALT LAKE CITY — Spring and summer are the times for proms, graduations, and weddings, which all typically involve flowers.

One local flower grower is also a proud member of Utah’s LGBTQ+ community and has a passion for serving the community while also crafting beautiful works of living art.

June Hiatt owns Little Gay Garden in Rose Park and wants everyone to know that you do have a local choice when it comes to buying flowers for any occasion.

Her business began as a hobby but really took root during the pandemic.

Hiatt operates on a quarter-acre plot in the middle of Rose Park, a young woman from Millcreek making the Utah desert bloom.

Hiatt says she always had a passion for gardening and making floral arrangements and bouquets for friends. She decided to make it a career a few years ago, but only after a lot of thought and planning.

“I had to make sure that I was ready to commodify my hobby and take something I love and turn it into something that was going to support myself and pay the bills," she explained.

Hiatt says she’s one of 20-30 Utah growers, many of whom take their fresh-cut flowers each week to a clearing house in Murray, where florists can come and buy local.

“Part of what pushed me into this scale was the reality that Utah has a huge flower market," Hiatt reflected. "We have a lot of weddings and events, the demand for flowers is there.”

Even though the Utah flower market is healthy, it's still a challenge for local growers.

"Flowers are a global product," Hiatt said. "You go to Trader Joe’s, you buy flowers - they’re coming from Ecuador, South America. We have people who are growing flowers, right here in our literal backyards, in our communities and trying to localize a very global industry.”

Hiatt takes immense pride in her work and in the name of her company, "Little Gay Garden," especially during Pride month.

“In the state of Utah, where things are a little tough for the queer community, it’s making it very apparent that I’m here to provide flowers and support community events with flowers and blooms all year long," she explained. "I just didn’t really want there to be a question about where my values are.”

Hiatt says there‘s nothing wrong with buying flowers from Trader Joe’s or other big florists. But she adds, there’s a growing number of buyers who want to support locals like her and she wants to make sure she’s there to fill that need.