The Beginning:


When I was a little girl I liked high heels and silk dresses and told my mother I would never marry a farmer, or so she tells me!...but by the time I met my husband, Martin, I couldn't wait to join him in starting our farm (Markristo Farm), which has grown from a tiny 1/4acre plot to over 30, of certified organic vegetables, berries and FLOWERS. Our first date was a 4 hr drive to pick up 500 blueberry plants!....but I still like heels and clean clothes;)

The Flowers:

Now it's certainly true that home grown vegetables are about the best of the best, but while raising our three children, Sarah, Rachael and Matthias, my lifelong passion for form and color had me sneaking in rows of flowers, and filling the landscape with ornamental shrubs, with one thing in mind... more cutting material for bouquets! Very soon I was rewarded with an abundance of flowers, and started selling a few bouquets alongside our vegetables, at our Saturday markets, giving away the flowers that bloomed the rest of the week, to neighbors and friends. I brought flowers with me everywhere I went, often giving them to our school teachers as a thank you..I'll always remember the reaction from the international Dressage instructor I took Sarah to, in Brewster, NY..he was used to BMWs and international audiences, but our bucket of semi double sunflowers melted his guard and made a lasting impression that moved him visibly from that day to this.

As word spread about the flowers, and that I had a knack for arranging them, I naturally started fielding inquiries for weddings and special events, and in no time had gained the experience and confidence to take on both small and big events alike.  

Almost 30 years later, I'm still addicted to putting a smile on peoples faces by showing up unexpectedly with a big bunch of arrestingly beautiful, fresh picked flowers! ...the gift of just one exquisite bloom has the ability to found new relationships and change lives. 

The Horses:

MEANWHILE..... From an early age, between harvesting vegetables, arranging bouquets and helping at our markets, Sarah and Rachael (and Matthias, though he won't yet admit it;) fell in love with horses, and before we knew it, horses had found their way onto our farm and into our hearts. Once again, I experienced something that brought unparalleled joy. Learning to be with horses requires an inner focus and harmony that has the power to bring out the best in anyone.

As a young mother, I focused on finding the best resources and mentors to guide us.  I sought methods of working with horses in the same holistic manner that we approach farming; by understanding their innate nature and working in partnership with them, to find a path of mutual benefit, not just a means to an end, in spite of them, so prevalent in the world of horses today. 


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In 2014, with 4 horses at home, (needing more pasture!), and a growing ability of horsemanship skills, dressage, and training, we purchased the beautiful, albeit rundown horse-farm, BridleWood, as an investment for the future. The project of restoring four barns, three arenas, multiple houses and countless outbuildings is fairly overwhelming, not to mention roadways, and water and electric infrastructures... but the property is on a hillside with sweeping vistas of the Taconics and Berkshires and there is so much good-will from friends and neighbors eager to see the property revitalized, into a family friendly space where the human equine experience can unfold and grow, that a day doesn't go by without us feeling incredibly fortunate to have this chance to not only experience horses ourselves, but to share them with the world, through BridleWood Dressage & Equestrian Center. 

And yes, how could I resist, I've already established rows of Hydrangea, Delphinium and flowering trees, with more to be planted every year! 


My new floral design studio, BridleWoodBlooms, combines two of my most favorite things, horses and flowers; and with the help of flowers, BridleWood will blossom again, not only as a healing place for horses and their partners, but as a local wedding venue in its own right...we cant wait to share it with you and we hope you'll call us about your next event and floral needs!

Thank you for being a part of our journey, we look forward to collaborating!!