Sunday, July 14, 2013

on snobbery

There is a tremendous amount of pressure on us garden style florists to use only extremely hard to find garden flowers and only the most exotic specimens of those.  I can't even count the times a week I see on instagram someone talking about how they "foraged" their flowers (hopefully NOT from somebody's garden, but you never know).


I love those flowers too, but I'm a business person, not a 20 year old sunhat wearing independently wealthy vagabond who drives around clipping things from yards instead of buying them at the flower market.
Sorry if that sentence seems random, but I have a feeling it will get a few cheers from some of you.


It's hard to not be jealous seeing other people get their hands on amazing flowers.  Of the NYC florists who get to use varieties I've never even seen before.  But then I try and check my privilege and consider the florists in the middle of the country with no local markets who are jealous of what we can get in LA.


Which brings me to these centerpieces from yesterday.  A bride who wanted all white and was extremely concerned that nothing show any tiny trace of browning or bruising had me reaching for varieties that are considered passe amongst many modern garden florists.  I ended up loving what I made, and it was a flower recipe with ingredients that most florists should be easily able to get their hands on.


I love using more unusual flowers and I will always do my best to source from local growers as much as possible.  That said, it's so nice to have this reminder that Columbian hydrangeas can still be graceful, that traditional roses can sometimes work as well as garden roses, and that queen anne's lace can be graphic and modern.  It's all in the styling.


Brides and flower enthusiasts, sorry about this post.  This one's for my florist readers.  And for them I'm also giving the recipe for this arrangement:

6 white hydrangea
5 Polo roses
3 Vendela roses
5 white freesia
2 white peonies
2 stems of white lisianthus
2 white veronica
3 white stock
1 stem of white campanula
about 1/4 of a field bunch of queen anne's lace

and greenery.  I used
-1 branch of tree ivy
-3 stems of brake fern
-2 hosta leaves



  1. A different JillJuly 14, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    As a florist working in the Canadian prairies I am faced with little to no sources for local product due to an extremely short growing season for any viable commercial output. I laughed as I read this post, as the varieties you used to make your beautiful centerpieces are the staples used in the high end shop I work at, and are above and beyond anything one would find at the chain stores around here.

    while I drool at some of the blooms you coastal designers have the privilege to work with, I am in love with and very proud of the work I produce with "common" varieties and am almost grateful that I get butterflies during my countdown to dahlia season and the fact that a perfect ranunculus can still make me squeal.

    Here here to your post!

  2. Its lovely. Its not the ingredients, but what you do with them. Its a beautiful example of mostly "common" flowers that you have artfully designed. I live 4 hours from a market, I am at the mercy of my local wholesalers, who all get the very most common things. I love to source flowers and foliage from my gardens and friends' gardens to add interest to otherwise common goods.

  3. I cheered big time for not being a 20 year old sunhat. It's overwhelming how connected I feel to this post---esp. in the heart of the season. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I second Becca's comment - felt good not being a sunhat.

  5. Lovely as always lady !! Thanks for the post !!

  6. Thank you for sharing this! Makes me feel better about not always being able to find all those fabulous garden varieties. Your arrangement of "common" flowers is gorgeous!

  7. Bless you for declaring that its ok not to be a vagabond, wandering the countryside. As a business owner, mother, and someone who's income from a very busy schedule matters to the family, I get overwhelmed with those Instagram foraging shots. Here here! And thanks!

  8. A beautiful arrangement! I feel your pain... I have even considered moving to Seattle to be closer to the bounty. Austin has very few locally grown flowers, and you're right, we have to make beauty out of what is available. I do feel guilty about flying everything in most weeks.

  9. Truly your post is awesome and informative too... thanks for the share...

    Nature and Flowers

  10. It's so fresh and pretty. Perfect choice of flowers and amounts. I'm surprised at how few flowers it took to get this look!

  11. Its lovely. Good choice of flowers. This is great that you love using the unusual flowers and it appreciable that you are going to give your best with the help of local growers.

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