An Interview with Flower Magazine Editor Margot Shaw

flower magazine logo

Today we have a special guest, Margot Shaw, who is the founder and editor of my favorite magazine – flower

Margot, Please tell us a little bit about what prompted you to start Flower Magazine.

Well, I’ve always loved beauty, and words, and had worked in floral design for a few years, unable to find anything with a floral/lifestyle message on the newsstand, and one day had the idea to start a magazine devoted to flowers in every incarnation.Living in Birmingham, Alabama, the home base for numerous national publishing houses made my job easier, especially as I was a complete novice. But the idea began to take “root” and I’ve had amazing help, support, lots of God moments, and incredibly rich experiences in these last 7 years, as we’ve grown and increased to bi-monthly from quarterly.

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Photographer – Becky Luigart-Stayner

What is a typical day in the life of a magazine editor?

Interesting question. For me, there is no typical day, as every day is different. Depending on where we are in the editorial cycle, what special events are on the calendar and where I might be speaking, I can be in the office looking at cover options, or in Chicago presenting to a garden club, in New York meeting with advertisers and flower world folks – my day is never boring. Plus I’m surrounded by interesting, beautiful places, gardens, people, etc. – not exactly rough duty…

As you know, the majority of our readers are floral designers and I’m quite sure
they’d like to know how to submit to Flower Magazine. Any tips?

EASY!! Just email pitch, images, etc. to editorial@flowermag.com –
We LOVE submissions and our team is very quick to respond.

What elements do you look for in a floral arrangement to make it cover ready?

A cover-ready arrangement does not need to be over the top, it just has to have a seasonality and beautiful background, and of course, the flowers and design really fresh. We love an interesting container but not one that distracts from the “star of the show”.

coverfan copy

What do you see as the next big thing in floral design? What has seen its day?

I think the next big thing is just more of the green/slow flower idea, whether its organic plant material, or just something locally grown, versus imported. The loose, garden-y look is one of my favorite throwback styles that I hope will endure. The element of simplicity seems to be gaining ground, whether it’s monochromatic arrangements or mono-bloom. I’m not sure what’s seen it’s day, as my sense is we’re just embracing more design styles and retaining what’s still good design. I still love a beautiful French hand-tied bouquet, or a sphere of rich red carnations in a footed urn, as well as a big mixed English arrangement on a console in the foyer of an important venue. So, these favorites of mine will always be in vogue with me.

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the floral industry?

With all the DIY blogs, Pinterest, etc., the industry MUST continue to emphasize its strengths. I think it’s really important for a designer/retailer to not only market themselves, but offer educational options. It’s one way to expose consumers to good design, and instruct them about flower care and mechanics, all the while having them in the shop/studio being familiarized with the of course, unattainable expertise of the actual designer. So we want to inspire civilians to arrange, but always foster an appreciation for the high level of skill and talent of the professional. The more people are empowered, the more they’ll see flowers as a necessity vs. a luxury, and that’s good for all of us!

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find my inspiration almost everywhere – design books, flower shows, garden tours, travel in general, fashion, interior design, even music. I think the world of design is so interrelated , with all mediums feeding off each other. Our new slogan at “flower” is “flower as a verb” meaning, a lifestyle that flourishes…

Photographer - Cary Norton

Photographer – Cary Norton

Which blogs & magazines do you read?

Well, Flirty Fleurs of course, Style Blueprint, Slow Flowers, Faith Flowers, Flower School of New York, Emily Thompson Flowers, All the Best, Cote de Texas, Honey of a Thousand Flowers, my list is pretty long, but that’s a good smattering of blogs, and magazines I read/have and hope to read: Garden Design, Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, New Yorker, Victoria, Southern Living, Garden and Gun, Art and Antiques and every now and then, Rolling Stone (I’m a music fanatic)

If you were to design an arrangement for your home today what style would it be
and what flowers would you use?

Loose, garden-y, most likely from my garden, augmented by some gorgeous dahlias from my wholesaler, or whatever’s in season, that I don’t have in my garden.

And, I have to ask– what’s your favorite flower?

Right now, it’s either the scabiosa or the poppy. They’re so simple and playful. I like things that don’t take themselves too seriously, have movement, and a little sass.

Thank you, Margot, for sharing your passion for flowers with us! So great to get to know you a bit better!

For more information on flower magazine – click here

Photographer - Brooke Slezak

Photographer – Brooke Slezak

Florist + Wedding Photographer Intervention by Alison Ellis

When floral designers are proud of our work we really, really, really want professional photos to show off our stuff. It somehow seems increasingly hard to find photographers who are willing to share their work with us. Here’s my take on it…

Why don’t wedding photographers share photos with floral designers? We always want photographers to share photos, but some are pushing back and even want to charge for photos of our work. What can we do about this as a professional community? Can’t we all just get along?

Tell us about your experience with photographers sharing professional images in the comments.

Alison Ellis
Floral Artistry
Vermont

Fleur Friday

This week I had a fun little outing with Debra Prinzing to visit Vivian at Everyday Flowers Farm here in Arlington, Washington. Rows & rows of flowers that Debra and I got to walk thru and pick from to make arrangements. So fun!
Here’s my design .. dahlias, zinnias, butterfly bush, sweet peas, nine bark, plum tree, artemsia.

Bella Fiori visits Everday Flower Farm, Burgundy dahlias, zinnias, butterfly bush, nine bark, petunias

Vivian’s flowers can be purchased at Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

Q&A :: Floral Designers & Their Collections

The Question:
Floral Designers & Their Collections~
What do you collect? Seems many of us collect frogs, pottery vases, pitchers, etc.
Send us a picture of your pretty collection!
From Laurie in California

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The Answers:

I love all kinds of vases, here are some of my amber and blue glass vases.
Margaret Joan Florals, California

Margaret Joan Florals - Blue Glass Collection

Margaret Joan Florals - Amber Glass Collection

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I personally collect (or some would say Hoard) all things crystal!
I love glass, crystal and blingy accents. My obsession ranges from Vases, Candleholders, Mini Chandeliers and especially glass or crystal dining/kitchen pieces that double as floral and candle vessels!
Jennifer Manusco, Michigan

crystal chandelier

crystals

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I collect vintage strawberry short cake dolls. They are a reminder of my childhood.
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

Strawberry Shortcake Dolls

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I collect cookbooks. There’s something special about a hardback cookbook. I’m writing notes in mine for my daughter. Just like my grandmother used to do. I cherish those sweet & silly notes she would write. Like don’t fix this.. or you loved this as a child. I plan to pass these down to my daughter one day, just as my grandmother passed her’s on to me.
Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

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I have always been attracted to old, art pottery. When I lived at home in the 80′s my mother, sisters and I would go thrifting on the weekends. Back in the day it was not uncommon to pick pieces up for between $2.00- $$5.00. Now, everyone covets these vessels and they are harder to get at a bargain. They are ,however, some of my favorite possessions!
Carmel of Mt. Lebanon Floral, Pennsylvania

Collectible Pottery

Mt. Lebanon Floral

Mt. Lebanon Floral

Mt. Lebanon Floral

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And what does Laurie, who originally asked the question, collect? Pin cushions and Milk glass!

Fleurie - Collection of Pin Frogs

Fleurie - Milk Glass Collection

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

Wedding Wednesday :: Pink Flowers + Compotes

Recycle The Love – Get to know FULL BLOOM

The Full Bloom Idaho - Arrangement of yellow and pink garden roses

Shawn Chamberlain - The Full Bloom

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn Chamberlain of FULL BLOOM when she attended one of my floral design classes in Seattle. I was instantly intrigued about her project of ‘Recycle The Love’ and wanted to learn more. FULL BLOOM is located in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, and it is here where she spreads the power of flowers. Fresh flowers can help aid in reducing stress and give comfort to those who are dealing with death, terminal illness, severe injury or sickness. Shawn and her team of volunteers accept any gently used or fresh cut flowers from special events and/or gardens to help create beautiful bedside bouquets for local area patients. They recut, repurpose and recycle donated, gently used blooms into beautiful bedside bouquets for patients in area hospitals, hospice care, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. How fantastic is that?!

The Full Bloom Idaho - Shawn designing arrangements

Shawn Chamberlain - The Full Bloom

The Full Bloom Idaho - pink and yellow garden roses

Shawn, How did you come up with the idea for Full Bloom and when did you start?
The idea came about one summer evening while I was working in the gardens at a local hospice facility. I could see in one of the patient rooms, a young mother. I began to reflect about her situation and wanted to do something to let her know someone was thinking about her. I had just cut some flowers, so I arranged them and gave them to a nurse and asked her to deliver them and to tell the young mother someone was thinking about her. I’m not sure it made a huge impact on the patient, but it did on me. I thought, “wait. I’m on to something here.” So that’s sort of how it came about. FULL BLOOM is in it’s 2nd year of operation and hundreds of bouquets have been delivered since that one evening. Pretty amazing, I think.

Shawn Chamberlain - The Full Bloom

The Full Bloom Idaho

Can you tell us how Full Bloom works? How do you ‘Recycle The Love’?

I love the phrase “Recycle the Love” because that’s exactly what we are about and it’s so easy to do! To make a flower donation, all you have to do is go to thefullbloom.org and send a quick email telling us you’d like to donate. I collect a few details about the donation, then contact the planner or florist and arrange the pick up. I have volunteers recut and repurpose all the flowers into bedside bouquets and they are usually out for delivery the very next day. That’s how we recycle the love! It has been really rewarding knowing that this simple gesture has the ability to connect so many people in such a positive way. Whether it’s the one donating, receiving, or the volunteers that help arrange and deliver, every person finds some joy and meaning in it. It’s been really awesome to connect people in this way. Love is such a good thing. Isn’t it?

The Full Bloom Idaho - bridal bouquet of white, pink and yellow flowers

I’m sure you are full of wonderful stories of how flowers have touched someone who really needed them, can you share one of your favorite stories with us?

I do not personally go in to the patient rooms and deliver flowers – I leave that up to the nurses & caregivers, so I do not get to see the response of those receiving them, however, I did happen to have an experience with a patient that I will not forget. It reaffirmed to me that I am doing something good and it’s making an impact on the lives of others. It went something like this: I am on a flower delivery to a care facility. As I was bringing the last vases in, I saw a nurse and a woman ahead of me in the hallway. The nurse had just given the woman one of the bouquets of flowers.
The woman was walking with her walker, so the nurse set them on the seat of the walker.
The woman asked, “Who are those for?”

The nurse replied, “Well, they’re for you. Someone is thinking about you.”

The woman: “Who would be thinking about me?” This question stopped me in my tracks.

Nurse: “Maybe this lady behind you can tell you, she brought them in.” The woman turned to me and with moist eyes said, “These are for me? Well, they’re beautiful.”

I replied, “Yes they are and so are you..”

The woman then quietly said, “thank you, for thinking of me..” It was a very simple exchange of words, but I walked away knowing at least two lives were touched that day – hers and mine.

Thank you, Shawn, for sharing your story of Full Bloom, very inspirational!
For more on Full Bloom check out the website here

Shawn Chamberlain - The Full Bloom

The Full Bloom Idaho

The Full Bloom Idaho, Bridal bouquet of white, pink and peach flowers with grey accents

Visiting Chalk Hill Clematis Farm – Healdsburg, California

Chalk Hill Clematis Farm Healdsburg

Nestled among the rolling hills above Healdsburg, California sits a breathtaking flower farm called Chalk Hill Clematis. Yes, a flower farm focused on growing the beautiful, wild, ethereal Clematis Flower!

Chalk Hill Pink Clematis

The Clematis grown here are available exclusively to floral designers and the trade; yes, you can order Clematis from here! Typically their Clematis are available April thru October, of course weather can affect their flowering season. The Clematis are available in blue, purple, mauve, red, pink, lavender and white. Clematis’ are an excellent vase flower, and will usually last 7-10 days after receiving them. The Clematis from CHC typically have a stem length of 15-18 inches with one flower per stem. Yes, I have had them shipped to me in Colorado when I had the shop there and the flowers arrived in beautiful condition. Check out their website here to see a sampling of the varieties they offer.

Clematis Growing at Chalk Hill Farm

Clematis Growing at Chalk Hill Farm

Chalk Hill Clematis Purple

Chalk Hill Clematis pink clematis

Chalk Hill Clematis Seed Pods

Chalk Hill Clematis Seed Pods

Chalk Hill Lavender Clematis

Chalk Hill White Clematis

Purple Clematis

Chalk Hill White Roses

Visiting Chalk Hill Clematis Farm was a true treat, my mother joined me and she and I just loved every minute of wandering the grounds with the farm manager, Fernando. Just perfect to walk thru the rows of flowering Clematis, to see the rambling roses, rows of Olive Trees, take in the view from the pool area, and a walk thru Mary Toomey’s Clematis garden. Towards the end of our visit Fernando let me loose in the fields as I was craving those crazy, swirling seed pods and winding clematis stems for a wedding I was designing for the following Saturday. The vines I collected that day were just what my bridal bouquet needed ..

Designed by Alicia Schwede of Bella Fiori; Green Bridal party Bouquets

Designed by Alicia of Bella Fiori – Thank you Chalk Hill Clematis, your vines were the perfect touch for these bouquets!

Oh, and if you are curious to know if they produce anything else at the farm they do offer extra virgin olive oil, vinegars and honeys.

Chalk Hill Clematis - Olive Trees

Rows and Rows of Olive Trees

Olive Trees CHC Farm

Contact Information:
Chalk Hill Clematis
PO Box 1847
Healdsburg, CA 95448
Office: 707-433-8416
Fax: 707-433-8963
farmmgr@chalkhillclematis.com
http://chcfarm.com

Mary Toomey Clematis Garden

Bench covered in Clematis - CHC

Chalk Hill Clematis Farm

View from the pool area

Chalk Hill Flower Farm

Never know what you might see while wandering around the 120 acres at Chalk Hill Flower Farm!

CHC Farm

Fleur Friday

Hello Flower Friends –

Did you see that Florabundance announced the dates and speaker line-up for Inspirational Design Days 2015? – check it out here

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Also, last week I mentioned my new part time position at Seattle Wholesale Growers Market. I’ll be posting goodies at the market to instagram so be sure to follow along – here

Jello Mold arrives at the market

Jello Mold arrives at the market

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Last thing .. photo of my sweet niece modeling a flower halo I made with Passionflowers & bachelor buttons -

_MG_8178

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Have a great weekend everyone! See you back here on Monday!

Q&A :: Pricing Boutonnieres & Corsages

The Question:
It’s been awhile since we’ve done a pricing post on boutonnieres and/or corsages.
Send in a picture of a boutonniere or corsage that you have designed. Please also include a list of the materials you used and the final price for the piece.

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The Answers:

Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

KRISanthemums Boutonniere, Lambs ear (from my gardens), leather  wrap (from saddle shop throw away), cedar from gardens, berries  $20.00

Lambs ear (from my gardens), leather wrap (from saddle shop throw away), cedar from gardens, berries $20.00

KRISanthemums Corsage - White cymbidium orchid, pink ranunculus, eucalyptus, bear grass, bracelet and one bling pin $45.00

White cymbidium orchid, pink ranunculus, eucalyptus, bear grass, bracelet and one bling pin $45.00

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Andrea of Dandie Andie Floral Designs, Ontario

Dandie Andie Boutonniere - 2x Spray Rose, Sprig of Green Trick, 1x Tuberose bloom, A few hypericum berries Wrapped with wire. $15

2x Spray Rose, Sprig of Green Trick, 1x Tuberose bloom, A few hypericum berries
Wrapped with wire.
$15

Dandie Andie Floral Design Boutonniere - 2x Spray Rose, Sprig of Statice, 1x Tuberose bloom, 1x Variegated Lily Grass Wrapped with wire. $12

2x Spray Rose, Sprig of Statice, 1x Tuberose bloom, 1x Variegated Lily Grass
Wrapped with wire.
$12

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Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

Park Place Design - White rose, moss and some twine, and brunia, and lambs ear - $21.00

White rose, moss and some twine, and brunia, and lambs ear
$21.00

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Buffy of Pink Posey Design, Colorado

Pink Posey Design - Blushing Bride Protea, agonis Berries, scabiosa bud, camelia foliage and small ranunculus. $18

Blushing Bride Protea, agonis Berries, scabiosa bud, camelia foliage and small ranunculus.
$18

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Lauren of Garden Gate Florals, Florida

Garden Gate Florals - Succulent Oregonia Varigated Green Thistle Teal, gold and dark teal ribbon tied. $18.00

Succulent
Oregonia Varigated
Green Thistle
Teal, gold and dark teal ribbon tied.
$18.00

Garden Gate Florals - Dusty Miller Leaf Peach Ilse Spray Rose Peach Hypericum Berries 3 stems of Birch  Wrapped in Ivory ribbon with a tiny white pearl pin $18.00

Dusty Miller Leaf
Peach Ilse Spray Rose
Peach Hypericum Berries
3 stems of Birch
Wrapped in Ivory ribbon with a tiny white pearl pin
$18.00

Garden Gate Florals - Baby's Breath Jute/burlap ribbon tiny white pearl pin $12.00

Baby’s Breath
Jute/burlap ribbon
tiny white pearl pin
$12.00

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Tammy of Wild Bunch, Shropshire, UK

Wild Bunch Corsage - Double white ranunculus, lilly of the valley, forget me knot, brunnera (and beautiful silk ribbon from Silk and Willow) £9.50

Double white ranunculus, lilly of the valley, forget me knot, brunnera (and beautiful silk ribbon from Silk and Willow)
£9.50

Wild Bunch - Santolina, Pheasants eye naricissi, lilly of the valley, asparagues fern and stachys £8.50

Santolina, Pheasants eye naricissi, lilly of the valley, asparagues fern and stachys
£8.50

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Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

Blooms 'n Blossoms Boutonniere, 1 hellebores 3 creeping red sedum florets 1 boston fern frond 1 stem tri color sage 1 stem lemon thyme 1 stem dill tape, wire & bindwire  Price $18

1 hellebores
3 creeping red sedum florets
1 boston fern frond
1 stem tri color sage
1 stem lemon thyme
1 stem dill
tape, wire & bindwire
Price $18

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Laurie of Fleurie, California

Fleurie, Wired and taped boutonniere with wrapped stem.  I stem spray rose 4.50 1 Galax leaf .50 .25 yd ribbon .50 Pin Labor Tape Wire  $15.00

Wired and taped boutonniere with wrapped stem.
I stem spray rose 4.50
1 Galax leaf .50
.25 yd ribbon .50
Pin
Labor
Tape
Wire
$15.00

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I love getting creative on corsages and to be honest I’m not sure if I could create just a “basic” corsage because I haven’t done one since probably my first floral design class. I know some may think corsages are just an aftermath for flowers, but they are typically for the mothers of the bride and groom, who could possibly be the most important support system these two have had, so they should be wearing something beautiful for their flowers. Here are a few fun and not so typical designs I’ve done in the past.
Katie of Noonan’s Wine Country Designs & The Petal Club, California

Noonan's Wine Country Designs & The Petal Club - Peacock feather wristlet corsage

This was a wedding with peacock feathers and took place at the historic Santa Margarita Barn so burlap and feathers was a must, so we took a basic cuff and wrapped it with burlap, then added in a peacock feather and used the colors of the wedding with a few petals from a purple vanda orchid and then a green pompom mum. The price of this was $25.

Noonan's Wine Country Designs & The Petal Club - dusty miller and rose corsage

For these wrist corsages, they look more traditional, but are created on a floral decorative wire bracelet. These are the more common corsages that go out our door for clients and we create all the bracelets with the wire color of their choice and then add a base with a heavy kraft or fabric covered cardboard at the top of the bracelet. We typically cover this part with a foliage and then add in the flowers and maybe a decorative ribbon or lace accent. These are $25-$30 depending on the flowers used.

Noonan's Wine Country Designs & The Petal Club - Wristlet Corsage

These mother’s corsages were created with a much more labor intensive technique of creating the bracelet with three taped wires and then weaving lily grass tightly into a cuff bracelet creates your base. Then you are able to adhere blooms and accents as desired. Below we used a string of pearls to match the mother’s dresses and then added blooms of vanda orchids, but this can be customized to any style or color scheme. The price of these are $35, maybe should be more but like I said clients have a hard time paying more than $35 for “corsages” so it’s all about showing them a different type of corsage.

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Do you have a question you’d like to ask for a Q&A session? Email it to me at: info@flirtyfleurs.com

Wedding Wednesday :: Elevated Centerpieces

LA Premiere - Photo by Remy Grecco - Elevated centerpiece of all white flowers, tall centerpiece

LA Premiere
Photo by Remy Grecco