Fabulous Florist :: Crimson & Clover Floral Design, Maryland

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - Maryland

Your name: Amy Epstein McManus
Your Business name: Crimson & Clover Floral Design
Your Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - bridal bouquet with anemones, tulips, thistle

How did you start your business and how many years have you been in business?
I started by business on a whim after the florist I was managing went out of business. I had only worked in the industry about 3 years at that point but I was very passionate about it and loved learning along the way. That was almost 12 years ago.

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - white and cream cascading bridal bouquet

What is your design aesthetic and what inspires you?
I love lots of texture and unusual color combinations. I like to take something that seems like it won’t work and make it make sense. The contradiction of different aesthetics is really exciting to me, like industrial meets pretty.

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - white and green bridal bouquet

What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?
I love interpreting a feeling or emotion through design. I think I have a pretty good knack for understanding that in a client and I love to see it come to life. Everything I create is customized per client and so its always changing. I find it to be so personal and rewarding.

Crimson and Clover Floral Design -  orange, peach and cream bridal bouquet

What is the most challenging aspect of being a floral designer?
Working with availability and best quality in product is absolutely the most challenging thing about my job. That part of it where it’s just out my hands can cause some serious anxiety.

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - dahlias in a metal tin

What advice would you give to aspiring floral designers?
I would advise aspiring designers to play around a lot with different styles of designs. As I have found with my own fine arts background, having the skill to do many different design styles will allow you to truly find your own style and make it impeccable.

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - green and white floral reception

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
We have had a lot of blush/champagne/grey brides and even ones where they bring in a dark burgundy undertone which I love. Everyone wants that really loose, asymmetrical, organic look which took me a little while to master, but once I mad it my own, I was able to have a lot of fun with it. I can’t imagine ever having brides who don’t ask for flowers such peonies, garden roses, anemones, and ranunculus…and honestly I hope I don’t either.

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - bridal bouquet with yellow and white flowers

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
My red handled bunch cutters. I have been using the same style of clippers for over 13 years. They are about $7 a pair and since I’m always accidentally throwing them in the trash, they are easy to replace. They are strong and comfortable in my hand.

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - manzanita branch and white rose centerpiece

What’s your favorite Social Media platform and why?
I really love Instagram for social media mainly because its the easiest thing to keep up with the shows followers exactly what they want to see- a photo of some pretty flowers. I can update it regularly and keep a buzz going about all the exciting things we are working on!

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - dahlia centerpiece

Contact Information:
Crimson & Clover

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - red and cream bridal bouquet

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - textured bridal bouquet with roses, pincushions, rose hips and seeded eucalyptus

Crimson and Clover Floral Design - bridal bouquet with dahlias

2014 Trends in Floral Design

Hi Flower Friends!
I sent out a Content Call recently where I asked all of you — As the 2013 event season comes to an end and as the 2014 brides start to come in for their consultations, I am quite curious to hear what trends you are seeing for next year. I’ve heard that gold, crystals, opulent, elegant are in, have you seen the same? What color palette looks to be the most desired?


Gold, gold, gold, did I say GOLD? seeing it used everywhere, as an accent, as a focal.
Margaret Burnette, Texas


The romantic garden look is still very popular for weddings in Texas. Floral design tends to follow fashion and interior design trends and grey is the new neutral showing up in all the high end design magazines. In wedding design that can translate to a palette of white flowers and gray berzillia berries, dusty miller and blush garden roses as in my design below that won best floral design at the recent Houston Design Center “Deck the Tables” design competition this month.

I think we are finally starting to see some loosening up of the tight domed European bouquet look in Texas. High end designers here are starting to echo the naturalistic Constance Spry or Dutch Masters style from top New York designers like Ariela Chezar and Lewis Miller. With the new Pantone color of the year being Radiant Orchid, I imagine there will be more soft lavenders and blue tending pink showing up in the bridal palette.
Madeleine of Fleur de Vie, Texas

Centerpiece of anemones, juliet garden roses, berzillia berries, dusty miller, seeded eucalyptus

Designed by Fleur De Vie


Looking into 2014 I see a lot of gold as an accent. Lush elegant designs -1920’s era.
A big lean away from mason jars to wine themed weddings (not necessarily at a wine venue) but elements of wine barrels, custom wine as a signature drink, rustic elements (vines, foliage, looser garden style designs, etc).
As far as color palette; I have been getting a lot of requests for all white weddings, followed by pastels (peach/coral, blush pink, butter yellow, etc.) and purple /lavender color palettes.
Lora of Sophisticated Floral Designs, Oregon

purple and green bridal bouquet designed by Lora Losinger

Designed by Sophisticated Floral Designs


At this point all of my weddings for next year are diverse as the brides. I start the year with a bright pink and yellow Peruvian wedding in January…think lots of alestromeria and anemones. The next wedding is a napa/wine theme using white and purple hydrangea and succulents as the main flowers. I have a wedding in a recently renovated historical building that will use mostly white flowers that have a romantic feel, but will be more modern because the bride has long tables, instead of rounds and we will be using a lot of square and rectangle shaped vases. I have a wedding in the summer that will be using protea…kings, queens, and pin-cushions. And another that has a coral and teal look with peonies, garden roses, and succulents. AND I have a more traditional red rose wedding too! Seems like the only thing that is consistent is that the centerpieces are multi-layered….clusters of vases and lots of candles…and the bouquets are all hand-held….no cascading!
Andrea Layne Floral Design, Florida

peach and white rose bridal bouquet by Andrea Layne Floral Design

Designed by Andrea Layne Floral Design


I am finally seeing blush! A lot of my fellow designers started seeing this trend last year but now it’s finally hit for us. Blush and lush with fluffy romantic flowers such as peonies and garden roses with gold vessels.I’m also seeing succulents and airplants continuing very strongly.
I’m still seeing a more elegant rustic trend, vintage touches with vintage bottles, lace etc. Mason jars have been slowly fading and we didn’t do a single Mason jar wedding in 2013! Yay
Susan of Three Sisters Custom Flowers & Events, California

Vintage Wedding Reception with cream flowers and succulents

Three Sisters Custom Flowers & Events


I’ve booked several weddings for 2014. Many of which include pink & gold. However, the country/rustic trend is still hot in my area…with the majority of what I’ve booked thus far in 2014 following that trend. I think this is the case because of the area I live in too. I also believe that a softer, laid back, country/rustic wedding is somewhat an escape from a fast paced world of smart phones, electronics,and plastic/metal manufactured surroundings.
Jessica of Blooms ‘n Blossoms, Kentucky

Blooms N Blossoms bridal bouquet of coral pink and white flowers

Blooms ‘N Blossoms


I sure hope mason jars our going out, but seeing a lot of peach and mint with outdoor and barn weddings still big.. Also, purples are big for me. I feel Michigan is about 2 years behind the trends. I have a bridal show in Jan. and I am going to show lots of gold and mercury, tall candle sticks and black with flowers in magentas, purples, and fucshias, a good friend of mine (Holly Chapple) once said if your going to do it go big and show what you want to sell. I still will show my vintage but want to go the other way for 2014. and 2015
Tracy of Park Place Design, Michigan

Park Place Design, peach and white bridal bouquet

Park Place Design


My clients are requesting pastel palettes. Blush pink, cream, and gold is definately the most popular. Many are requesting soft colors with a pop of a single color such as dark apricot or plum. Desired style for my clients range from vintage glamour to rustic elegance. Since, we are near the Jersey Shore, I have seen a trend toward vintage seashore themes.
Sally of Pink Dahlia Vintage, New Jersey

Pink Dahlia Vintage, Pink rose vintage bridal bouquet

Pink Dahlia Vintage
Tami Melissa Photography


Neutrals with metallic shine of all kinds, but especially gold. Still a strong “wildflower” look, and we always have a good amount of nautically influenced weddings being on the coast. Elegant is definitely the most popular adjective for 2014.
Polly of Robin Hollow Farm, Rhode Island

Robin Hollow Farm, pink flowers in silver mercury glass containers

Robin Hollow Farm


I’m seeing a little bit of the same with the blush, but I’m seeing a lot of requests for black/whites, lots of woodland designs and corals.
Alex of Exquisite Designs, Illinois

blush, peach and white centerpieces in mercury glass

Exquisite Designs


Trends for 2014 are purples…or should I say more purple.
Kris of KRISanthemums, Oregon

KRISanthemums Purple and lavender bridal party bouquets



The trends for weddings in my area are way behind the trends in other places in the country, so we are just now hitting the burlap-and-mason-jars scene pretty hard. I’m trying to push it ahead by doing a lot of styled shoots that are farther ahead in the recent trends.
Kelsey of Crabapple Floral, North Dakota

Crabapple Floral North Dakota Wedding Flowers

Crabapple Floral


I’m seeing more purple tones for this year’s brides and still lots of texture. Burlap and lace continue to be favorites as it mixes the perfect marriage of rustic with romantic. Last year seemed to be the year for gold/silver/crystals but I hope it continues.
Dana of Della Blooms, Maryland

Della Blooms, Flowers decorating wedding cake

Della Blooms


We’re continuing to see consistently strong interest in vintage-inspired weddings with pale color palettes and assortments of vintage vessels as reception centerpieces– barnwood boxes are big, as are vintage white pottery and vignettes of apothecary bottles with small bouquets or single stems. No “matchy matchy” centerpieces (These are all, of course, very Pinterest-fueled ideas.) We are also seeing a trend towards simplifying the ceremony site decorations and dedicating more towards reception site decor.
We are located in the Ohio, so big trends often start on one of the coasts and take a few years to make their way to the Midwest. We look forward to reading what others are seeing for 2014!
Kay & Susan of Buckeye Blooms, Ohio

Buckeye Blooms, wood box centerpiece with foliages and succulents

Buckeye Blooms

Buckeye Blooms, Vintage Floral Design with bottles and white flowers

Buckeye Blooms


We’re still seeing lots of blush and ivory palettes. Hydrangeas, garden roses and peonies are still very popular. We’re also still seeing a lot of burlap, lace and baby’s breath.
Althea of Rose of Sharon Floral Designs, Arkansas

peach and white bridal bouquets

Rose of Sharon

The Price of Beauty by Alexandra Jusino

Wondering what a bridal bouquet goes for these days? I asked a few of my floral designers around the country and the answers were different and, of course, so were the designs.

Let’s start the bouquet round-up with Angie Strange from Posh Floral down in Dallas, Texas. She created this beautiful bouquet of hyacinths, coral roses, hypericum berries, dusty miller and mini peach carnations for $165.

Alicia Broehl from AJ Florals in Maryland designed this lovely bouquet of Caramel Antique roses, Ocean Song roses, fern curls, blue limonium, purple hydrangea, dried lots pods and balsa wood accents. This bouquet retails for $175.

From Exquisite Designs in Chicago I submitted this teardrop cascade bouquet of white Vendela roses, white dendrobium orchids, white agapanthus and white cymbidium orchids for a cost of $220.

Lesley Frascogna from Tulip in Jackson, Mississippi sent in this beauty made of Juliet garden roses, Polar Star roses, tuberose, white sweet peas and pieris japonica. Upping the ante, Lesley wrapped the bouquet with four different types of ribbon some of which were vintage finds from her trip to New York City last March. This lovely bouquet retails for $300.

From Bare Root Flora in Denver, Colorado, Robyn Rissman sent her bouquet of amaryllis, ranunculus, clematis, cheerfulness narcissus, Free Spirit roses, garden roses, hyacinth, pieris japonica, dahlia, carnations, viburnum berry and jasmine vine. This bouquet sells for $375.

Courtenay Lambert from Courtenay Lambert Florals out in Covington, Kentucky sent in this gorgeous bouquet of football mums, fringe tulips, hyacinths, lilacs, calla lilies, ranunculus, and berzelia berries. As an extra embellishment, she added a vintage brooch and upgraded the bouquet ribbon to a dupioni silk. It sells for $495.

Victoria Clausen of Romance of Flowers located in Reisterstown, Maryland sent in the next two bouquets.
This bouquet is designed with hydrangea, roses, spray roses, sweetpeas, poppies, tulips, gloriosa, ranunculus, amaranthus, astrantia and costs $250.00

This bouquet is designed with hydrangea, peonies, eucarius lily, sweet peas, ranunculus, gardenias, nigella, Artemisia and costs $320.00.

I also asked Janet from Floral Verde out in Arizona to send in her succulents cascade bouquet, which, like all these bouquets, is a work of art. It took Janet eight hours to complete this bouquet… and almost an hour alone to create the armature out of Manzanita branches. This bouquet is made of natural manzanita, uluhe fern curls, Oncidium Sharry Baby, white gloriosa lilies, Graptoveria ‘Bella’, Pachyveria glauca ‘Little Jewel’, Kalanchoe tomentosa, Echeveria’ Mazarine’, Echeveria ‘Violet Queen’, Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’, eucalyptus bells, seeded eucalyptus, wooley bush, and Haworthia fasciata…Does anyone care to put a price on it?

As a bride you might be asking yourself why does a bridal bouquet cost upwards of $150? A couple of things drive the cost of a bridal bouquet …. Labor is one and the amount of texture or different blooms within the bouquet itself is another one. For a cascading bouquet like the one pictured above each single cymbidium had to be wired and as the designer who wired that beauty it was time consuming, and it takes a lot more time to put together and cannot be done more than 24 hours prior to the wedding as the main flower in that bouquet had to be out of water.

Take a look at Bare Root Flora’s bouquet, Robyn has eleven different types of blooms that encompass that bouquet. Floral designers get most of their flowers in bunches. Garden roses come in bunches of 12, traditional roses come in bunches of 25, others like ranunculus in bunches of ten. You get my drift? For every single additional type of bloom included in a bouquet a floral designer has to purchase more and more bunches which drives the price. Even though they cannot use all of them in a single bouquet (because that would make it way too heavy) they still have to purchase it. Then they have to process the flowers which entails cleaning the stems of leaves, dethorn the roses, and hydrating them before a design can begin.
In addition, not all the flowers within the bunches are perfect therefore a designer has to identify the blooms that are worthy to be included in a bridal bouquet and then create the magic that is delivered to you on wedding day.

Fabulous Florist :: AJ Florals

Your name: Alicia Broehl
Your Business name: AJ Florals
Your Location: Southern Maryland

How did you start your business?
I started doing freelance floral design just after my own wedding three years ago. I took a design class to learn the basics and helped out in a floral design studio two days a week learning as much as I could about the business. I got my very first floral job for a friend’s wedding last year and have done several on my own since then. Most of my work comes from part-time freelancing as I still maintain a full-time job in the investment industry Monday through Friday. I hope to make a career change to floral design on a permanent basis in the near future but for now it remains my part-time love. My challenge is making the transition from a consistent salary to one with varying and unpredictable income. Something has to pay the bills!!! My true talents and skills lie in the creative and artistic fields and I hope to one day reach the point where I can make my passion my profession.

What is your design aesthetic?
I’m fairly adaptable to the wants/needs of who I’m designing for whether it’s a formal affair with elegant styling or a casual, rustic celebration using natural elements. I do tend to lean towards more symmetrical designs.

What inspires you?
Anything can inspire me; however, I do have a slight obsession with paper products and fabric. From beautifully hand crafted paper to various textures and prints of fabric. I could spend hours in fabric stores digging through piles of remnants looking for unique color combinations or design ideas.

What are the trends, flowers & colors that are unique to your region?
Given Maryland’s proximity to water whether it’s the Chesapeake Bay, rivers or the Atlantic Ocean, there seems to be a trend to incorporate marine life or vegetation into weddings. An outdoor wedding held on Maryland’s Eastern Shore or anywhere near water uses tall grasses and reeds to compliment the natural surroundings. Maryland brides also love to incorporate the blue crab in their weddings. Stationary, gift bags, favors, table design or cakes… you can put a crab on anything!

Are you a retail shop, studio/warehouse or home based?
I am home based for now and it suits my needs for the level of events I am doing. I also freelance for several designers/event planners in Maryland which gives me the opportunity to be in a small business environment and learn.

Do you offer any services in addition to floral designs?
I am a great napkin folder! Some of my freelance jobs have included helping to coordinate day of services for a wedding. I typically stick with the flowers from creation to delivery and set up but I have jumped in to help in other areas when needed.

What does your toolbox look like?
You would typically find my toolbox at a construction site rather than toting around floral tape, straight pins and double faced satin ribbon. It’s a red and black heavy duty square box with a handle and carry strap. Lots of pockets for all my clippers and scissors and space for a spray bottle and paper towels. I was hoping for something fun and feminine but I guess tool manufacturers haven’t yet fully embraced the female, home improvement customer to begin marketing pink toolboxes en mass.

What tool in your toolbox can’t you live without?
Paper Towels! I always have a roll of paper towels with me for that inevitable spill. Moving heavy glass containers full of water and flowers from delivery truck to table is never perfectly smooth.

What’s your favorite flower?
David Austin Roses. I love the fullness and fragrance they give to a bouquet Their multiple layers of petals remind me of our own layers as people more particularly brides. When you peel back the layers of style, theme, venue, budget, etc., you find a girl who fell in love and she’s getting married. It’s just that simple.

Anything else you’d like to share with Flirty Fleurs followers?
I love learning and exploring my new profession!

Contact Information: