The Designers behind the Flowers

Every wonder who is creating and designing all these gorgeous floral designs we see??
Here are just a few of the designers that make the world a prettier place!

florist with flowers

Laurie of Fleurie

florist designing an arch

Kate of Floret Cadet

two florist sisters

Dawn and Mary of A Garden Party

florist sisters

Jan & Jillian of Natural Beauties Floral

florist with flowers

Tina of Living Fresh

Ashley of Tinge

Ashley of Tinge

… And the Photo that makes me smile the very, very most!! Cathy of Sprout Flowers in Worcester, MA is back to work after a three month hiatus while she fought cancer! Seeing her re-open her shop this week and her big smile while holding flowers is just the best! I can only imagine how happy the residents of Worcester are to have Cathy back!! Hugs to my friend 🙂

We Love Cathy Walsh + Sprout Flowers

Hi Flower Friends!
Have you met Cathy Walsh of Sprout Flowers, Worcester, MA? She’s one of my favorite flower people and a dear friend. I’ve had the good fortune of visiting Cathy a few times, once she took me to the beautiful Spring Bulb Show at Smith College.
If you are active in Social Media you may have had the opportunity to connect with Cathy, as she is quite lovely at sharing her flower knowledge.
Cathy and her shop are currently on temporary medical leave while she recovers from surgery for esophageal cancer. You can read more here and on her Caring Bridge page.

We are shouting out loud – Cathy, We love you and wish you a speedy recovery!! Your flower family is keeping you close to the heart, and in our thoughts & prayers.

Cathy Walsh Sprout Flowers

blush bridal bouquet

blush dahlia bouquet

gold orchid arrangement

pink and white flower arrangement

pink peonies

winter wedding flowers

blue hydrangea arrangement

Sympathy Floral Designs

Lately I’ve had quite a few people ask me about Sympathy Floral Designs, they are searching for inspirational, beautiful and non-Traditional pieces. I’ve been searching around and came across these lovely pieces, beautiful tributes to people who have passed.
(click on images to visit the website of the designer)

flower sympathy wreath

Colonial House of Flowers

sympathy wreath

La Jolie Fleur

white flower sympathy wreath


white casket spray

LMD – Lewis Miller Design

white heart wreath

Songs From The Garden

memorial flower design

Sprout Flowers

Casket Flower Spray

Sprout Flowers

casket flower spray

Sprout Flowers

heart flower wreath

Sprout Flowers

purple funeral flower spray

Sprout Flowers

flowers for funeral

Sprout Flowers

white flower arrangements on altar

Sprout Flowers

white casket spray

Sprout Flowers

white flower sympathy wreath

Three Sisters Flowers & Events

red flower sympathy wreath

Winston Flowers

white flower casket spray

Winston Flowers

white flower arrangement of roses

Winston Flowers

heart flower wreath

Winston Flowers

sympathy wreath green white

Colonial House of Flowers

sympathy yellow wreath flowers

Colonial House of Flowers

sympathy cross of flowers

Colonial House of Flowers

Expert Panel : Locally Sourced Product

I’d love to know if you source flowers locally or from US farms. If so, can you share your experiences working directly with growers? If not, why not—so we, as growers, can improve and reach out to designers … we’d love to know what your favorite “locally sourced” flowers/foliages are.
Submitted by LynnVale Studios, LLC

Robyn from Bare Root Flora:
We are fortunate that our local brokers get a fair amount of flowers from Colorado’s own Jordan’s Greenhouse, which grows a hefty portion of the tulips, dahlia, anemones, and ranunculus we buy. Colorado was actually home to many large flower growers back in the day, but those farms went by the wayside long ago. What we wouldn’t do for a Floret Flower Farm down the road! 🙂 We do try to patronize other fabulous growers like Swan Island Dahlias, out of Oregon, for example. But most of that road ends up being navigated by our wholesalers themselves–we don’t have a tremendous amount of experience working directly with growers. I’d love to get hooked up with more small-scale artisan flower farmers, so if you’re out there, let us know about you!

Ariella Chezar:
As much as possible I grow my own and use local growers. The balance comes to me from the San Francisco and the New York markets. I tell the local growers which flowers I am interested in, and they grown them. I am always after unusual varieties and colors but most especially, I am interested in flowers that have been grown responsibly and without pesticides.

Brandon from Epic Flowers:
We’ve been working with local farms for close to 15 years now. What we look for is product that you do not find in traditional designs. Local farms have played a big part of our success because they listen to what we want and they have made is possible for us to design with fun unique florals and greens. Some local farms compete against us florists. This is a turn off, as you might know and when it comes to who we buy tulips from this spring we will remember that. Local farms who want to work with local florists need to know competing against us is not sustainable. Our favorite locally grown flowers: Varieties of Coxcomb/Amaranth, veggies/fruit (ornamental peppers, artichokes, okra, raspberries) snow on the mountain, peony greens, canterbury bells, red shuttle flower, turtle flowers, bergamot, a variety of herbs (mint, Sage, rosemary)

Cori from Moss Fine Floral:
I do source flowers locally as well as from local and national floral wholesalers. I would love to support more independent farms but have only successfully worked with a few. I’ve found that the two farms I work with most are very casual which only works with a very casual client. My calls are sometimes not returned and email is sparse with these growers. This doesn’t stop me from chasing them as their product is always gorgeous and they do service with a smile. If there are farms out there that are reading this post and they can work with me in Chicago I’d love to hear from you!

My local faves are limited but extremely fresh: Zinnia, Cockscomb, Dahlia, Lisianthus, Peony, Limelight Hydrangea, Amaranthus, Tuberose, Sunflowers, Gomphrena, Ornamental Kale, Euphorbia, and Eucalyptus.

Cathy from Sprout Flowers:
My only experience working directly with local growers has been pretty limited. I don’t have time to get out of the shop to go hunting down growers and the few who are willing to deliver are rather scattershot and inconsistent.

Since I am relatively close to the Boston Flower Exchange, it’s my guess that it makes the most sense for local growers who have consistent product to sell directly to wholesalers and not sell a few bunches here and there to random small shops.

peach bridal bouquet

Designed by Erin of Floret Flower Farm

Expert Panel : The Creative Design Process

I would love to hear how other floral designers have been successful at encouraging their customers to embrace their creative design process rather than having to make a floral arrangement look like a picture.
Submitted by Brittany Flowers™

Erin of Floret Flower Farm:
The first few seasons working with flowers, I had a number of brides come to me with some really scary requests! Red roses with baby’s breath and badly done pave cubes were pretty common in their magazine tear outs.
My heart sank every time one of these gals came in but I was new, needed the money and went ahead with the events, no matter how badly our styles clashed.
Looking back, this was certainly not the way to build a business that I loved or to grow myself artistically!!!
After finally crashing into a giant heap of burn out, I shifted my approach and things have been fantastic ever since.
I started by making up a ton of gorgeous, seasonally inspired bouquets with material from own my garden. I focused on the kind of arrangements I wanted to be doing all of the time and photographed the heck out of them whenever there was a free moment. My portfolio grew rapidly with work that fed my soul and within a short time I began attracting a whole new type of client.
Now brides seek me out for this natural, romantic, slightly wild look.
It was by stepping out and demonstrating what I thought was beautiful, that transformed the entire thing!

Cori from Moss Fine Floral:
I am very visual in the planning process with my clients. However, I tell them from the first meeting that we will be pulling inspiration from places such as pinterest and wedding blogs but our goal is not to replicate images from a strangers wedding. I explain that we will be creating an inspiration board but telling a story unique to them. I also explain that there will be must have flower types and vessels that we’ve discussed but that I always leave room in the budget when pre-booking flowers so that I can incorporate little surprises that I find at market. This is more exciting for me as a designer and provides room for interesting elements to show face at the event. I find that when working with clients that are looking for locally grown product this is and easy sell. They tend to be more casual in their planning approach and understand that the crop varies from week to week with our unpredictable weather. I do think that building up your brand and your portfolio will bring you the clients that you want to work with and they are naturally more trusting when with a like minded creative.

Cathy from Sprout Flowers:
I think the biggest tool we use to get clients to accept a wider variety of flowers and appreciate innovative and creative design, is letting them watch us design.

My shop is set up so customers can watch us work, and it’s been set up that way since day one. They love seeing new and unusual blooms but are often intimidated by them. But once they see us working with them, or see a new or creative design in progress some of the fear goes away.

People instinctively want what’s safe, to go with the crowd. It’s the primitive response that has kept humans alive. But once they see that someone else is daring to venture out of their comfort zone, they are reassured that it’s safe for them too!

Brandon from Epic Flowers:
There is a famous saying, “build it and they will come” and I hate to sound cliche6, but at our shop this is what we’ve done. The floral gift giving industry has been so homogenized and blah. And a gift shouldn’t be this way. At our shop thinking outside the box and putting that extra zing allows our customers and others know exactly where that design came from. So we do nothing to encourage our customers to embrace our unique designs, they seek us out in a sea of boring shops because a gift should be unique and not a commodity.

Ariella Chezar:
Generally speaking, clients come in two categories; the ones with confidence, and the ones with less. The confident ones hire someone because they like what they’ve seen of their work, and they trust them. They don’t expect their designer to do something exactly like an inspiration picture. The less confident ones also, frequently seem to have less vision. This usually leads to micromanaging. Unfortunately, when a designer get’s micromanaged, it’s similar to clipping ones wings and it inhibits the designer’s freedom to really make something beautiful.

When dealing with the latter, I often will be very direct about it and tell them they just need to trust me. If they still can’t, I suggest we do a mockup (which they pay for!) of whichever item they are feeling anxious about. This is useful both for me and for the client.

Paula Pryke:
The internet has certainly provided the public with a lot more visual evidence and I agree that this in turn has made clients demand more specific designs. I have always had clients that would look through my portfolio and say that they did not see anything they liked! There have always been those who wanted to see something different and so I have had the opportunity to be creative. However I do agree that Bride’s now do often turn up with a picture or pin board of things they like. I think the trick is to look at all their visual evidence and then invite them to see something bespoke that you have made especially for them. Try to take the look that they like and move the design on so you make it your own. It is difficult when they want a Jam Jar of wild flowers or a dome of roses? Trends now are so world-wide that it is very difficult to present something original and different to people. I have always been surprised that despite the huge variety of options on offer in the wedding industry, Brides will often play safe. Presenting samples and ideas is the only way to talk them into a more adventurous design but this comes with added costs?

Robyn from Bare Root Flora:
This is a great question and an issue we face regularly. We work to communicate to our clients that we are in the business of creating original art and that we want to design something special and unique for their event rather than replicate someone else’s design. So we really try to steer our clients away from one particular picture and toward an overall design aesthetic. We use their photo(s) as a starting point for a discussion so that we know we’re achieving the look they want but then offer ways to take the design in a different direction or to the next level. That way the end result has our design stamp on it and, more importantly, truly reflects the client’s taste and story. In many ways, it boils down to establishing a real sense of trust with the client so they know we understand exactly the look they want and they have every confidence in us to achieve it.

pink peony bridal bouquet

Bouquet designed by Cori of Moss Fine Floral.

Introducing the new Expert Panel!

I have exciting news for you today! We are launching our new Expert Panel!!!!
Today we will start with introductions and bios of all the experts and tomorrow we will run the first question and answer. We will start posting a question and answer on the first of every month.
Thank you to all these amazing people who are on our panel!

Ariella Chezar

Floral goddess Ariella ChezarCOMBINING AUTHENTIC PASSION and creative flair, Ariella Chezar’s floral designs intertwine color, nature and style to a stunning effect.

Ariella began creating at a young age. She grew up in the Berkshires of Massachusetts where the outdoors played an integral part of her daily life. Her mother, an artist and avid gardener, inspired seasonal art projects that combined nature and creativity.

Today, her designs evoke nature with their seasonal relevance. Her lush blend of flowers and branches, fruits and vegetables as well as gorgeous silk textiles and ribbons combine for a final product which is both sensual and evocative.

Ariella began her career in the Berkshires working with Pamela Hardcastle and Barbara Bockbrader. These brilliant floral and garden designers inspired Ariella to combine her love of art and the dramatic with her passion for the natural world. “Pamela and Barbara showed me that art and life can be intertwined.” Ariella spent a season selling wreaths to New York flower shops and to shoppers along the streets of SOHO and Greenwich Village. Then she worked with Robert Isabell before moving to the West Coast in 1998.

In 2002, Chronicle Books published Flowers for the Table, a guide to choosing seasonal flowers and a lesson in designing with the bud’s natural form. The book revolves around several seasonal occasions, from a summer wedding in the country to hot colored poppies on a cold winter’s night. Beautiful photographs bring Ariella’s ideas to life. Her personal style and enthusiasm makes Flowers for the Table an inspiration for us all.

As of December, 2003, Ariella moved back to the East Coast.

Ariella’s work can be seen in issues of Oprah, In Style Weddings, Sunset Weddings, Garden Design, Elegant Bride, Town & Country, House and Garden, Victoria, Martha Stewart Weddings, San Francisco Bride, San Francisco Chronicle, Hanajikan, The Bel Aire Hotel Magazine and Sunset.
facebook: Ariella Chezar

Cathy Walsh

Sprout Mass floristCathy Walsh: Mild mannered wife and bookworm or flower ninja?
At her award winning bricks and mortar Worcester MA retail shop, Sprout, Cathy juggles the usual small biz balls – marketing, purchasing, inventory rotation, etc., but when the knives and scissors fly you know she is in battle mode and off to combat dull design with kick-ass flowers.
She dreams of a day when every home is filled with fresh and creative flowers and vows to bring flowers home more often. Cuz it’s kind of embarrassing to never have flowers at home when you’re a florist.
Unnamed sources claim to have seen Cathy guerrilla gardening and hiding flower filled eggs about the gritty metropolis.
She is a social media maven and can be found flitting between Facebook, her blog, and Twitter, though honestly Twitter is hard for someone who loves words as much as she does.
Cathy lives with her amazing husband on the top floor of a nice, book filled 3-decker with off street parking in Worcester. Where parking matters. Ask anyone.
facebook: Sprout Flowers
twitter: @SproutFlowers

Erin Benzakein

Floret Flower Farm WashingtonHello, I’m Erin Benzakein, the flower-obsessed founder of Floret. I am a self taught organic farmer, floral designer and writer. On our tiny plot of land, my family grows some of the most exquisite flowers on earth. I research and trial every variety we grow and share my findings in a monthly column in Growing for Market magazine. I adore old fashioned flowers and am constantly stretching the limits of what can be used in a bouquet – edibles and herbs are my latest craze. I wear aprons every day, everywhere and still believe in fairies. Sweet peas are my favorite flower and their scent reminds me of my great grandmother. I find my inspiration from the seasons and what is growing locally at any given moment. Working with what’s at hand is both humbling and deeply fulfilling. I strive to educate farmers, consumers, brides and grooms about sustainable, locally sourced ingredients and truly believe that flowers can change the world!
blog: www.floretflowers/blog
facebook: Floret Flower Farm
twitter @FloretFlwrFarm
instagram: floretflower

Paula Pryke

Paula Pryke Flowers LondonPaula Pryke was born in Suffolk in 1960 and began her distinguished flower business in 1987 after making a career change from teaching History.

Paula has now become one of the most famous and well respected florists in the world with a reputation for cutting edge, innovative floristry and an enviable ‘A’ list clientele. Her awards and accolades include ‘Most brilliant Florist’ (Evening Standard), ‘Best Florist in London’ (Tatler) and ‘Ambassador for the Florist Industry’ (NFU).

During the 24 years Paula’s business has been a mixture of retail floristry, contract work and events. In that period she has opened and closed 8 shops (6 in London, 1 in Birmingham and I in Seoul with the Samsung Corporation). Since 2008 Paula has decided to concentrate on her core business of contracts, events, bespoke gift floristry and consultancy.
Paula has written sixteen best-selling books on flowers, which have been translated into thirteen different languages including Japanese and Hebrew, (The New Floral Artist, Flower Innovations, Candles, Wreaths & Garlands, Flower Celebrations, Simple Flowers, Flower Innovations, Living Colour, Flower School, Table Flowers, Wedding Flowers, Classic Paula Pryke, Wreaths and Bouquets, Simply Pink, The Ultimate Floral Collection and her latest and most personal to date Everyday Flowers, a seasonal flower book about how to grow and arrange flowers). Paula is currently working on her seventeenth book due to published later this year.
Since 1994 Paula has also run her internationally renowned Flower School offering courses in every aspect of floral design for everyone from complete beginners through to professionals. Her prestigious internationally acclaimed Career Course has become something of a blueprint for flower courses around the country.
Paula’s philosophy has been embraced in Europe, America and the Far East where she is now in regular demand for lectures and floral demonstrations.
During the last few years Paula’s international client list has grown and her influence is spreading to the high seas. For three years she has been working with Crystal Cruises, the US Award-winning six star cruise line. Paula has been employed Paula as a floral consultant and she has thoroughly enjoyed working with a large scale hospitality team. She has also worked on their enrichment program and recently hosted her very own Floral Cruise in the Mediterranean with them in the summer of 2012. Two more floral cruises are planned for 2013.

Paula was also asked to demonstrate and work as a floral consultant to the only private residential ship to travel the globe. She decorated The World for its stay in London. She has also consulted on staff, design and the supply of flowers to other privately owned super yachts.

Amongst others, recent clients have included supplying the flowers for the new Coen Brothers film – a remake of Gambit – starring Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman and Tom Courtenay. Paula worked closely with the very talented set decorator Stephanie McMillan, who was also responsible for the wonderful Harry Potter sets.

Whilst Paula continues to concentrate on consultancy projects her varied workload has also included working with Waitrose, Britain’s most progressive supermarket, predicting flower trends and colours and working on their “How to..” videos for their popular website.

Paula continues to be invited to demonstrate in the US frequently. During 2012 she returned to Boston be the keynote speaker for the Museum of Fine Arts for their Art in Bloom, flew to Pasadena to be a judge for the world famous Rose Parade and spent a week in San Francisco running a Masterclass at the Inwater Flower School which is based in The Flower Market. A further course is planned for the Spring of 2014.

2012 saw the highly successful launch of The Paula Pryke Flower School in Seoul, South Korea and Paula will again make a return visit to teach during the first half of 2013.

Appointments during 2012 representing the flower industry include being the patron of Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers as well as joining the judging panel for The Wedding Industry Awards. For 2013 Paula has been appointed Designer for the Guildford Cathedral Flower Gala.

facebook: Paula Pryke
twitter: @PaulaPryke

Robyn Rissman

Robyn Bare Root Floral DenverRobyn Rissman has loved all things wedding since she woke at three in the morning as a small child to watch Charles and Di in the wedding of the (20th) century! Since she couldn’t justify having more than one wedding of her own, she decided to be part of making beautiful weddings for others! She lives for flowers, chocolate, travel, summer days, a good book, and being outside.
facebook: Bare Root Flora
twitter: @BareRootFlora

Brandon Kirkland

Brandon Kirkland Epic Flowers Ashland OregonBrandon Kirkland has been in the floral industry for 15 years and owns, with his wife Enchanted Florist in Ashland Oregon. Brandon comes from a technology and marketing background and was fed up with the choices that florists had when it came to their eCommerce choices so he created Brandon believes a floral eCommerce site is a florist’s second business and should act as a second business model. Besides being a floral/tech geek he studies and offers tasting classes on fine chocolate of the world.
website: EpicFlowers
website: Enchanted Florist
twitter: @epicflowers

Cori Jansen

Moss Fine Floral ChicagoOwner and lead designer Cori Jansen opened Moss Fine Floral in 2010 with locations servicing Chicagoland and Eagle River, Wisconsin. Her grandparents were farmers and excellent backyard gardeners which led her to an early admiration and fascination with foliage and flowers. She went on to college earning a BS in Agri-Business with a Horticulture sequecne. She has now been working in the floral field for 22 years. Cori resides between Chicago and Wisconsin with her new husband and beloved Labrador Max. She is also involved in animal rescue which is featured on her website.
facebook: Moss Fine Floral

The Botanic Garden of Smith College, Lyman Plant House

The Lyman Plant House at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts was amazing, thank you Cathy for taking me here! I just loved all the rooms filled with different flowers, wild and crazy with pots hanging and roots coming out of containers. I had a great time taking photos, surprise surprise. Click on any of the images below to view a larger version. We saw some truly fantastic plants and flowers:

You can read more about our adventure on Cathy’s Blog Here and Here

The Spring Bulb Show at The Botanic Garden of Smith College, Lyman Plant House

After a few awesome days in NYC I caught the train and headed north, time to see my family and to visit one more flower friend! Next stop on my East Coast trip was Springfield, Massachusetts. Cathy of Sprout Flowers suggested we visit the spring bulb show at Smith College. Wow, were we in for a treat! The Spring Bulb Show was quite splendid and I went picture happy!!


scillia flower

scillia flower

white hyacinth

What do you think? I love the photos of these flowers that I captured.. love them!
Tomorrow I will be posting more photos from our outing.