Wedding in Marfa Texas

We did a wedding in the high desert, town of Marfa, Texas last year.  200 miles from anywhere, this tiny,  West Texas town was settled in the 1800s. James Dean starred in the film Giant there and since Donald Judd began working there in the 1970’s it has become a contemporary art mecca. Here is a picture of the court house, built in 1886. Our lovely couple was married in it’s Cupola and below is the view of main street from that bird’s eye view…


The reception was at the The Capri restaurant and event space. For the tables, we did clusters of desert native foliage with hyperbolic peonies and ranunuculus. Our insanely chic bride, Lindell Thorsen, pictured here in the Capri gardens, carried a bouquet of tumbleweeds and ranunculus, and put us up in her fetching storefront on the main street where she sells navajo rugs and other fantastic antiques. Her son, Laszlo Thorsen -Nagel shares the other half of the space and produces his stunning Sumi-ink paintings there. Stumbling out in the morning and shuffling to the Hotel Saint George for good strong coffee each morning was sheer luxury…




Bees and things and flowers

Let’s bring on the sunshine! Last summer we got to do a fabulous rehearsal dinner in one of our client’s backyard … I love working with clients who are serious gardeners because they know how much work goes into the production of beautiful flowers and get as excited as I do about rare varieties of flowers and foliage.  This particular evening was especially fun to decorate because the palette was so of full sheer, summery, color. We employed lots of flowers from our farm including cornflower, chamomile and dahlias, nestled into moss lined french wire baskets. 

Prairie Chic Wedding


As a proper Chicago girl, I’ve been raised to revere Jens Jensen, the Scandinavian landscape architect who designed so many of the city’s treasures- Garfield Park, Columbus Park, the fern room at the Garfield Park conservatory. His ethos of celebrating the prairie’s own native loveliness, working with the native landscape rather than against it, was one which I followed in designing this remarkable wedding, ( that, and Kate’s Moss’s wedding in Southrop in the Cotswalds of course!) I suggested that the bride and groom exchange vows beneath the natural canopy of two ancient willows whose boughs were intertwined. We then constructed two, 20ft “hedges” of foraged cattails to create what looked almost like a naturally occurring path from around the pond and neighboring swales, with plenty of frothy delphinium, queen annes laces and fragrant lime basil from our farm. As the the wind moved though them guests were treated to wafts of delicious fragrance…

Zinnia party






This time of year there is such a wonderful cacophony of color and texture in our studio and at the farm! It is the finale display of the entire year, a time when we say good bye to our urban goat neighbors, ( they live on a farm downstate in the winter) and begin cleaning up the farm and bedding it down for the winter with manure mixed with straw from the goats.  These cuties dine on produce donated from our local Whole Foods and manure from their stalls enriches our soil with nearly magical results.

I always say bouquets should have plenty of movement, and these white astilbe are a great way to add a little flounce, along with these stunner ranunculus in oxblood. One of our MVPs this year were these heirloom Persian Carpet Zinnias, also called Mexican zinnias or narrow-leaved zinnias. Having bicolored single and double flowers in gold, burgundy, cream, red and orange and blooming throughout the summer, we found them irresistible along with these Giant lime zinnias in green.





Fall Wedding at the Chicago Club




Some weddings fall together effortlessly, and this was one of them. With every passing year, my business attracts lovelier and lovelier clientele and this gorgeous bride was no exception to this happy trend. She chose the Chicago Club in part due to the mega glorious new roof top they’ve unveiled with stunning, supervillain views of the city, and her palette of champagne with touches of merlot, cappuccino and aubergine was perfection. For a wild, gestural look on the tables, we employed Japanese anemone, Cafe au lait dahlias and Caucasian scabiosa from our farm, as well as fruited quince branches, foraged sumac and boughs of pistachio.





Eau de lime basil

saad sample close up

lambs ear at the farm



Our farm’s theme this year is fragrance, we are growing lime basil, chocolate and pineapple mint, lavender and the like. I like to bring old fashions back in floral design whenever possible, and these days people rarely encounter scented flowers. There is no aromatic luxury quite like working out there after a heavy rain, the wind kicking up wafts of tuberose, wild sweet pea and chocolate cosmos! The bouquet pictured below is wildly fragrant with grape hyacinth, cheerfulness jonquils and muscari…

frontal blue and yellow bouquet

saad sample

blue and yellow bouquet

farm pix

Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

lantern painting


Sometimes it seems that my true occupation is to listen to people describe their distaste for carnations, lilies and even roses.  Now, with heavily petaled garden roses being all they rage, even the rose, a classic symbol of romantic perfection, has also been shunned. You probably can’t imagine my joy when I was asked to design a debutant ball based on John Singer Sargent’s painting, Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose, but it was real. Restoring these innocent beauties to their righteous place at the top of the flower chain is a job I was born to do!


lanterns from below_Snapseed


First off, we decided to create what would look like the forest on the stage, and brought in 24ft oak and maple trees forming an allée of sorts for the debutants to emerge from like the girls in the painting. Next, we created two 16ft “mossy ruins” on either side, which formed a kind hedge that obscured the big band of 20 tuxedoed musicians on the stage, they looked like they stepped out of Fantasia! The mossy ruin we sculpted in sections out of foam and covered in living moss and maiden hair fern, foxgloves and Juilet garden rose bushes tumbling over mossy rocks and lichen. We also hand-painted 300 paper lanterns, which hung from deep green glossy camellia and magnolia, giving the room a soft rosy glow…


extra paleHedge daylight cotillion 2_Snapseed



cotillion room shot long ways (1)


Hearts of palm

me and ferns

Amaryllis and ferns to the max

I am loving this cold Spring we are having, taking it’s sweet time as it languorously rolls out towards Summer. Also, it helps me stay calm about how behind we are with basically everything, organizing the office, our annual spring cleaning studio smack down, and the flower farm where we haven’t even tilled our rows yet!  With each chilly night under my down comforter I can pretend it might still be March. These Challenger amaryllis also take their sweet time opening, but then refuse to wilt for a week! Not sure why I’m so obsessed with palms, if it’s that they are so iconic or if it’s how deeply inspiring Miami Vice was to me as a child of the 80’s…



delphinium arrangement

Sweet Pea Madness

coral peony and needlepoint

gift arrangements en masse

gold and coral cpSpring has arrived in Chicago, as have some exquisite projects for our studio! Gilding foliage, waves of gift arrangements for fashion editors, and samples for some brilliant clients whose taste and vision have yielded really lavish and original results. Oh, and just incase you ever wondered what 170 stems of “Misty Apricot” sweet pea looks like, now you know!

peach sweetpea

gilded coral foliage

les nereides gift arrangement

Natural law


cafeaulait b-maid

working with light

I long time ago, I went to career counseling to figure out what I was supposed to do rather than be a florist. The results of extensive testing concluded that I should be a lawyer or a farmer. Back then I was living in Brooklyn and the idea of pursuing farming was unimaginable and hilarious but now farming is an integral and inspiring part of my business.  It was an effective exercise though in that I ended up realizing how much I wanted to do this work. I found myself passionately describing to the career counselor how the occasions I am hired to enhance are so momentous that Mother Nature herself is a necessary and honored guest. Check out these dinner plate dahlias, Japanese anemone and hydrangea that we grew last year…

gemnani lighting

pale farm dahlias

close up gemnani cp

bridal blush and apricot

dahlias escort card