I’ve dabbled with arranging my own flowers for years, but recently, as I’ve concentrated more on my table settings, I’ve upgraded to using a woman who’s been in the business for years. I know her work schedule and would generally wander in the day before an event with photos of my fully set table, a cache of vases and a sense of what I was looking for. Then I’d pick some of my favorite flowers, driven mostly by color and texture, and she would work her magic.
It wasn’t always that way and, at first, I’d stand over her micro-managing her work, a habit that was as unnecessary as it was no doubt annoying. But in time I came to trust that Marjorie was quite clear what I liked and quite talented at fulfilling my requests.
So, imagine my surprise when I walked into the store to find that Marjorie was indeed not working on Saturday, the day before I was hosting a party. After the initial panic, a frustrating conversation with the floral assistants and a quick trip to another shop, seven vases in tow, I returned to her store, regrouped and realized the only person who was going to do my flowers that day the way I wanted them, was me. Floral design by default.
Now, I’m about as neat at arranging flowers as I am at cooking, with cut stems shooting around the room and leaves and debris wafting to the floor, but I figured I had a full day to search the kitchen for the stray bits that shot from my scissors and flew into hidden corners, so I spread out my spoils and went to work.
It always amazes me that no matter how much you think you overbought, you always realize you could have used a bit more.
And yet can you really ever go wrong with peonies?
The colorful arrangement plays nicely off the sleek white tableware.
A small tabletop mix for color and aroma.
Party invitation with matching envelope my own design.
Peonies, roses, spider mums and hyacinths.
The centerpiece plays off the components of the chandelier.