Two iconic hotels – two cool styles

Last week I stayed overnight at the Bel-Aire Hotel and attended functions at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Wow, amazing flowers and botany. The two hotels couldn’t be any more different. Both iconic but both defining different ‘atmospheres’ and tones.

The Bel-Aire was quiet and serene (see photo of real swans floating on pond at front desk). It had a very exclusive vibe and when you walk over the old covered bridge to the lobby you can smell the scent of real wood fire burning. Nice. The landscaping is so beautiful.Although this hotel had just undergone a 3-4 year remodel you can see that they respected the traditional flora and fauna that existed and made minimal changes. You can see by the size of the California Sycamore and the ferns in a few of the pics that these guys have been around for a long, long time.

The Beverly Hills Hotel did not disappoint. Very different from the Bel-Aire but equally interesting. The energy when you walked up the red carpet into the lobby was vibrant and very cool. You almost feel famous just because you’re there! Almost;)

All floral statements were very grand, opulent and showy unlike the understated vibe of the Bel-Aire. The flowers were amazing. I can’t imagine how many people and how much time go into these arrangements.

The photos aren’t great but I did my best trying not to take too long snapping the shots so I didn’t look like the corny tourist!

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Class this week – Pave design, wreath and topiary

We had a full class yesterday. 3 new designs. None of them are my favorites but it was really interesting to do the different styles.

Wreath – Roses, with wax flower, daisy poms and carnations

Pave Design – Roses, daisy poms, spider mums and galax leaves

Topiary – Daisies, daisy poms, spray roses and wax flower

What is a floral forager?

I stumbled across a really interesting article on a book coming out this spring called the 50 Mile Bouquet. It is a book that introduces the readers to inspiring floral designers, farmers and interesting visionaries in the botanical world.

Debra Prinzing and her husband David Perry have been travelling and doing lots of research and are excited to announce their books’ availability this April. You can pre-order it on Amazon.

I’m so excited to get this book and see all the amazing people who are breaking traditional stigmas attached to the floral industry. There are ways to look at the floral industry in a sustainable and thoughtful manner. Flowers and plant design which inherently is beautiful can be even more so when cultivated in an environmental and social manner.

Debra shares a quick snippet as a teaser to her book by talking about the most interesting and unusual women named Valerie Prosek. She is considered a ‘floral forager’ which means she travels around the San Fransisco area before the San Francisco Flower Market and gathers her goods to be sold off the sides of highways, behind buildings and anywhere she sees interesting plants, flowers and foliage that she thinks people will be willing to buy. You can see a video if you click on the attachment. Pretty interesting!

Tropical arrangement

I attempted to do a tropical arrangement the other day. It was a bit tricky because the stems of most tropicals are pretty tough and weigh alot. It is hard to get the stems to stay in the right places. I used a whole lot of shells and less flowers than I had originally planned and it worked. The good news with tropical arrangements is that they last for so long.

I added some raffia and a folded tea leaf at top of arrangement for more visual effect.


Welcome baby RJ arrangement

My friend; Caroline had her little boy on Wednesday and I went to work right away figuring out what arrangement I’d like to make to take to the hospital. I love Olive and Cocoa’s arrangements and was so ¬†intimidated to try to do one but I did anyway. It took me about 20 minutes. I love the way it turned out. I hope the happy family can enjoy it!


Thursday Flower Class

Today we cranked through three new flower designs; basing, parallel and line arrangement. Fun and fast work!

Basing design is typically used for a center piece for formal dinners etc., parallel design is very artistic and not commonly arranged and the vertical (line) design is one of the most common type of arrangements since it can be made quickly, looks good and does not require a lot of flowers.


Basing Design

Vertical Line, Basing and Parallel Design


My car after class!!!