Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Top Quality Japanese Flowers Now Available in the New York Floral Market

If you are familiar with my designs, you’ll know that I will always go for fewer flowers, but higher quality, if given a choice. Lately I’ve been incorporating some very special ones to great acclaim in bridal bouquets and centerpieces, all coming by way of Japan. The quality of tweedia, sweet pea, leucocoryne and gloriosa lily is top-rate -- and the fern (asplenium "crispy wave") is sculptural and dramatic. Luckily Japanese growers were unhurt by the tsunami, so I expect their presence in the market to grow.

Here are some examples of how I incorporated these Japanese imports:

This hot-colored centerpiece combined an exuberant mix of flowers including asplenium fern and fiddleheads for a high-end destination wedding in Cape Elizabeth, Me., last July.

Adding this exquisite tweedia to this next centerpiece and to the charming flower girl’s basket added subtle depth and interest for this Greenwich, CT, wedding.

The Japanese sweet peas are every bit as beautiful as the ones my father grew in California. I remember the scent and the lovely wash of color – and of course my father’s generosity. He loved nothing better than growing these special flowers and then giving them away to friends.

On a personal note… In 2004 Yoshi Kohara, president of The Association of Bridal Consultants, Japan, brought me to Hiroshima to help him write a book on American wedding floral design. It took me weeks to prepare for this adventure… deciding which bouquets and arrangements to make, preparing detailed descriptions and how-to instructions, and ordering the flowers. I packed the remaining supplies, down to the fake wedding cake and royal frosting, in my soon-burgeoning suitcase. Then before a select group of Japanese floral designers I created bridal bouquets, bridesmaid’s bouquets, centerpieces, pew posies, wedding cake d├ęcor, and large arrangements, which were subsequently photographed. Flower Arrangements for American Weddings, was published in Japanese later that year. It was an honor to teach design in a country that is so steeped in aesthetics, and great fun to test my wings as a writer.