A Stroll in the Garden

Week 27, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book Slow Flowers

Slow Flowers Revsited Week 27
Shasta daisies, yellow yarrow, and plenty of whispy white elements from the #slowflowerscuttinggarden
Yarrow and Astilbe details in Week 27 arrangement Slow Flowers Revisited
Yarrow and Astilbe details in Week 27 arrangement Slow Flowers Revisited
A Stroll in the Garden 2013
A Stroll in the Garden 2013

This arrangement is the earliest featured in Slow Flowers. While the book was completed in the fall of 2012 and published spring 2013, I made this arrangement in 2010, in the backyard of the home in which my family lived from 2006-2010 in Thousand Oaks, California (Ventura County).

I was only beginning to practice my arranging skills, inspired by the many flower farmers and florists I had been interviewing for the Los Angeles Times, Garden Design magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Country Gardens, and other major newspapers and magazines. I had already begun to develop the idea of “The 50 Mile Bouquet,” having traveled on location with photographer David Perry to shoot a few flower farms and conduct interviews before the Brooks-Prinzing family moved back to Seattle in August 2021.

This arrangement is a sentimental one because I really loved my Southern California garden and I wanted to showcase a piece of it in Slow Flowers. When I was working with the St. Lynn’s Press team, I shared these photos with designer Heather Rosborough. She loved the palette but told me my photo files were too small for good print resolution for a full-page image. We came up with a “collage” solution, the only gallery layout like this in the entire book. I’m so glad we included it!

The ingredients were all just picked and clipped as I walked around the suburban property, choosing a white, yellow, and green foliage palette inspired by the Shasta daisies.

Original ingredient list:

2013 ingredient list for A Stroll in the Garden
A Stroll in the Garden 2013
A Stroll in the Garden 2013

So I’ve been thinking about what PNW garden plants would replicate the earlier vase. And while the celadon vase I used in 2010 is lost to me (sold in a garage sale?) I have a pretty mint-green Ikea piece of pottery that has similar proportions. Yesterday, I rose early while it was delightfully cool and began the same ritual of wandering, strolling, evaluating, clipping, and placing lots of white, yellow, and green elements in a bucket before I began to design.

To me, successful floral design is about no more than capturing a breathtaking moment in which to observe and marvel at nature’s glory. And of course, there’s that other rule: You can never have too many flowers.

My Harvest List:
Shasta daisies (doubles), approximately 7 stems
Oakleaf Hydrangea blooms, 3 stems
Variegated gold-green box honeysuckle sprigs (Lonicera ligustrina ‘Lemon Beauty’), approximately 6 stems
Yellow yarrow, 5 stems
Creamy white astilbe, approximately 6 stems
Plus 2 fun wispy elements that (honestly) reseeded themselves in one of my raised beds from past summers:
Quaking grass (Briza media ‘Limouzi’), which I know florist Sandy Figel of Verbena Floral in Woodinville, Washington, gifted to me in a few 4-inch pots.
Larkspur ‘White Cloud’ (Consolida regalis), so appropriately named!

Here are the final lines of the 2013 essay:

This is a fresh, summery bouquet and as I reflect on the two versions — my past and present floral arrangements — I feel such a sense of nostalgia for the path I’ve walked as a creative person.

Debra Prinzing

Debra Prinzing is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and leading advocate for American-grown flowers. Through her many Slow Flowers-branded projects, she has convened a national conversation that encourages consumers and professionals alike to make conscious choices about their floral purchases. Debra is the producer of SlowFlowers.com, the weekly "Slow Flowers Podcast" and the American Flowers Week (June 28-July 4) campaign. Debra is author of 11 books, including Slow Flowers (2013), The 50 Mile Bouquet (2012) and Slow Flowers Journal (2020). She is the co-founder of BLOOM Imprint, the boutique publishing arm of Slow Flowers.

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Slow Flowers Journal is brought to you by SlowFlowers.com. Slow Flowers is an award-winning online directory created to help consumers find florists, studio designers, wedding and event planners, supermarket flower departments and flower farmers that supply American grown flowers. Founded in 2014, the site has grown to 850 members across the U.S.


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For more information, please contact Debra Prinzing
at 206-769-8211 or 844-SLOWFLO (844-756-9356); debra(at)slowflowers.com.