Callas and . . .

Week 5, as we we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book, Slow Flowers

Mini white calla lilies white-flowering plum branches, and Peterkort lilies
Here, the mini white calla lilies are paired with white-flowering plum branches and beautiful lilies grown Peterkort.

In February 2012, while I was deep into my weekly “Slow Flowers” weekly bouquet project, I found that my winter floral palette was truly guided by seasonal options. And during the 5th week of the year, I was delighted to find large, old-fashioned white calla lilies from an Oregon grower at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market.

White Calla liles with white-flowering cherry branches
White Calla liles with white-flowering cherry branches

At the time, the Growers Market hadn’t even hit its first birthday and the February options were mostly “twigs and conifers,” much like what was in my Seattle garden. As soon as the first callas of the year began to show up, I was charmed by their classic elegance. I paired them with flowering cherry branches, their buds just beginning to swell.

Slow Flowers page from 2013
Callas and Cherry Branches, a page from Slow Flowers (2013, St. Lynn’s Press)

This time around, that grower no longer brings his flowers to the Seattle marketplace, and I wondered where I would find Calla lilies. Fortunately, the Growers Market is able to bring in mini callas from California (grower unknown). The white-flowering plum branches just arrived from Jello Mold Farm, and they are perfect for this composition as I think it’s still a few weeks too early for cherry branches. And then, and then . . . I couldn’t resist these stunning Asiatic lilies, grown by Peterkort Roses in Oregon.

The finished bouquet
Week 5 of 2023: The finished bouquet in a vintage urn.

How do I describe the color? I’m sure there is a cultivar and I will look for it. But today, we held the “office hours” for my 2023 Slow Flowers Creative (Writing) Workshop and I shared the image of these lilies as a writing prompt for the students who joined me. Their descriptions were fabulous, inspired,  inventive, playful, and creative. Here’s what I wrote:

“The petal colors are reminiscent of a winter sunrise, beginning with an emerging band of pale gold that seeps into the deeper pink of dawn.
Stamens as brown-black as the bare Manzanita branches are silhouetted against the sky.”

So, not an exact bouquet replica, but I consider the “Callas and Cherry Branches” design a good starting point.

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, 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 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
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