Conifers, Camellias, and Stargazers

Week 50, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book Slow Flowers

10 years later, same vintage McCoy urn and a familiar refresh of the botanical ingredients
10 years later, same vintage McCoy urn and a familiar refresh of the botanical ingredients.
LIlies, camellia foliage, and conifers
LIlies, camellia foliage, ivy, and conifers

In 2011-2012, the time span covering my creation of weekly floral designs that St. Lynn’s Press eventually compiled into a 2013 book called Slow Flowers, my acquisition of vintage American pottery was habitual. My friend and garden design muse, Jean Zaputil, and I went to the monthly Second Saturdays sales at Seattle’s Magnussen Park, the best flea market I’ve attended!

Page 96 of Slow Flowers (2013)
Page 96 of Slow Flowers (2013)

Every single month, I found a bargain on pottery and vessels, including the robin’s egg blue-glazed McCoy urn you see here. I distinctly recall paying $50 for it – a big purchase as I tried to keep my vase budget under $20. But in the 12 years since I brought this gem home, it has been a constant source of appreciation for the craftsmanship and details of a now-lost U.S. pottery maker. Similar vases on Etsy are now priced between $100-$220, so these are still quite collectible.

Stargazer lilies from Peterkort Roses
Stargazer lilies from Peterkort Roses

The text from my 2013 design brings back memories! I had forgotten that the blue-green conifers were mostly gathered from the driveway after a storm; and that I had clipped some ivy that hung over the fence from our neighbor’s yard. I also had forgotten that Nicole Cordier, then manager of the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, had gifted me a bunch of raspberry pink ‘Rio Negro’ hybrid Oriental lilies.

The pottery glaze brings out the blue-green conifer palette.
The pottery glaze brings out the blue-green conifer palette.

This floral palette of dark pink and teal is a modern twist on holiday red-and-green, just as festive and definitely a reminder of the gifts of nature.

Slow Flowers, 2013
Lily detail
Camellia in bud

For December 2023, the “new” version of this arrangement includes almost the same elements. I foraged downed branches of Douglas fir; used camellia branches and Western red cedar from the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market; clipped ivy hanging over the neighbor’s fence (and mind you, we’re living in a completely different neighborhood these days!); and was lucky enough to grab one bunch of Peterkort Roses‘ stunning greenhouse lilies at SWGMC. These are classic ‘Stargazer’ lilies, fragrant and elegant.

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.

Subscribe to SlowFlowers newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list

Powered by Robly

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.


Media Contact:

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