Fresh Picks for Spring

Week 16, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book, Slow Flowers

Page 27 Fresh and Fragrant from Slow Flowers Book 2013
Fresh and Fragrant from Slow Flowers Book 2013

“Springtime is embodied in this vase, isn’t it?”

The opening line of the arrangement that appears on pages 26-27 of the Slow Flowers book ask about a grouping of locally-grown lilacs, hellebores, and fritillaria.

I loved this arrangement so much!

Week 16 of 2023 florals inspired by original Slow Flowers Book
Week 16 of 2023 florals inspired by original Slow Flowers Book

In recreating it for 2023, I sought inspiration from the palette, textures, and gestures of each stem. The lilacs are not yet blooming this year, a symbol of the incredibly cold spring we have endured. My two lilac shrubs are in bud, but seemingly weeks from peak performance. I promise they will appear in an upcoming design!

And, you may have noticed that I incorporated the Fritillaria in last week’s arrangement, so I’ve opted instead for accents of color — a delicious citrusy orange as depicted in the species tulips (Choice Bulb Co.) and the Geum flowers (Field to Heart).

Fritillaria detail
Details: and note how the values of these three secondary colors are so perfectly in balance.

Dusky purple comes not from the lilacs, but from the stunning Fritillaria Persica, grown by Gonzalo Ojeda of Ojeda Farm. I was able to repeat the Jadeite-green hellebores — aren’t they lush? They are called ‘Magnificent bells,’ and were grown by Lexi Mara, a new face at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market, at least to me.

“Foliage” elements come from Jello Mold Farm, in the green form of Anthriscus; and a few of my euphorbia (Euphorbia amygdaloides subsp. robbiae).

Love how it has comes together! A true departure from the original arrangement from 2013, but you can see where and how I drew influence.

Kristin Nelson VIT Ceramics vase
The VIT Ceramics Eve vase by Kristin Nelson is the perfect vessel for this arrangement. Love the neutral almond-colored glaze with white pinstripes.

A note about the vase! I raved about the vase form used for last week’s arrangement, but this week’s vessel is equally praiseworthy! This beautiful Eve Vase by Seattle artist Kristin Nelson of VIT Ceramics is one of my favorites to hold tall stems and support draping botanicals. The vase measures 10-1/2 by 5-1/2 inches. Kristin’s description of the vase’s female form explains it all:

The Eve vase from VIT ceramics is a flower-friendly vase that makes a perfect gift for your flower loving friends and gardeners of all skill levels. The vase has a sculptural quality that is attractive empty or full with a bouquet. The timeless simplicity of “Eve” makes it a classy wedding gift too.

I wanted to create a large ceramic vase with shape that was simple and modern, one that would display long stemmed flowers with ease. By nipping in the form at the “waist,” single branches and bouquets can be cradled without the need for a “frog.”

To create my handmade pottery I use the “coil and pinch” technique because I love the soft texture that results from pinching the clay. A shiny glaze on the surfaces reflects and catches sunlight so the vase has a presence even when empty of flowers. White line detailing, that I draw on by hand, gives this piece a contemporary style and ensure that each one is unique.

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.


Media Contact:

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