Leaves, Branches, Berries and Blooms

Week 48, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book Slow Flowers

Slow Flowers Revisited for Week 48 (2023)
Echoes of the 2013 ingredients in a long, low centerpiece include richly-colored oak leaf hydrangea foliage, eucalyptus, beauty berry stems, and OSO Easy Double Red roses from a landsape rose — all harvested from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden
Page 92 Slow Flowres Book (2013)
Leaves, Branches, Berries, and Blooms
Page 92 Slow Flowres Book (2013)
Leaves, Branches, Berries, and Blooms

Slow Flowers Society started 10 years ago after I wrote this little book, Slow Flowers – Yes, it’s still in print!

I’ve told this story many times, but this book actually launched the term “Slow Flowers” and the idea of seasonal, local, and sustainable floral design. I started off with the idea that I would post a blog series for one year, creating one arrangement from my garden here in Seattle, each week. It was truly one of those projects that was inspired by someone telling me the idea wasn’t a good one. Right? Isn’t that what motivates many of us?

Beauty Berry (Callicarpa sp.)
The incomparable colors of nature, revealed in this stem of beauty berry (Callicarpa sp.)

After a NYC editor told me that the idea of local and seasonal floral design was “fringe” and not possible unless you live in Santa Barbara, I decided to “show her” with this project. The book was published in 2013 and when 2023 rolled around, I thought it would be a fun challenge to recreate each of these weekly arrangements, following the original ingredients, often the original vase or vessel, and taking inspiration from the form and shape.

Detail oak leaf hydrangea foliage (fall color)
Detail oak leaf hydrangea foliage (fall color)
Detail Rosa 'OSO Easy Double Red' landscape rose
Detail Rosa ‘OSO Easy Double Red’ landscape rose
Detail Scabiosa stellata
Detail Scabiosa stellata

So I’m working on Week 48 today and wanted to share it with you. Almost 100% of these elements are from my very wintry garden here in South Seattle. There are some rose hips and ilex berries that I’ve saved from other fall arrangements, but here’s what I cut to recreate the design that appears on page 92 of Slow Flowers.

Love the seasonal colors of this garden-sourced centerpiece.
Love the seasonal colors collected in this garden-sourced centerpiece.


Oak Leaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus gunii – from my greenhouse)

A few stems of beauty berry from a very young shrub (Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’)

Rose Hips (two types), Ilex Berries — all were repurposed from earlier arrangements and kept in water in the cool garage or allowed to dry.

Dried Scabiosa stellata from one of the seattle wholesale growers market farms

ROSES! These are from the Slow Flowers Cutting Garden and they’re from a landscape rose that I was sent by Proven Winners years ago as a tiny start. It’s called ‘OSO Easy Double Red’ and you can’t believe it but I cut these roses a few days ago in 29 degree weather!


I used a very special Blue Pine box that was hand-crafted in Colorado from reclaimed wood. This piece was designed by Chet and Kristy Anderson’s son (“young Chet”) of The Fresh Herb Co., in Longmont, CO. The Andersons gave it to me as a sample when I visited their farm in November 2014.

The box is exquisitely hand-crafted from distressed pine (also called “beetle kill,” which tells you why the tree was distressed), but that when milled reveals a distinctive “blue” grain pattern. The longer box was designed to hold four Mason jars, – how cool is that? Here is a post with more details.

I actually used four Ikea juice glasses rather than the Mason jars. They fit nicely inside the box and even though the glass rim is slightly taller than the blue pine edge, the foliage nicely drapes over both to hide things.

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.