More Beauty from Branches

Week 14, as we revisit the 10-year anniversary of the book, Slow Flowers

Kerria japonica and Chaenomeles x superba (flowering quince), 2013
flowering branch still life
Flowering branch still life from Slow Flowers (2013)

I loved this arrangement, inspired by a gift from Lorene Edwards Forkner — a huge bundle of Kerria japonica from her garden. That’s the unusual flowering shrub with olive-green branches, tiny variegated leaves, and buttercup-like flowers that eventually open when forced indoors come early spring. For the original design, I paired them with flowering quince (Chaenomeles x superba) and I absolutely loved how the coral flowers and yellow flowers danced in the morning light of my east-facing Seattle window.

Details April 2023
Flowering plum and flowering almond

This week, the natural light is not cooperating. With a forecast for days of rain, the flat, gray light was not kind to my new arrangement, designed on Saturday, April 8th, Easter weekend. I decided to delay photography and posting for a few days, hoping for two things: (1) better light; and (2) indoor warmth to coax the buds open. Lorene has a new Kerria and while she gifted me some of their delicate branches, they were not sizeable enough for my design. So they are living in a smaller vase all by themselves for my enjoyment.

While at the Seattle Wholesale Growers Market on Friday, I checked out the options among locally-harvested ornamental branches. Two candidates not only caught my eye — flowering almond from Charles Little & Co. and flowering plum from Ojeda Farms — they seemed compatible for my new vase, a modern metal urn from Restoration Hardware, purchased five or six years ago.

Branches on the fireplace mantel
Branches, 2023
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)