A minimalist aesthetic is the hallmark of Spruce’s floral arrangements, which derive much of their beauty from their simplicity. Many of the arrangements are made to be dried and preserved.
Now that autumn has arrived, it’s time to think about salvaging the last blooms of summer before they wither away in your garden. Cut bouquets of roses, hydrangeas and other showy flowers can be preserved indoors for years if you let them dry naturally.
“A floral arrangement can last for up to three years or longer without any preservative,” says Gaige Clark, owner and founder of world-renowned floral boutique Spruce. “Many of our arrangements are made specifically to be dried and preserved to last for many months of enjoyment.”
Clark says the nicest and most natural way to preserve cut arrangements is to create a “floral oasis” in a low container. “When flowers are cut short and are held together by greenery, they maintain their shape and dry naturally in the container. The trick is to stop watering the arrangement after one week so it does not get moldy. My mom once kept a rose crate I made for her for over two years. And although it got dusty, it was still very nice in a rustic sort of way,” she says.
Clark often uses clear glassware and wooden crates made from recycled wood to display Spruce’s one-of-a-kind floral arrangements. She says gardeners can be equally creative by repurposing items found around the house. “You can use any sort of wooden crate if you line it with plastic. Other wonderful items include tomato cans, Ball or Mason jars, votive candle holders and olive oil bottles.”
In addition to roses, some of Clark’s favorite plants to use in her arrangements include sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), buttercups (Ranunculus), and pokeberry (Phytolacca).
Clark gains much of her inspiration for her floral designs from the architectural elements of the regions where she has lived. “When I opened Spruce in New York in 1998, my aesthetic was inspired by where I grew up and the Cape Cod region of New England. Later, when I built the Chelsea store in 2005, the product line and store design was inspired by MOMA (New York’s Museum of Modern Art),” she says. At Clark’s newest boutique, Spruce LA, which opened in Los Angeles in August, her primary inspiration came from the Getty Museum, the mid-century modern homes of Palm Springs, and her ideas of laboratory environments where elements are deconstructed to their bare minimum.
For more information about Spruce and Clark’s floral designs, visit www.sprucela.com.