When Flora Grubb added a floral-design studio to her San Francisco garden boutique and nursery this past fall, she created it with intent. The Cutting Garden would use only in-season California-grown materials, and strive to inspire clients to grow and gather bouquets in their gardens at home. Enter floral designer Susie Nadler, a San Francisco native who finds inspiration in materials seen in her everyday surroundings. “For me, they evoke emotions that are very personal and tied to my own sense of place and home.”
For Toronto-based floral designer Bruno Duarte, a bouquet doesn’t need a lot of flowers to be spectacular. Since opening his shop Fresh Floral Creations five years ago — which accommodates everything from single-arrangement walk-ins to big events — he has kept his focus on the structural qualities of plants, often deftly bending and shaping them with the skill of a sculptor. Duarte’s style draws inspiration from nature as well as high fashion and home décor, believing that all these things are closely married.
Working as a maître d’ at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry in Yountville, California, Clover Chadwick’s interest in floral design took root. Inspired by Keller’s intense focus in procuring the best herbs and ingredients, along with periodic vineyard visits to witness viticulture — the cultivation of grapevines — her enthusiasm flourished. A few years later, living in Los Angeles, she realized many local eateries neglected to consider floral design as a form of interior design, so she set out to help them and began creating flower arrangements for their tables.
Every day after school, Karla Dascal’s mother took her to a floral market in Little Havana, Miami, where the sunflowers, gerbera daisies and bird-of-paradise listed in their water-filled buckets. This experience ignited Dascal’s passion for fresh flowers. Or as her company’s mission statement puts it: “Florals are Karla’s soul transformed into a million-dollar art form.” After studying art, architecture and design in Boston, Dascal returned to Miami and began selling roses imported from Ecuador. “They were these sensational, salmon-colored roses that would last 10 days,” Dascal recalls.