Floral Diplomacy, The Universal Language of Flowers

Floral Design by Laura Dowling, Photograph by Georgianna Lane

Floral Design by Laura Dowling, Photograph by Georgianna Lane

Today I’m bringing you the most magical, imaginative floral designs! Last summer I had the privilege of photographing the breathtaking creations of internationally recognized stylist Laura Dowling, many of which now appear in her new book Floral Diplomacy at the White House. Laura served as Chief Floral Designer at the White House from 2009 until 2015, managing the floral decor for thousands of White House events, artistically using the medium of flowers for diplomatic and symbolic communication. The bouquets you see here incorporate her signature use of seasonal, local-grown flowers and hand-made containers composed of moss and leaves, and were photographed in natural settings in the Pacific Northwest, where Laura is originally from.

Floral Design by Laura Dowling, Photograph by Georgianna Lane

Floral Design by Laura Dowling, Photograph by Georgianna Lane

Floral Design by Laura Dowling, Photograph by Georgianna Lane

Floral Design by Laura Dowling, Photograph by Georgianna Lane

 

Floral Design by Laura Dowling, Photograph by Georgianna Lane

Floral Diplomacy at the White House is now available and is a fascinating look behind the scenes at the workings of the White House and the use of the universal language of flowers as a diplomatic tool. It’s a tremendous accomplishment and I’m very proud to have been a small part of it.

Image from Floral Diplomacy Floral Design by Laura Dowling, Photograph by Georgianna Lane

Floral Design by Laura Dowling, Photograph by Georgianna Lane

We had such wonderful day, surrounded by flowers and natural beauty. Laura is one of the loveliest and most gracious people I’ve ever met and is continuing her mission to share “floral diplomacy” through design commissions, book projects and international speaking engagements. For the latest from Laura, visit her here on Instagram.

Coming up, more news on book releases, travel and new flower projects. Wishing you a joyful weekend!

xo

G

Winter Windows, Paris

Winter Windows, Paris by Georgianna Lane

Tender, bleak January, with its still-short days and skies tinted with melancholy, can be the most challenging to enjoy of the great, grand year ahead. Your eyes can become starved for beauty and spring seems an age away. But Paris just might be more exquisite in winter than at any other time. One reason is the endless architectural delight found in observing the myriad shapes, sizes and styles of windows. So here, for your January travel dreaming and scheming, a selection of some of my favorites.

Winter Windows, Paris by Georgianna Lane

Winter Windows, Paris by Georgianna Lane

Winter Windows, Paris by Georgianna Lane

Winter Windows, Paris by Georgianna Lane

Winter Windows, Paris by Georgianna Lane

Winter Windows, Paris by Georgianna Lane

Winter Windows, Paris by Georgianna Lane

I’m sharing some of my favorite winter flowers from the Paris flower markets over at the Paris Perfect blog today, too.

À bientôt!

xo

G

p.s. Be sure to see the January/February issue of Victoria magazine with an antiques-shopping feature I shot in Provence last spring!

© Georgianna Lane for Victoria Magazine

Hellebores in Paris

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

Happy New Year, my friends! Bringing some colorful blooms to you to brighten up your winter day. I’ve shared with you in past years my love for heavenly hellebores. A glorious winter-blooming woodland plant, long-loved by gardeners in the know, they have exploded in mainstream popularity over the last few years. Hardy, beautiful and such a welcome sight in mid-winter, florists have also discovered them as a luscious and romantic addition to bouquets.

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

Although I grow dozens of varieties on at our woodland retreat in the Pacific Northwest, these all came from the Rungis Wholesale Flower Market outside of Paris. Stopping by the market with my friend Laetitia of Floresie to purchase flowers for a bouquet for my book, Paris in Bloom, I couldn’t resist the colors and textures of these gorgeous hellebores, so they came back to my apartment in the 7th arrondissement with me, along with dozens of roses, anemones, lilacs and ranunculus.

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

Hellebores can be tricky as cut flowers because they don’t draw enough water up the stem to keep the blooms from wilting after 24 or 48 hours. Some florists wait to cut the blooms until the stamens have fully dropped and the seed pods have formed, giving them several more days of bouquet life. I personally think they are much more beautiful with the stamens still on, as you see in these photos.

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

An excellent way to prolong them as a cut flower is to float them in a beautiful bowl filled with water. Cut the stems about 1/2” from the flower base, arrange in a large vessel and carefully fill with water. Replace the water daily and these beauties will last a week or more. Their rich, jeweled colors, ruffly petals and glossy leaves are a delight as a centerpiece or on a side table or desk.

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

I continually marvel at their exquisite shapes and shades. They are truly one of my very favorite plants.

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

Hellebores in Paris by Georgianna Lane

http://www.floresie.fr

I hope you get a chance to grow or at least purchase some stems of hellebores this winter. You will fall in love with them as I have.

(These photographs were all shot as potential images for my book but this feature did not make it in the final version. So, now I can share with you here. Paris in Bloom releases on 14 March 2017 and can be pre-ordered here right now!)

And you can see more of my hellebore arrangments and photographs in the winter edition of Garden Design magazine. If you love gardens, I highly recommend that you subscribe to this fabulous publication. The articles go into great depth on each subject covered and are entirely ad-free.

Á bientôt!

love,

G

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