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Blue & Ivory floral centerpiece

Inspired by Nature

Embarking on a Botanical Journey

My earliest memories of cultivated gardens were generic city landscapes. Nevertheless, it was the petite patch of earth on our small hobby farm – a tiny postage stamp plot allotted to each grandchild for growing radishes, carrots, and marigolds – that held a special place in my heart. Enclosed by a lush West Coast forest, I always felt a sense of belonging amidst the tall evergreens, fern glades, and mossy forest floors. Our childhood adventures included spotting the first wood violets of spring, sipping nectar from salmonberry blossoms, experimenting with vanilla leaf leaves in puddles, snacking on huckleberries, and strictly preserving the treasured trilliums.

Photograph of a young woman near an alpine lake
Tumbledown Lake at Selkirk Mountain Experience, 2003

An Encounter with Alpine Splendor

And then on a family vacation as a young child, I experienced an alpine meadow for the first time. I was awestruck at the vastness, beauty, and perfection of it all. I couldn’t comprehend how such a beautiful flower garden could be created with no human hand at play, knowing how much effort was required at home: selecting the site, preparing the soil, planting seeds, watering plants, and pulling weeds – and yet, here was effortless beauty!  I even recognized some of the ‘wild cousins’ to our garden-grown cultivars. Maybe it was the thinner air at the higher altitude, but I was truly breathless!

Floral Designer, Lexi Richards, pauses on a hiking trail in Manning Park
Heather Trail at Manning Park, 2023

A Lifelong Fascination with Flora

And so, regardless of where I have traveled, or the gazillion jobs I’ve held, the desire to connect and experience that same breathlessness with flowers prevails. In any new city, I make a bee-line to the parks and botanical gardens. Trail riding, I was always scanning for wildflowers. Being in the Rockies saw me channeling my inner Mary Schäfer, an early 20th-century botanist. Even in numerous tourism jobs and a stint as a cook in a backcountry lodge, (accessible only by helicopter) for an entire summer (heaven!), I started drawing and painting the blooms – we didn’t pick a single one!

Floral designer Alexandra Richards prepares a floral arch.
Behind the Scenes at Rowena’s at Sandpiper Resort, 2023

Designing with Nature

In my most recent role as a landscaper, I’ve discovered the intersectionality between aesthetically manicured nature (via clipped hedges) and the unabated tenacity of wild flora (hello, whispy weeds) and have realized where my preferences lie.

Yes, I’ve been known to practically drive off the road in awe of some elegant ‘weed’ growing in the ditch.

As a designer, it’s a unique challenge to convey the elegance and raw beauty that nature spontaneously evokes without it appearing unkempt. It requires a sound understanding of balance, harmony, line, composition, and proportion. It’s an immersive journey into deciphering what we intuitively recognize as ‘beauty,’ a concept that great minds like Fibonacci, da Vinci, and Hogarth have attempted to articulate through words, numbers, and illustrations. Through decades of tacit learning from the original designer of beauty, Mother Nature, I often arrange flowers to convey the Golden Ratio without conscious thought.

Cultivating Beauty with Twiggage and Bloom

At Twiggage and Bloom, our renown is built on providing sustainable, seasonal, nature-inspired florals for all your occasions. Embedded in every arrangement is our commitment to cultivate beauty that graces your space, each design whispered into existence through the subtle, yet profound, teachings of Mother Nature herself.

Ready to bring nature into your special moments? Schedule a consultation today and let’s cultivate beauty together!

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