To some, flowers are reserved for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. To others, they’re an essential part of what makes a house a home, adding colour, scenting the air and, in Tess Atkins’ case, acting as “a mood-changer [because they change] a space so dramatically.”
On floral arrangement trends that are big this season, the co-founder and CEO of Bear’s Blooms names the Japanese ikebana approach as a sought-after in-pandemic style. “Ikebana arrangements just have three to four stems, which makes them simple, beautiful and artistic. This is popular for people at home who don’t have a lot of space.”
And while there’s beauty in simplicity, other low-maintenance and aesthetically pleasing arrangements are also gaining ground. “Moss art is the coolest trend right now,” Taylor Booth, co-founder of boutique plant store West Coast Jungle, observes. “There are so many ways to use moss to bring greenery into your home or business, and it is zero maintenance [as it] requires no watering or light.”
Nassi Soofi, founder of The Wild Bunch, adds that dried flowers are a popular trend as well, and that no two arrangements of hers are the same. “We love unexpected combinations [and] cohesive colours in our designs,” she shares. “Often our designs are asymmetrical, with exaggerated proportions to create drama and interest.”
Kamila Alikhani, Bloomier’s founder and creative director, takes the conversation further by predicting that “sustainable flowers” will be the up-and-coming trend to get in on. “That means flowers that are locally grown, are not dyed or bleached, and are offered in a mindful way,” she explains.
In many ways, it seems sustainability is the trend that’s here to stay. For florists like Alikhani, Atkins, Booth and Soofi, a commitment to Mother Earth lies at the heart of the arrangements they create, whether it’s in adopting recyclable and compostable packaging or choosing to purchase flowers that are only grown in North America.
Leis de Buds’ founder and CEO Alyssa Sager is another florist that’s leading the charge on the sustainability front. She was the first to introduce Agra wool (a compostable foam material made of basalt for foam-based floral arrangements) as well as the use of compostable flower food packets into Canada—a decision, she says, that has been well worth it, even if it hasn’t been easy. “Most flowers are flown in from countries like Europe, South Africa or Malaysia. About 40 per cent of them go to waste by the time they hit North America because the second stems are cut, they decompose,” she explains.
Being sustainable doesn’t require any compromise on style, as these florists unanimously agree that freedom to play and create is what makes an arrangement stand out. “Combine unique things and give each flower its own space; don’t try to squish them all in together,” advises Soofi. Booth echoes this approach in describing how to put a beautiful terrarium together: “Choose different-textured plants to complement each other and never have the soil [fill] more than one-third of the glass [container]. Leave room in the terrarium for your plants to grow out!”
Atkins, meanwhile, recommends playing with varied stem lengths or separating stalks into smaller bouquets that can be placed in different parts of the home. Sager suggests layering flowers to evoke the wild, natural vibes displayed in her hand-tied bouquets: “Start with a nice greenery base, like baby blue, silver dollar or gunni eucalyptus, then add filler flowers like waxflower, rice flower or Queen Anne’s lace. Add the flowers last so you can style them [freely] at the end.”
The easiest place to start? “Choose one type of flower and have a lot of them; find the colour or shape you like,” says Alikhani. “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” —Isabel Ong