Last week, I shared a posy-making tutorial from Coriander Girl, a Toronto-based floral shop that was just featured in Pure Green magazine. Coriander Girl is owned and operated by Alison Westlake, who stocks her shop with pretty flowers, cool antiqes, and a variety of lovely bits and baubles for the design-savvy girl. Alison was raised in Toronto and on a farm in the country, and her shop's aesthetic beautifully merges rural and urban elements. She shared a fun interview with Pure Green in its latest issue (check p. 29 of the magazine), and she offers some great tips along the way for bringing out the most in your home floral arrangements. Check out some of my favorite tips below.
- Buy local flowers (or better yet, grow your own). "When you buy from a company that doesn’t care where they buy their flowers from, you might be buying from a farm that employs young kids with no laws protecting them, women who are often mentally and physically abused on the job, flowers grown in warehouses no longer producing scent because there are no bees to attract as well as incredibly toxic pesticides, dips and sprays that you should not be inhaling as you bury your nose into that giant grocery store bouquet."
- Look beyond your normal blooms. Alison, of course, loves all flowers, but currently these blooms are playing on her hit list: "I love them all so much but what I can tell you is that ranunculus is very charming and is getting along really well with others; lisianthus is surprisingly independent, and (I think) can be left on her own; and hyacinth too, she can really light up a room. "
- Just say no to boring vases. "With so much great vintage love out there, I don’t want [Coriander GIrl] to be a shop full of glassware made in China. Growing up on a farm, we put flowers in everything from sap buckets to rubber boots. It’s what I know. "
- Take inspiration from what's growing in your garden. "I really just loved flowers from a gardener’s perspective. I planted them, I harvested them, I grouped them together in lovely little vignettes at home"
- Want to make someone happy? Hand deliver a hand-picked and -arranged bouquet. "I love that I still hand deliver bouquets, and when I hand a person their flowers and they really look at the flowers, I’m overcome with gratitude."