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#flowermonday: East of Eliza
A riot of autumnal gorgeousness, courtesy of East of Eliza.
This #flowermonday arrangement from Toronto florist
East of Eliza is like a whole little world contained in (a very beautiful) claw-footed vase: From the last-whiff-of-summer roses to the adorable little bird’s nest, you could spend hours staring at it and still not quite see everything. As Reed Russell, the floral designer behind this creation describes it: "My inspiration for this arrangement is that moment in fall when the initial blaze of changing colours has seemingly halted. We have some ‘close to frost’ nights and then there are some smoky muted tones showing in the scarlets and goldens, and a subtle burnished plum creeps in." Read on to find out what she loves about fall, why she doesn’t have a favourite flower, and why you have to be brave to give a florist flowers!
What do you love about fall in Canada? Fall is about embracing comfort and warmth whether with a return to wool, flannel and suede, or the final fading riches of the fall harvest: Berries, pods, branches. Nature and fashion reflect an austere yet comforting nesting feel.
What’s your favourite flower? For me, there is no favourite. I am enchanted by what each season has on offer. In early fall we are dazzled by dahlias: From tiniest ball-like blooms to the insanely voluptuous dinner plates in a vivid array of colours that wind up summer—crimson, garnet, saffron, tangerine, aubergine, and mocha! The later fall brings us the textures of pods and berries and the first magnolia foliage with its rich tobacco brown reverse. Roses are probably the only flower that captures my heart in every season, an endless offering of colours scents and forms.
Is there a particularly significant bouquet of flowers that you have received? You have to be pretty brave to give a florist flowers so we seldom receive them! Years ago, before I was a florist, a very dear friend used to give me a box of blooms, not an arrangement—just an invitation to play. Of course, anything my children picked when they were little always captured my heart!
Tell us a bit more about how you got into flowers! I fell into floristry. I gardened with my mum, practiced belly botany in the woods, and walked in the meadows with my field guides to wild flowers. One day when my life blew up I walked into Eliza Doolittle Flowers and asked for a job. A little more than 2 years later I owned it, albeit under the new name
East of Eliza. Twenty five years later I am still at it! Although I admire and have learned from many designers, Mother Nature remains my mentor and my muse. We as a florists are privileged to participate with flowers in all the major rites of passage in the human journey. Our job is to beautify every one of those steps, whether joyful or filled with sadness, with something beautiful from the Earth … and that’s what I do.
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