a closer look at the flowers in the great gatsby

The Great Gatsby won two Oscars at the Academy Awards last week in the design category. The movie took large strides in inspiring both fashion and decor last year. Catherine Martin was the production manager and won Oscars in both best costumes and best production design with set decorator Beverley Dunn.

The flower scene in The Great Gatsby is my favorite, both in the novel and the movie, although the later far surpassed my limited imagination in high school English class. The scene is set for Gatsby to reunite with his beloved Daisy and no luxurious detail is spared.


"The flowers were unnecessary, for at two o’clock a greenhouse arrived from Gatsby’s, with innumerable receptacles to contain it. An hour later the front door opened nervously, and Gatsby, in a white flannel suit, silver shirt, and gold-colored tie, hurried in. He was pale, and there were dark signs of sleeplessness beneath his eyes."


 
Daisy and Gatsby sharing a moment amidst an explosion of lavish hot house orchids. Stems of cymbidium, dendrobium and phalaenopsis orchids in a cream, soft green and white color palette.

 "We chose to put a ludicrous number of flowers, particularly orchids, because that would've required hothouses and would represent Gatsby's extraordinary wealth." production designer Martin said.

 Martin, who also won two Oscars for production and costume design of Moulin Rouge, answered a few questions for the LA times on the art deco floral design inspiration:

What was the inspiration for those outrageous floral sprays in Gatsby's house?
I looked at interiors done by Elsie de Wolfe, but the main influence was Constance Spry, probably the most famous florist in London in the 1930s and a favorite of the duchess of Windsor. For her time, she was extremely wild and surrealist, adding cabbage leaves and unexpected country garden things to arrangements.  We chose to put a ludicrous number of flowers, particularly orchids, because that would’ve required hothouses and would represent Gatsby's extraordinary wealth. Constance Spry was one of the first people to put flowers in urns and ceramic swans and other unusual containers, but her arrangements tended to be a little less full. I chose to override her style a little bit and fill the arrangements out. The modern eye wouldn’t understand such a deliberate period look.
The Harlem apartment of Tom Buchanan's mistress also has a giddy gaudiness. How did you achieve that?
I worked with Karman Grech, who has original wallpaper sample books from the 1920s and had a floral with lots of red and pink reproduced. In the Fitzgerald book it says the couch is upholstered in something that looked like the 18th century painting of a girl in a swing by Fragonard. So we had that digitally printed onto the upholstery fabric.
 

I was hard pressed to find out if they were silk orchids or fresh until I came across this article pointing to an all artificial orchid scene. This explains their particularly perfect appearance, not one bruise or brown blotch in sight! What a visually stunning movie.

I put together examples of some of the orchids used:








Photo credits warner brothers and lucky magazine.



flowers for the NJ Devils

No, this was not a Christmas party, I designed flowers for a party for the New Jersey Devils! The party was at the Liberty House in Jersey City in Liberty State Park with sweeping views of NYC and the statue of liberty. It was difficult for me to get a good photo of the arrangements with the skyline stealing the show! I did find some reproduction hobnail glass vases that I absolutely love, you can see the dots slightly in the light in the photo above. Lets go Devils!


a brooklyn backyard wedding

I had the chance to design for a gorgeous brooklyn backyard wedding. 
The pretty scene was set amongst the textures of brick and ivy and featured on Style Me Pretty.


 

For the whole photo gallery, visit style me pretty here.

The bouquet and boutonniere are available for purchase in my shop here.

Winter holiday container plantings

I love magnolia. I feel like it is a must in my winter plantings. The velvety leaves and stems and the slight brown texture and color it brings to a design is complete perfection.

A few photos of containers I did for this years Holiday season:

8 of these window boxes!!!

Cant wait for next season... early spring! More photos of my container gardening here.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
-Christina.

Uncommon gift ideas for the botanical lover

I partnered up with UncommonGoods to show some fabulous uncommon gift ideas for the botanical lover. The holidays are almost here and UncommonGoods has a lovely array of unique Christmas gifts to explore here. Naturally, when thinking of things a botanical lover would enjoy, I found intriguing items from the garden section here.  

First up, I chose the vertical wall planter. I enjoyed picking out plants to tuck into the modern vessels. It's great that the vessels are attached with large magnets so you can easily remove them for watering and place them back up when done or to change up the design of the garden. What's also cool is that they can be hung on a fridge or a filing cabinet. I placed it in my little office corner which is now much more enticing for me to work on billing and my on-line holiday shopping with my own little vertical garden around me.


Next, these wall dot bud vases are a fun way to easily add a pop of botanical goodness to any room. I added them to my girls' room. They have a sleek modern feel but when paired with the preserved ferns, the modern turns delicate. They also hold water so I am excited to switch them out for fresh flowers once in a while if our garden is blooming or if we see a gorgeous bunch of flowers at the market.
Last, I picked the moss terrarium bottle. Guys are kind of hard to buy for, right? This would be wonderful for their desk or windowsill. The moss comes dormant but you soak it in water and then place it in the upcycled wine bottle and it begins to green and wake up! There are many other unique gift ideas for guys, check them out here.



This post is sponsored by UncommonGoods, an online marketplace offering  unique designed and hand-crafted merchandise. All content and opinions are my own!

fall container plantings part II

A few final pictures of some of the autumn container plantings we did this season.

We picked out new triple ball topiaries for these front door containers that I love and the wrapping of the bittersweet berries around them seems to boldly state rustic fall:
little side door planter:
 
These next plantings were for an interior designer's home. I loved using the eclectic mix of plants to meet the eclectic mix of pots.  I am delighted with how they turned out:
a head of croton plant, bittersweet berries, ornamental pepper, kale and kalanchoe plant:
 
This client wanted a simple English garden classic fall feel. Variegated Ivy, deep heuchera and ornamental plum pepper for the autumn season containers:
A hardy succulent centerpiece I planted in the summer was still going strong strong in the cooler outdoor temperatures at a clients home:
and last, a classic fall container of wheat grasses, kale, ornamental peppers, hardy fall mums, ivy and bittersweet berries.
formore of my flowering container gardens visit  here.

fall container plantings part I

 A few photos of some of the containers we planted up this autumn. It is always my favorite season with the simplicity of the designs, the cooler weather to work in and they always come out quite fetching.


this year I loved using the fuchsia celosia to bring a little different color and textures into the plantings (above). 


for more of my flowering container gardens visit here.
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