JOB DESCRIPTION: Owner of Beco Flowers, which she opened 12 years ago in the Crossroads Arts District.
On the day of our interview, the shop’s work tables were filled with casually styled wedding arrangements featuring hydrangeas, magnolias, garden roses, peony tulips, seed pods and, unexpectedly, fluffy cotton bolls. The bride had requested a Southern feel.
Q. How did you get into this business?
A. I was one of those weird little kids — in second grade I told people I wanted to be a florist. I earned an art history degree from KU. After that, it was either go on to more education or take a break and try floral design, and here I am.
Q. What kind of arrangements do you like for yourself?
A. When I do flowers at home, I keep it really simple. If you buy a bunch of roses, cut the stems short and put them in a low vase, really packed together. If you buy a mixed bouquet, separate or group the stems. It looks more designer.
Q. Where do you like to put them?
A. I’m a fan of doing a coffee table or a side table, or putting a couple of blooms on the vanity in the bathroom. Then it looks like you haven’t neglected anything if you’re having people over.
Q. Do you have any tricks to make a bouquet last?
A. Keep the water as fresh as possible. Change it on a daily basis.
Q. What’s in season right now?
A. The world is so much smaller. Everything’s available. Right now we’re doing the cotton, which growers are now cutting and selling to florists.
Q. Is there anything in particular that you recommend for this time of year?
A. Blooming branches. They’re not the most inexpensive, but when I buy them I get two to four weeks out of them.
Sometimes I use greenery. Magnolia leaves in a vase last a long time, and they will dry. With magnolia, you can plug in some hydrangeas or tulips, and as those flowers fade, pull them out and you still have a pretty vase full of greenery.
Q. What’s new in floral design?
A. Loose, unstructured bouquets with a homemade, homespun feeling like something you’d see in your grandmother’s house. Mason jars have that feeling. It’s not formal, but relaxed and meadowy.
Succulents have been really big lately in bridal bouquets and boutonnières. We’re using lots more texture, with grassy accents and seed pods, and we mix things that are not meant to be together such as peonies and tropical flowers.
Q. What do you suggest for Valentine’s Day?
A. Men only know roses. I’ve been trying to talk them out of roses for years. They’re astronomically expensive. I recommend a pretty mixed bouquet of flowers. If we do an arrangement with tulips, roses and dahlias, it will be well-received, and we can always include a few roses.
And let the designers do their jobs. If you let the creativity of the designer come through, you’ll get a better end result.