How Thoughtful

February — the month that Cupid loves best — finds three floral experts creating meaningful arrangements that are sure to spur creative ideas for your loved ones


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Flower lover: Liz Andre-Stotz of the 11-year-old Parsonage Events, which she co-owns with her mother, Susan Andre. It’s nestled in a 110-year-old house in downtown Clarkston and is known for full-event floral design.

Her beloved: Bill Stotz, co-owner of 3 Bee Apiary, Ortonville.

About her heartful arrangement: “My husband has been a beekeeper and our children have grown up in our flower shop and his apiary. Our interests have a similar path — there would be no flower without the bee, and no bee without the flower. A floral piece with flowers attached to a beehive frame is a pretty accurate representation of our love. Shades of red, pink, and white flowers and succulents are attached to a beehive frame.”

 


She’s Crazy About: Her hand-plant-dyed ribbon from Silk and Willow. “I love the hues of the ribbon and fabric, and I especially love the fact that the dye is all plant-based,” Andre-Stotz says. “It adds to the natural, organic feel of my bouquets.”

 


She Can’t Live Without: Her vintage shears.“They are from my grandfather, Eugene Robert Andre Sr., who lived to be 100 years old. They are better than any pair of scissors I could buy today, and they cut ribbon perfectly.”

 


She’s Drawn to: Vintage jewelry boxes, and has used them as vessels from the beginning of her career. The one shown here brims with ranunculus; hypericum, viburnum, and privet berries; astrantia, acacia foliage, succulents, and a string of pearls.

 


Flower lover: Cindy Hicks of Scarlet Poppy Events, a Grosse Pointe floral design service founded in 2006.

Her beloved: M.Scott Hicks, who works at DTE Energy.

About her heartfelt arrangement: “It is housed in a vintage Koshida handled vegetable tureen from our china set and includes palm fronds, to remember our Florida honeymoon, and many happy family vacations there since; ‘Hearts,’ a frilled red rose, because he stole my heart; spray roses and larkspur, the birth-month flowers for the months our two sons were born; Seville oranges with their leaves on, to represent how we hope to vacation in Spain (and orange is my husband’s favorite color); cascading evergreens because we were married in December; and fresh basil, to remember the great food we enjoyed in Rome.”

 


She’s Crazy About: Mercury glass votives. “There is no more flattering light than candlelight!” Cindy Hicks says. “I advise my clients to flood their tablescapes with candles, and this shape (shown here) is a recommended favorite. It’s available to the trade only, but you can also find similar ones at Pottery Barn, Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies (jamaligarden.com), and Pier 1.”

 


She's Drawn to: Chinoiserie. “Whenever I’m styling an event in a client’s home, I always lean toward chinoiserie vessels for the centerpieces. They’re seasonless, timeless, and fresh floral ingredients look great paired with them.”

 


She Can't Live Without: 24-gauge green florist wire. “I’ve used it for floral head wreaths, boutonniere work, securing floral swags on railings, even threading in a last-minute button emergency for one of my grooms. I’m never without a spool at my events.” You can find it at local craft stores such as Jo-Ann Fabrics  and Crafts or Michaels, or floral supply centers.

 


Flower lover: Jody Costello of J. Costello Designs, a 3-year-old boutique lifestyle and event floral design company in Royal Oak. The company’s textural creations combine unexpected flowers with foliage. The third-generation florist’s great-grandmother owned Alma Boyd Florist on 7 Mile in Detroit.

Her beloved: Four-year partner Jeremy Haines, who works at Reclaim Detroit, a deconstruction and job-training nonprofit.

About her heartfelt arrangement: “Since my partner supports local business, I’m using a container made from reclaimed Detroit wood. It’s masculine, and includes tillandsia and succulents with foliage cut from local, independent greenhouses, and seasonal flowers. The tillandsia and succulents can be removed after it’s spent, and can be used to decorate his office. Tillandsia is easy to care for; it grows without soil, and needs just spritzes of water. Succulents require little water, as well —  perfect for an office.”   

 


She’s Crazy About: Her leather tool bag. “It’s an American-made electrician’s bag by Klein that fits all of my tools — scissors, tape, knife, ribbon, and more,” says Jody Costello. “It’s sturdy and attractive enough to take to event venues and clients’ homes.”

 


She Can’t Live Without: Vintage floral frogs. “I use wire baskets, new and vintage, to create structure for my arrangements. They’re more environmentally friendly than floral foam.”

 


She’s Drawn to: Vintage sorbet cups. “I use collections of interesting and unique vintage, American-made vessels to decorate event tables, whether I place fresh flowers or candles inside them.”

 

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