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2024 Floral Design Conference For the Love of Flowers


February 08, 2024

Floral Design Experts Share Tips & Tricks

On February 6, For the Love of Flowers, the 2024 GCA Floral Design Conference, showcased innovative floral design professionals and their work. German designer and publisher Klaus Wagener demonstrated bold ikebana-inspired contemporary designs. California innovator and instructor Dundee Butcher introduced Phoam, a natural alternative to traditional floral foam. Designer and urban gardener Dee Hall created a lush arrangement using materials grown near her home in Norfolk, Virginia. Other presentations on botanical arts, flower shows and principles of design rounded out the virtual conference. In between presentations, GCA floral design committee members shared their favorite flowers—a delightful way to kick off the month of love.

Klaus Wagener—German floral designer, publisher, and trend-forecaster—said that “green” is his favorite color particularly in the face of climate change and sustainability. Forgoing traditional florist foam by using bamboo as his base material, Wagener created several striking arrangements inspired by Ikebana principles. 

Dundee Butcher lives in Healdsburg, California but trained under marquee florists while living in central London. Frustrated with the environmental consequences of using traditional florist foam she worked with scientists to develop Phoam—a compostable floral foam made from a corn sugar polymer. Butcher told attendees that this revolutionary material should be on the market within months. “We hope to become part of the movement to make floristry more sustainable,” she said.

Dee Hall drew on her family’s horticulture heritage across the Black Diaspora to found Black Flower Farmers and the Tidewater Flower Collective. Frustrated when she couldn’t find locally grown flowers for her own wedding, Hall began gardening in small urban pockets of land near her Norfolk, VA home. Her front-facing garden provided the opportunity to talk about locally grown flowers with neighbors and passers-by who began offering her more spaces to garden. “One of the incredible things about a garden is that it’s not static, it grows and changes just like us,” said Hall.

Other presentations included a display of botanical arts by Carole Bailey featuring how to craft a piece of Valentine jewelry from natural materials and a review of design principles and elements by Kristin Brown.

A shared love of flowers united all the presenters and attendees.


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