Every month, we are highlighting “Our Garden Tour Stars” -- landscape architects, florists and interior designers who have participated in our annual Garden Tour and Showcase Estate at the Virginia Robinson Gardens. We want to let you know about these very talented designers, their inspirations, and their creations.
This month, we are featuring German florist Ines Garstecki, owner of Flowermaid.
We asked her these five questions:
1. How did you decide to become a floral designer?
My father was a flower breeder and developed new color combinations of carnations and chrysanthemums. When my brothers and I were little, he often took us along to his greenhouses, where we were allowed to play in the piles of soil. To this day, I absolutely love the smell in greenhouses. He died when I was 5, so I had this early experience with flowers when I was very young, but it stuck with me and eventually brought me back to it.
After high school, I went on to study marketing and advertising, and after a few other entry level jobs, I eventually ended up with a marketing career, overseeing the US market for a German software company as marketing director. After four years, I noticed my heart wasn’t in it, quit my job, traveled the world for seven months and then started Flowermaid when I returned in 2003.
2. Where do you find your inspiration?
I find my inspiration in nature, on the side of the road, gardens, fields, forests, water plants around lakes, etc. Nature is my happy place. Fortunately, the style of designs became much more loose and airy, mimicking how flowers actually grow naturally.
Flower design is a bit like fashion design. You have to be aware of new trends, and I like to evolve along with what style is in demand each year. And, even though I hate to admit it, Instagram is a great tool for research, as well as trend reports, (wedding) colors of the year, and sometimes even fashion trends.
3. Can you share some photos of your favorite floral arrangement(s) and/or projects you have worked on?
I love Garden Tour at VRG and the limitless possibilities that arise by being given one of the rooms to decorate. It's a dream for a floral designer to just splurge and not be limited by a client's budget.
To see captions, please click or hover over the photos with your mouse.
4. What is the book that inspires you the most?
It’s again more of a trend thing…different books inspired me to do different styles in past years. I used to do a lot of very modern events and pulled a lot of inspiration from Jeff Leatham’s book Flowers. For more European artfully constructed designs, I love Klaus Wagener’s book Floral Art. For current loose and airy designs, In Full Bloom by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls, is great. I also pull inspiration from interior designers like Kelly Wearstler, Carolyne Roehm, Tricia Guild, etc.
5. Choose a work of art and then design a floral arrangement inspired by it. Please send us a photo of the work of art, and a photo of your arrangement.
These images are actually from an actual event we had to create centerpieces for. The art piece is called White Painting from Mark Bradford. We used only white flowers for the centerpieces, spray-painted leaves and used white, bleached, and dried material. The art piece is done with a lot of layered (news) paper, so we even included flowers made out of newspaper in the arrangements.