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  • Foto van schrijverJanneke de Haas

All Things Floral: Blooms Of The Season

Spring has sprung and so have the flowers. Get ready for some serious flower power as we dive into the world of floral art. It's time to ditch the winter blues and embrace the colorful blooms of the season. But which ones should we get?


We sat down with Arielle Hill, the creative behind Rae Blooms - the shining star of Amsterdam's floral art scene. She shares her secrets for creating stunning designs with the blooms of the season.


Image Courtesy of Rae Blooms

At the Postjesweg in Amsterdam-West you'll find whimsical flower studio Rae Blooms - that feels more like a gallery - a place where flowers bloom and creativity knows no bounds. With a lifelong passion for all things floral, Ariella transforms her vision into reality through her stunning arrangements, treating each petal and stem like a work of art.


Image Courtesy of Rae Blooms

Not only does Ariella's appearance feel like a ray of sunshine, there's also an electric buzz in the air when you catch her in action at her new showroom. As soon as you step inside, you're hit with a bold Yves Klein blue that pops from every direction. Every inch of the space is thoughtfully curated, from the custom organic-shaped counter to the vintage wall shelves and sleek narrow columns. "I wanted it to feel like an art gallery, let it be all about flower art," she explains.


And don't even get me started on the flowers! They're everywhere, adding pops of color and life to every corner of the store. It's like a springtime explosion in here.


I can't think of a better place to welcome the season.






Image Courtesy of Rae Blooms - Florist Ariella Hill

Rae Blooms


Flower girl Ariella Hill started out when only 18 years old. Now, 10 years later, she's made quite a name for herself with her flower studio Rae Blooms. While living in Spain, her love for flowers blossomed when she attended a tulip festival in Istanbul. After that she flew back home to Melbourne, where she spent 2 years in flower school before starting her own business with a friend. Planning on jumping from city to city to learn from other people in the industry, she moved to Berlin and eventually found her way to Amsterdam. She couldn't find a florist that sparked her interest - so she took a bold leap and started Rae Blooms. That was 2 years ago. "You did insanely much," her boyfriend states proudly. Ariella: "I'm always working, but I love what I do". Her floral designs prove us that her creativity is boundless and blooming.



My style changes with my mood. It depends on the life phase I'm in, the things I'm drawn to, and the people I meet. It’s actually a really intuitive job.



Blooms Of The Season


Image Courtesy of Rae Blooms

Anthurium


Anthuriums are known for being lucky plants. They bring positive energy to your home, office and even in your relationships. Its most distinctive feature is its glossy, heart-shaped spathe, which comes in various colors such as red, pink, white, and green.


No wonder Jonathan Anderson, the creative director of Loewe, took a cue from Mother Nature herself and made the flower the star of the Spring/Summer 2023 collection. And honey, did he deliver! The set design, the clothes, the shoes... All bloomed with the beauty of the flower, proving once again why Anderson is praised for his creative vision and unconventional approach to fashion. The anthurium, the show notes read, is “a product of nature that looks like an object of design, and treated as such”.


And so they did.


Image Courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

Image Courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

The Rae Way


Ariella: "Use it as a single, minimalistic piece in a small long vase, something in the shape of a wine bottle. That’s when things get more interesting. Recess them a bit to give them more character."



Peonies


Image Courtesy of Mary Lennox

Soft, delicate petals and graceful, flowing stems. Peonies are the botanical embodiment of femininity. This flower stands for elegancy, love and romance - for that very popular among brides to be. Call it the Regina George of the wedding: Bold, beautiful and demanding. A bit predictable, but never disappointing.


Their blooms can be as large as 25 cm in diameter, and come in a wide range of colors, including pink, red, white, and yellow. Peonies are also known for their sweet fragrance, which adds to their appeal as a decorative and sensory experience.


Maybe that's why they are also considered as a traditional medicinal herb in eastern cultures. The peony root has been used for centuries to treat pain, headaches, fatigue, inflammation and, oddly enough, menstrual cramps too. It's like Mother Nature says in a Beyonce voice: 'Ladies, let me introduce you to your secret weapon for female power and self-care.'




In other words: Whether you're a hopeless romantic or just appreciate the finer things in life, you can't go wrong on peonies.

The Rae Way


"Peonies are a go to classic, they never go out of style," Ari states. To give them a contemporary, cool presentation, I would arrange them in a sleek and artistic vase, in a small bouquet. Tap some water to the top of the flower to make sure they will fully open.



Parrot Tulips


Image Courtesy of Evergreen Flower

Parrot tulips are like the divas of the tulip world. Their petals are twisted and curled like they just got back from a wild night out, and the result is a texture that's unique and eye-catching. It's no surprise that parrot tulips are associated with passion and desire. Just like a wild night of partying, these flowers are all about letting loose, living in the moment, and indulging your senses.


They're the flower equivalent of a steamy night out.

And the colors! Parrot tulips come in every shade of the rainbow, from soft pastels to bold and bright hues that are sure to turn heads. That's why they're often associated with creativity, imagination, and originality. So, whether you're looking to spice up your floral arrangements or impress your sweetheart, parrot tulips are the way to go.


The Rae Way


It's really cool if you recess them, fan out, just let them hang over the edge of the vase. It changes them into a whole new flower and makes them really pretty.



Image Courtesy of Castor Fleuriste

Allium


The alliums, one big happy family. The flowers are basically the rockstars of the onion family. They're known as ornamental onions thanks to their massive, round flower heads that look just like an onion (but way cooler). And they come in all sorts of colors and forms - we're talking purples, pinks, whites, yellows, blues. Curly or straight. Plus, in some cultures, they're seen as a symbol of spiritual growth and inner wisdom. But here's where things get wild - scientists actually managed to grow alliums on the freaking moon in 2019. That's right, the first plants ever to sprout on the lunar surface were none other than our beloved alliums. Is there anything these flowers can't do?



The Rae Way


Ari: "Them stam is what makes them so interesting." They twist and curl and are perfect for structural work, adding interest and height. The purple ones are the right fit for that long tall vase you're dying to use again this spring.



Image Courtesy of Isa Isa Floral - Curly Allium Arrangement.

Poppies


It's no coincidence we call them klaproos in Dutch. Referring to the sound the flower makes when it pops (how cool if you ever witness this by the way!).

Poppies bursting into bloom are like the perfect metaphor for the arrival of spring after a long, cold winter. Their vibrant colors and delicate petals are a symbol of rebirth and renewal, much like a caterpillar emerging from its cocoon as a beautiful butterfly.


The Rae Way


"I love that they’re hairy, so authentic. You should Google a timelapse of the unfolding process, it's really cool. That’s what I do in my spare time," Ari jokes. They’re nicer by themselves. She herself prefers to arrange them the way she did in her store: A small bouquet in a glass vase, preferably with a mix of closed and opened poppies. Like a dynamic piece of art, always in motion.



Orchid


Image Courtesy of Rae Blooms

Chances are, you'll think of orchids as the flowery equivalent of a knitting club or bingo night, displayed proudly on your grandma's windowsill. "Most people think of the Orchid as old-fashioned," Ari laughs.


But as a groupie of this flower, she managed to change my perspective on the flower in a matter of minutes. She points out that the orchid has one of the largest families of all flowers." Observe how elegantly the branches flow, and how the perfectly formed leaves repeat themselves along the length of the branch."


The name orchid comes from the Greek word orkhis, which means testicle, because the root of some orchid species resembles testicles. The distinctive flower structure consists of three petals and three sepals, with one petal that's all dolled up as a lip or labellum. And let me tell you, this lip isn't just for show - it's used to seduce pollinators like nobody's business.


Move over tough guys, the Orchids are in town.

Orchids are often associated with strength because of their ability to thrive in a wide range of environments and conditions. The flower requires specific conditions for optimal growth, including bright but indirect light. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot and other problems. Yes, the orchid is that hard-to-get kind of guy.


"I've made it my personal mission to show people the beauty of this flower," Ari explains. She's pointing to a rad orchid - roots and all - that's hanging on the wall of her showroom. It's not just a plant, it's a piece of artistic freedom. A blooming work of art. How cool is that?!


The Rae Way


How to style them? "In everything," Ari laughs. Put a few branches in a flower arrangement as a colorful eye-catcher or give them a solo in a high minimal vase. It instantly elevates it. Sometimes branches can be a bit expensive, but they will last a month, so it's totally worth it!


Gerbera


Image Courtesy of Hattie Malloy - Gerbera floral design.

This sassy flower, also known as Gerbera daisy or Transvaal daisy, is one of the most popular ornamental flowers out there. And let's be real, it's no wonder why. When you think of a flower, you think of a Gerbera, it just screams look at me!


Not only is it a staple in flower arrangements and bouquets, but it's also associated with all things pure, innocent, and cheerful. Need to bring a smile to someone's face? Gerbera's got your back, honey.


Back in the day, Gerbera was all the rage in the 80s, reflecting the bold and vibrant style of the decade. But it didn't stop there. The Gerbera was everywhere, soon we had an overkill. The flower's affordability and availability eventually catapulted its popularity and labeled the Gerbera as an uncool, crappy supermarket flower.

Gerbera, the comeback kid of the floral world.


Image Courtesy of Paul Popper - Iggy with knitted daisy hat

Fast forward to today where the Gerbera is the comeback kid of the floral world. "All thanks to Melbourne-based florist Hattie Malloy," explains Ari. Hattie's taken this traditionally uncool flower and turned it into a work of art, creating unconventional arrangements that have floral lovers on Instagram swooning. Who knew we could be obsessed again with Gerbera and Carnations? But hey, anything is possible when you shed preconceived notions and let your creativity run wild. A fabulous act of rebranding if you ask me.


The Rae Way


The trick is all about individuality and unpredictability. "Keep it simple," Ari says. "Combine it in a mass or as a colorful accent in a floral arrangement. Oh, and try different varieties, like the Spider Gerbera, its a bit more interesting." You could also do a Hattie: Create a dynamic arrangement of Gerberas that lets the eye dance through the flowers.


Image Courtesy of Rae Blooms - Popping Gerberas create a unpredictable floral design.


Carnations


Image Courtesy of Lisa Cooper

Carnation flowers may be originally from the Mediterranean, but now they're the talk of the town worldwide. You can't help but fall for their unique, ruffled or fringed look that has everyone - florists and consumers alike - going crazy. The last two decades they were very unpopular, but like the Gerbera they are finding their way back to the spotlight.


Carnations are a versatile addition to any floral arrangement. Their petals have a one-of-a-kind texture, which is smooth and slightly waxy to the touch. Talk about sophistication.


They remind me of the abundance of ruffles. If you're not convinced about the impact of ruffles, take a look at how they're used in fashion. Ruffle clothing is truly festive, to say the least. With their flowing, delicate appearance, they bring an element of charming drama to any occasion.


The Rae Way


Why not try an edgier approach by opting for Carnations with a slightly darker edge? Style your design like a ruffle skirt, layering the flowers on top of each other until you achieve the perfect amount of volume. Fully embrace the edgy flirt of this flower.


Image Courtesy of Ben Broomfield - Molly Goddard SS23

Gloriosa


For the drama queen she is, we’re going out with a bang. Gloriosa's got a larger-than-life personality and always steals the show with its striking red and yellow petals. It demands attention and makes sure that all eyes are on her. The flower can be quite fussy and needs just the right amount of care and attention to thrive. But despite all of this drama, we can't help but love its boldness and confidence. It's the kind of flower that knows how to make an entrance and leave a lasting impression, just like any good drama queen. Perfect if your floral design needs a little something extra.


It's the kind of flower that knows how to make an entrance and leave an impression, just like any good drama queen.

The Rae Way


Ari: "Gloriosa is pretty great, it's dramatic." Scatter some flowers throughout the arrangement to spice things up a bit and create depth. But don't overdo it, give her enough space to work her magic.


Image Courtesy of Rae Blooms - Dramatic Gloriosa

 

Now it's time to unleash your inner florist. If you need more inspiration, check out Rae Blooms on Instagram - she'll make you want to get your hands dirty. Don't think you've got the floral touch? No worries, Ariella makes you the most amazing floral designs on request too. Have a lovely spring!

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