While contemplating spring, Prague-born poet Rainer Maria Rilke once wrote that “the earth is like child that knows poems by heart.” Florist Regina Fasshauer centered her business around a similar faith in the seasons, primarily stocking her Stuttgart flower shop Blooms with seasonal, locally grown flowers and herbs. We caught up with the self-taught German florist to learn how to get the most out of seasonal flowers at home and beyond.
What inspired you to become a florist?
I’m actually not a trained florist, but an art historian. For many years I worked in the arts, while working with flowers was always more of a hobby. However, upon changing career directions to work as a florist I realised I felt much happier and healthier, away from the often hectic art world.
The idea to have a flower stand arose when I visited London’s Columbia Road Flower Market many years ago – an experience I will never forget. A good friend taught me the basics of floristry, and everything else I’ve learnt is from years of practice and observing the nature – following the movements and direction of plants and flowers growing in the “great outdoors.” The fact I have no official training as a florist helps a lot, as I am open to creating unconventional, natural bouquets that you won’t find with a mainstream florist. Thierry Boutemy – one of my favourite florists in Brussels – suggests the real problem with floristry is the training, as you are taught to manipulate flowers to bring into unnatural, rigid forms. I agree!
Many of the flowers and herbs you stock are seasonal, sourced from local gardeners and farmers. What are the advantages of working this way?
The benefits of regional cooperation are obvious. Not only is the quality is usually much better than the imported goods, the transport distances are short (which in turn protects the environment). I enjoy understanding where and how the plants are grown – for me, orientating yourself with the seasons is aligned with having a natural, healthy lifestyle. It is similar to the slow food philosophy – I don’t eat asparagus at Christmas, but look forward to the asparagus season every spring.
Luckily, spring is now here! What are some of your favourite flowers during this season, and the best way to arrange these at home?
Rather than favourite flowers, I have favourite spring trees: I just love blossoming apple, cherry branches and magnolias, of course! Long branches of these work nicely placed in a vase in front of a white wall. A colourful spring bouquet in a simple jam jar always looks good on the dining table or on the windowsill.
The wedding season will also soon begin. What are your tips for brides to be?
Lately, a growing number of brides have requested a wrist corsage. This not only looks pretty, but is also very convenient – the bride can keep their hands free and keep the bridal bouquet in water while still maintaining a floral touch to their outfit.
Generally speaking, every wedding is different and the flowers should match the bride, the groom and the venue. Before meeting with a florist, consider what colour scheme you might like and write down some of your favourite flowers. Even the simplest insight into your personal tastes will inform what approach the florist takes to make a beautiful arrangement. A single flower in many different bottles can be very pretty, but depends on the individual’s style and taste.
I am convinced that beautiful flowers are almost as important as a great meal at a wedding. Consider the comfort of your guests, too – family and friends may stay seated at the dinner table for at least two hours with fragrant flowers lingering in front of their nose, so it’s worth bearing the scent in mind.
Where do you always keep fresh flowers at home?
On the dining table, and on my work bench. I spent a lot of time there so it’s nice to enjoy flowers while on the job.