Flowers 101: Juliet Totten + Sierra Yaun of Poppies & Posies
Juliet Totten & Sierra Yaun of Poppies & Posies will be selling stems and sharing floral advice at the Pop-Up Flower Shop at west elm Broadway in New York City. We asked the ladies to share some florist tips with Front & Main — from their favorite budget-friendly fillers to their number one trick for a novice florist…
What is your favorite inexpensive stem/filler to use in your designs?
We love to use lots of greenery in our designs. It can certainly help with the overall budget and keeping costs down but we actually prefer the way arrangements look when they are infused with lots of different textures and colors and so many of the greens out there are gorgeous! Whether or not certain elements are cost effective depends on the season but right now in the market spirea (which can be found locally) is one of our favorites. We also love camelia leaf, mountain mint, and unripened blueberry. They all have different seasons but when those elements are in the market we love to employ them in our designs.
What is your favorite splurge stem?
There are so many! Tree peonies certainly rank very high on the list for stems that we yearn to splurge for. Lily of the Valley is another favorite…and giant Japanese ranunculus — the list goes on and on!
What tool would you recommend to a novice florist? What is the best bang-for-your-buck tool that will transform your floral skills?
Chicken wire can be an invaluable tool to a floral designer. If you are building your arrangements in water, building an armature with chicken wire in your vase will give you a wonderful foundation to work from.
What is your favorite shape vessel/vase/container to work with?
We are suckers for garden urns. Our style is often described as reminiscent of an ‘English Garden’ so we love the way our flowers look in something so garden-esque. That said, we are also totally mad about found and vintage objects. We recently did an arrangement in an antique scale that we loved. We’ve even designed sans vase with flowers directly on the table so that they look like they’re growing out the center of it. The possibilities are endless!
What is your #1 flower or floral arranging tip?
Have fun and incorporate things around you. Don’t be limited by the flower selection available. Sometimes you can find inspiration at the grocery store (think weaving fruits and vegetables into your designs) or in your own back yard (sometimes even the weeds in your garden can be beautiful when incorporated into an bouquet).
What’s hot in your market? What flower/floral trend is everyone asking about in New York?
We’ve noticed a return to fuller arrangements. Bud vases definitely still have a place as an accent here and there but bolder floral statements are very en vogue at the moment.
Juliet Totten and Sierra Yaun are the owners & creative directors of Poppies & Posies, a boutique floral and event design firm based in New York and New England. Connect with Poppies & Posies on Twitter, Facebook and their Blog.