Design in Depth: In Bloom

April 6, 2011

By Stacy Kunstel

With last week’s snow and my hopes for an early spring dashed, I thought I would assemble some gardening inspiration while we wait for warmer weather.

In the new issue of New England Home’s Connecticut we feature the home of Mike and Mary Helen Fabacher, who have one of the most charming front gardens you can imagine, complete with lilac topiaries. See if you notice anything unusual about this one. (I’ll fill you in at the end of the post.)

Photo by Michael Partenio

Arranging flowers for photo shoots is one of my favorite activities, particularly when I have an abundance of blooms to work with. These flowers that graced the cover came from Chester Brown at the Boston Wholesale Flower Market, photographer Michael Partenio’s garden and my own lilac bushes. I love that the scale is a bit outrageous.

Photo by Michael Partenio

One stylist I always look to for flower inspiration is Carlos Mota, whose work frequently appears in Elle Decor. I love his use of color and scale.

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor

Of course it’s not nearly the extravaganza that Belgian artist Johan Aelterman put on last summer in Brussels, where he used 750,000 begonias to create a canvas of blooms.

Photo courtesy of Reuters

When we were setting up this shot, photographer Michael Partenio didn’t think the lilac topiary had enough color. I took blooms from my own lilac bush and carefully added them to this one (although they were perfect enough as is, in my book). Just one of the not-so-real effects of styling for magazines!

Photo by Michael Partenio

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