As a florist, or with any creative career, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. I have these ideas of what a perfect project would be, with a large budget in a beautiful location with impeccable details. I'd order my favorite go-to flowers—dahlias, ranunculus and delphinium—to line the tables in large cascading compotes. But sometimes, it's the projects that you percieve to be the opposite of your ideal situation that allow you to do the most creative work. This past fall, when I worked on a series of dinners at Old Milburnie Farm, I recognized that creativity can flourish in all environments.
Daniel started the dinners as a way to raise awareness for the farm and other farmers who grow in the area. Each dinner had a guest chef and an auction that would benefit a community organization of the chef's choosing. The Stanbury, Provenance, Humble Pie and Escazu donated their time and skills to help the Raleigh Boys and Girls Club, Passage Home and Learning Together.
Similarly, I wanted to contribute to the cause by donating botanical arrangements for the tables. However, due to the charitable context of the events, I had to be practical and cost-saving with my materials. Since we were surrounded by the woods, it made sense to decorate the tables with foraged items from the farm's natural environment. No planning ahead or placing orders, just acting spontaneously to what I could find around me with a lot of help from my kindred spirit, Hannah Ross. In the end, these dinners were a good way for me to donate my creativity, as well as a great excuse to spend my weekends in the autumn sunshine.