What an honor!

So, in the design world, there a rock stars that influence, inspire, and ignite the passions of young designers like me. One of those is the amazingly talented Bobby McAlpine. His architecture firm in Montgomery is a phenomenal group – “an eclectic family of professionals” - formed from talented folks with projects all across the Deep South and international renown. Luckily, there office is across the street from my shop, so I was able to hand deliver the arrangement to their atelier – a treat in and of itself to visit!

One of Bobby’s many talents is furniture design henceforth a line for MacRae Designs... another major sway of fantastic design ideas and products. MacRae asked me if I would construct a Christmas present for Bobby, and an arrangement of Southern classics with a modern twist would be totally apropos! Just what comes to mind when thinking about McAlpine style!

Being two Southern gents from rural backgrounds gives us an affinity; so, I channeled the classic more traditional side of my design thinking (which is usually on the forefront) and harnessed the reverence and awe I have for modernity in Bobby’s design realm. Archetypal greenery, fabulously lush flowers, a modern container, and lots of texture came to mind. My creative juices were flowing and the process was initiated!

I love terrariums…mini-gardens and ecosystems…thus the basis of their appeal. A terrarium base was my foundation and I lined it with Chinese striped river rocks (be sure you have thick glass for this type of arrangement). The rocks gave me a “frog” or underpinning to build my arrangement upon.

A mound of magnolia…the awe I have for simplicity was nearly satisfied with this stage of the game, but I knew I could totally create a forest like arrangement and the magnolia was my green cornerstone. Arborvitae and pine created contrast and texture as well as smell…I think all arrangements should be totally sensual thus engaging each sense with delight.

Amaryllis, hydrangea, and orchids…traditional, luscious, and exotic respectively – what a fun mix! My forest of flowers was taking shape literally with vertical accents, mounds of florets, and sprays of chartreuse that just popped against the deep evergreens beneath. A few sticks to add a nod to winter and a touch of drama were positioned and some pine cones nestled into the pine boughs and magnolia brought out the earth tones and furthered the textural element.

All these components were juxtapositoned with that clear glass and what a complement! Take a few branches and stems, a cool container, and a dose of creativity…combine them all and construct your own “classic meets mod” Christmas arrangement. I had an absolute blast making this arrangement and cannot thank MacRae enough for the opportunity. I took the leftover buds and arranged them in my favorite julep cup – a little memento for JTF III!