Lavender - Country Garden Florals

Josette - Owner and Designer
         

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Josette Brose-Eichar
Owner and Designer

I received my BFA in fashion design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1979. Unfortunately the next 17 years were spent in the business of Electronic Banking. I like to say, I drove off to LA in my pick up truck one hot summer day in 1979 and I woke up 17 years later working for Visa Credit Card in San Francisco. My love of the natural world led to a career change to floral design. I studied the basics at City College of San Francisco for two years. The highlight of this experience was studying Ikebana, observing how design occurs in nature, rather than forcing plant materials in a less than natural manner. The principles and philosophy of Ikebana can be used in even the most abundant English garden designs.

I opened Lavender as a full service floral shop in San Francisco in 1998. Weddings were the most wonderful and magical elements of the business. In 2002 we moved into a beautiful hilltop home in Sonoma. Here surrounded by nature, I am doing what I love most, California Wine Country weddings and events.

Design style and philosophy

There are no hard and fast rules. You and I will use our imaginations to work together to create your dream. It can be romantic, intimate, crazy, bold, subtle or soft. I work with natural materials, ribbons, fabrics, and many types of containers to fulfill your vision.  We can also use non traditional items as your containers.  I can put a liner in almost anything.  Be sure to see the little toy trucks in our design gallery, in little details

The changing of the seasons in the Sonoma Valley holds abundant inspiration. I take my cues from nature; add my background in fine arts and fashion design to create floral design that is abundant, organic and original.  So many brides requested wildflower and lush natural styles in the last few years.  I have added many new photos to the design galleries highlighting these styles.

 
           

Respect for nature and the environment

I follow the principle "Do the least harm". This means many things; recycling all unused organic materials by composting, keeping the use of floral foam to a very bare minimum, buying flowers grown organically or with as little pesticide use as possible and not using spray paint, dyes or hot glue.

What you will see in my design galleries, are flowers and organic materials used to their best advantage, in a natural and uncontrived style.

What you will not see in my design galleries, are big massive balls of flowers. This includes topiary styles on poles and balls of flowers balanced on vases without water. Both of these styles require large amounts of floral foam.

Many floral designers are now saying that they are "Green", but if you see massive amounts of flowers on poles, or on top of tall vases that you can see through (clear or no water), these may be the latest styles, but they are not "Green".  If you are concerned about the environment, ask how much floral foam is being used.  What I believe is that floral design must not just be beautiful to look at on the day we create it, but consciously beautiful in its construction and effect on our environment.

Floral foam never breaks down. The only place I now use it, is for some styles of flower girl's baskets, where just the tiniest amounts are needed.

Each year the floral "industry" comes out with new products, and each year potential clients bring me photos asking me replicate designs using these products.  I am putting in a little disclaimer for my readers.  "If it does not look natural or reusable, it probably isn't."  The latest product is a combination of floral foam and plastic.  The floral foam is glued to a low plastic dish or tray.  I am guessing this is so that designers can make the flowers look like they are "growing" out of the table top, wine barrel or whatever.

We all know flowers do not grow out of these surfaces.  Sadly when these designs are discarded, they end up in the trash and ultimately the landfill, just more non-biodegradable floral foam and plastic being dumped into the environment.

Now Available

Plan a Completely Local/ Organic Event

Lavender can design your wedding or event using all flowers and natural materials grown here in Sonoma County using completely sustainable and organic practices. Of course for this option you will not be able to specify colors and flowers used, as crops are seasonal and will change as the spring, summer and fall progress. Pricing for this option is the same as our standard pricing.

Donate your flowers

If you would like to donate your flowers after the wedding, I will pick them up the next day and deliver them to Golden Living, a care home here in Sonoma.  I will do this at no extra charge.  The clients and staff love to get fresh flowers.  I will be sure to give them your note, so they know who donated the flowers.  Of course, you must use containers, that you purchased, and not my rental containers, for this option.

Freshness

It is not unusual to have temperatures of 90 to 100 degrees for the wine country in summertime. We have a state of the art, energy efficient walk in cooler to keep everything in peak condition until it is time to deliver. We also use an air-conditioned van. I will guide you in picking flowers that will hold up for the expected weather.

 

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Lavender
Sonoma, CA
800-566-9901

Copyright 2003-2012, Lavender

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