Nearly 1,000 floral designers convened in Denver for inspiration and the chance to commune with each other during the annual American Institute of Floral Designers National Symposium last month. It was filled with flowers (more than three semi truckloads) and oodles of creative inspiration. The abundance of beauty was amazing. Flowers from around the world were showcased in so many trend-spotting designs. So much inspiration. So much creativity. So many fabulous flowers. I’d like to share with you a few snapshots from the Symposium:

A simple tapestry of flowers becomes a work of art in this study of textures created by Susan Ayala, AIFD, PFCI, from Loma Linda, California.


Jenny Thomasson, AIFD, from Florissant, Missouri, created a fabulous living wall with bromeliads, ferns, mosses and wooden structural accents. Perfect for a corporate entryway, wedding backdrop or party showpiece, this wall will last for months with just a bit of care from your professional florist. On a smaller scale, imagine it hanging on the wall in your living room. A wonderful, living piece of art. That’s my plan this autumn.


You can find many inspirational photos of living plant walls on Pinterest. Take a look and stop by your florist to choose your favorite plants. Take care to let them know what you’re doing so they can help you pick the longest lasting varieties with similar light, temperature and water needs.

Of course, we’re all looking for what’s hot, happening and on trend. Most popular?  Floral Couture.

Here is an artistic interpretation of wires, foliages and orchids created by Justin DeGonia, AIFD, from Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Look closely at the detail in this gown. The woven flat wire “fabric” that created the bodice is completely handmade and then pieced into a form fitting bustier.


Or what about this drop-dead gorgeous custom designed dress sporting a flower collar by Bali floral designer John Haines, AIFD.


There were dozens of “flowers-to-wear” creations. The flower-enhanced trend is sure to be seen on the red carpet in 2016. As an alternate to the ubiquitous wrist corsage, I say (quite loudly) “YES”! Now, I’m on the hunt for gowns screaming for the floral enhancement.

Transparency continues to be a strong trend in floral design. Japanese floral designer Yoshimi Nakayma shared several statement pieces showcasing this technique. It can be as simple as framed flowers elevated on a stand. By choosing long lasting varieties like orchids and gloriosa, this could be a photo backdrop for a party and look beautiful all evening long.


Nakayma created “Moon over Clouds.” Combining solid, mass design (the clouds) and transparent design (the moon panels), this work of art invites you to sit back and enjoy all the intricate details.


What floral design trends or topics would you like to see more of?