A Visit with Shane Connolly

Phyllis Inspiration, People 9 Comments

PhyllisandAuthorI sat spellbound last week watching this master floral arranger put together stunning creations from flowers cut fresh from a garden right here in Birmingham. Englishman Shane Connolly, author of “A Year in Flowers,” was in town for the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Secretly, I wanted to hear him speak and see his creations because he is the floral designer to the Royal Family. He was the floral genius behind Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding flowers, earning him the Royal Warrant. His latest public masterpiece was transforming Westminster Abbey into a tree-lined avenue for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Remember her lily of the valley bridal bouquet? It was absolutely simple and stunning.

His book that I have leafed through numerous times is breathtaking. He makes everything look simple. And after seeing him make garden arrangements, I think I can do it too! He only uses natural blooms and twigs in his arrangements, and he lets the flowers fall in the direction they choose.


What I loved best was how he instructed us to match the flowers, foliage, and twigs to the container. My favorite was the dusty pink arrangement where one pale pink hydrangea dictated the color scheme. Sometimes it is one flower that is the inspiration for an entire centerpiece.

I am now more appreciative of the flowers I have in my yard and the beautiful vines and foliage growing there. He is an inspiration to all of us.

What types of flowers do you grow in your garden?

flowers book image - cover

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Comments 9

  1. What a treat to be able to meet and hear Shane talk about arranging flowers. His arrangements are just so beautiful, lush, well designed, but in such a natural manner that the English are famous for! Here at home in California we grow lots of roses, hydrangeas, and lavenders for scent and color. As soon as I’m able to, I go out in the early morning to cut them for bouquets placed around our home. Thank you for this beautiful post, Phyllis.

  2. What a lovely post. It is impossible to have too many flowers in the garden. In my own garden flowering trees, bushes and vines compete for attention. There are roses, orchids, hydrangea and flowering succulents. Some of the geranium bloom year round in our Socal climate. We have fruit trees which waft scents in their bloom and then delicious taste ripe from the tree.

  3. His flowers really are beautiful. He gave me a lot of ideas not only for home but for the altar in our Episcopal Church. I don’t have anything blooming right now except for some roses. Thank you for sharing with us.

  4. Shane was absolutely wonderful! I enjoyed every minute…..I was amazed at how he arranged flowers for us to see in the audience while he worked from behind….what?? I think I came out more confident about my flower arranging….who knew you dont need oasis! I only have hydrangeas in my yard, but I will definitely be planting flowers I can use in arrangements in the spring. Thanks for sharing your pictures of his wonderful creations…..and as always….loved seeing you!!

  5. These are stunning…thank you for sharing. While I don’t have too many flowers in the garden right now,I still have herbs in my herb pot. Very often I will make arrangements for the dining table using bunches of herbs…very simple!

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