As part of our 10th anniversary, we’re revisiting a 2012 Q&A with Jay Lugibihl of Charlotte, North Carolina’s In Bloom, Ltd. Jay shared six gorgeous arrangements plus his floral beginnings and design inspirations with Flower.
What is your first floral memory? I would say growing up back home on our family farm in Ohio and working in the flowerbeds. We had old-fashioned bearded irises, yarrow, and peonies, to name a few.
How did you get your start in floral design? That would be at Fearington Village outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is a charming spot featuring a four-star restaurant and country inn with beautiful gardens. I started as a gardener, which eventually led to arranging flowers for the on-site garden shop and for weddings held on the property.
Where do you garner inspiration for your work? It can come from different sources—the container I may be using or what I may find in the garden each season: hellebores in winter, dogwood in spring, hydrangea in summer, and berries and foliage in autumn.
In your opinion, what constitutes a classic arrangement? To me, a classic arrangement should be like a still life painting—natural, loose, and unstructured.
What is your favorite flower, and why? Ask anyone who knows me and they would say hydrangeas. They are beautiful on their own and also blend well with any other flower.
Of all the events in Charlotte for which you’ve done the flowers, is there one you remember as being the most beautiful? Every event is beautiful in its own way. I tend to find that events held at private homes are always special. No one else can duplicate an experience like that.
FLOWER LIST: blue hydrangeas, ligustrum berries, viburnum, autumn fern, euphorbia foliage, magnolia foliage, sarcococca foliage
FLOWER LIST: purple cabbage, dendrobium orchid, fresh lavender, lavender hydrangea, ‘Night Cap’ calla lily
A lush, romantic arrangement finds a perfect home in this silver pitcher perched on top of a pile of coffee table books.
FLOWER LIST: David Austin ‘Patience’ roses, rosemary, sweet autumn clematis foliage, autumn fern, seeded eucalyptus, mahonia foliage
With a fresh-from- the-garden feel, this composition of greens, peaches, and lipstick pink is an updated classic that picks up the coral of the lacquered Chinese Chippendale chair.
FLOWER LIST: ‘Campanella Peach’ roses, coral ranunculus, pink ranunculus, pink sprayroses, variegated elaeagnus
Overflowing greens and whites in a lush centerpiece for the dining room complements antique Swedish chairs.
FLOWER LIST: white peony, white hydrangea, white camellia, snow-on-the-mountain, hanging amaranth, cotoneaster foliage, white lisianthus
Not just for Christmas-time, spring-blooming coral amaryllis paired with a white cut-out container is a surprising take on retro style.
FLOWER LIST: ‘Rilona’ amaryllis, asparagus fern, pachysandra foliage, mint, yew
Photography by Taylor Mathis