Kelly Marie Thompson of Fleur
The Chicago floral designer and shop owner creates romantic arrangements with a nod to Midwest prairie sunsets. Follow her step-by-step instructions to re-create the look
Kelly Marie Thompson of Fleur
“I was inspired by the romance of the Midwest prairie sunset, which led me to choose several wild grasses to mix in with the flowers. I wanted a soothing palette that would evoke a peaceful feeling, incorporating rusty bronze, pale orange, and soft pinks that hint at the season but perhaps are also a little unexpected.” — Kelly Marie Thompson
Find step-by-step instructions for one of her floral designs at the end of this post.
A Look Inside Fleur
At her retail shop, Fleur, in Chicago’s Logan Square, Kelly Marie Thompson offers seasonal cut flowers from primarily local sources.
The mix of antique furniture in the shop gives it the feel of a living room.
“Shop Kitty,” aka Sweet Pea, basks in the late October sun.
Flowers and grasses selected for the photo shoot with FLOWER magazine
“I’m drawn to using wild grasses in my designs. They add more unusual texture and another element to arrangements other than greenery and flowers.” – Kelly Marie Thompson
MATERIALS: Wild grasses, ‘Butterfly’ ranunculus, ‘Romantic Antike’ roses, ‘Koko Loko’ roses, ‘Prairie Sunset’ roses, anthurium, Pieris japonica
MATERIALS: ‘Blushing Bride’ protea, ‘Butterfly’ ranunculus, wild grasses, Pieris japonica, and dried pampas grass
Step-by-step instructions and photos for this floral design follow.
- Pieris japonica
- Plum tree foliage
- Bridal veil grass
- Explosion grass
- Millet grass
- ‘Blushing Bride’ protea
- ‘Prairie Sunset’ roses
- ‘Koko Loko’ roses
- ‘Romantic Antike’ roses
- ‘Butterfly’ ranunculus
Click the arrows (or swipe if on a mobile device) to see each step
1 | "I used a low terra-cotta pot to complement my palette," says Kelly Marie Thompson. "Ball up chicken wire to create a base, and insert it into the container. Then trim and add the japonica, which is rust-toned and textural."
2 | Add branches of plum foliage. Trim them fairly short, and then place throughout the base of japonica.
3 | Now the mix of grasses—bridal veil, explosion, and millet. Place these at varying angles in the arrangement. There’s no exact formula; just step back every once in a while and make adjustments as needed.
4 | Use the ‘Blushing Bride’ protea in small groupings at the base of the arrangement. They impart a soft pink to the palette, and the texture is wonderful.
5 | Time for roses! Place ‘Prairie Sunset’ roses in front, and start to add more volume to the arrangement. Add a few ‘Koko Loko’ roses, which bring a depth of color and help blend the palette.
6 | Place about six ‘Garden Antike’ roses to add another more muted and romantic shade of pink. This is a good time to step back and make any desired adjustments and look for holes to fill in.
7 | Finally, the ‘Butterfly’ ranunculus—let these flowers float throughout the arrangement. They add movement and another layer of color.
Produced by Alice Welsh Doyle | Photography by Jaclyn Simpson
More Floral Designs for Autumn Palettes