A Tuscan Sunset Inspired Arrangement

Floral designer Kelly Marie Thompson of Chicago's Fleur Inc. finds inspiration under the Tuscan sun for her colorful, fragrant, and flavorful arrangements.
An arrangement of Olive branches Rosemary branches, Toffee roses, Juliette roses, Peach ranunculus, Geum, Wheat, and Poppy pods.

Photo by Erika Dufour


Florist proudly holds her Tuscan inspired floral arrangement.

Kelly Marie Thompson of Chicago’s Fleur Inc.

“The sunsets in Tuscany seem to last for hours and never fail to take my breath away,” Kelly Marie says. “This arrangement recalls the way the light hits the landscape. It’s so textural, and the different shapes in the arrangement nod to the land.” This June, the designer will return to the idyllic Tuscan town of Città della Pieve to host her second pilgrimage aptly named My Tuscan Gathering. With a private villa as home base, Kelly Marie will lead a small group as they forage at a local flower farm for their own designs. They will also make pasta, enjoy wine tastings, and explore the town’s vibrant markets, cafes, and live music scene. “When I visit Città della Pieve, I find the scent of linden trees that lingers in the streets pleasantly intoxicating, along with the chimes from the bell tower and the scuffle of footsteps on the old cobblestones,” Kelly Marie says. “Gathering there is extremely special because it celebrates so much of what’s important to me—flowers, food, and connecting with others.”


Clear glass vases with stems of olive branches, rosemary, Juliette roses, peach ranunculus, geum, wheat, and poppy seed pods.
  • Clippers
  • Scissors
  • Compote
  • Chicken wire
  • Waterproof floral tape
  • Olive branches
  • Rosemary branches
  • Toffee roses
  • Juliette roses
  • Peach ranunculus
  • Geum
  • Wheat
  • Poppy pods



Hands taping chicken wire into white, footed bowl for flower arrangement.


Form a ball of chicken wire so that it fi ts snuggly inside the bowl of the compote. Secure the ball with waterproof tape by making an “X” across the top; then fi ll with water up to 1 inch from the top.


Hands adding rosemary stems to white, footed vase of olive branches


Start with the olive branches, and let them rest and curve on their own while securing them into the wire ball. Continue with the rosemary branches to create a base that is full and lush.


Kelly Marie Thompson adding pink roses to arrangement


Add your focal blooms. Start with the roses to help form a nice shape; then scale down one size and add in the ranunculus to fill any gaps.


Florist adds geum flowers to Tuscan inspired floral arrangement.


Pepper the little blooms of geum, wheat, and poppy pods throughout the arrangement, making sure to let some reach out long and strong to create negative space and allow for the arrangement to breathe.


Arrangement of pink and gold roses and ranunculus in a white pedestal vase.


Step back a few times while designing to see the whole picture.



As a child, Kelly Marie Thompson used to sneak behind the peony bushes while playing hide-and-seek in the backyard of her family’s Chicago bungalow. “Every inch of that yard brimmed with rose bushes and snapdragons and was shaded by a big apple tree,” says the floral designer. “I honestly can’t think of a time when I wasn’t surrounded by flowers. They’ve always been a part of my life and my memories. It’s hard to know if I found them or if they found me!” Although her training is in painting and printmaking, Kelly Marie followed her heart and ventured into floral design after working in the floral department of a local store. In 2002, she founded Fleur Inc., a floral design studio and boutique in Chicago’s eclectic Logan Square neighborhood. “In fine art and floral art, I love the challenge of creating unique and unexpected color combinations,” she says. “Currently, I’m drawn to the combination of sky blue and neon orange as representations of the sky at dawn and at dusk. It reminds me that flowers are a beautiful way to start and end my day.”


Kelly Marie Thompson stands outside her shop, Fleur, holding her flower arrangement and looking at the sky.
“The sunsets in Tuscany seem to last for hours and never fail to take my breath away. This arrangement recalls the way the light hits the landscape. It’s so textural, and the different shapes in the arrangement not to the land.”

—Kelly Marie Thompson

By Margaret Zainey Roux | Photography by Erika Dufour

See more from Fleur Inc by visiting their website and following them on Instagram.