Design New England

Coming Up Roses

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A floral display from the 2014 Newport Flower Show. Photo courtesy of The Preservation Society of Newport County.

By Courtney Goodrich

Preparing for this year’s Newport Flower Show — June 19–21 at The Preservation Society of Newport County’s Rosecliff mansion in Newport, Rhode Island — we reflect on the many beautiful blooms featured last year, including Kirsten VanDijk’s towering beauty, which was awarded The Finest in the Design Division.


An antique amethyst glade shade turned upside down acts as the container for a large massing of roses, lilies, and alstroemeria, all in similar shades of red, pink, and purple. The color technique produces a monochrome palette, but one with lots of texture so that light can play with the forms and bounce off the flowers. Since the theme of the show was “Journey: Grand Vistas,” Van Dijk says she “chose to create a design both opulent and evocative by incorporating hues of red to purple.”
The floral designer, whose business is named My PassionFlower, is based out of Sudbury, Massachusetts, but she often travels internationally to partake in workshops and competitions. Most recently, she visited Germany and studied under expert Gregor Lersch. Next, she will follow him to South Africa for an intensive floral design seminar.
“As a floral artist,” VanDijk says, “I strive to educate and entertain the viewers of my work so that they want to find out more about the particular plant material used or the mechanics I employ.”
The Newport Flower Show benefits The Preservations Society of Newport County and its properties. General admission is $20. More information and tickets are at newportmansions.org.
Great design is always at your fingertips! Read Design New England’s May/June 2015 issue online!

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