The Hemingway Collection by J. Morris Flowers

"First Light" in a blue compote.

"First Light" in a blue compote.

There are so many things that I consider when planning each of our collections. Every season offers so much unique beauty and I always incorporate flowers grown locally in Virginia. I also like to take a close look at trends in home décor and clothing fashion. These are such dynamic industries and I love the influence that nature and botanicals are having on current styles.

The Hemingway collection by J. Morris Flowers combines florals and greens from the tropics with flowers that we grow in our own gardens right here in Loudoun County. Ernest Hemingway was one of our great American novelists, covering many events from the first half of the 20th century. He lived in Paris with many artists and writers among a group of ex-patriots that called themselves the “Lost Generation.” He travelled on Safari and in our own great West, later making his home in tropical environs: Havana, Cuba and then in our own Key West. His home and garden in Key West is open to the public and very well-preserved, sitting on some of the highest ground in the Florida Keys.

We were especially drawn to Hemingway’s love of Paris and his garden in Key West. As a French major who studied abroad, I consider myself a bit of a Francophile. I know that I found my floral style studying French design. The vases that we chose have a very French, vintage feel, reminiscent of styles from the first half of the 1900's. The blue vase shown above is a “Pierre Compote.” We blend roses, Safflower and Queen Anne’s Lace with more tropical Pincushion Protea, Calla and Gloriosa Lillies. This arrangement is called “First Light.”

Many of the arrangements are named using titles from Hemingway's books. "The Islands" is the perfect blend Garden flowers and tropics with a crowd favorite, Juliet Garden Rose. We use Delphimium and Thistle to pick up the blue in the vase. Bay Laurel and Seeded Eucalyptus provide the popular drapiness that we are seeing in luxury design.

“Key West” is designed in a white pottery vase with a textured finish. The flowers are more common to the Northeast with Roses, Disbud Mums and Yarrow. I added local Magnolia leaves with their beautiful brown and green sides and because they have such a tropical disposition. The Mini Pittosporum adds some real contrast.

“Madrid” is a big bloom arrangement in a bronze porcelain vase with gold trim. We are using this vase in three styles and feel it has a very worldly feel. Strawberry Sunflowers steal the show with yellow Gerbera Daisies and King Protea, fern and tropical leaves.

I love to use flowers that are unique and surprising. Gloriosa Lillies are just that. I have used them here in “The Sun Also Rises.” Also in a bronze pottery vase, it’s a sunny blend of yellow, copper and hot pink. The Disbud mums add texture and contrast alongside the Ornamental Kale.

"African Hills" is the most tropical looking arrangement in the collection with Pincushion Protea, Mokarra and Cymbidium Orchids and tropical leaves. This has an elegant shape that will look beautiful on a buffet or rectangular table. This is also a wonderful arrangement to send to someone's workplace as the tropicals will do well in changing temperatures.