Arthur Faria, co-owner of Tiger Lily Flowers, came to Sarasota 10 years ago from New York, where he created flower arrangements for the Plaza and Carlyle hotels. He holds a doctorate in fine arts from the University of Massachusetts.
How are Sarasotans incorporating flowers into their everyday life right now?
Two and three years ago people were doing lush, fragrant, over-the-top European arrangements that were made to be impressive. There’s been a radical shift; people are using cubes and squares and cylinders all in clear glass, no colored glass. These are tailored arrangements, all one flower in one color: a mass of tulips, or six beautiful white calla lilies. We have a client who gets lime-green hydrangeas from us every week.
A personal favorite?
I love to live with tulips. They move around, they face one way or another; they’re like living sculpture. I like them in clear simple glass tubes or squares, and sometimes I put rocks in the bottom for a spa look.
Any rules on color?
In Sarasota, people tend to have a lot of neutrality in their homes, so they look to flowers to give them color. When I have peonies in the store, I can’t keep them in stock—hot pink, magenta—they fly out of the shop. Raspberry and lime-green hydrangeas are popular. When people want color, they want a lot of it.
And what if they don’t?
If you want your flowers to excite you, you want color. If you want to come home to a glass of chardonnay and to play with your cat, you want something quiet, like an orchid plant. They’re very, very popular.
Roses, except for the really unusual colors. We have a “curio” rose that’s saffron, like a Buddhist monk’s robe. Why is it important to live with flowers? Look at them. Yes, they don’t last more than a week, but look at what they’ve given you—they enrich your life.—Ilene Denton
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