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Paulina Buckley’s passion for florals took root at a young age. “[I grew up in] a Spanish household and our Sunday tradition was to go to my abuela’s house,” Buckley says. “She had boxes upon boxes of silk, and I would watch her create and arrange beautiful silk flowers all day.” Now, Buckley, a 30-year-old New York transplant (by way of Los Angeles), runs Buckley House Of Flowers—her own floral design studio in Larimer Square—where she sells potted plants, home goods, and one-of-a-kind arrangements that she creates using farm-fresh blooms and dried elements. (And yes, her abuela is very proud.)
1. Gossamer pottery. Lisa Rooney is a ceramist who makes the most amazing vases and planters (and jewelry!) through her local studio, Gossamer.
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2. Upcycled or aged planters. I find that the pots customers most often want to buy in my shop are the ones that aren’t for sale because they’ve been with me for years! A terra-cotta pot is like a red wine: It gets better with age. I also love reusing empty tin olive oil containers as planters or vases.
3. Floret Flower Farm seeds. I’ve been collecting seed packets from Floret Flower Farm for the past four years, and I’m so excited to finally live in a home with a backyard so I can put them to work. Bonus: The owner, Erin Benzakein, also pens helpful books and sells the most amazing gardening gear.
4. Flower frog. If you enjoy making floral arrangements at home, lose the Scotchtape and try out a frog. Placing a weighted flower frog (I like the ones sold on Marie Kondo’s KonMari site) at the bottom of your vessel helps hold each stem in place, which makes it easier to add dimension to your arrangement. Plus, it’s reusable.
5. Jonathan Applegate’s drawings. Local artist Jonathan Applegate creates incredible hand-drawn pieces using one continuous line of ink. Of course, my favorite works of his are all botanical-inspired.
6. Patagonia Mini Hip Pack. I always find myself constantly readjusting [gardener’s tool belts]. I wear this fanny pack comfortably across my chest, and my clippers, wires, pruners, zip-ties, cell phone, and lip balm fit perfectly in it.
7. Flaming Parrot tulips. The color, texture, and boldness of this specific tulip make me weak in the knees. Anytime I find them, I buy at least four or five bunches. You may have seen them before in Victorian still-life paintings.
8. The Art of Drying Plants and Flowers by Mabel Squires. A friend found this 1950s book while on a road trip to Montana and gifted it to me for the grand opening of my shop. It’s filled with information on how to preserve and design with dried blooms.
9. Zenport ZS104 Deluxe Garden Scissors. These are my absolute favorite clippers. I have a pair at the shop, in my car, and in my purse at all times. They’re great for cutting delicate flowers and grasses.
10. Simple floral arrangements. Anytime I buy flowers for myself, I always choose a single variety. I love the look of just one to three different floral elements in a vase, rather than 15 different flower types. Don’t get me wrong: Some situations call for a smorgasbord of flowers, but generally, less is more.