Back in the day, before I was chained to a desk, I was a floral designer. I started from the bottom – scrubbing and hauling buckets, cleaning coolers, cleaning the shop, processing flowers… basically doing the grunt work so that the designers could focus and do their job.

I would watch the designers with wonder, awe-struck that they could be creative on demand. I'm the kind of person who geeks out over comics about map projections. This stuff baffled me.

A lot of times I would stop for a bit and just watch, eager to learn their secrets. They would point things out to me and I would soak it all in, methodically categorizing the information in the creative desert that is my brain.  

Eventually, I weaseled my way into designing. If the shop was clean, I'd claim the teensy corner of a counter, fill a vase, and start arranging scraps, asking questions with each step, because I was CLEARLY not doing it right.

And you know the beauty of it all? It's a SCIENCE. It's a perfect blend of science and creativity. It's no small wonder why I adored it so much. Still adore it, really, and would totally love to do it again.

Especially when I saw Jamie's post about the Tend Living Pop-Up Shop. I've heard of Tend before, but never really investigated what is the clear AMAZINGNESS of their floral designs. It's times like these that I wish I were back in a shop, wearing grubby jeans, blasting hip hop, and cranking out arrangements.

The work is hard. Honestly. You'd be surprised to know that when you work in a flower shop, you don't stand around and play with flowers all day. While the rest of the world is celebrating or mourning, you're there in the background, making the world beautiful.

One thing in particular that stuck with me is Sarah Rhyanen's interview in "The Makers," a photo project by Jennifer Causey (check it out. seriously). When asked how she relaxes, her response is "I don't." Girl doesn't lie. I mean, in her "down time," she's remodeling a crazy-old farm house and planting THOUSANDS of bulbs. THAT'S dedication.

Florists are some of the hardest-working people I know. They get up early, hit the flower market before dawn to get the good stuff, run around all day, haul 45-lb buckets as if they were 2-lb aerobics weights. They stay late, making sure the tear-down is done right and everything returns to the shop. If there's a funeral at 8 pm on a Sunday, even after working 4 weddings the day before and 2 the day of, they're there. All on top of making and delivering standard, everyday arrangements. There is no such thing as a weekend for a florist.

It's rough. It's amazing.

So anywho. Enough about that. I guess where I was going with this post (before a major digression) are the awesome arrangements I've been seeing around the interwebs. They make me all giddy & shit to get back in the business.

Here are some that have made an impression lately:

If you don't already know my proclivity for South African flora (ahem), then these next couple arrangements should create a picture for ya. PROTEA 4 LIFE.

via Tend Living

her bouquet? AMAZING.
via Tend Living

Saipua's yellow and pink bouquet, although not my two favorite colors, totally rocks.
via Saipua Blog

And citrus?? YES.
Amy Merrick for Design*Sponge

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