Going Beyond Floral Arranging with our Creative Director, Greg Lehmkuhl


The terrain team has been staying connected through this period of social distancing (and working from home!) by sharing photos of our creative projects with one another, from what we’re cooking in the kitchen to what we’re growing in the garden. Greg Lehmkuhl, our creative director, recently designed this stunning Ikebana arrangement with natural materials he found in his own backyard. And while there’s probably no way most of us will be able to recreate his stunning original vision, we thought we’d see if he’d give us some insight into his process so we can all explore artistic foraged floral arranging at home. Read on for his pro tips!

terrain: Hi Greg! We miss seeing you around the office. How has your routine changed since we started working from home a couple weeks ago?

Greg: Hi! I’ve started every morning with a walk. I’m always so excited to see what new things are emerging for spring. Because of what’s happening in the world around us, there’s an increased clarity to my walks this year, with more time to reflect and see things with a different eye.

terrain: This floral arrangement is breathtaking—a much needed respite of beauty during this chaotic time. Can you talk to us about your inspiration for the arrangement?

Greg: Thanks! It’s hard to put into words what the heart feels when describing flower arranging. All I can say is that upon seeing this ‘stachyrus praecox,’ I was stunned by its beauty. Spring marches on, I thought, so I wanted to pare down that initial sense of amazement to the essence of the flowering branch. Nothing does this better than the spare, sculptural beauty of the Japanese arranging style, Ikebana, so that’s where I started my process.

terrain: Can you walk us through the “ingredients” you used for this arrangement?

Greg: Of course! For the base, I used an extra large cage flower frog. This supports the weight of the branches. They’re easy to find on eBay! You’ll also need a low bowl. Any glazed bowl will do! Mine is one I bought at terrain 10 years ago. I gathered some moss from a shady corner in my garden. Moss creates a wonderful base in the arrangement to simulate the ground. If you end up with a few twigs and leaves in it, even better!

And then for a pop of color, it’s all about hellebores. About 10 years ago, I experimented with using hellebores as ground cover. I removed a large swath of English Ivy and planted 100 Hellebore seedlings. Because the leaves are mostly evergreen, it became my favorite groundcover—one that blooms for two months! And then of course the star of the show is the ‘stachyrus praecox’ with its graceful, blooming branches.

Flower arranging is more than just the beauty of the bloom. Once you open yourself to seeing everything natural around you, the experience becomes so much more rewarding.

We'd love to see what you're working on! Be sure to follow us on Instagram and tag us with #terrainathome as you share your creative projects from the home and in the garden!

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