This week, we had the opportunity to talk to horticulturalist and owner of Life In Bloom, Rachel Wyffels and pick her brain about seasonal flowers and how to create that perfect urban garden.
UW: How did you get into Seasonal Floral?
RW: As long as I can remember, I had always wanted to be around plants. I grew up in a small town where Agriculture is the backbone of the community and in high school and college I worked at a plant nursery during the summers. I just always wanted to be around plants. I actually got my degree at the University of Illinois in Horticulture. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it, I was torn between landscape design and floral design for weddings and events. So when I started my own company about 5 years ago, I decided I would try my luck with both. The event design side of things certainly took off a lot faster, but lately, seasonal floral feels like my therapy and reminds me of my roots more (no pun intended).
UW: Any general rules of thumb you follow when designing?
RW: When I was in college, we learned the rules of design from one of my favorite professors. Every container should have the Thriller, the Filler, and the Spiller! (Something that stands out as a focal, something that fills in the voids, and something that spills out over the edge of the container). I basically take that idea and really go crazy, especially with the spiller. It creates a much more loose and organic style. I also like to choose a great color palette going into things, to make sure I can create the aesthetic that I have in mind.
A Diagram of Thriller Filler and Spiller
UW: What is your favorite season for annuals?
RW: Fall. Hands down. The fun colors, berries, and textures available in the fall are great. And it doesn’t have to stop at pots. Bales of Hay, Pumpkins, Annual Beds! Nothing beats a bed full of variegated kale in the fall! It’s just too bad it is such a short season for annuals in Chicago.
That is some serious spiller Incised Variegated Kale
UW: Do you have any go-to annuals that you love to use for aesthetic or performance reasons?
RW: Each season is different but l always love to add plenty of greenery to create a full, robust feel.
Grasses are great for annual containers as there are countless varieties Summer Pot with lots of green Tropical Planter with lots of greenery
UW: Any advice for Novice gardeners?
RW: Call us! We’re experts and we know what works and what doesn’t work. Most importantly, if you are going to spend money on your annuals, you want to make sure it will look great!