What would you do on an overcast & semi-blustery day in New York City? It’s not shopping. It’s not sight-seeing. It’s not eating (okay…maybe a little..). Give up? You spend it in the flower district, having all five senses put into hyper over-drive with the scent & sight of every flower that has ever sprouted from God’s green earth. Tulips from Holland? Roses from England? Or exotic blooms from the tropical rain forests? Done. It’s the floral equivalent of Wall Street with a flurry of hands and the exchange of money. If you’re an industry insider you would arrive at 6 or 7AM to get the creme de la creme, and that alone shows sheer dedication.


The world of flowers as seen through the eyes of Tess Casey.

Yes, it was Day 2 of Blog Tour NYC, and we were given an insiders view of the flower market in the charmed company of Tess Casey of Aisling Flowers. I was positively lost in a sea of colour and texture, all mingling with the scent of complex floral notes. This tour included shoppes with shelves overflowing with every conceivable container to”help tell the story” of the arrangement (in fact if I had a very large truck I would have backed it up, and loaded it with vases & vessels until there wasn’t space left anywhere). Not only did we get a glimpse of the flower industry, but we were invited into the extraordinary world of Tess Casey, whose flowers play a leading role in such movies as “Sex in The City”, “Twilight”, “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Nanny Diaries” and such television shows as “Boardwalk Empire”. In fact, giving her the title of floral designer seems to undermine the breathe of her talents, maybe “Conductor of A Floral Orchestra”? I think that is much, much more fitting.


 Beauty comes in bunches…


Her life reads like a book, in fact she is writing one (you’ll have to stand in line behind me to get the first copy). Tess attended the London School of Floristry and did an internship with Pulbrooke and Gould on Sloan Street in the Knightsbridge area of London. Not surprisingly, the shop counted Britain’s Royal Family as one of their patrons. She moved to the states in the early 90’s and the rest is history, albeit a very, very interesting one. Did I behave? Surprisingly, I did. In fact, I didn’t ask one question about the Royal Family, and as a “Royal Obsessed American,” it wasn’t easy. So in order to distract myself, I focused on her Lulu Frost earrings and necklace…which by the way were to die for.


A “sign” that we are about to have a morning to remember…


We are about to enter the world of Tess Casey, Floral Genius…


Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose flowers are the fairest of them all?

Our visit with Tess was arranged by WestEdge Design Fair, and also included tips on floral arranging. What did I learn? “To think outside the box,” and to deconstruct the process, thinking of flower arranging in stages. In fact, Tess, a creative genius, could deftly pull together a bouquet in a Bed, Bath & Beyond waste bin, and it would “fool the eye” of the most discriminating customer.


The “before” in progress…


 The “after,”an upturned tray is the perfect stage for a perfect floral arrangement…


Happiness is sunshine and flowers.  Okay, why am I the only one laughing?

As with most people, I struggle with supermarket flowers and a simple glass vase (an understatement), but inside her studio a spell was cast and my hands somehow masterfully created an arrangement overflowing with purple posies (while under her expert tutelage).


 Was I feeling inspired? Absolutely…


 Carrie Bradshaw holds a Tess Casey creation…the flowers steal the scene, and so did Mr. Big.

So the next time you are watching a movie or television, you just might catch a glimpse of Tess Casey, only she’ll be peeking out of picture perfect posies…

P.S. A big huge heap of thanks to Miles, Maria & and all at WestEdge for another day to remember…

I’ll be sharing more of BlogTour NYC in upcoming posts, and as always don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest, Instagram & Facebook for more design inspiration.

Until next time….