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Quick Takes With: Ariella Chezar

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Quick Takes With: Ariella Chezar

June 23, 2024

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Here’s how Ariella Chezar has been described in recent press: “a leader in the farm-to-flower movement” (in Vogue); “the godmother of seasonal floral design” (by Erin Benzakein of Floret Flower Farm). And here’s how Ariella describes herself: “Florist, teacher, author, lover of growing things,” she wrote, when we asked for her bio. Obviously humble and undeniably excellent at her craft, the veteran floral artist, who splits her time between the Berkshires in Massachusetts and Hillsdale, NY, shares her thoughts today on the no-till book she references constantly, her struggles with bindweed, and the sun hat she has on repeat.

Photography courtesy of Ariella Chezar.

Ariella designed floral arrangements for the Obama White House. Photograph by Gentl & Hyers.
Above: Ariella designed floral arrangements for the Obama White House. Photograph by Gentl & Hyers.

Your first garden memory:

Standing in my parents small corn patch, feeling tiny amongst the tall green stalks.

Garden-related book you return to time and again:

The Living Soil Handbook, by Jesse Frost. He has wonderful advice on growing vegetables and flowers using the no till method.

Instagram account that inspires you:

@behidadolic.

Describe in three words your garden aesthetic.

Above: Dahlias in her flower beds.

No Polkdot Gardens. I don’t like a garden that has too many different colors and plants, which results in something that doesn’t allow the eye to rest.

Plant that makes you want to run the other way:

Dyed flowers.

Favorite go-to plant:

Clematis.

Plant that makes you swoon:

Philadelphus. It is so beautiful and divinely fragrant. In its season, I always have a sprig of it next to my bed.

Hardest gardening lesson you’ve learned:

Tilling, a.k.a. propagating bindweed throughout my field. I made the beginner mistake of tilling up a field that was full of bindweed, thereby propagating it. [Tilling can break up its roots into smaller pieces, which then leads to new plants.] It is one of the most difficult weeds to keep under control.

Favorite way to bring the outdoors in.

Above: A loose, fluid arrangement of peonies that Ariella designed for a fundraiser in May for Berkshire Waldorf School (both she and her children attended the school).

Fill your house with plants, cut anything you love and place it around your house.

Every garden needs a…

…lot of narcissus.

Favorite hardscaping material:

Stone.

Tool you can’t live without:

My A.M. Leonard hand trowel.

Go-to gardening outfit:

These days, Ariella is often reaching for her Guatemalan Palm Hat by Imogene + Willie; \$95.
Above: These days, Ariella is often reaching for her Guatemalan Palm Hat by Imogene + Willie; $95.

Long sleeve button down, jeans, big hat.

Favorite nursery, plant shop, or seed company:

Territorial Seed Company.

On your wishlist:

Bare root &#8\2\16;Nelda&#8\2\17;s Joy&#8\2\17; Peony is \$654.55 at Champlain Peony Company.
Above: Bare root ‘Nelda’s Joy’ Peony is $654.55 at Champlain Peony Company.

‘Nelda’s Joy’ peony.

The REAL reason you garden:

Home in Bloom, Ariella&#8\2\17;s most recent book, came out this spring.
Above: Home in Bloom, Ariella’s most recent book, came out this spring.

To grow delicious food and beautiful flowers.

Thanks so much, Ariella! Follow her on Instagram @ariellachezardesign.

See also:

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