Jay Lugibihl of Charlotte, North Carolina’s In Bloom, Ltd. shares his secrets to creating classic arrangements
What is your first floral memory?
I would say growing up back home on our family farm in Ohio and working in the flowerbeds. We had old-fashioned bearded irises, yarrow, and peonies, to name a few.
How did you get your start in floral design?
That would be at Fearington Village outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is a charming spot featuring a 4-star restaurant and country inn with beautiful gardens. I started as a gardener, which eventually led to arranging flowers for the onsite garden shop and for weddings held on the property.
From where do you garner inspiration for your work?
It can come from different sources—the container I may be using or what I may find in the garden each season: hellebores in winter, dogwood in spring, hydrangea in summer, and berries and foliage in autumn.
In your opinion, what constitutes a “classic” arrangement?
To me, a classic arrangement should be like a still-life painting—natural, loose, and unstructured.
What is your favorite flower, and why?
Ask anyone who knows me and they would say hydrangeas. They are beautiful on their own and also blend well with any other flower.
Of all the events in Charlotte for which you’ve done the flowers, is there one you remember as being the most beautiful?
Every event is beautiful in its own way. I tend to find that events held at private homes are always special. No one else can duplicate an experience like that.