ML - Boston Common


Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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portfolio Hall's dramatic arrangements made him a top choice to help with botanical design for Chelsea Clinton's wedding. wildly unusual A BOTANICAL DESIGN TRENDS THIS SEASON VARY FROM THE SCIENTIFICALLY EXOTIC TO THE NATIVE, NATURAL, AND LOCAL. by alexis contant t the design studio that bears his name in Boston's SoWa district, the floral designer, garden designer, event producer, and soon-to-be retailer Marc Hall is waxing rhapsodic about a pilgrimage to Amsterdam's annual Horti Fair in search of new cultivars. "This show is cutting-edge," he offers. "They're developing concept flowers and technolo- gies that are incredible. We can produce an experience for our customer today that was never possible before. It's really exciting to be in this business now." According to Hall, in recent years the yellow peony and Charlie Brown cymbidium orchid were considered only hypotheses until they were revealed to the world through the Horti Fair. The stylish Marc Hall in his South End design studio However, this trend toward the unusual isn't nec- essarily reserved for the exotic. In some cases, "The terrarium is a huge trend, using wild and native plants with stones and mosses."—jeb taylor it happens to be the most local. Jeb Taylor and Daniel Lopez-Ospina of New Leaf Flores favor including local herbs, field flowers, and surprising textures in their arrangements. "You get more of a whole-garden feel," says Taylor. "It's con- temporary, not a bowl of without just flowers context." Some of his favorite pairings Calla lilies lace or fragrant peonies with sprigs of mint. An addendum to the demand for more natural, locally sourced arrangements is the terrarium. "It's a huge trend," says Taylor, "using wild and native plants, put in one diorama with lots of textural stones and mosses." While Taylor's inspiration for native plants stems from being raised in the Berkshires by a mother who was a "serious gardener," Hall credits the floral genius of Daniel Ost, the modern architecture of Piet Boon, and the experi- mental musical tunings of Nick Drake as sources of inspiration. Another influence has been family. "I come from a long line of creative people—cabi- netmakers, iron forgers, oil painters, and musicians. They worked hard, expressed themselves through what they created, and always loved to cele- brate," Hall reflects. "For me, creating with flowers is as intense as composing music. I am incredibly drawn to the expansive style and fearless experimenta- tion of the indie rock movement." He finds true beauty when he delivers a bouquet or a garden that has perfectly fused the "major chords," like a peony, with "minor notes," such as one of the hundred species of fritillaria. 128 Marc Hall Objekt, his latest endeavor, is a clever mix of Hall's talents. The shop is adjacent to his studio and will open to the public in early autumn. Objekt's interior will be infused with PlanetaBasque's sophistication. "We want to design a space that's as open and welcoming as Marc's personality," Meredith Basque explains. Following the philosophy of his design studio, the store will combine his pursuit of the new, unique, and exclusive with an unerring sense of responsibility to his discerning clientele. Taylor, Lopez-Ospina, and Hall have all worked at Winston Flowers. Before Hall became creative director there, he was part of Boston's elite "floral under- ground" (appointment-only as opposed to retail florists) in the early '90s. Now, he tends to focus on dramatic affairs. His portfolio includes the trans- formation of cavernous museums, monastic churches, and entire winter landscapes into intimate, breathtaking settings. Brilliant images in Objekt include with local Queen Anne's Jeb Taylor and Daniel Lopez- Ospina favor the local bloom celosia. photography by cheryl richards (portrait, white flowers); courtesy of new leaf flores (celosia)

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