“As a child, I lived near Inokashira Park, in Tokyo, Japan. It was my garden; my love of flowers came from playing with the wildflowers and trees there.
I came to the United States in 1980, and on Mother’s Day in 1981, my ex-husband and I opened a flower shop. That summer, a neighbor introduced me to BILL BLASS.
For the next ten years, we made his arrangements.
When I opened this shop on my own, in 1991, MR. BLASS was my first client; I sent arrangements from him to PRINCESS DIANA and SARAH, DUCHESS OF YORK. In 1992, before Valentine’s Day, I sent ANNA WINTOUR a rainbow French tulip arrangement. Her assistant called asking for the price and if I could make another; I said yes, and I’m still working with her to this day.
MICHAEL KORS, ISAAC MIZRAHI — I know their taste. People see my work and they know;
I don’t say anything, the flowers speak for themselves.
“When I used to make rainbow rose arrangements, I would have 65 varieties of roses [in the fridge].
The Organic Avalanche Rose is only carried by me; it’s white, with a minty green outside. I really love working with white flowers, but anything fresh I can’t refuse.”
“I have a lot of different ranunculus. The white and peach colors are from France; their stems are heavy and short.
The yellow is Japanese, with a very straight, long stem. At $25 per flower, it’s [one of] my most expensive.”
“The sweet peas used to get flown in from Japan twice a week. Now, there are less of them, so it’s only once.
I go to the flower market at four o’clock in the morning, almost every day. [For awhile], nobody was there then but me. But now, people come earlier to beat the competition.”
“Mike Nichols, my former client who passed away last November, loved the color red as well as the orange, Free Spirit rose.
He’d call once a week — sometimes twice — always asking for that same, uniform look.”
“The forget-me-not reminds me of the blue poppy, which I tried to see on a trip to Bhutan some years ago. It grows on a 4,000 meter-high mountain that I went up myself, with a guide and driver.
Unfortunately, I went during the off-season, in August — you have to go in May or June to see poppies in bloom, but I can only take time off during the summer!”