Find more garden information
Debra Prinzing Photo: Mary Grace Long
Debra Prinzing is a Seattle- and Los Angeles-based outdoor living expert who writes and lectures on gardens and home design. She has a background in textiles, journalism, landscape design and horticulture. She speaks frequently at botanical gardens, horticultural societies and flower shows. She is also a regular radio and television guest. Her most recent book is the The 50 Mile Bouquet: Local, Seasonal and Sustainable Flowers (St. Lynn's Press, April 2012), which was photographed by David Perry. Her other books include Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways (Clarkson-Potter/Random House, 2008), a Garden Writers Association Gold Award book, and The Abundant Garden (2005).
Debra is a contributing garden editor for Better Homes & Gardens and her feature stories on architecture and design appear regularly in The Los Angeles Times' Home section. She is also a contributing editor to Garden Design magazine and writes for top shelter and consumer publications, including Organic Gardening, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Cottages & Bungalows, Metropolitan Home, Landscape Architecture, Sunset, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Old House Interiors, Seattle Homes & Lifestyles and Romantic Homes.
A selection of things I use to stabilize flower stems and avoid using traditional florist's foam.
In recent years, it's been easier to find sustainably grown flowers for bouquets. Many florists are offering them — if asked — and seasonal farmers' markets are abundant with gorgeous blooms. And, don't forget the harvest from your own backyard cutting garden.
For arrangements, florists often use a foam block to keep stems in place. I like to use a more eco-friendly way to stabilize flower stems because many of the blocks are formaldehyde-based and don't break down in landfills.
Pam Zsori of Ink & Peat Home + Floral in Portland, OR, discusses eco-friendly alternatives to traditional floral foam.
In talking with floral designers, I've discovered many alternatives:
Photos: Debra Prinzing
Last updated: 10/24/15
Stay up to date on new articles and advice.
Gardening Success Guaranteed
Garden Lab Designed & Tested
Support a Community that Cares
Expert Garden Advice