Tucker’s Blog

Tucker’s Blog2024-02-26T10:27:46-05:00
flowers
403, 2024

A Salamander is the Star of the Party, the Belle of the Ball!

In 2007, the Yale University Development Office hired me to design the flowers for the rededication of their largest College. Touring the beautifully renovated and refreshed college interiors, I was particularly struck by the whimsical inclusion of the would-be college mascot, the salamander, a humorous reference to the student inhabitants nicknamed “the Sillimanders”. The inclusion of the residents of the College in this impressive carved dedication wall seemed ripe for anthropomorphic decoration. So, [...]

2602, 2024

Jock Reynolds Retirement Florals

Luminary in the Art Museum world, Jock Reynolds catapulted the Yale University Art Gallery onto the global art museum stage when he worked with James Polshek to renovate and expand the Art Gallery. At the rededication he invited both the Yale community and the New Haven community to consider the new Art Gallery their living room to relax, enjoy and be inspired [...]

2602, 2024

Intentional Design: Listening to and asking questions of your customer

Considering sight & smell and a flower’s growth habit for a Get Well order. One summer day a favorite client called requesting a Get Well arrangement for her niece whom would be returning home from surgery in two days. She was planning to visit her in New Jersey during her convalescence and wanted to bring her something special. I asked what procedure she would be recovering from and was told corrective eyesight surgery [...]

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Event Flowers

2210, 2023

Sending Love and Comfort with Flowers

“I just want you to know how much I appreciate your dropping off this wonderful little flower. It truly brightens my day. I’ll look at it constantly.” The smallest gift or gesture can can bring comfort, hope and a little bit of joy to a dear friend or loved one during a hospital stay.  The 1960s floral industry slogan, “ Say it with flowers.” couldn’t be more powerful in this setting.  Always think small [...]

307, 2023

Road Trip Inspiration

Recently, I had the opportunity to check off the first of a number of Bucket List trips. This one was my first cross country road trip, taking me beyond Wisconsin through South Dakota and down through Utah. It was the most one on one time my brother and I have spent together since I left home for college. My experiences were feasts for my eyes: Big Skies, Big Mountains, Big Vistas that brought up [...]

205, 2023

Yale Center for Engineering, Innovation Event Florals Design

Assignment: Sterling Fellows event hosted at The Yale Center for Engineering Innovation & Design (CEID). Design a centerpiece for a 40’ x 4’ table that is evocative of the activity that takes place in this lab. Palette, blue, and coral. Solution: Sound waves move through space. Extruded 24” aluminum channels reference engineered metals. Slender stems of Volkenfried Delphiniums allude to wiring and their precisely aligned waves of blue florets trace the path of a [...]

205, 2023

Yale Athletics Event Florals

Assignment: A Sterling Fellows event at the Ingalls Hockey Rink celebrating Athletics at Yale University. The palette is Blue and White, the table is huge. Design Solution: An Abstraction of Athletics at Yale! A runner centerpiece using black vinyl clad chicken wire evoking the nets of Tennis, Volleyball, basketball, Lacrosse, Field Hockey and Soccor is the “playing field” for those sports, with a bit of Golf thrown in! Sprays of blue Delphinium evoke trajectories [...]

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Tribute Flowers

These occasions are design opportunities to illustrate, present or highlight important themes of a person’s life, be they family, career, or avocation. 

1203, 2023

When flowers say more than words

Sending flowers as an expression of condolences for the loss of a loved one is an intimate, thoughtful, heartfelt gesture between between dear friends and family.  For me, these assignments are never taken lightly. Inspiration for designing expressions of sympathy in bereavement are most successful when elements of the design connect the two parties. In this example the order was placed by a client who was born and raised in South Africa and strongly affected [...]

2702, 2022

Homage to Howardena Pindell

Project Assignment: Design florals for a dinner reception at the Yale President’s House to honor the black female artist, Howardena Pindell, one of many women alums honored in 2018  and 2019 as the University celebrated 50 Years of Women at Yale. These assignments are some of the most interesting of my career.  They require in-depth research with a very particular visual lens to suss out design inspiration from published accounts of their fascinating careers [...]

2001, 2022

Retirement Flowers

The assignment was to create a dish garden for a woman whose 45 year career was in nursing. This gift was to be presented as the buffet table centerpiece for her retirement party. Her friends and colleagues spoke with great admiration of her accomplishments in her field and her great sense of humor. My solution was to source a vintage bed pan, that was beautifully sculptural in it’s own right, as the amusing container of [...]

1911, 2021

Memorial Flowers

The design should focus on the person, what s/he loved or held dear. Did s/he enjoy nature or being outside? What were his passions? What did the survivor(s) love most about him? Without some good knowledge of the person we design a floral tribute to nothing we suggest will resonate with the family. Interviewing someone close to the deceased is very important. If you want to honor an individual, design something that would speak [...]

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Floral Design Education

3010, 2022

How an event planner pushes Tucker out of his comfort zone.

The annual Yale University Art Gallery’s Board of Trustees dinner honored Robert & Anna Shapiro, collectors and donors of modern and contemporary art, for their significant gifts to the Gallery. I was shown this photograph by Tim Davis to draw inspiration for the table centerpieces for the dinner tables.Initially I had a hard time wrapping my head around this image. The event planner assignment: “I am looking for centerpieces that are minimal in design. Would [...]

1710, 2022

Intentional Floral Design

A look into Tucker’s Design Process This is the shield of Yale’s new Jackson School of Global Affairs established by the generous gift of John and Susan Jackson. It is the launch pad for intentional design of floral arrangements to welcome the Jackson family to New Haven for the dedication of the new School that they made possible. My design process began with the palette of the School Shield; yellow, white and blue. [...]

3006, 2022

Pride

The past three months have been intense, to say the least!  Nearly two years to the day, my business came back to life with a ROAR!  It felt like zero to 90 mph in 60 seconds!  Head spinning!!  Events, major in importance and scale, put off for two years, piling up, bursting with the need to be held, suddenly and voraciously commandeered my business.   With the light of normalcy growing ever brighter and my [...]

604, 2022

Bringing the Early Spring Garden Inside

After all of the hoopla and decorations from the winter holiday celebrations are taken down and put away, I often feel a bit let down, bereft even. While I always save my gift amaryllis bulbs and Paper-whites for after the holidays, to ease my melancholy, they soon pass and the brief brilliant homage to L.O.V.E. that is Valentine’s Day fade all too soon. Winter is bleak, and my mood would be as dreary and [...]

3003, 2022

Wedding Cake on the Fly

 House plants make “store bought” cakes fit for a wedding. A number of years ago, we were invited, along with a few other friends, to witness a spontaneous, intimate wedding ceremony held at the couple’s home during the first year that Gay Marriage was legal in the United States. I asked if they were planning to celebrate with cake and champagne to which they replied, “Champagne? Of course!” “ No cake?” I responded. “No, [...]

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Lifestyle

1710, 2022

Flower Power: The Power to Heal

A story of a dahlia tuber that saved a parent’s sanity and possibly a child’s life.

Tucker has had a love affair with Dahlias since he was a child . Their extraordinary jewel color palette and many forms have enchanted him his entire life.

Last Fall, he met Maria Kayne at his hands-on demonstration for the joint Woodbridge and Orange, Connecticut Garden Clubs. Maria Kayne had brought an eye-popping selection of dahlias to the demonstration. After his […]

1710, 2022

The Daisy is an icon of a Generation

The Daisy form, reduced to 5 petals and a contrasting circular center, is as ubiquitous as the Smiley face is for people who grew up in or lived during the 1960s and 1970s. It is associated with the hippie movement and the Peace movement of that era.

This month I designed my high school’s 50th reunion and selected this Daisy image as the starting point for the design of the event. It is both curious and […]

2109, 2022

Boutonnières are Wearable Floral Art

The Corsage Finds A Fresh Way To Make A Statement”— The New York Times 9/13/22

It seems that Tucker is at the forefront of floral jewelry for men!

In November of 2019 I was commissioned by a young architect to design “memorable” boutonnières for his partner and himself to wear at the firm’s upcoming holiday party. They showed me their dinner jackets and turned me loose.
After rummaging through the holiday decorations department of my […]
1404, 2022

Bring the Garden to the Party

Early this month I was contemplating what I would design for a benefit that I was cohosting. I suggested a lush bouquet of “Free Spirit” roses which was enthusiastically embraced.

A day later, while perusing the plant display at East Coast Flowers. I happened upon these beauties: “Blue Zebra” Primlet primroses, a spectacular variety that I had only known in 19th century British botanical prints. I bought 4 mixed flats to have all of these extraordinary […]

803, 2022

An Embarrassment of Riches

One of the pleasures of my corporate contract work is the occasional surfeit of flowers that are still at their peak on the 8th day when I install the new week’s florals. Certain orchid species, Lilies, Mums, Alstromerias, among other varieties, often have an “afterlife”. That is to say, “they are still perfectly good! You aren’t possibly throwing those out, are you?!”

In these circumstances, the options are to given them away, which may […]

1702, 2022

Self care made easy—get yourself some flowers!

by Jan Peterson at National Floral Supply

Self care has become a lot of work. You gotta pamper, practice mindfulness, balance life and work, and be awesome at all of it. Flowers on the other hand are self care made easy. They won’t replace working out or eating well. But they are a spiritual tune-up. So treat yourself to a little off-the-shelf self care.

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