April 1, 2024

Home In Bloom 

Ode to Flowers: An Interview with Ariella Chezar

Ariella Chezar's latest book, Home in Bloom: Lessons for Creating Floral Beauty in Every Room, serves as both an ode to flowers and a retrospective on her career thus far. Given her multi-faceted and diverse fields of work, I asked Ariella what lies at the heart of her vision and purpose in the world. She summed it up this way: "Beauty, connection, preservation of the planet. I say this often and believe it deeply: the world needs beauty."


Curious about what exactly beauty means for Ariella, and where she picked up her unique perceptions of joy and beauty in the world around her, I asked her to share more. Ariella, of course, brought us back to the source: flowers.

Flowers are an easy access point for nearly anyone to connect to both joy and beauty. Their color, fragrance, and ephemeral quality. The arc of their lifespan is brief, and each phase of it is beautiful. Flowers imprint experiences and memories that connect us to people.

A favorite memory of mine is the annual visit my mother, sister and I would make to an abandoned tennis court not far from our house, which had been planted with daffodils. Each spring we would come and pick armfuls of sunshine and carry them home to fill the house.


Ariella's commitment to beauty and deep reverence for the earth shines throughout Home in Bloom. Organized by rooms, situations, and themes – such as "Celebrate" and "Wilding" – the book stays true to Ariella's sensibility, which is guided by feeling connected to nature. As she describes it, "Home in Bloom is an invitation to bring Nature into one’s home…not only the cultivated specimens, but also the weeds and the wild bits. It is a reminder that the natural world is precious and imperiled." Speaking on how the book brings together a beautiful blending of the themes from her life's work, such as architecture, she explains: "Each space offers a different jumping off point to dream into, whether colors, style, or mood. Bringing something different into each space was a playful and joyful exploration."

These senses of playfulness and exploration show up across Ariella's life. In addition to her writing books and teaching, she stewards a flower farm called Zonneveld ("Sunny Field") in upstate New York. Living in the country also keeps her constantly connected and curious about the wild world around her. At home, she grows a small garden of vegetables and flowers. Dahlias feature heavily! She also deeply cherishes the walks in the woods and fields with her 3 Great Pyrenees rescue dogs, whose natural coats echo the environment "in shades of beige and white." As she writes in her book: "I stand astonished in autumn fields of golden grasses. Wild asters bloom along the border, viburnums are rusting from red to brown. I feel undone by nature."


An accomplished florist and designer, Ariella strives to live what she teaches, and believes in sharing the wisdom she has gleaned from her life. When I asked what sage advice she would give someone just beginning – whether in farming, weddings, events, or writing books – Ariella offered these practical pointers: "Find mentors, take classes, read books, play with flowers as often as you can. It is in the doing that we learn, doing and doing and doing! I had many people along the way who opened doors for me and who showed me that this could be one’s life’s work." Ever the generous mentor and guide, Ariella's book also offers an abundance of advice. For example, the "Celebrate" chapter breaks down how to approach one of the most classic events: a dinner. In Ariella's words: "When planning a special dinner party, here are three questions you should ask yourself: Where are we? What season is it? What are the elements I want to feature and what are their colors?"

Looking at Ariella's table and event designs, it is obvious that flowers are her focus. And yet, right there alongside the peonies, Dutch amaryllis, and citrus stems, you will almost always see…candles! What role do candles play in designing events? Ariella gushes:

As most of us know, there can never be too many candles! And beeswax particularly. I love the addition of color and shape to a floral tablescape. It always feels like the finishing touch to me – I pretty much never set a table without candles, and Greentree’s are just spectacular.

As a designer who thinks deeply about her impact on the environment, and both the longevity and sustainability of the elements she uses in her designs, it is no surprise that beeswax candles are Ariella's go-to: "They are so long lasting. I love the fragrance of the beeswax and the coziness that the candlelight evokes. I could not love them anymore." Ariella's personal Greentree Home Candle favorites are the square tapers and, as she says, "there is not one color I don’t LOVE! The richness of the color palette is just beyond."

Exploring floral design in every setting, shape, and situation, Ariella Chezar's Home in Bloom truly is an ode to flowers and generally, to the magic and beauty of nature. Released just a month ago (on March 5, 2024), Ariella's book is available for purchase here and we hope you will support her!

Learn more about Ariella's life and work here: http://ariellaflowers.com


From Ariella: "The floral industry is inherently a sustainability catastrophe and I do everything I can to mitigate that. As much as possible I buy flowers from local farmers. When I do buy imported flowers, I do my best to buy from certified sustainable growers. I never use floral foam or dyed flowers. I compost all my green waste and I recycle."

Photo Credits: Gentl & Hyers“Home in Bloom” Copyright © 2024 by Ariella ChezarPublished by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group