Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Jane Packer

I learned recently of the death in November of Jane Packer.
Not a household name in the U.S., Jane was the doyenne of flower arranging in England and beyond. Having suffered the effects of an earlier stroke, she was only 52.

Packer was a child of the 60's in Essex, England, with no real aspirations to be a florist,
other than taking a part time job as a flower shop helper as a young adult.
This turned into full time and her eye became honed by the likes
of Parisian floral designer Christian Tortu.
Her style became recognizable, and in 1986, she was asked to do the flowers for
the wedding of the Duke of York and Sarah Ferguson.
The rest, as they say, is history.

Her style was copied from posh hotels to local flower stalls,
where a hand-tied bouquet became chic just by being tied with raffia.
Early on she learned the benefits of including fruits and vegetables into her arrangements,
at first mainly because she needed material, but then later,
realizing their value in the feel of the design.

The Japanese loved her work and Jane was quick to say yes
when asked to open a flower school there. A flower shop quickly followed.
She went on to open another in Seoul, and then New York City,
along with her English shop, shown here.

Her signature black bag was as well known as a blue Tiffany box,
and was a sure sign of a quality product.

Even the shop vans followed through with her esthetic.

Jane wasn't "simply" a florist.
She really was a floral artist, as well as a teacher, author, lecturer and creator of products.

She went on to design vases,
(here a line she designed for the London store Debenham's)

...seductively scented candles...

...and perfumes.

She was particularly proud of the black tulip created for her,
and used it as her logo.

Jane's many books are regulars in flower shops the world over.
(As well as my bookshelf!)
Jane Packer will be missed.

Sadly, the world lost another great florist recently.
Nancy Clark, who recently retired after 30 years as the White House florist,

passed away at the age of 66.
You can see my recent blogpost
about Nancy

Bloomers Floral Design
122 South Front St.
Wilmington, NC 28401