Art, Arts & Culture, City Transformation, Creativity, Events

Need a dose of floral inspiration? Check out the first Detroit Flower Week


Ideas, like people, evolve and change. What you’ve done in the past should be remembered. But it is what you do today that truly matters.

So Lisa Waud and her friends could have sat back, popped open an adult beverage and talked endlessly about an October 2015 event they created called Flower House. It was an amazing experiment, creating a short-term art installation made completely of flowers, plants and imagination within a Hamtramck home.

Flower 3Instead, Waud’s crew are back with their floral inspiration with Detroit Flower Week. The event, which runs from Oct. 11 through 15 at locations around the city, is a conference that stands completely on its own yet has a foundation in Flower House. In other words, it’s going to be pretty, amazing and pretty amazing all at the same time.

Detroit Flower Week brings internationally acclaimed floral designers and flower farmers to Detroit for a week of presentations, workshops, and opportunities for learning and connecting in the spirit of the Flower House project.

“Detroit Flower House was an unexpected sensation that inspired so many people in just one weekend – the experience changed my life,” said Waud, creator of Flower House and owner of Pot & Box. “I wanted to bring everyone together again to lay the groundwork for more connections and collaborations, giving both designers and enthusiasts more time to share. From this idea, Detroit Flower Week was born.”

Flower 1Presenters at Detroit Flower Week will include floral designers such as British botanical artist Joseph Massie, sculptor turned designer Emily Thompson, European floral designer Francoise Weeks, Waud, and New York designers Ariella Chezar, and Lewis Miller. Attendees will learn tricks of the trade from these design luminaries.

Industry leaders like Lisa Ziegler from The Gardener’s Workshop, Michael Genovese of Summer Dreams Farm in Oxford, and Heidi Joynt and Molly Kobelt of Field & Florist, will share business tips, encouraging guests to branch out on their own.

Additionally, hands-on workshops with artists, including Detroit muralist Louise “Ouizi” Chen, Ann Arbor floral designer Susan McLeary, Emily Katz of Modern Macramé and more will delve into explorations of floral painting, perfumery, and macramé.

Programming for Detroit Flower Week will be based out of the Jam Handy building at 2900 East Grand Blvd., Detroit, and will host coffee and conversation each morning from the Red Hook, and lunch from local food trucks each afternoon. Saturday’s events will take place at the Detroit Public Library at 5201 Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

Flower 4The week’s events will culminate in a dinner called, Floral Renaissance: A Revived Interest in the Classics (the Detroit Flower Week Dinner), produced by Detroit Cultivated at the Detroit Public Library’s Adam Strohm Hall. The dinner, from 8-11 p.m. Oct. 15, will celebrate a rebirth of sustainability in food and flowers, set beneath a mind-blowing floral installation created by London designer Joe Massie. Two-hundred and fifty guests will enjoy a five course seated meal with beverage pairings created by six of Detroit’s hottest chefs, including Kieron Hales (Zingerman’s Cornman Farms), Brad Greenhill (Katoi), Kate Williams (upcoming Lady of the House), Nikita Sanches (Rock City Eatery), Heather Anne (Sweet Heather Anne) and Detroit Ento. Detroit-based Double Winter will be providing tunes throughout the evening.

Tickets are available to Detroit Flower Week per day or for the week. A day pass gives guests admission to daily lectures and the opportunity to attend workshops for an additional fee. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit


A short note about TEDxDetroit. One of the greatest things is to be at the actual event – you feel the emotion of the room, you see the smiles and nods when an extraordinary point is made, you get the vibe of the experience.

But the next best thing – in fact, perhaps the best of all things – is watching the talks afterward on video. No, you don’t have the noise of people eating or the light of their cell phones next to you. (Granted, we could all do without that.) But what you get is the essence. The strongest parts of their argument. The moments when what they said seeped into your brain, heart and soul. You get that first, second and third impression.

So after watching much of Thursday’s TEDxDetroit event, I have to recommend several of the talks. I hope you’ll go back and watch them when the videos are available. The live stream might still be open on some of your smartphones or computers; leave it there and let it play while you go about your day.

These are just a few of the TEDx talks that took place, but these stuck with me long after the person left the stage. And that, to me, is the mark of a successful moment where an idea, indeed, was shared.

  • Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co.
  • Paulette Auchtung of the Michigan Science Center
  • Shamayim Harris of The Avalon Village
  • Lisa Waud of Pot + Box and Flower House
  • Eric Thomas of Saga Marketing
  • Michael Knight of AOS West Bloomfield

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