Art & Culture

Putnam & Putnam – talking seasonal blooms and celebrity weddings with New York’s first couple of floristry

Words by Alex Rayner

01 July 2020

Putnam & Putnam was founded in 2014 by NYC’s preeminent floral designer Michael Putnam and his partner Darroch Putnam. Their namesake brand is now the go-to for flowers for any occasion, garnering clients like Vogue, Martha Stewart and Gwyneth Paltrow along the way. In October 2018, Putnam & Putnam released their debut title, Flower Color Guide, the first reference book to organise flower types by colour. The dynamic duo now has a boutique in the Moxy Hotel in NYC.

Quintessentially: When someone commissions floral designs for an event, what's the best way to brief people who work in your kind of partnership?

Putnam & Putnam: Typically, a client or planner comes to us because they love our style and work. We love to sit down with our clients face-to-face and walk through each portion of the event. This helps us all dream up an incredible event and get the design proposal started. All you need to know prior to meeting with us is a set date, estimated event budget, and venue.

Quintessentially: How can you best work flowers into big events as well as everyday life?

P&P: We love to transform spaces for events. To us, flowers are one of the most impactful components of any event and we love to pair gorgeous table centrepieces with large-scale installations. At home, we keep things simple. Gestural branches or a single flower variety in a tall tapered vase is a chic and simple way to do flowers. Of course, a sweet and small bud vase arrangement for your work desk brings a breath of life to sending e-mails.

Quintessentially: What looks great inside at this time of the year (April)?

P&P: We are in peak season for flowering branches. In New York, we get Magnolia, Pear, Plum, and Cherry Blossom locally. We always to try and source as much in-season product locally as this is most cost-effective and environmentally conscious.

Quintessentially: How did the Gwyneth Paltrow commission come about?

P&P: Gwyneth's wedding planner, Colleen Cohen brought us to the event as we have worked with her in the past. They had some great inspiration images as a reference point to start FROM, and a preferred colour palette. However, they put their full trust in us to source the most beautiful in-season product and transform Gwyneth’s East Hampton property with gorgeous flora. We do arrangement mock-ups prior to the actual event so our clients can see exactly what flowers we use and get a taste of their big day.

Quintessentially: Finally, does recycling flowers (passing them onto hospices, etc.) really work?

P&P: Absolutely! In New York, we work with Repeat Roses who handle event breakdowns and provides this service. One very important component to their work is that they have a team return to the drop-off site a week later, to collect all the old flowers to compost and vases. The goal is to avoid organic matter ending up in a landfill. We also use a company called Garbage Goddess for our New York breakdowns that compost all organic matter and recycle boxes/glass straight after the events.

Flower Color Guide by Putnam & Putnam is out now and published by Phaidon.

For more information on Putnam & Putnam’s New York floral service, please contact your lifestyle manager.

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