Make your backyard bash a floral affair by giving stems the star treatment
Flowers run in Natalie Bowen Brookshire's family--her mother is a garden designer, and her grandmother once owned a floral shop. But at first, Brookshire resisted the call. "I wanted to work in an office and wear a power suit," she says. "Turns out I need to work with my hands, and I'm not great with computers." Opening her own floral design studio in San Francisco in 2003 was the right move; Brookshire is now one of the area's most sought-after florists, known for her free-flowing seasonal arrangements (nataliebowendesigns.com).
Behind her design studio, Brookshire plants greenery like abutilon, fern fronds, jasmine, and fuchsia to clip for bouquets. Mostly, though, she uses the small backyard to host parties, from impromptu cocktail hours to giant birthday bashes. Whatever the event, Brookshire views it as a happy excuse to pull out the vases. "Flowers automatically make it feel like a special occasion," says the designer. "I put down an arrangement and the whole space comes alive."