Here’s a recap of the opening program in “ADAC in Bloom,” which was sponsored by flower magazine. The question-and-answer session on July 17 featured Renny Reynolds, Jack Staub, Bobby McAlpine, Carleton Varney, Remco van Vliet and Alex Hitz. Editor-in-Chief Margot Shaw questioned panelists about how flowers have inspired their worlds to date
Bobby McAlpine, an architect and entrepreneur, said he loves his work and is always searching for his next laboratory. He described his style as emotionally and spiritually driven. If McAlpine were a flower, he would be “closer to a common fig bush in the yard.”
Remco van Vliet is a third-generation floral designer who was trained as a Master Florist. When he was younger, he expected to become an artist or a graphic designer. Does decorating a large- or small-scale room differ? “Look at the environment,” van Vliet said. “Things shouldn’t scream out. Everything should be in harmony with the environment…as if a designer hadn’t been there.”
Author Alex Hitz is credited with making entertaining fun again. He likes roses, daffodils, and peonies. Hitz would serve a chicken pot pie and decorate with lots of roses at his fantasy dinner.
Carleton Varney, an author and one of America’s best known interior designers, asks his students to draw and describe their first memorable room. He keeps the drawing for the four years the student is enrolled at the university.”It’s the foundation and beginning of your taste,” Varney said. “There are no good or bad tastes.” Varney also talked briefly about his early work with Dorothy Draper. “She was a very impressive person who created a look that is identifiable with her,” he said. Her basic motto was “If it looks right, it is right.”
Renny Reynolds is a renowned entertaining, gardening and lifestyle expert. He credits an “extraordinary neighbor” and his parents with helping instill in him a love of propagating plants. What plant would he be? “Probably an eight-foot delphinium,” he said.
Jack Staub is considered one of the country’s leading experts on edible plants and vegetable garden design. He talked about Hortulus Farm Garden & Nursery, which he hopes to leave as a public garden, and the importance of horticultural education.