Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers

Brooklyn-based Lisa Przystup is a freelance copywriter and the talented florist behind James’s Daughter Flowers. Visit her website to learn her story and take a peek at her stunning floral arrangements.

Spring and summer are when things start wildly growing and blooming upstate. When I first started learning how to arrange, I used my frequent trips north of the city as an opportunity to play and learn with materials that were growing in abundance on the side of the road or in a friend’s backyard. It was — and still is — a really great and inexpensive way for me to learn about form and shape and movement. There’s also something so thrilling about the treasure hunt aspect of foraging: you never know what you’re going to find and you almost always find something special and unexpected and unique.

The really nice thing about foraging is that you can forage in a handful of ways from different resources, but it’s important to be respectful of others’ property and Mother Nature and save some for everyone to enjoy. I augmented my foraged materials with blooms from a pick-your-own flower farm, a roadside market, and the exceptionally beautiful courtyard of Church Des Artistes, a bed and breakfast in Kingston.

Once you get out of the city, you’ll notice wildflowers popping up everywhere. The trick is to be prepared with a pair of sharp floral clippers, a basket to carry all your findings, and a bucket of water for the blooms. I like to clip them at an angle, creating a wider surface for them to get their water and as close to the base as possible, that way I can play with length and height in the arrangement. It’s best to forage for blooms either very early in the morning or later in the day at dusk before the heat of the day has gotten to them, that way, you’ll have less of a chance of your blooms wilting on you.

Styled by Katie Lobel

Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com

We stopped by Saunderskill Farms in Accord — a roadside market with the best hot oatmeal bar I’ve come across — where we bought freshly cut bouquets of flowers clipped right from the field out back, which is a really nice way to support local farmers and incorporate seasonal blooms into an arrangement.

Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com
Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com
Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com

The spoils of our efforts: Kelder’s Farm in Kerhonksen is a wonderful pick-your-own flower farm where you can wander rows and rows of blooming flowers and cut them yourself. I filled this bucket with as many cosmos, snapdragons, and marigolds as I could find.

Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com

In addition to roadside wildflowers, you can take a walk down almost any trail and find an abundance of ferns, which I love using in arrangements — they’re so wild and green and remind me of the dreamy haze of summer and the damp coolness you find when you’re in the woods.

Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com
Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com

I used the shaded and beautiful courtyard of Church Des Artistes to create my arrangement and sourced materials from the owner Julie Hedrick’s amazing backyard courtyard garden.

Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com

I clipped branches from an apricot tree, some dusty dying hydrangea trapped in a vine that was climbing the wall, queen anne’s lace, delphinium, and greenery.

Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com

The delphinium to end all delphinium. Just another amazing find in the magic courtyard.

Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com

The wild, natural arrangements that foraged materials create inevitably end up mirroring the backyards and fields where you picked them from.

Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com
Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com
Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com

One of the things I like about foraging is that it really opens your eyes to all the amazing things growing and thriving around you. Once you start looking, you suddenly see so many things that you wouldn’t normally notice, and the more you forage, the more you become familiar with what’s blooming when, and that’s a pretty fast way to feel connected to the earth — a sensation I sorely miss living in the city.

Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com
Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com
Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com
Flower Foraging with Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers. andnorth.com