Few things are lovelier than a young woman just coming into her own—poised, fresh-faced, and ready to take on the world. For over 100 years in Baltimore, the Bachelors’ Cotillon has staged some of the most elegant debutante balls for young ladies and their families to celebrate their “entrance into society.” Sure, these days, the coverage of the Cotillon is unlikely to give a detailed rundown of who in each family is married or single (a staple of the society pages in the early 1900s), but the ball still sparkles with all the elegance and grace that it has always had. And though dresses often get much attention at an event like this, the flowers — traditionally, friends and family send bouquets to the young ladies on the day of the ball — are what turn the evening into an unforgettable affair. And for the most stunning and unique bouquets possible, Dutch Floral Garden is the place to turn for absolutely one-of-a-kind floral work.
Paula Dobbe-Maher of Dutch Floral Garden grew up surrounded by flowers in her parents’ nursery in the Netherlands. The European-style artistry and handwork that she brings to each bouquet truly makes for arrangements that look like no other. And she’s particularly passionate about her work for the Cotillon.
“Every year we try to do things a little differently,” she says. This year, she’ll be making small jewelry type flowers (one of Dobbe-Maher’s employees has specifically studied jewelry design) to be integrated into the bouquets. For particularly special touches, she’s hoping for peonies from Chile, and ranunculus from Italy. “Those are the best,” she says. “Then we use orchids (preferably Vanda orchids because of their beautiful colors), and fillers like nerine.”
Of course, each bouquet is tailored to the young woman’s style and personality. “Some are said to be very down to earth, and in that case, of course, we make a bouquet that is very different than the piece we would make for a girl who is supposed to be very sophisticated, both with the use of colors and the selection of flowers,” says Dobbe-Maher.
“We always wonder what happens with the bouquets afterwards, but have been told that our bouquets are often selected to be taken home by the debutante, which makes us very happy.”
For the record, after the event many of the bouquets are donated to local hospitals, retirement homes and other residential centers for the more to enjoy. Lovely!
For more information on Dutch Floral Garden, or to inquire about ordering a bouquet, visit www.dutchfloralgarden.com. Dutch Floral Garden is accepting orders for Cotillon bouquets until Saturday, November 23.