Adam Manjuck offers seeds of wisdom for fantastic floral arrangements
Adam Manjuck’s father was a crane operator, but he knew a beautiful bouquet when he saw one. So did his son. Once a week, the senior Manjuck would buy flowers for his wife at Muguet, a florist in Stamford in the 1990s, and take the boy with him. “They weren’t just flowers in a bowl,” says Manchuck. “They were pieces of art.” Now 38, Manchuck runs Flowers & Flowers in Darien and is best known for arrangements with bold colors, adventurous groupings and longevity. Here, he shares tricks of the trade.
What’s the simplest way to make a great arrangement? The easiest are the one-type flower kind—a bowl of daffodils or tulips. Anything done en masse is beautiful, and anyone can do it. Grab what you love and don’t be afraid. Just go for it.
What’s the right way to cut flowers from the garden? The best time is when you see the outer shell cracking and the color peeking through. Use a very good pair of sharp clippers—not something you’ve found rusting in the garden’s corner—and cut the stems at an angle to allow for better circulation.
Is one kind of vase or container better than another? A water pitcher can make an arrangement look beautiful because it’s the flower that’s most important. Fill the vase half-full of warm water when first cut, then use lukewarm water. It depends on the flower, but the average arrangement will last five to eight days if you water diligently and recut the stems every couple of days.
What type of arrangements do you favor? This spring I’m bringing lots of textures and layers into my work. I want to see rough on the edges, like succulents, lots of cones, pomegranate and lotus pods. I’m bringing herbs—rosemary, parsley—and mixing them with almost no flowers. If you’re good, you don’t need them.
What was your worst experience in business? The wedding of two good friends. I arrived at the church with the flowers a day early.
And your best? A fundraiser in Holland—for me the Holy Grail—with a Rolls Royce waiting at the airport and an entire staff at my disposal. The grand foyer of the home held two hundred people. There were urns four-feet wide that were placed around the the room. I filled them with quince branches.