It was in New York that Panitan Thongsatit first tried his hand at flower arrangement. From a part-time job to full-time passionate profession, the flower fanatic founded Ruern Boossaba(G/F, Asoke Court, 16 Sukhumvit Soi 21, 085-199-2904; 1/F, Chidlom Tower, Central Chidlom, Phloenchit Road, 087-495-7878, www.ruernboossaba.com, facebook.com/rbbflowershop) to bring his high-style floristry to chic clients. To celebrate his decade of horticultural love, the famed floral designer went back to the Big Apple to share the flowering perspectives of the Urban Playground in his latest book,Blooming Journey in New York City.
IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN FLOWERS AND TRAVELLING?
I'm constantly asked what my source of inspiration is, and I'd say travelling has always fascinated me. I first got the foundations of flower arrangement and culture in New York. The book narrates my personal viewpoint and experience as a flower enthusiast while travelling in New York.
ARE YOU PLANNING TO MAKE YOUR BOOK A SERIES?
Yes, the second book will cover Paris. I'm still deciding the location for the third one. They are all to unveil fresh flower gems of each city.
HOW IS THAI FLOWER CULTURE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER COUNTRIES?
Here, we tend to use flowers very briefly. They are more short-lived. Thai garlands or lotuses that we present to Buddhist images last only a couple of days. In New York, on the contrary, clients expect the arrangements to last five days, even a week. If the flowers wither in two days, they will return them.
WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR FLOWERS?
When I started as a small business, I bought them from Pak Khlong Talat. But later when we began receiving more orders, suppliers or garden owners started approaching us and we had to present something new and fresh all the time. Mainly, in addition to local products, we also source from China, Kenya and the Netherlands. Ruern Boossaba is now 10 years old, and the more connections we make, the more arrangement ideas come to us.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CITY FOR FLOWERS?
I still haven't explored all I want to. I once had the idea to cover the Netherlands in a book since it's the largest floral market of the world. It is significant in a commercial sense, but I hardly found inspiration when I visited there. Paris is, however, more exciting to me since its art, culture and architecture all boost my creativity and my flower designs. I still need to explore more.
WHAT'S YOUR SIGNATURE STYLE OF FLOWER ARRANGEMENT?
There are only subtle differences in styles and techniques. However, I find personal ideas put into each arrangement make them unique. Our exclusive containers like Signature Bag, Fashion Box and our designs of wreaths are some examples of what set us apart.
IF YOU WERE A FLOWER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
This is a very tough question because I'm limited to picking only one! New question, please [laughs]. I'm now excited about English roses, which I recently used on many arrangements for Valentine's Day. I have also been into peonies of late. But the flower that has been top of my list and has never failed to amaze me since I worked in New York is the orchid. Locals might find orchids common but in New York they are beautiful, expensive and much loved. There are various types in different colours and species. They bring a fresh perspective to me. So since I became a florist, I have used them very often.G
About the author
- Writer: Pimchanok Phungbun Na Ayudhya