A Cottage Garden the California Way

basket of flowers
Photography by Emily Reiter and Rhianna Mercier

Margaret’s garden is both a personal passion and a resource. In her boutique business, Margaret Joan Florals, she specializes in wedding and event flowers, using what she grows to give her work a distinctively California look. Depending on what the bride wants, Margaret can supply up to 75 percent of the material for a bouquet from her garden. When she must buy flowers, she relies as much as possible on local and American growers, to support the “slow flower” movement. This four-year-old effort by the American floral industry encourages the use of locally grown flowers, which means relying heavily on what is seasonally available.

california garden
Photography by Emily Reiter and Rhianna Mercier

In spite of the very un-English climate of Montecito, California, Margaret has succeeded in creating a garden that evokes the cottage style. “If you go hiking in the local hills and see what’s growing naturally,” she says, “you can make that happen. We don’t live in a desert, there’s just not much water. But things grow.”