Petal Pusher

Encino resident Amy Marella kicks off a novel, do-it-yourself flower bar.

While running her popular Westside florist shop, The Hidden Garden, Amy Marella noticed how frequently her customers would ask her for tips on arranging flowers. “I saw that there was a real interest and a market for a design-it-yourself flower bar. And it didn’t exist.”

So along with two partners, Amy opened Fleurish in Brentwood in November. Walk into the bright, pretty, window-filled shop on any given day, and you’ll find friends, mothers and daughters, and even kids creating their own arrangements with a thoughtful process.

Customers choose from a selection of nine arrangements or “Fleurkits,” which change from season to season and are priced starting at $35. At a communal table or “flower bar,” an instructional iPad offers step-by-step tutorials. Customers can also bring in vases to replenish and, for those who really have a creative edge, select fresh-cut flowers to create their own masterpieces.

Plans are underway to open a second Fleurish—this one on Amy’s home turf. “It is a dream of (co-owner) Allyson Arons and myself. We are both Valley girls, so having our dream store in Studio City will be amazing. You will see us ‘blooming’ there in 2015.”


Think Outside the Vase

Whether you’re hands-on or phoning it in, here is Amy’s advice on creating a head-turning Valentine’s bouquet.

1. Use a “keepsake” container for the arrangement. It can be ceramic, cement, woven or wooden. When the flowers are gone, the container remains as a lovely memento.  

2. Request flowers that are in season like hydrangeas, tulips and hyacinths. Sometimes even peonies make an appearance around Valentine’s Day.

3. Aim for longer-lasting blooms like calla lilies, cymbidium orchid blooms and antiqued hydrangea—though they are a bit more expensive. Another option: orchid plants, which last six to eight weeks.

4. Create an arrangement in a loved one’s favorite color or a creative combination like lavender, eggplant and champagne. Coral, apple green and white or light and hot pink and deep raspberry are also great.