Art in Bloom Speaker Profiles

Derek Fell

Born and educated in England, Derek Fell lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, at historic Cedaridge Farm. He has traveled extensively, documenting gardens worldwide. A consultant on garden design to The White House during the Ford Administration, he continues to provide design consultation, specializing in Impressionist-inspired gardens.

In addition to Fell’s latest book, also titled The Magic of Monet’s Garden (2007), he is the author and co-author of nearly 100 books on a diverse array of topics, from guides on water gardening and impressionist bouquet design to profiles of the gardens of Cezanne, van Gogh, and Renoir. Calendars, greeting cards, and art posters featuring Fell’s photography are published and sold worldwide. His photography is also sold in signed editions, and his photographic art poster, Monet’s Bridge, is displayed and sold at the Monet Museum.

Fell is a regular contributor to several well-known gardening magazines, has appeared in the television series Nature’s Best Photography, and World of Photography, and for six years also hosted a garden show, Step-by-Step Gardening, for the QVC channel.

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Carolyn Fell

Carolyn Fell holds a B.A. from the Parsons School of Design in New York City, and is a professional design consultant who specializes in colorful floral and garden design. Since 1985 she has focused on floral design with an emphasis on French Impressionist paintings. Together with her husband, Derek Fell, she has published several books, including Impressionist Bouquets (Freidman/Fairfax, 1999); Step-by-Step Guide to Sun Gardening (Spring Hill,1995); and Glorious Flowers: Arranging for Every Occasion (Friedman/Fairfax, 1996). In addition to writing books, she also maintains commercial and residential garden accounts and has been a television set stylist for the past 12 years.

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Nico De Swert

Belgium-born expert designer Nico De Swert is fast becoming one of the most sought-after creative talents in the world of floral artistry. He uses flowers as his medium for creating spectacular artistic renderings that often take inspiration from their containers and fuse the uncommon with the unexpected.

His fantastic floral arrangements are anything but traditional bouquets. They are, notes one fan, more like “an haute couture evening gown.” Shunning traditional romantic floral design and instead striving for gorgeous artifice, De Swert challenges the viewer to see flowers and plants in a new light: as a medium, much like fabric or paint, for creating breathtaking works of art.

De Swert’s popular book, Living with Flowers (2005), offers a dazzling collection of new ideas for extraordinary floral arrangements. Vibrant and bursting with color, De Swert’s floral sculptures, captured beautifully by photographer Wendell T. Webber, demonstrate that the simple elegance of nature’s blooms cannot only be enhanced, but elevated to the level of art. “Floral design is much more than filling vases and containers,” De Swert writes. “It is the study of a flower’s personality through its color, size, stance, and texture.” Organized by color, the book’s “red” section features such striking pieces as red roses arranged in bowls of lemon leaves; in contrast, the “purple” section showcases a seemingly Asian-inspired creation consisting of anemones and grape hyacinths in goose eggshells.

In an appearance last year at the San Diego Museum of Art’s Art in Bloom, De Swert captivated audiences of all ages with his talent and charm. Eager fans snapped up all 350 copies of his book after his lecture. In a further testament to his talent and appeal, he quickly received an invitation to return in 2008 as the single florist chosen each year to do an enormous floral installation in the rotunda.

De Swert has lived in New York for the past seven years as a floral designer and interior stylist. His floral arrangements have appeared in leading magazines such as Martha Stewart Living; O, the Oprah Magazine; and InStyle.

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Ron Morgan

Ron Morgan appeared at AIB in 1990 and 1997, where he delighted overflow crowds.

Morgan is the most sought-after and well-recognized floral designer in the United States. He has dazzled lecture and garden club audiences for more than 20 years with his wit, knowledge, and unparalleled creative talents. Through his imaginative use of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and unusual items, he transforms the ordinary into the exquisite, artfully arranging his striking materials into masterpieces. His tablescapes are legendary for their creativity, elegance, and visual impact.

Morgan’s career in floral design began at age 10, when he won his first flower show competitions in San Joaquin County, California. Over the course of his extensive career, he has designed window displays for Harrod’s and David Jones, opened retail floral and antique shops, consulted as an interior designer, conducted flower-arranging classes, and, most importantly, became a highly popular speaker at garden club events around the world. He now lives in Alameda, California, and devotes most of his creative energies to the garden club lecture circuit. He has published four books to date: A Glass Act (2007) A Celebration of Clematis (2007); In the Company of Flowers (2006); and The Center of Attention (2002, all under Source Book Publishing/Half Full Press).

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