Hangin' with the Tulip Girls
We spend a day with the floral designers from Tulip in Atlanta who help the city bloom year-round
Heather Jones (left) and Eva Behrendt of Tulip first crossed paths at an industry networking event seven years ago. Heather complimented Eva on her handbag (it was flower-printed), and the two tulip-loving designers became instant friends. Now, Heather's interior design background and Eva's eye for craftsmanship give them the skills to create elaborate sets for lavish Bar Mitzvahs, corporate events, and (what constitutes the bulk of their work) weddings. The pair describes their style as modern and clean, honoring the blooms without a lot of excess fillers. But they're also known for incorporating quirky, non-floral items such as suitcases and recycled chandeliers into their displays. We recently spent a day with Heather and Eva as they gathered materials for two dozen dinner party arrangements, working hard to give each one their certain look.
After getting a "we've got to have them tonight" call for arrangements, the Tulip girls rush to their go-to spot for fresh foliage, Cut Flower Wholesale (cutflower.com). They take a look around the color-coded cooler filled with locally grown blooms before leaving with handfuls of dogwood branches in honor of the season.
On the way back to the shop, Heather and Eva drop by Habersham Gardens (habershamgardens.com). "We come here for inspiration," says Eva. Located near the Buckhead neighborhood, the garden center is known among local plant lovers for quirky ideas such as standing a single door in the middle of a garden.
Now the ladies need vessels for the blooms. So they head to Kudzu Antiques (kudzuantiques.com), a collective of nearly 100 dealers of vintage and artsy furnishings, home decor items, and knick-knacks. After two hours they leave with glass vases, rustic planters, wooden cubbies, and antique hatboxes.
It's already been a full day, but the work has just begun, so it's time for a wake-up call at the über-hip caffeine shop Octane Coffee (octanecoffee.com). The Grant Park location of the Atlanta-based coffeehouse chain is an all-day hangout spot, with the adjoining Little Tart Bake Shop providing scones and other treats.
The Tulip girls return to the office to take stock. They're still missing some natural accents for the centerpieces, so they walk across the street to Grant Park to do some foraging. With only a few hours left, they rush back to the office with pinecones and berries and call in reinforcements to help finish the arrangements.
Two dozen ivory-accented arrangements line the tables of a dinner party. The guests take their seats, nibble on appetizers, and comment on the flowers that bring a bit of natural beauty to the room. "That's what I love about doing this—no project is ever the same," says Eva. "It's always changing."