Judy bruwer

We chat to Judy Bruwer of The Delicate Nature, the floral designer behind the table arrangements in our Art of Entertaining issue’s feature on table settings

How did you get into floral design? After living in America for four years, I relocated to Stellenbosch. In my search for a Horsetail Bamboo plant, I met Chris and Dane, the owners of Okasie, and we soon became good friends and I started working in their shop. I’m so fortunate as I had the perfect start learning from true professionals, who taught me everything about conditioning flowers, vase choices, design and just general integrity and ethics of the trade.

Judy bruwer
Image: Sarah De Pina, Production & Styling: Sanri Pienaar

How would you describe your style as a florist? I’m an old romantic, so I prefer an unfussed, natural style. My arrangements are layered and detailed, and I play with textures. and respect my raw materials. I believe that the emphasis should be more on a good design than on huge quantities of greenery and flowers.

How has floral design evolved since you started? It was structured and formal, but today it’s looser and more natural. There is also a much bigger variety of flowers available, which has had a huge impact on the type of designs we see now.

What’s one quick, easy idea for a festive season arrangement? Since it’s peak summer, I’d opt for a plant rather than an arrangement as it is less fuss and will last longer. Place a potted Amaryllis in a clay pot or handmade ceramic bowl – something earthy and handmade. Then hide the plastic container with moss that has been rehydrated by steaming it. For a finishing touch, embed a foraged branch into the soil next to the bulb, securing the floral stem to the wood to support its weight and provide extra detail. thedelicatenature.com

Related articles: 5 Minutes With the Founders of The Carnation5 Minutes With Illustrator Rudi de Wet and 5 Minutes with MaXhosa’s Laduma Ngxokolo