Ariana Smeraldo of Lily Lodge

This is my latest in our series of short interviews with local floral designers. In this edition, I spoke with Ariana Smeraldo of Lily Lodge at 644 North Robertson Blvd.

HPGC: How did you become interested in the flowers and creating flower arrangements?

After many years in the fashion industry, and sending many failed arrangements to various celebrities, editors and writers, I noticed a gap in the market.

HPGC: What was your first foray in the flower business?

A Stella McCartney party at the Chateau Marmont, I had no idea what I was doing.

HPGC: What is your signature style - if there is one how would you describe?

Wild, yet contained, but not contrived. I design arrangements to mimic the natural lines of each flower.

HPGC: How has your style changed or evolved?

It’s constantly evolving. Like flowers, if I’m not growing, I’m dead.

HPGC: What is your favorite flower to work with and why?

All of them.

HPGC: Where does your inspiration come from?


HPGC: Are there styles you avoid?

Anything another designer is doing and anything too contrived or forced.

HPGC: Are there flowers you avoid?

Everything is good for something.

HPGC: What is one of the longer lasting flowers you use?


HPGC: What do you think is the best way to keep flowers arrangements fresh?

Bleach your vessel before using, change your water and recut stems every 3 days. Don’t mix too many varieties, all flowers have different levels of ethanol gas, especially tubers or milky stemmed flowers.

HPGC: Chose 3 words to describe your style?

Natural, Decadent, Refined.

HPGC: Any unusual requests?


HPGC: Any disaster incidents or funny stories?

When the Iceland volcano erupted and grounded every plane coming in from Holland, we had to buy 2,000 local tulips and spray paint them to match lipstick colors for an event.

HPGC: What’s your favorite thing to do in LA?

Be with my kids.

HPGC: Any other words you would like to add please feel free......

It is important to think of the vessel when choosing your blooms. Does the shape and color coordinate with the vessel? Does the bloom stick straight up or drape to the side? Don’t try to fight the natural shape of your bloom, enhance it.

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