Design 5 Swoon Worthy Things:

Gift Guide: The Botanist

If you’re a floral fan, you may be familiar with the enchanted arrangements created by Sarah Ryhanen of beloved, Brooklyn-based flower shop Saipua. Combining wild organic elements with showstopping and unusual blooms, she’s cultivated an easily-identifiable style that looks at once fresh-from-the-garden and masterful.

As though that weren’t enough, the gallery curator turned florist is also a co-founder and teacher of Little Flower School. She’s a farmer, too, along with partner Eric Famisan, at the Saipua flower farm Worlds End. And as both a grower and consumer of florals, she’s a champion of direct environmental practices and documents her journey on the Saipua blog.

All this is to say — Sarah is a true talent, and she knows a whole heck of a lot about plants. We’re honored to have her share her eye for all things beautiful and botanical in today’s botanist gift guide.

By Natalie Goel
Images by Martyn Thompson and Sarah Ryhanen

Gift Guide: The Botanist

NAME: Sarah Ryhanen


HOME BASE: Brooklyn/Esperance, New York

ADVICE ON GIFTS FOR BOTANISTS: I can never get enough vintage copper watering cans. I have plants in every room and when I go to water them, I can never find my watering can. Also, old garden texts are always thrilling to get.

ENDLESSLY OBSESSED WITH: Auriculas, small exquisite flowers that became an obsession in Victorian England. They are very hard to get here. Also obsessed with antique cast iron garden urns.

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY: Start with what is happening outside right at this moment. If I were to design flowers today, they would be quite gray and full of the reedy, straw-like grasses that are browning outside my window.

BOTANY TREND YOU LOVE? Heirloom begonias. ONE YOU WISH WOULD GO AWAY? Succulents in bridal bouquets!

COLOR OR NEUTRAL? Color always!

BEST BOTANY GIFT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED: My parents mortgaged our Saipua farm when the bank denied our funding. Best gift, hands down.

Gift Guide: The Botanist
Gift Guide: The Botanist
  1. Gift Certificate to Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: Not only does using heirloom seeds help protect the genetic diversity of our plants, like other antique goods, they also have a unique history and aesthetic. Baker Creek offers an enormous selection of seeds from the 19th century.

  2. Tobisho Pruning Shears Type A: Crafted in Japan with an eye toward grip and blade sharpness, Sarah dubs these the “best garden shears”.

  3. Vegetable Literacy Book: Wondering what vegetables can be used interchangeably in cooking, and why? Both a vegetable cookbook and reference manual, the Vegetable Literacy Book answers these questions while delivering delicious and unexpected vegetarian recipes.

  4. Haws Indoor Watering Can: A gardener can never have too many watering cans, especially with pots as pretty as this.

  5. Pair of 19th Century Iron Urns from France: Sarah is obsessed with antique cast iron garden urns, and we can see why. These would make worthy vessels for a gardener’s or florist’s prized plants or projects.

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