Living The Tastemakers:

Local Creatives Frances Palmer & James’s Daughter’s Flowers

Story shared by Local Creative

Collaboration is a concept we hold in the highest regard. The sparks that fly through a meeting of the minds is invigorating and the process is always inspiring. People that compliment one in other in personality or skill create the most thoughtful end results. We recently had the pleasure of sharing the day with two of these kinds of very special people, Frances Palmer and Lisa Przystup. The talents of these two ladies are endless. Potter, gardener, and the most gracious host, Frances invited us to visit her gorgeous grounds in Westport, Connecticut. Her gardens are just teeming with excitement to bloom in the upcoming crisp weather. We invited the lovely and gifted florist/writer Lisa Przystup of James’s Daughter Flowers to join us at France’s garden to create the most whimsical, heart breaking arrangements (in France’s unique ceramic creations of course!)

We spent the entire day frolicking through Frances courtyard turned garden and fields of dahlias, sunflowers and marigolds (don’t be jealous, you can do the same at the upcoming Garden Conservatory Open Days). Weaving through aisle after aisle of precious blooms, we were enchanted by the perfect afternoon (just enough clouds to capture the magic) and these ladies expertise when it comes to the garden, flowers and home. We were happy to do a little styling with France’s stunning ceramics and Lisa’s completed work.

It may sound silly but our little hearts skipped a million beats while watching these women work. Awe-inspiring magic from these two! At the end of our shoot Frances treated us to a homemade plum torte and fresh lemon verbena tea (picked straight from her garden) which just put us into a happiness coma for our ride home. Enough from us, take some time to get know these skilled women, their process and how they found themselves surrounded with flowers!

Frances Palmer & Lisa Przystup


Frances: Impossible to say – I love them all.

Lisa: I’m a sucker for a Café Au Lait and if I could find out the name of that dahlia that I fell in love with it would be here on this list too. Frances had some amazing ones with petals that looked like forked tongues (“lacinated” according to Google). Stunning creatures.


F: Each has their virtues

L: Sweet.


F: Sage

L: Sage


F: Whenever you are able – it is the best gift!

L:The perfect time to gift flowers is…when someone least expects it.


F: People

L: Water


F: It would have to be the dahlia.  I’ve been growing them for over 20 years and they never cease to amaze me by their form and color.

L: Hellebores. They die when I look at them.


Plum Torte

Frances Palmer


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup unbleached flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 24 halves pitted purple plums
  • Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamonfor topping

The Prep

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
  3. Spoon the batter into a spring form of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with (about) 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
  4. Bake one hour, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream.
  5. To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.


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