DIY Wedding

The Best Florists in Texas, According to Interior Designers – Texas Monthly

If you’re already dreaming about decking your halls with boughs of holly, you are not alone. Thanks to good ol’ holiday creep, most shops transformed into tinseltown at the beginning of October. Even Halloween came early this year: in early August, the popular DFW-based pumpkin-delivery service, Porch Pumpkins (whose services entail exactly what the name suggests), was already taking orders for the fall season. If you tried to order a coveted spot on the delivery list in September, it was already too late.

Getting in the holiday spirit wasn’t always such an advance to-do. The legendary octogenarian pitmaster for Snow’s BBQ, Tootsie Tomanetz, recalls that during her childhood, tree trimming was an eleventh-hour treat: “I can remember our first Christmas trees with candles that were clipped on with little metal clips, and the tree only went up maybe Christmas Eve,” she told Texas Monthly in 2020. “We only lit the candles a very short time at night to enjoy the light on them because the tree would get dry, and you would have a house fire if you got careless.”

These days, local tree farms usually open the day after Thanksgiving—when fragrant pines and allergy-friendly cypresses get chopped down and dressed up before shining bright for the full month ahead. And although experts don’t anticipate tree shortages again this year, they say you can expect to pay more for live trees.

But back to boughs of holly. Unless you are lucky enough to have prolific yaupon holly growing nearby—which wouldn’t be surprising: the caffeinated plant, whose leaves have been brewed into tea for centuries, grows wild across the state—you’ll probably want to outsource festive greenery and other florals for your holiday decor. And, you guessed it, ’tis the season to get ahead in that department. So we turned to a few Texas-based interior designers for help. In true holiday spirit, they happily obliged, sharing their favorite sources for floral centerpieces, wreaths, and other decorative accents.

“What comes to mind first for local holiday florals is a company in town called Gracious Garlands,” says Raquel Skrobarczyk of Austin-based Heather Scott Home & Design. “I always get one of their wreaths for my front door.” Holiday preorders are available now, but you don’t have to live in Austin to get your hands on one: the company will ship any of its fragrant designs (including a mailbox-decorating kit of evergreens, magnolia leaves, and pine cones) to your doorstep for free. (Prices for the wreaths range from $79 to $109.)

For a more local option, designer Claire Zinnecker recommends Earl Gray Floral, whose stylish Austin delivery options evoke country gardens. The floral studio turns out wreaths, too: custom orders start at $45, ready-made fall styles are still up for grabs (made with dried oak leaves and hydrangea blossoms and rooted in tangles of twigs, they’ll last for years), and tickets for a December 1 winter wreath-making workshop are on sale now. Zinnecker isn’t one to shy away from styling her own floral arrangements, either: “If I’m making my own, I like to go to Austin Flower Co.,” where she says she finds “a mix of greenery and flowers for the drapey, branchy organic feel.” The hidden gem is a DIY artist’s dream: it’s a floral wholesaler, which means you’ll find great prices—and likely brush elbows with professional floral and event designers while there.

In Dallas, Cathy Kincaid—whose luxe-but-livable projects are rarely photographed without showstopping centerpieces—says her go-to for all things floral and holiday is Margaret Ryder of Kane & Co. Hers is the kind of spare-no-expense, one-stop shop that will handle all the finer details of a tablescape (like the one in this Kincaid-designed dining room, which the florist decked out with dahlias). But for a flourish here or a pop of something there, Kincaid follows a simple decorating formula for instant Christmas cheer: “I like to mix fruits like apples, oranges, pomegranates with Christmas lilies and paperwhites.” It’s easy enough to find the fruit at your local grocery whenever the mood strikes. But to grow your own lily and paperwhite bulbs in containers, indoors, you’ll want to start soon—about a month before you’d like to see them bloom (here’s how). If that’s not your thing, fret not: you can also find the same kinds of bulbs in full bloom (and in little pots) closer to the holidays at various gardening and grocery stores.

Designer Mary Patton, who just opened a storefront in Houston (and released new, glittering glass ornaments in support of a good cause), says she sources her holiday accents from florist Rebekah Johnson, of Bergner & Johnson. “She did my wedding and is my go-to for soft, elegant arrangements, and she does beautiful live greenery during the holidays.” For those who want fresh, interesting florals all season long, the company offers weekly and monthly subscriptions. Or if you’re in the market for a classic bouquet, Patton recommends calling Lexis Florist, near Houston’s Galleria. “If you ask for the peeled-back roses with no greenery, you are in for a gorgeous surprise with a wow factor.”

And if you just don’t want to plan in advance or don’t live near these major cities, we see you—it’s easy enough to source bouquets at the last minute from your local market (HEB, y’all!) or the internet. The national delivery service the Bouqs Co., for example, teams up with sustainable growers to ship fresh stems across the US—and has several Texas-based partners that offer same-day delivery to your doorstep, from San Marcos to Irving.