Els was on our short list of speakers for next season, and is known for her warm, down-to-earth personality, as well as her love for flowers. She has spent nearly three decades perfecting her distinctive work, sharing “in” trends in European floral design, and demonstrating how flowers touch, amaze and rejuvenate people around the world.
As part of the Flower Council of Holland’s design team, she travels the world demonstrating design techniques and making appearances on television and at international exhibitions. Her artistic creations have been a part of many diverse groups, including the 61st Academy Awards, the United Nations, and the National Horse Show.
She designed the flower displays for the royal visits of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands to the U.S. and to Australia, and created the flower arrangements for the Emir of Kuwait’s palace, the wedding of the Dutch Crown Prince, the Dutch Embassy in Washington D.C., and the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Southeast Flower in Atlanta. She has also participated in many other flower shows around the world, and was recently honored at a special exhibition in Hanoi, Vietnam.
A charming and effervescent woman, she is a popular speaker at garden and flower shows as well as at botanical centers and art museums. Els first visited the state of Iowa in 1978 as an exchange student, and became captivated by the state, later deciding to reside there when she was not in Holland, and now owns a company in Des Moines called Floral Productions. Extremely busy at exhibitions and creating arrangements for many famous people and organizations, she is nevertheless committed to the promotion of her art, and puts aside time in her schedule to pass along her expertise at design seminars for at least 2,000 professional floral designers every year.
The internet is loaded with testimonials from these designers about how their work has been influenced by Els, which has led to her reputation as the “designer’s designer.”
Els grew up in the Netherlands, and was influenced by her floral designer grandfather, her landscape designer father, and her apparel designer mother. After studying floral design, she quickly attracted attention by making elegance approachable and simplicity sophisticated, creating a delicate balancing act, whose ideas resonate with both beginners and experienced designers. During her presentation, “Flowers in Our Lives,” she will demonstrate 15 different arrangements, some of which will be half-way finished so that she can complete them on stage, and she will make several table settings that will be on display for up-close viewing.
After her presentation, some of the arrangements will be available for sale as designed with the containers, while some flowers will be for sale without containers. She will also be selling the book “Party Flowers,” which features her work, for $30.
The presentation is free to members, and open to guests on a space available basis for a fee of $30.
The meeting will be held at the Boca Grande Community Center at 1 p.m. Reservations can be made by mailing your check to Kay Ferland at POB 807, Boca Grande, indicating the event you are reserving.
If you sent in a guest reservation for Nancy Clarke’s presentation, you may keep it for Els’ lecture, or you may contact Kay Ferland at 964-4162 for a refund.
We are unable to schedule Nancy this season and are trying to arrange a date for next season.
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