An Eminent Collab: Dogwood & Fir and David Austin Roses

A Distinguished Collaboration Between, Dogwood & Fir, David Austin Roses and Rosaprima

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Recently, Rosaprima had the privilege of collaborating with remarkable San Diego-based designer Gilberto Freihoff of Dogwood & Fir and David Austin Roses. Gilberto is a talented floral artist whose work carries an unbeatable depth that exudes a lavish style and distinctive approach to flowers. With the extraordinary David Austin garden roses, Gilberto created a series of stunning pieces showcasing his opulent floral eye.  

Gilberto’s unique style has been shaped and molded throughout the years, but it all started when he relocated from his hometown in Mexico to Montreal and southern California. He was on a journey of rediscovery when he decided he would start fresh and find a new career path; one that would allow him to create something beautiful and share it with the world to bring others joy. Thus, almost naturally, flowers allowed Gilberto to rediscover himself.  

Today, Gilberto’s philosophy and approach to design mimic his story in some ways; aspects of mystery and the unknown almost unexpectedly produce the most alluring pieces. He draws inspiration from history and art, mainly paintings and architecture from Gothic, Victorian, and Golden Era paintings, architecture, and aesthetics – although he firmly believes that nearly anything can be a source of inspiration. Ultimately, Gilberto admits that he most often gravitates toward dark and moody aesthetics (dim lights, bold colors, textures, high contrasts).  

It’s no surprise that the pieces that Gilberto designed in conjunction with this project involve bold colors and textures yet carry an aura of still sophistication. Gilberto used a series of different David Austin garden roses to create these wedding pieces, including Tess, Eugenie, and Juliet. At first glance, it may seem like these three analogous colors wouldn’t pair well together, but Gilberto explains that you must think about the big picture, “color is everything to me because it sets the mood, the vibes, and the aesthetics of your wedding or event… I like flowers with unique shapes, textures, and colors. When I design, I like to think about the whole picture and how the look will be cohesive.” He goes on to explain that incorporating reds into your pieces can work well if you consider the overall aesthetics of the desired venue.  

In terms of the method behind the vision, Gilberto exclaims, “I wanted to create a piece that represents my aesthetics, so when I saw David Austin Roses in Rosaprima’s catalog, I got excited!” Dark red Tess roses were the protagonists of these wedding-styled blooms, “Tess roses are my forever favorite because they scream drama and mystery. Their shape, deep red, almost blood color, and velvet look of the petals are seductive.” He then utilized the more muted shades in Eugenie and Juliet as complimentary colors to create harmony and a bit of contrast, producing an analogous color palette. He incorporated Chocolate Ninebark Bush as foliage paired with Chocolate Queen Ann’s Lace to complete the look.  

David Austin garden roses have been some of the most desirable flowers for weddings because of their attractive shapes, colors, and delightful scents. Utilizing the unique textures of these garden roses within a bold scheme of colors can produce some of the most stunning pieces. Gilberto enjoys working with these roses often and raves about them, “I am very amazed by the quality of the David Austin garden roses that Rosaprima grows. This is the first time I had the chance to work with 60cm David Austin Garden roses, and it is life-changing!”  

We leave you with a final thought; a challenge to take Gilberto’s encouraging advice to fellow florists the next time you need some inspiration, “always keep your mind and eyes open. You’ll never know what is out there that might inspire you.” 

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