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This Oscar Season, We're Seeing Red

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OK everybody, stop and drop everything. It's Oscar season!

During this time of the year here in Los Angeles, everything stops for the Oscars. At least for some of us. Greece? Spain? Italy? You must be talking about a foreign film nomination, not the economic crises. Los Angeles is a film industry city.

Now, the Oscars are a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For us, it's all about the flowers. We are doing floral decor again this year for the Governors Ball, the gala that follows the Oscars telecast at the (maybe) Kodak Theatre. Things are switched up a bit for this year's Ball. No longer the 130 tables for a seated dinner. Rather, going with the style of the moment, this year's Ball will be club lounge style. Intimate seating groups, coffee tables and banquettes. And low lighting. (Although just bright enough to see the stars across the room and to see the steps in front of us so we don't break our necks rushing to move into their sphere.) The color palette is monochrome -- white, silver, taupe. Then we get to punch it up with the flowers, which are all red. So for Mark's Garden, we're seeing RED this year for the Oscars.

I am always surprised how few red flowers there really are. A lot of yellow, lots of pink and white, but not so many different types of flowers in blue or red hues as one would think. Red roses, there are plenty of those in many varieties and shades. Red tulips are not an option for an event like this. Their color is always a little off. They don't hold up well enough to use for a large-scale installation. And tulips have a mind of their own -- they grow, they twist, they bend. They don't necessarily do what YOU want. Of course, there are carnations, which come in many beautiful shades of red. But can you imagine the gasps of disgust when the coolest people in the world walk into the Governors Ballroom and see the space filled with carnations? I wouldn't be able to show my face in this town again. We are not quite ready for the reemergence of this really beautiful, and once most popular, flower, I am afraid. But the time will come, I promise. Red calla lilies are great to use because they are so sturdy and everyone loves them at the moment. Gloriosa lilies from Holland will look great. Some varieties of red orchids, too. And great red dogwood branches from Oregon along with red ti leaves from Costa Rica. I don't care for the shade of red of anemones, ranunculus or sweet peas. Plus no one can not get enough quantity of these flowers, anyway. For big events, you need to be able to get large quantities -- thousands -- of sturdy flowers; flowers you can use to design a large space, different from what you would use to design a centerpiece for a dinner party.

For your Oscar party at home, you can use any kind of flowers as long as they are red. And put them in a black container. If you don't have black containers, spray paint whatever you have. Put a few blooms of red 'whatever' in some small black boxes or bowls and set them out on your coffee table or buffet. Voila! You are set to sit back and enjoy the Academy Awards, perhaps munching on popcorn and without having to slip into that fancy gown or tux. And you don't even need to run out and borrow some diamonds or emeralds. A few people showing up at the Oscars might envy you that night. Remember, there are some people who don't really want to go to the Academy Awards... Hmmm... Although, I can't really think of any at this moment.

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