Ralph Dekker, owner and floral designer with Blue Lakes Floral Design, prepares floral arrangements for weddings and events. photo by Pam Doyle/www.pamdoylephoto.com Ralph Dekker grew up surrounded by flowers.

“My parents were flower growers in the Netherlands and I have worked since my youngest years in the flowers,” Dekker said. “Over the years my work in flowers has ranged from flower production, wholesale, retail, export and import and floral design education, which has been a great experience.”

Dekker grew up in the Netherlands, moved to Brazil at age 25 and more recently moved to Canada in June 2019. He lives in Canmore with his wife Ana, two teenage daughters Laura and Amanda and their dog Max who made the journey with them from Brazil.

“Together with my wife, we own and operate our business and sometimes need freelance florists to help with larger events,” Dekker said.

He became a florist and event decorator because it gives him the opportunity to create something new every week and interact with new clients, thereby making their lives dynamic and never boring, he said.

“We had an international floral design school in Brazil and after a few years of organizing, promoting and participating in our courses and workshops this became a natural next step,” Dekker said. “Over the years I have acquired a lot of floral design experience working with internationally renowned teachers and floral design schools, mostly from Europe.”

With time, he has learned the skills to do any style or type of arrangements commonly known in the floral industry, he said.

“My favourite style definitely is a natural inspired garden style,” Dekker said. “We use flowers from all over the world, though mostly from Canada, South America, the Netherlands and USA. Roses and garden roses are definitely the main flowers we use. I like to create arrangements and decorations with differentiated and seasonal flowers, such as papoulas (poppies) and ranunculus in early spring and peonies in the end of spring.”

Flowers have a positive effect on people, he said.

“I think fresh, natural flowers create emotions of cheer and happiness in difficult and happy times,” Dekker said.

But roses do have thorns.

“Anyone, including me, who works with flowers has thorns in their fingers on a weekly basis,” Dekker said. “The best way to avoid thorns is using gloves but working with gloves is not always very comfortable.”

The hardiest flowers for bouquets, both in summer and winter, are carnations, chrysanthemum (mums) and also roses, as most roses have a vase life of more than a week. Brides should always choose fresh flowers if they can, he said.“Living flowers are always the best choice for brides as their colour, texture and fragrance bring much more intense emotions,” Dekker said. “The most popular wedding arrangement is definitely the bridal bouquet with the garden rose the most popular flower, although seasonally there may be some shifts to, for example, peonies.”Normally, the very delicate flowers are the shortest lasting, for example sweet pea, gloriosa, and delphinium, he said.Blue Lakes Floral Design make custom arrangements for home […]