This wonderful “new” sustainable floral design mechanic has been a fun way for me to put summer garden flowers into easy, relaxed arrangements. It is called a “hairpin holder” and I remember seeing it in my grandmother’s flower box many years ago, no it’s not really so new. On the Floral Genius website, I found this wonderful story to share with you.

In the 1930’s Ida Sinclair of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was an avid flower arranger who shared her work in garden club flower shows. One day she came home and saw her son working on a melted metal project. The idea sparked. Ida pulled hairpins from her hair, placed them into the metal, and created the first “blue ribbon” hairpin holder. She used this in a flower show, won the blue ribbon, and came home with orders to make sixteen for friends.

An ongoing business was started that was halted during the war, but resumed full force in 1947. Six employees made the hairpin holders by hand. The company was sold in 1959 to Dorothy Biddle, a company selling garden supplies, who passed the torch to Floral Genius in 2017. Each piece is still made by hand, and you can purchase them from the Floral Genius website. I was enchanted by this story which I read on Labor Day weekend. It has been a summer of feminism with lots of emphasis on the success of women and the retro Barbie themed movie. Ida Sinclair, the garden club lady’s idea was pure genius. So how does the hairpin holder work…

This summer I have found beautiful bouquets at Good Harvest Farms in the Lancaster County Farmers Market in Wayne PA.

The hairpin holder simply gets placed at the bottom of the vase. Then add water.

Two bouquets of amaranthus, salvia, marigolds, zinnia, and feverfew, burst from a low, wide-mouth bowl.

A simple design of late summer flowers. The hairpin holders allows dahlia and zinnia show off their stems and brightly colored flower heads.

A late summer bouquet in a terracotta vase holds red amaranthus, blue salvia, and yellow marigolds and zinnia. It has been so much fun using the new “retro” mechanic and when the flowers are gone it goes into the dishwasher before it’s reused again. Looks like summer is over and we have lots of beautiful fall colors coming soon. If you get yourself a hairpin holder, you will love it.