Bringing floristry to the blossoming steel town

On one of this year’s many unseasonably warm late October nights, Thuya Floral Arts held its grand opening. Creative Director, Tasha Lee Van Dinthers, welcomed guests to explore the newest addition to Hamilton’s ever-growing list of amenities. Van Dinthers, herself a born Hamiltonian, saw the city’s recent revitalization as an opportunity to bring her passion for floristry to the blossoming steel town.

Photos by Ashley Lesiak

Located at 191 King Street East in the International Village, Van Dinthers is proud and excited to share the street with other small business such as Girl on the Wing, foreseeing the area to become a main attraction in the city, comparable to eclectic areas in Toronto. She cites Hamiltonian’s unique openness and interest to new things as one of the factors that made this location so promising.

The night of Thuya’s opening party, a massive floral arrangement was installed on one the studio’s red-brick walls. Tasha explained that the wire mesh was mounted on the wall, allowing the flowers to be slotted in the desired placement. The execution of this installation was made a little more difficult due to the fact that non-organic florist foam was not used. The use of organic and eco-friendly practices and materials is important to Van Dinthers.

A strong and direct relationship with local flower farms is also a top priority for Thuya. Having worked on one herself, and seen first-hand the hard work that goes into the journey from tiny seed to gorgeous flower, Tasha holds great respect for flower farmers, and emphasizes the importance of having and maintaining a close partnership.

The studio is open Wednesday to Sunday, being available on Monday and Tuesday only by appointment. Those planning an event have an opportunity to speak with the creative director in the beautifully sparse studio, to plan out the perfect arrangement for their event. In her studio, Van Dinthers puts together fresh cut creations in delicate bouquets.

If you’re struggling to think of gift ideas for Christmas, you may want to stop in for some inspiration. Thuya not only sells floral arrangements, but other handmade and specialty items. Handmade ties, coming in multiple colours and patterns (including a very fun palm frond print), cactus-themed notebooks, and bright colourful cards that all make great stocking stuffers. Additionally, organic essential oils, such as sandalwood, eucalyptus and tea tree, are perfect for the overstressed. If you’re friends with a facial hair enthusiast, Thuya also carries organic beard care products form Better Beard Co.

For a truly thoughtful and fresh gift for the holidays, the handmade ceramics, ranging in price from $25-$60, come with a certificate for an arrangement. This allows you to pick up the intended botanicals right before it is to be given, or more conveniently, allows the receiver to decide what kind of floral display they would prefer. Specially for Christmas, Van Dinthers plans on offering amaryllis bulbs, instead of the more common Christmas poinsettia.

Whether looking for something specific or just trying to gain a reprieve from the ever-dipping temperature, a quick stop into Hamilton’s newest foray into floral art is a definite must. If you’re not willing to brave the cold, Thuya’s website can be reached at www.thuyafloralarts.com