Silke von Otto is well known in Munich for her creative bunches, bouquets and plants she decorates for her clients and many festive occasions. Her style is colourful, and she likes to mix things up to get an unexpected composition of blossoms, colour and texture. We went shopping with her at her flower shop “Blumen die Leben” and learned more about how flowers can lift our mood and make us travel the world.
IRMA: Lately we are bound to our homes and now it seems more difficult than before as we are in foggy November and it is getting dark early. Is there a flower bouquet that can lift your mood?
SILKE VON OTTO: Colours, scents and candles are helpful against the November blues.
I would fill the windowsills with many glass bottles with beautiful flowers in bright colours, for example coral-coloured nerines, carnations in rose to pink tones, maybe a few last grasses from the garden. In between many candles in matching colours …
IRMA: Which colour flowers are perfect to lift your spirits.
SILKE VON OTTO: I personally love these times, the mystical colours of aubergine-coloured anemones, chrysanthemums in deep wine red, carnations in bordeaux to delicate lilacs, plus the bright red of bromeliads.
IRMA: It is hard to find flowers with a natural scent during wintertime. Do you have some suggestions?
SILKE VON OTTO: Right now, in winter we get the first scented roses from our Italian gardeners.Soon the rose-coloured Susann smells nicer than in summer. My absolute favourite rose, the Coburg comes very small and unfolds into a golden-coloured beauty.
IRMA: We are planning a Champagne diner, which flowers do you suggest?
SILKE VON OTTO: For a champagne dinner, I would combine all delicate, pastel tones. Roses in all nuances from cream, rose, yes to delicate lilac … The first amaryllis in rosé, Carnations in these shades, eucalyptus can be combined with ivy.
IRMA: How to overcome your Fernweh with a bunch of flowers? I remember yellow Mimosas in January which instantly let my mind travel to the south of France.
SILKE VON OTTO: Wanderlust …
I fight it with fragrance, music or flowers. With mimosa I walk through the South of France. I currently love Protea which are available in all sizes and colours. I recently had huge, cream-colored flowers that made me dream of Cape Town.
IRMA: Any tips to integrate flowers into your table decoration?
SILKE VON OTTO: A meal without flowers, unimaginable. I choose the flowers for the dishes, napkins, occasion, mood – with a wink.