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Speaker shares tips behind White House floral designs

Guests of the Village Garden Club of La Jolla got the chance to see some artistic arrangements when Nancy Clarke, former White House chief floral designer presented a program at the club’s annual Meet the Masters event March 4 in Sherwood Auditorium at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. Proceeds from the lecture will benefit the club’s Schoolyard Gardening Program. During her three decades at the White House, Clarke worked with six first ladies. Each had her favorite flowers. According to Clarke:

Roslyn Carter

liked flowers reminiscent of those in her garden, especially white camellia.

Nancy Reagan

chose white flowers, such as lily of valley, tulips and peonies. She preferred cream, blush and peach colors.

Barbara Bush

liked garden-type flowers, peonies, lilac, roses and tulips in all colors, especially purple and lavenders.

Hillary Clinton

preferred unusual centerpieces and any kind of unusual flower, such as the pincushion protea, gerbera, roses, lilies, hypericum, and always in strong colors like orange and red.

Laura Bush’s

favorite flowers were tulips, amaryllis, roses, hydrangea, orchids and lilac. She liked lime green, hot pink and yellows.

Michelle Obama

seems to like a variety of flowers, especially blooms on branches, such as forsythias. She also likes orchids. Her favorite floral hues are strong reds, purples.