Petal Pusher

1-2-3 with event florist Gary Z of Stamford



Sunny Daze: An example of Zinsmeyer’s less-is-more mantra: In what was originally intended as a simple arrangement of hydrangeas, he reconsidered and added three sunflowers for powerful drama. It worked.

Photographs: Laurie Tomaszek

He makes it look so easy! Much like a chef in the kitchen or an artist before an easel, event florist and planner Gary Zinsmeyer, a Cornell-trained horticulturalist and educator, can whip up an elegant centerpiece filled with color, pop and whimsy in a matter of a minute or two. Of course he does; he is an expert after all. But Zinsmeyer is the first to say that the process need not be complicated or over-thought, and each one of us can create masterpieces using flowers from our own gardens. Just rely on what draws the eye, mix texture with height and use complementary color palates. That’s it.

Unconvinced? he smiles to this reaction and says: “Less is more, plus it gives you room to add drama and your own statement.” The best work, he continues, stems from experimentation, as one might take on in the kitchen or the studio. The end result may not be what was planned but a happy and delightful surprise nonetheless.

Gary speaks as his hands clip and arrange, revealing three gorgeous arrangements in no time that prove, and convince, that maybe the rest of us can actually pull something together (though it may take a little longer to do so). 


May/June 2014 Do
Garden Party: Here, in perhaps the most quickly arranged centerpiece, Zinsmeyer blended some blue viburnum, green Pacific hybrid delphinium and yellow snapdragons. “Be sure to top it with water so all the stem bases are drinking,” he advises.


May/June 2014 Do
Pretty in Pink: This was Zinsmeyer’s first centerpiece. He began with dusty miller and quickly interspersed pink phlox and Queen Anne’s lace. He followed with tulips in orchid, the color of the season, and for drama added some statice. After a pause, he wove in a few stems of astilbe. He took a moment to reflect, and nodded as if thinking, “I’m done.”

Stamford Agenda

  • Juliska Annual Tent Sale!

    2014.09.15

    Juliska's annual shopping event is happening now until September 22nd, 2014 from 9am- 6pm daily. The sale will be held under a big top...

  • Gino Vannelli and Bernie Williams

    2014.09.19

    Since Grammy-nominated,singer-songwriter Gino Vannelli’s debut release of Crazy Life, in 1973, he has remained one of the most distinctive...

  • JCC Sara Walker Nursery School Registration

    2014.08.11

    Registration for the 2014/15 school Our Nursery School programs are designed to help children learn in an interactive and playful way while...

  • Neshama Yoga

    2014.09.12

    Fridays Sept. 12 – Dec. 19 (No class Sept. 26, Oct. 10, Oct. 17, Nov. 28), 9 – 10:30 am Neshama Yoga is a fusion of Kundalini...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • NFL Specials

    2014.09.17

    Are you ready to spend Football Sunday and Mondays with us at the Whale? Join us for $4 Bud Light Drafts, $8 Signature Bloody Mary’s and...

  • College Football Specials

    2014.09.17

    Calling all College Football fans! Watch your favorite college football team score a touchdown at Sign of the Whale. Drink specials include $4...

  • FAll 2014 Semester beginning - Ballet School of Stamford

    2014.09.15

    Our Fall semester begins on September 15th in our beautiful studios at Old Town Hall in Stamford. We offer classes for children age 3 to 18. Our...

  • Stamford Museum & Nature Center Facility Use

    2014.09.01

    September 1 – December 31, After 5pm For a truly unique and memorable venue, host your event or meeting on the picturesque 118-acre...

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • Lord & Taylor- Cosmetics Fall Trend Show

    2014.09.20

    Please join us to benefit from the expertise of many cosmetics lines in a one hour presentation-which includes: -Fall Skincare and Color...

  • PRETTY OBSESSED

    2014.09.20

    We're Pretty Obsessed this season and you'll see why…. Let our Beauty Experts introduce you to all of the crush-worthy looks and...

  • The Bounty of Summer

    2014.09.20

    The Stamford Museum & Nature Center invites you to its inaugural farm-to-table supper celebrating the bounty of summer. Join us for an...

  • French Market (Farmers’ Market)

    2014.06.14

    Visit our farmers’ market with vendors offering the freshest fruits, vegetables, flowers, baked goods and more! Straight from the farm and...

  • The Way We Worked

    2014.09.20

    September 20 through November 4, 9am – 5pm The Way We Worked is a fun and nostalgic look back at the history of working people in...

  • Arts & Crafts on Bedford

    2014.09.20

    Shop at over 100 craft and artisan boutiques on Bedford Street, which will be closed to traffic for the weekend. Dine in our extended sidewalk...

  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURES:Stream Hunters

    2014.09.21

    From mayflies to salamanders, there is another world beneath the rocks and leaves of the stream. Join SM&NC staff for a chance to explore...

  • Market Madness Sundays

    2014.09.07

    Sundays, September 7 – October 5, 10 am – 3:30 pm Support local farmers and explore the SM&NC through hands-on activities...

  • Restaurant: Family Night | Stamford, CT

    2014.06.05

    Every Sunday evening from 5:30PM - 8:30PM Bring the kids to enjoy our Magician, special kids menu, fun for the entire family!


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. Stamford Magazine's 2nd Annual Best Bartender Contest
    The Verano Rooftop
  2. Top 8 Beach Essentials
    Suit up and accessorize in style
  3. King Low Heywood Thomas Spring Gala 2014
    The Loading Dock, Stamford
  4. Mayapple Summer Party
    Mayapple Center for the Arts and Humanities
  5. Eat Street: Stamford Restaurants
    Highlighting two Stamford restaurants