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

  • New Fitness Class: SalsaTone

    2014.11.01

    Starting November 1st ~ Every Saturday morning 10 to 11 AM Instructor: Melissa Lopez Start your weekend off right with this exciting cardio...

  • Recovery Climb 2014

    2014.11.01

    Liberation Programs' Recovery Climb 2014 will take place on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at Chelsea Piers in Stamford. Liberation's...

  • Salsa Workshop for Advanced Beginnners

    2014.11.01

    Instructor: April Genovese Time: 2:30 - 4:30pm Price: $30 April will teach turn patterns and open shines every Advanced Beginner should...

  • Dream Ball Gala

    2014.11.01

      Cocktails, dinner, dancing, a silent auction and a Giving Tree will all be included during the 10th annual Dream Ball gala, to be...

  • Kids Fun Night | Movie Night in the Pool!

    2014.11.01

    Grades K – 5. Bring your friends to hang out and watch a movie in the coolest way possible; while floating in the pool! This Kids Fun Night...

  • French Market (Farmers’ Market) | Stamford, CT

    2014.06.07

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

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Jewish Arts & Film Festival of Fairfield County

    2014.10.25

    Saturday, October 25 – Sunday, November 2 Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 25 through Sunday, November 2 for the 13th season of the...

  • Wheels in the Woods Fall Activity Trail

    2014.11.02

    Sundays, November 2 - 30, Noon - 4 pm Our popular self-guided activity trail returns with new activities. Identify fall birds, do a mini...

  • 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!

  • Monday Morning Open House

    2014.06.02

    An advanced workspace, COMRADITY is a GOOGLE-style shared workspace with blistering fast Fiber Optic internet in furnished private and open...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Vacation Day Programs at the J - Glow in the Dark Mini Golf at FunFuzion

    2014.11.04

    Grades K – 6. All vacation days include arts and crafts, nut-free/kosher snacks, free swim and various games and activities. Participants...

  • BU8: DJ Trivia | Stamford, CT

    2014.06.05

    Come test your Wit and skills with TRIVIA. The top 3 teams claim prizes. Great specials and a great time for those who...


Show More...

Most Popular Articles

  1. 10 Things To Do Before Summer Ends
    Finish up your summer bucket list!
  2. Stamford Magazine's 5th Anniversary Party
    Bank Street Events
  3. 5 Bars Off Bedford
    Your guide to hole-in-the-wall taverns and pubs scattered around Stamford
  4. 12 Great Date Nights
    Restaurants for a romantic night
  5. Summer House Project Kick-Off
    Lower Summer Street, Stamford