Whimsical Garden Table Centerpieces at the First Lady's Luncheon in Washington, D.C.

Whimsical Garden Table Centerpieces at the First Lady's Luncheon in Washington, D.C.

Whimsical, colorful, elegant and literally amid one of the most breathtaking settings you'll lay eyes upon, American Grown Flowers is the perfect ingredient for floral recipes fit for our nations capitol. Then add in an adorable set of florist friends with my grandmother plus my love for garden luncheons and a lot of beautiful details like flowers from Resendiz Brothers and other farms I have visited and you know, this is a whole new level of pretty to me.  

Look at these table flowers...  ah-mazing.



American Grown Flowers Logo With Christy Griner Hulsey and Colonial House of Flowers Red, White and Blue

Certified American Grown (CAG) represents a unified and diverse community of American cut flower and foliage farmers from the United States. The vision of the group is to have a healthy, sustainable, and prosperous American grown cut flower and foliage farming community. Knowing the economic impact of this group and the mission, it is with absolute gusto I said yes, when Kasey Conquist asked me to join with Margaret Lloyd (Margret Joan Florals) and Kelly Shore (Petals by the Shore) to lead a team of over 20 volunteer designers to create arrangements for the First Ladies Luncheon in Washington, D.C. 


The centerpieces for the First Lady's Luncheon were inspired by seasonal flowers in effort to celebrate and use exclusively American Grown Flowers. Farms from across the United States shipped over 18,000 stems that we used to create all white monochromatic and colorful centerpieces for tables. 


I recognized many of the farms as ones that my family and I have like visited or met over the years like San Diego based Resendiz Brothers (pictured below). 

Christy Griner Hulsey and Mel Resendiz for American Grown Flowers in San Diego CaliforniaCREDIT: CALIFORNIA CUT FLOWER COMMISSION 



This was the second year in a row that the Certified American Grown program sponsored this iconic Washington, D.C. event. According to the First Ladies Org, this is "one of the time honored traditions each Spring in Washington DC is the spectacle known as the First Ladies’ Luncheon." 

I am grateful to have been able to attend the luncheon and sit at a table right in front of the head table including First Lady, Melania Trump.  In case you are wondering pomp and circumstance open the show with grand entertainment then introductions of Junior hostesses, daughters and granddaughters of Congressional Club members are made. Distinguiesed guests are introduced and then the First Lady walks down the a cat walk in the center of the ballroom. 

Every year the luncheon has a theme. Everything from the tablecloths to favors (always a bag filled with goodies) to centerpieces revolve around this theme. Generally the theme is inspired by the state from whence the chairman of the luncheon committee hails. This year it was Florida as you can see the nautical aesthetic throughout. Goodies in the bag come from the state and the food on the menu is representative as well.


The annual event since 1912 is bipartisan. This year it was attended by a record 2,100 people including Congressional spouses, associates of member of Congress and cabinet members. 



Diana from Resendiz Brothers farm represents American Grown Flowers and the California Cut Flower Commission says "I had the pleasure to meet and speak with the First lady and to encourage the White House to adopt an all American Grown Flower policy. My request was reiterated by the Congressional Club's Luncheon Chair who took a moment during her remarks to acknowledge the beautiful American Grown Flowers and asked that everyone, including the White House, support American Grown Flowers." 


Grateful to be there, I remember that exact moment and the request from the podium by Carol Yoho was met with applause. I had the honor of joining a wonderful group a the Certified American Grown table (pictured above) including Mararet Lloyd, Kurt Weichhand, Beth VanSandt, Diana Roy, Rep Ted Yoho, Kelly Shore, Travis Rigby, Kasey Cronquist, Tim Dewey, Jerry Hagstrom and Bill Frymoyer. 

Left to Right; Kelly Shore of Petals by the Shore, Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea, first lady Melania Trump, Margaret Lloyd of Margaret Joan Florals, Christy Hulsey of The Colonial House and Travis Rigby of Florists Review. 

The White House has a long standing tradition to feature American wines and food at the White House. My hope is that such a commitment can be extended to support American Grown Flowers, in the same way. Every room in the White House is filled with florals 365 days of the year. It would be the biggest hit of the day if each one was filled with amazing blooms grown by USA farmers. A White House full of 100% American Grown agriculture would perfectly highlight the beauty of our country. 


As part of the Colonial House of Flowers team my grandmother flew in with me to help on the team. Her father was a farmer and she was regionally famous for making local flower arrangements over her life time. Her name is Margie Tygart as she is from Nashville, Georgia. Flo Fordham, XX and XX represented Colonial House of Flowers from Statesboro, Georgia.

On the flight home, My Grandmother  held my hand and said, "my dad would have been so proud that I did this." I will always treasure the whimsical, garden table centerpieces at the First Lady's Luncheon honoring Malania Trump for their beauty and for the beauty of making them with my friends and family using American Grown flowers. 


The endless elegance of the First Ladies Luncheon that year is artfully photographed by Susie HaDeed. If you are like me, you are going to want to swoon over every last detail over and over again. Check out our shop to help create your own whimsical garden table scapes at home or for something special!  

You May Also Like: 


Sharing The Orgin Matters Message With The First Lady, California Cut Flower Commission 
Lunching with the First Lady: A Congressional Club Tradition, National First Ladies Library 
Design Star Is Spreading The American Grown Flower Love Nationwide, California Cut Flower Commission 


Back to blog

Leave a comment