These Eye-Catching Floral Designs Honor the Forest Floor

In the 17th century, Dutch painter Otto Marseus van Schrieck turned his brush to a new kind of nature study: the undergrowth, or sottobosco, of the woodland floor. His work caught the eye of the most important family of the 17th century: the Medici. Cosimo de Medici payed Marseus van Schrieck a visit in 1667 to witness the earthy creations so beautiful they felt otherworldly. A dark color palette, insects galore and bold pops of wild flora are as intriguing today as they were in the time of the Medici. Here, the mystical beauty of his still-life subgenre flourishes in three kindred arrangements.

Stone, wood and moss each get a moment in these inspired floral designs, full of foraged flora that embrace the resplendent, raw beauty of Mother Nature.

Monumental Moss

a vase with white flowersBecky Luigart-Stayner

High-elevation blooms and branches (peony and mountain laurel) rise from a classical vase covered in creeping moss, conjuring an enticing descent for butterflies.

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Dried Butterflies
Dried Butterflies

$20 at Etsy

Organic Vase
Organic Vase

$250 at theexpert.com

Pruning Shears
Pruning Shears

$19 at The Sill

Woodland Whimsy

a plant with flowersBecky Luigart-Stayner

A live-edge wood bowl mimics fallen timbers and becomes a Van Schrieck-worthy stage for mushrooms and moss, ranunculus and nasturtiums, bugleweed and climbing passionflower vines.

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Driftwood Bowl
Driftwood Bowl

$1,100 at 1stDibs

Cultivated Book
Cultivated Book

$22 at Amazon$22 at Walmart

Flower Frog
Flower Frog

$48 at afloral.com

Bold with Boulders

a plant with flowersBecky Luigart-Stayner

Like sottobosco scenes depicting untamed growth, Iceland poppies, maidenhair fern, and leatherleaf mahonia sprout from a boulder’s crevices.

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Agrarian Tool Basket
Agrarian Tool Basket

$40 at Williams Sonoma

Stone Kitchen Mortar
Stone Kitchen Mortar

$188 at 1stDibs

Garden Gloves
Garden Gloves

$38 at Terrain


Photography by Becky Luigart-Stayner; Produced by Sara Clark and Katie Hinson

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