ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — “I’m starting with this, antique hydrangea, that has this multitone of purples and blues and a little green,” says Cassie Osterloth, owner of Wonderland Floral Art and Gift Loft as she stands in the walk-in cooler of the shop where she also teaches floral design.

She’s got some pretty good-looking tools with which to work — like burgundy peonies.

“They are out of Chile right now,” Osterloth says.

Osterloth mixes and matches what’s in house to show us her art.

“What I love most — besides it’s just beautiful and it makes me feel happy to be around beautiful things all the time — is it's always different," Osterloth says. Like every single day, like what I’m gonna make is gonna be different.” 

Osterloth offers customers monthly design classes.

“This gives them an opportunity in a kind of safe space with a little guidance to do something creative maybe they wouldn’t do on their own,” she explains.

Osterloth’s safe space — her shop — is currently a reflection of holiday joy and the result of three-days' work with her small family crew.

Osterloth says it’s the wonder of nature that delights her — and what’s she passing on.

“Flowers are beautiful, and they get to work with a new one every month,” she says of her students. “And I think it's what keeps them coming back.”

Wonderland Floral Art and Gift Loft also offers floral take-home kits for design students to join virtually.