Green Conversations: Marta Sanderson
Embark on a plant journey through the work of Marta Sanderson, a floral designer based in Vancouver, Canada.
"Nature brings a sense of calm to our sometimes chaotic lifestyles; stop and notice a flower change or a plant grow and unfurl a new leaf."
Marta Sanderson is a floral designer living in Vancouver, Canada. She works with flowers and plants from installations to weddings and events. Most recently, she opened a floral shop calledLa Bomba in the historic and buzzing neighborhood of Chinatown.
How did it all start? Was it always a passion of yours, a hobby? How did it become a tangible reality? Take us through your journey.
I’ve always been a creative type. I initially found myself in a non-creative career in producing music videos, fashion films, TV commercials, and branded content. I was surrounded by people living out their creative passion, and I just needed to find my medium.
I’ve always been drawn to plants and florals for their beauty and calming nature. When floristry had a renaissance about 15 years ago, it brought to my attention that floristry could be a highly creative career. I dove into books, tried to get first-hand experience interning with other florists, and took an Ikebana class while traveling in Tokyo, which kickstarted my full-blown career pursuit. I was obsessed. I spent my spare time arranging what I could forage or taking home the leftover flowers from weddings. While still working in production, I started “La Bomba,” a side hustle while freelancing on weekend weddings during the summer. These experiences taught me the technique I needed, how to break the rules, and formed my floral style.
Describe some of the characteristics of your favorite plant.
I have a thing about all varieties of Fritillaria. This flower comes from the most delicate form to the largest and most robust (even in a checkerboard pattern), an all-in-one species in various colors. They all have the movement they evoke in common, and the flower heads are shaped like little bells. So idyllic as they sway in the wind, you could imagine little fairies living inside them.
What has been your most rewarding project? What made it special for you?
It's so rewarding to work with couples on their wedding day. I'm insanely honored, and when you're chosen for your particular floral style, it's a pinch-me moment every time we create an installation or tablescape, knowing that we've been given the creative freedom to do what we do best. It's gratifying to get that first-hand feedback.
What has been your most challenging experience in the work you do?
Nature brings a sense of calm to our sometimes chaotic lifestyles; stop and notice a flower change or a plant grow and unfurl a new leaf.Working with nature as a perishable medium presents its challenges, but within those challenges lies an insane beauty and impermanence that is fleeting and a good reminder to enjoy the small moments every day.
Do you think it is vital to preserve and study flora? Why?
Absolutely. They tell us the history of our planet as well as the future. Plants clean our air, provide pollen for bees and keep their ecosystem and ours flourishing. It is vital we preserve the integrity of flora and live harmoniously with nature, not only for its beauty but for our survival.
How do you see the relevance of Herbarium today? How do you see the world of Herbarium intertwining with our daily lives? Are there even direct links we do not see?
Herbaria provides a permanent record of our changing flora over time, documenting all plant species discovered so far, their variation, and their past and present distributions. We may have to draw on this history to form a plan for our future with this ever-changing climate.
Could you name five plants that play a vital role in our home and/or self-care routine?
Lavender, Cedar, Rosemary, Rose, Eucalyptus.