We dedicated each week of the holidays to a different kind of giving, telling stories of people who give differently, and giving our customers a few special gifts of our own.


Dec 18, 2017

By Any Other Name

The Putnams know flowers aren’t built to last, but their beautiful arrangements are not easily forgotten. By Stefan Marolachakis. Photographed by Bryan Derballa

Working on something for days or weeks only to watch it disappear before your eyes in a matter of hours could sound maddening to some, but for Darroch and Michael Putnam—the married couple behind the NYC-based floral design company Putnam & Putnam—it’s actually one of their favorite things about their job. “I love that about flowers,” Michael says. “I think it’s really special that something so beautiful has such a quick expiration date. You learn to cherish something so much more when you know it’s not going to last very long.”


While they dedicate their workdays to experiences they know are inherently finite, they see their ultimate job as crafting enduring moments. “My favorite thing about the work,” Michael says, “is creating a memory for a client.” As for Darroch, he takes a special thrill in the moment of the unveiling. “It’s really incredible to be able to see how excited and happy they are,” he says. Michael nods in agreement. “That’s the best part of this job, for sure,” he adds. “If you can make somebody cry it’s even better,” he notes, laughing. “Then we know we did our job well.”

If you can make somebody cry it’s even better. Then we know we did our job well.|Michael

Even though they were working in different industries when they first met, the pair instantly knew they wanted to team up. “We always found ways to collaborate on projects,” Darroch says. “It just clicked so quickly with the flower business because we work really well together.” The partnership actually materialized quite organically: While working in interior design, Michael had picked up flowers as a hobby. He’d make arrangements at home that Darroch, a photographer, would then shoot. Michael began posting the images on Instagram, which led to requests to decorate small dinner parties, and eventually small weddings—from there, as Darroch says, “the whole thing just kind of snowballed.”

When they’re not shuttling between weddings at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills and the Plaza in New York City, you can find the in-demand duo installing their work at high-profile events like this year’s Dior gala at the Guggenheim museum, or decorating the runway for fashion shows by the likes of designer Jason Wu. Outside of their usual duties, the pair are making an effort this holiday season to support the work of their favorite local charitable organization, the Ali Forney Center. “It’s an organization that supports gay homeless youth in New York,” says Darroch, “not only providing a space for them to come in off the street at night, but also helping with solutions for long-term housing and an education. If you want to get your high school diploma, or get more into a trade, they help facilitate that.”

The Putnams are also currently at work on a new book for Phaidon which Darroch describes as the ultimate flower guide. And what tips might they have for the amateur flower enthusiasts looking to spread a bit of joy and beauty this holiday season? “If you don’t know anything about flowers and you want to throw something together that will look great,” Michael says, “stick to one variety of flower. Try to find something special and unique that you don’t see everywhere, even if it’s just greenery. Put it in a beautiful pitcher, or any pretty vase you have. Simple is better if you don’t really know what you’re doing.”

If you don’t know anything about flowers and you want to throw something together that will look great, stick to one variety. Simple is better if you don’t really know what you’re doing.|Michael

It takes just a quick glance at the distinctively beautiful and painterly arrangements on display on the Putnams’ Instagram page to see that the pair have a special shared sensibility. When Darroch mentions that he thinks everything they create “has a romance to it,” it becomes ever more apparent that their love for one another really does color their work. “We’re partners in life,” Darroch says. “We push each other and inspire each other. That’s really important.”

Give the Gift of Harry's

No matter the time of year, Harry’s is always a welcomed present.