The Language of ‘Floral Diplomacy’

As the former chief floral designer for the White House, Laura Dowling is an expert at using flowers to strike a tone and communicate messages, something she calls "floral diplomacy."

7 photos
The Washington Post/Getty Images
The White House/Getty Images
During the 2012 G8 Summit at Camp David, Laura Dowling set out a yellow bouquet, symbolizing friendship, trust and respect.
The Washington Post/Getty Images
"For me, floral diplomacy means that flowers are more than just decorative placements, that they are actually a very powerful tool for communicating diplomatic messages."
The Washington Post/Getty Images
A floral arrangement in the Red Room of the White House. According to petal parlance, pink blossoms represent youth, innocence and joy.
The Washington Post/Getty Images
A bouquet of roses for a 2010 state dinner at the White House. The message conveyed by white roses is of modesty and elegance, perfect for a state dinner.
The Washington Post/Getty Images
A pineapple arrangement made of hosta and lilies in the White House. Lilies are a symbol of humility and devotion.
The Washington Post/Getty Images
A floral arrangement in the East reception room of the White House. Bouquets filled with purple flowers represent accomplishment and admiration.
Contact Us