Former White House Florist Laura Dowling has written a new book that The New York Times recently characterized as filled with “juicy details about decorating drama at her former place of employment, along with anecdotes about flower arrangements and craft projects.”
“Floral Diplomacy at the White House,” published in March by Stichting Kunstboek, details Dowling’s six-year tenure at the White House, including her reality TV-like interview process in 2009.
“After an eight-month process of applications and interviews, three florist-finalists were sequestered separately on the ground floor of the Executive Mansion for four hours,” according to the Times story. “During that time, they had to fully deck out a table for a State Department dinner, and create an arrangement for the Blue Room and another for the … Oval Office for which, Ms. Dowling said, she used ‘orange and amber, and a modern cube vase.’ She added: ‘When Mrs. Obama came in and talked about this piece, I noted that if I added blue it would be a Chicago Bears theme. She said, ‘The president would like that.’”
Dowling left the job in 2015, under unexplained circumstances that generated media buzz.
Read more about the book and what Dowling had to say about her departure, and her time on the job, including how she tailored designs to suit foreign dignitaries.