Floral arranger Lilee Fell is inspired from the East End’s plant diversity and her clientele.
Sometimes a career stems from innate and inherited talent. Such is the case with third-generation flower arranger Lilee Fell. “I paint and curate with flowers,” she says of her work. “Both my grandmothers, as well as my mother, were flower arrangers.” Gleaning inspiration from her East End clientele, Fell says she is also stimulated by the Hamptons itself. “My clients and their homes influence my work, but seeing the diversity of plants and trees out here informs the full, lush arrangements we do,” Fell says.
Four years ago, with new business partner Adrian Carrello, Fell moved Lilee Fell Flowers to a studio on Butter Lane in Bridgehampton. “We are blessed to work out here because of the amazing homes and interiors of the Hamptons,” she says, adding that nothing is more satisfying for her or her clients than when they first see the flower arrangements and décor she has created.
Fell loves designing arrangements for events, especially the client tables she creates for the Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic at the end of the summer. But even though Fell lives and works in one of the most beautiful places in the world, that doesn’t stop her from traveling internationally for her clients, attending flower shows as far away as Amsterdam to see the newest breeds of flowers, meeting with growers in places like the Caribbean, and drawing inspiration internationally for the year to come.
When Fell had a client who wanted an all-orchid theme for a birthday party for 80 people, she scanned the globe to fulfill the request. “We imported hot-colored orchids from Thailand and Indonesia and the most sublime silk cloths from India,” Fell explains. “The lighting was stunning, with bright-colored parasols and strands of orchids dripping from the ceiling.” Elephants made from flowers flanked the entryway, and the walkways were lined with huge cylinders with flowers sunk and illuminated brilliantly from the bottom.
Ever discreet, Fell demurely declines to reveal her clients’ names. However, she does admit that one over-the-top celebrity wedding took her staff five days just to drape the tents. Panels along the walkways were crisscrossed with ribbons tucked with gardenias, and every table had white sweet peas imported from Italy.
Recently, Fell bought a turn-of-the-century home in Sag Harbor village with a pre-existing garden filled with perennial sweet peas, old fashioned lilies, antique roses, viburnum, and clematis. “I watched it last year to see what came up, and I’m editing it this year,” she says. To start, she planted close to 1,000 crocuses, tulips, daffodils, and lilies from “within a 50-year period from when the house was built.” She did some flower research and planted bulbs whose origins dated mostly from 1875 to 1925. Yes, that shows some of Fell’s floral obsessive side—which works to her benefit as a demanding floral arranger. 367 Butter Lane, Bridgehampton, 537-0413