Florist Special With Gabriela Salazar of La Musa de Las Flores

Delicate and fragile, flowers gave her courage and resilience. Each step of the way, they guided her on the path to the woman she is today.

By: THURSD. | 24-01-2024 | 8 min read
Floral Designs Floral Education Interviews
Gabriela Salazar florist special header on Thursd

Gabriela Salazar began designing with flowers nearly a decade ago, after falling in love with them while studying architectural interiors in London. When she returned to Mexico, she searched for the flowers that had captivated her, but couldn't find them in Mexico City. She relocated from the city to the mountains to be surrounded by nature. In Valle de Bravo, the passionate floral designer has created an intentional, breathtaking garden and business that inspires her design work.

Everything About La Musa de Las Flores

In this week's florist special, Gabriela Salazar of La Musa de las Flores takes over with her series of romantic, lush floral designs that have made flower lovers from all over the world fall completely in love with flowers, even more than they already were. She owes her effortless style to nature and growing her own flowers. While in the garden, she observes the contours of the plants and trees, noting their effortless movement and soft, graceful forms. She incorporates these garden observations into her floral design work.


Gabriela Salazar in her flower garden
Gabriela Salazar in her own flower garden in Valle de Bravo, Mexico


Gabriela has developed something she calls 'flowers from the heart', in which the flowers continuously guide her, by being fully present in her work, both in the garden and in the studio. With flowers in mind, she creates rivers of color and textures, layering movement with delicate florals to add softness and grace to all of her arrangements.


Gabriela Salazar of Musa de las Flores
Gabriela Salazar teaching in her Heartfelt Floristry sessions


The renowned floral designer credits her garden with helping her redefine herself. She planted a garden, and the garden helped her discover her path and place in the world. Salazar firmly believes that flowers are not only beautiful to arrange, but they also teach you patience, kindness, resilience, and grace, which are invaluable life lessons. In a special interview, she shares some of the highlights of her career, inspiration, and where it all started.


Dahlia picking and dahlia season at La Musa de las Flores garden
Dahlia picking and dahlia season at La Musa de las Flores' garden


Gabriela Salazar Shares How and Where it All Began

Gabriela's mother and grandmother instilled in her a love of flowers from an early age. She is now passionate about teaching others how to grow and design flowers, which is why she founded Heartfelt Floristry, a floral design school where students from all over the world can learn her intentional, sustainable floral design style.


La Musa de las Flores studio
La Musa de las Flores' studio


In more detail, she proudly shares:

"My journey as a professional florist started, officially, six years ago, but really, it all began in my childhood. My mom used to show me how each flower, stem, and petal would transform as the days passed. Each day revealed a different sense of movement from the next. We would notice how, even when they belonged to the same variety, each had its unique beauty. My mom showed me how to see the beauty in flowers at their full bloom, but also as they age, the wilting stage revealing another charming angle. The closer you become to flowers, the better you become at discovering each blooms' likes and needs. What unfolds is a fascinating journey where floristry has nothing to do with being mechanical but is, instead, the opposite. Each flower dictates to you, step by step, the process of creating an arrangement."

The Meaning Behind Heartfelt Floristry

During the interview, Gabriela talks about heartfelt floristry, it is a concept she loves to share with the entire world through her creations. What does that mean to her?

"My approach to flowers is very simple, and the first thing you need to do is begin to see flowers in a new way. This is the first step to start practicing Heartfelt Floristry. You might wonder what this has to do with floral design… Well, it has everything to do with it! When you look at flowers in this way, you start treating them kindly, you nurture them differently, and this starts to impact the way you design. It’s as simple as that. This is the fundamental step for transforming your designs into soft, romantic, and effortless."


Gabriela Salazar


What Does She Try to Accomplish by Growing Her Own Flowers?

Flowers are evidently her world and her passion and there's nothing  La Musa de las Flores enjoys more than growing her flowers in her patio. It's a sacred space for Gabriela.


Chrysanthemums grown in Gabrielas garden
Chrysanthemums grown in Gabriela's garden


"Here in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, I have a small cut flower garden on 1/3 of an acre of land. But when I first moved here, in 2014, I didn't know anything about growing. Still, my desire to cultivate my flower garden helped me overcome my fears, and I found the confidence to grow. I bought seeds and tubers and simply started, learning along the way. It’s been a big learning curve, and alongside the mistakes, I have discovered a whole new way of looking at floristry. By growing my flowers, I get to witness their life cycle; how they change color, size, and texture, and what they like and don’t. I can observe the flowers' relationship with each other, how long they live, and how to take better care of them."


Bouquet done with the first dahlias grown in Gabrielas garden
Back in 2016, this bouquet was done with the first dahlias grown in Gabriela's garden


For Her Design Studio La Musa de las Flores, She Treats Her Flowers Differently

Gabriela shares:

"Totally. The more you understand your flowers, the better you will treat them. You give them a clean cut to survive properly, you slide the stems gently into your container, you give them space to breathe, and you treat your flowers with respect. They will have a longer vase life because of that. I will start my design by creating a sculptural shape with foliage, I allow the flowers to guide the arrangement, using a filler flower to set the color palette. I then allow each flower to have its own space to breathe inside the arrangement, creating rivers and waves of colors and textures – layers adding movement – before finishing with delicate and soft stem florals to add organic flow softness, and a graceful dancing shape. When I'm arranging the centerpieces on the tables, I change every flower that's not shining anymore. My clients know me for my delicate touch and my perfection."


La Musa de las Flores in her element
La Musa de las Flores in her element


January is a Time of Promise at La Musa de las Flores

In her divine garden, January is a month of promise because Gabriela and her team clear, clean, prune, and water as needed, but most importantly, they wait. It is the coolest month of the year, and the Earth is resting. A few ranunculi are producing shy buds here and there, but the beautiful flowers they expect in the spring are still babies. Gabriela loves to trust nature and be patient while enjoying the crisp winter mornings. The clear skies bring hope for the new year and January is also my favorite month because it includes her birthday. Along with her birthday comes another anniversary deserving a celebration because ten years ago, she came home to Mexico from England and settled in this corner of Valle de Bravo to grow her own flowers.


Gabriela in her world of flowers


Inspiringly she expresses:

"Now I realize that my flowers were also looking after me. Each time I felt frustrated, just about to give up, they stepped in –growing, budding, blossoming—despite my many beginner’s mistakes. Sometimes, I almost heard them whisper: it would be okay. I would also heal and grow and change, just like they did. Delicate and fragile, they gave me courage and resilience. Each step of the way, they guided me on the path to the woman I am today."

People Visit Her Farm to Heal Through Flowers

Over the years, many women have visited Gabriela's garden. Some want to learn a trade, while others seek inspiration. Some have experienced grief and loss, while others are seeking to rediscover themselves. After a few days, a noticeable change occurs because it is easily noticeable how they move more freely and appear happier in their skin. A different light shines on their faces. Only a flower, with its infinitely delicate beauty, possesses the incredible ability to heal.


The power of flower through the eyes of Gabriela Salazar

Of course, the road is not without its ups and downs. Care, compassion, and dedication are required, not only for her flowers but also for ourselves. Salazar shares that having humility is very important to accept that we do not control everything but she is confident in one thing: flowers will show us the way, both to their secret design and to the infinite beauty within themselves.


Healing through flowers by la Musa de las Flores


To see more of the magical and incredibly beautiful yet creative world of Gabriela, visit La Musa de las Flores' Instagram account and Gabriela Salazar's website.


Photos by La Musa de las Flores.


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