For the past decade, a few of the nation’s most talented designers have transformed a 5-acre plot in western Michigan into a floral fairyland, which has enthralled thousands of locals every fall. Known as “Nature’s Creative Edge,” the event has benefited various organizations, including local charities and the American Institute of Floral Designers.
And it’s all because Bob Friese, AIFD, 80, decided to host a design class on his property in Fruitport, Michigan, and enthusiasm just grew.
On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the Michigan Floral Foundation welcomed Friese into its Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Michigan State University.
Friese has spent more than half a century imparting his industry knowledge. He began teaching and mentoring students at his floral school in Chicago. Later, he took an active role in the Great Lakes Floral Expo, teaching classes at the conference and at his home studio
Active as a leader and volunteer in the American Institute of Floral Designers, he received the group’s Award of Distinguished Service in 2014. He has also been honored with the Michigan Floral Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Alice Waterous, AIFD, presented Friese with the award. Pete Samek, AIFD, Laura Watkins Parker, and James Lutke shared their personal “stories of Bob.”