Lezlie Johnson is a Master Floral Designer and an Ikebana Sensei, Master of Ohara School of Ikebana and members of Ikebana International Society.
” As a designer I am responsible to uphold an ancient art,” Lezlie says. “For over 20 years I worked with masters, guiding me. ‘Listen to the flowers, look at them, they will tell you where they belong.'”
Lezlie has spent her lifetime with flowers. It began in Aptos, California, planting dahlias as a little girl with her Grandpa Tihista (his last name is Basque). Then a family trip to Disneyland few years later and a road trip to Canada that included a day in Butchart Gardens.
Lezlie has been a designer, a shop owner, Ikebana student and Instructor, and her collaborations include working with the fabulous event designers Illusions of Grandeur of Monterey and Preston Bailey’s design team. Her work has been featured in Bailey’s “Designing with Flowers,” and “Preston Bailey Flowers, Centerpieces, Place Settings, Ceremonies and Parties.”
Lezlie’s first experience with flowers
“It was my family’s first trip to Disneyland. The old brown Studebaker station wagon was about to be tested! Mom was finishing up with the packing, and Dad just returned from filling the Studebaker with gas. We were outside running around, excited and filled with anticipation. We were going to Disneyland and the new Space Exhibition. We all loaded into the car, and we were finally going!
“The drive was fun from Santa Cruz till about Bakersfield, when the car was sputtering and coughing badly. We had to stop and see what was what. We tried to be patient, we wanted Disneyland!
“The mechanic approached my parents, mumbled something about the carburetor being mucked up. After a while the mechanic came back and mumbled some more.
“Mom and Dad turned to ask me, ‘Lezlie, What were you doing before we left the house?’
“’Oh, I was picking roses, pretty little pink ones… I even put some in the gas tank so it would smell nice for our long trip!’
“It took an extra day getting to Disneyland, but I was never scolded. I have great loving and understanding parents.”