by Marisa Marcantonio

I just adore flowers, especially when the temperature outside is freezing. I have found a great substitute for the real thing: Tommy Mitchell's work. Creating tole flowers that look fresh and real takes true artistry. These are a welcome addition in the dark days of winter. Tommy Mitchell of North Carolina paints his tole, potted botanicals as nature created them, with bright colors and subtle variations. His love of gardens and southern living led this self- taught artist to the craft. These low- maintenance pieces always look good and never need replacing. Tommy can do special custom arrangements and the sky is the limit--is Orchids are sublime. Since the technique involves painting and shaping the flowers out of metal, these are not as delicate as porcelain--another reason they are easy to care for! From Palm Beach to Pasadena, clients order his pieces from his website and are thrilled with the long-lasting results.

White double-bloom English Garden Hollyhock

Coral double- bloom English Garden Hollyhock

Custom Orchids planted in a client's own vase.

Hyacinth come in a clay pot with an overlay of small stones.

Custom Lily of the Valley centerpiece in a client's own tureen.

Custom Hyacinth in a painted cachepot from a client.

Double- stemmed White Auricula in a painted pot and wire planter.

A custom double stem of Coral Auricula in a charming lattice pot.

White Auricula in a pot chosen for the flower.

Blue Auricula in the standard clay pot with a mossy overlay.