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One of John's earliest memories is getting in trouble at a very young age for picking the neighbor's flowers, proof that flowers always have been and probably always will be central to his life. Every job he held in high school and college was someway involved with cultivating and nurturing the earth. John became a professional in the garden and landscape design industry and established himself as one of the finest gardeners in the area. While working in this field, his work would evolve toward using those things which he had grown. Whether it was in creating beautiful floral designs from his client's gardens and landscapes or organizing the details for a fine party, John's talents in these fields became sought after more and more.


Eventually the landscape business and the floral design on the side outgrew his home, so John and his wife, LaDonna, decided to try their hand at floral design full time. Thus, BitterSweet Garden and Floral Design was born in 1997. BitterSweet opened as a full service floral shop, sending out unique floral creations and laying the foundations of a signature style that has now become instantly recognizable.


The unmistakable artistry and unflagging quality of the designs developed a high demand and a clientele that expects only the best. BitterSweet designed for many local and statewide events including the annual Lawrence Arts Center Art Auction, the State of Kansas Territorial Sesquicentennial Gala Celebration, and several events for the University of Kansas Chancellors Club and Alumni Association.


In the early days, an occasional wedding or a large scale event design was the norm, but even when creating a wedding, BitterSweet delivered a distinctive signature. Unlike more traditional flower shops, BitterSweet demonstrated that there should be more to wedding flowers than carnations and roses. Brides were exposed to a huge array of blooms like exotic orchids and tropical flowers, calla lilies of all colors and sizes, and to the opportunity to have tulips or hydrangeas at any time of the year. When a bride would bring in a picture of what she wanted, whether of a bouquet, a chuppa, or a couture collection of centerpieces, BitterSweet was committed to doing all in their power to make her dreams come true. With this approach, BitterSweet developed a reputation for being the finest designer in the area.


Over the years, the need for expertise in full scale event and wedding design became prevalent and, because of the commitment to doing whatever necessary, BitterSweet Garden and Floral Design found itself filling that void by default. Thus, in 2005, the decision was made to officially fill that need and BitterSweet Floral and Design, Inc. was created. For any bride and groom or host for an event, whether small or large, BitterSweet is the exceptional resource for all needs, including venues, linens, rental items, caterers, cakes, chocolates and, of course, sophisticated floral artistry and the most refined style and elegant designs for the whole event.