Former White House florist to speak at CC

Former White House florist and Centralia College Distinguished Alumna honoree Laura Dowling will share behind-the-scenes glimpses of what it was like to decorate the White House for official state dinners and other events, including the annual White House Christmas, at 6 p.m. Sept. 17 in the TransAlta Commons on the Centralia College campus.

She will share tips for creating “the ultimate bouquet” and guests will get a sneak preview of her new book Wreaths, which is due out in October. Her books will be available for purchase and signing.

Seating is limited, so guests are asked to reserve their place in advance online at or by contacting the Centralia College Foundation at foundation@centralia.eduor 360-623-8942.

Laura Dowling served as Chief Floral Designer at the White House from 2009 until 2015. As creative director for flowers and décor, she managed White House floral design for thousands of official and private events, including state dinners, parties, receptions and large-scale installations, such as the Fourth of July, Halloween, and the iconic White House Christmas. Her lush and lively floral creations also graced the White House state rooms, East and West Wing offices, Camp David, and the Presidential private residence. As Chief Floral Designer, Laura launched innovative strategic partnerships with the nation’s top artists and designers, White House policy staff, including the Office of Science and Technology, and Presidential Innovation Fellows, creating imaginative, cutting-edge décor and flowers.

Her first book, Floral Diplomacy at the White House (March 2017),describes her approach for creating inspiring White House flower and décor, while A White House Christmas (including floral design tutorials) (October 2017), gives readers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into decorating the White House for Christmas – an elaborate process that involves 55+ trees, miles of garland, dozens of wreaths, and more than 100 volunteers working on special hand-made projects and décor. Her third book Wreaths (with how-to tutorials)launches a new series of floral and design books (all published by Stichting Kunstboek).

Dowling is a 1979 graduate of Centralia College and the 2013 Distinguished Alumna.


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