Spruce Flowers and Home

Amy Backman's secret garden in the city is poised to flourish.

It’s hard not to feel at home in Amy Backman’s new homage to modern floral design, Spruce Flowers and Home. Tucked into an emerging retail corner at 48th Street and Chicago Avenue, the shop’s aroma of fresh-cut blooms wafts onto the street, drawing in even the most curmudgeonly of passersby. For Backman, a former marketing manager at Thymes, it was never a question of if she’d open a flower boutique but rather when. The budding florist began working at a small flower shop when she was 16 years old, and her passion for floral design only grew over time. “It gets in your blood,” she says. So this past April, she handed in her heels for an apron and shears, and opened her flower design studio-cum-boutique.

Inside, stark white plaster walls—sparsely covered with pieces from local artists—and hardwood floors create a clean backdrop for seemingly endless arrangements of primarily locally sourced flowers, small items of home d├ęcor, and giftables perfect for last minute hostess offerings. The minimalist design aesthetic carries through to Backman’s workspace (her refurbished kitchen island) as well, with a vast array of bud vases and candles displayed on a teal credenza. Her design strategy was simple: “I wanted something that was second to the flowers,” she says. “I want to help people not feel intimidated by buying flowers—it doesn’t need to be just for special occasions; I want it to be a habit.” 4751 Chicago Ave., Mpls., 612-767-1101,