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Native Nashvillian Troy Villager has always felt a connection to nature. Growing up, he was fortunate to live near Radnor Lake, and he and his friends spent hours playing in the woods. It was here that his love for the outdoors and flowers began. Also during this time, a neighbor taught him how to make floral arrangements with the blooms from her garden and the woods that were his playground. These experiences made Troy want to be a professional landscape photographer when he grew up; in fact, his first job was as a salesclerk at Dury’s camera store in Green Hills. He eventually pursued a career in real estate, but he never forgot the things he learned from his neighbor. Troy started gardening and practicing floral design in his free time and launched T Villager Designs on the side, thanks to encouragement from family and friends. In 2017, he decided to pursue it full time.

Today, Troy and his team are known for creating gorgeous floral designs for weddings, corporate events, fundraisers and more, and Troy has also earned an acclaimed reputation for his holiday decorations. He already had a passion for it, but after one of his best friends asked for help decorating her tree, word spread, and “it became a thing, a big thing.” So big that Troy is a two-time winner of the International Holiday Christmas Tree Decorating Contest sponsored by the Holiday & Decorative Association. With the season fast approaching, it should be no surprise that we found Troy decorating a client’s home, where we learned more about his favorite flowers, biggest challenges and what he hopes never changes about Nashville.

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What is in your vases and pots at home? This week, we have white Gladiolus, Dendrobium orchids and Phalaenopsis orchids. In our gardening pots, we always have a table full of Phalaenopsis orchids.

Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere I can! I love nature and the great outdoors. I always have my eyes open for discovering new looks and extraordinary designs within nature, as well as when attending other events, both locally and when we travel.

What are your favorite flowers for each season? Ranunculus and peony in the spring. In the early summer, it’s poppies and garden roses. In the fall, local dahlias.

What’s the most challenging job you’ve done so far? I had the opportunity to work with a world-renowned event planner, Karen Tran. While it was a defining moment in my career, it was also a challenging one. I was working with a team of 36 creatives from around the country that had never met before. This job required a great deal of communication and patience among the entire team, especially because we were working under a tight timeline. This kind of scenario is when you are really tested in the industry and when you are reminded of your passions and why you set out to make this a career. I am fueled and inspired by other talented designers, and it was an honor to work with Karen, who is highly regarded in the industry.

If season and cost were no object, what would be in your dream arrangement? If cost were no object, I would incorporate king Protea with peonies, Ranunculus and garden roses designed in a contemporary fashion.

When you have out-of-town guests visiting, where do you take them? Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, Frist Art Museum, Tennessee State Museum, and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

What’s your favorite restaurant? I love Margot in East Nashville and Sperry’s on the west side. At Margot, I get whatever the waiter recommends; I’m a sucker for a good opinion. And at Sperry’s, the rib-eye and salad bar.

What’s your favorite locally made product? Anything from Thistle Farms

What’s your favorite local event? The American Artisan Festival

What’s one thing you want to cross off your bucket list? Becoming a Chapel Designer. I was supposed to go to NYC for the workshop when COVID hit. Holly Chapple has been one of my inspirations and idols for several years.

What’s the one thing you hope never changes in Nashville? Radnor Lake