It was so exciting to see some great creations happen when my daughters and daughter-in-laws got together to design wreaths for their homes.
We used purchased standard wreaths from the wholesaler and yes, the grocery stores, and embellished them with fresh gatherings from the garden and nature walks, and came up with some great designs!
There are so many foliage plants that look stunning in winter designs. Here are a few from the beds at Springwell Gardens- fresh nandina, Goshiki False Holly, blue cypress, Threadleaf False Cypress and Gold Crippsii Chamaecyparis. There were also some nandina and holly berries as were as nature gatherings. Gingko leaves both natural and gilded are a favorite of mine this year and so are the cotton bolls that Wilson was able to pick on a farm site he visits. Red chili peppers went into a wreath for my Mom's door and a centerpiece design for my mother-in-law.
And here are the fabulous results!!!
My favorite part is the time spent together with them all. Natalie had a conflict so we got together later to do hers, and that was good too!
I am looking forward to making this a yearly tradition!!!
October is the first month that comes to mind when you think of peak fall colors, but it really depends on what part of the country you live in.
Here in North Carolina, peak fall colors start around mid October in the mountains, and work their way into our area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, NC) a few weeks later. Which means those radiant blazes of scarlet, yellow and orange don't really show up until November. In fact the most spectacular colors for autumn for our area often occur between November 7th and November 15th.
So if you are planning a wedding in the Raleigh, Durham, or Chapel Hill area, and you really want those fabulous fallcolors, think November!
Katie and Jon wanted a softer color palette for their November wedding. One that included creams, olive greens, ivories and accents of gold.
And textural elements that would be nestled within the flowers. Katie wanted cotton bolls. I had purchased some through my wholesaler, but days before the wedding my husband came home from work with gleanings fresh from a farmer friend's field.
Other textural elements such as dried nigella pods from late spring and creamy beige stems of Sweet Everlasting gathered in September were included as well. A collar of rich, dark leaves of Fragrant Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans) encircled her bouquet and provided a delicate scent.
Boutonnieres for the groom and groomsmen featured versions of these elements as well as white gomphrena blooms, (picked just before our first frost).
Since gold was an accent color for the wedding, I called Katie at the last moment to see about adding some to her flowers...
She thought that would be fine. So Gingko leaves picked earlier in the week from a nearby tree were gilded and placed into her bouquet.
Sometimes the garden gatherings are not abundant, but that makes them even more special. I would love to help Katie learn to grow some of these flowers some day... And show Jon the perfect spot to plant a Fragrant Tea Olive of their own!!!
It's exciting each time I put the finishing touches on a bride's bouquet, turn it around to inspect it to make sure it's just what she wanted, and when it is, to let out that grateful sigh....
Each bouquet is so different from all the others, because each bouquet is for that one special bride.
It starts with that first meeting where we talk flowers and styles and what she likes and what she doesn't, and little touches that will make that bouquet HER bouquet.
It's really great when I am growing flowers for her. Sometimes actually starting the seeds or planting the bulbs with her wedding day in mind. Or maybe it's a special flower or vine we discover together when we step outside to view the gardens.
It's a privilege and it's so rewarding, and I am so thankful for each woman who asks me to make her bridal bouquet!
Pansies have been at one of my favorite garden centers in Raleigh, NC for a few weeks now. It's Campbell Road Nursery, just off Tryon Road. Their selection is incredible, from the large flowered varieties to my favorites- the violas and pannolas in all kinds of delicious colors.
And now is a great time to get them planted in the garden!
I plan to have a nice selection of colors- plums, purples, lavenders, and rosy pinks. There will also be some blues and yellows as well.
As this year's growing season winds down, the garden beds at Springwell will made ready for winter and early spring blooming plants such as anemones and ranunculus, and I plan to have lots of pockets saved for pansies too!
They really make a lovely statement in bouquets and centerpiece designs!
My husband Wilson made some wooden boxes a couple of years ago for our daughter's wedding, and I have loved designing with them ever since.
So whenever I see boxes at a thrift shop or flea market, I grab them up. They are the perfect containers for couples who want to bring a rustic elegance to their reception designs.
These centerpiece arrangements created for a summer bridal shower were filled with flowers from the garden such as Queen Ann's Lace, Lamb's Ear, Love-in-a-Puff vine, Mountain Mint, zinnias, dahlias and more.
Below is a sewing machine box filled with zinnias and black-eye Susans for an inspiration shoot by Blest Photography.
And for the foodie- kale, purple hull crowder peas, and pattypan squash add a playful touch to this fall design.