Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Anniversary Bill and Nancy

A couple of weeks ago, my friend, Bill, dropped by to ask me to provide a floral arrangement to for his sweet wife. They are celebrating many wonderful years of marriage. I decided to work up a design that would also be perfect for the Thanksgiving table, but you just can't forget that it's still about love--- hence the three seeds from a Love in a Puff vine....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wedding flowers- the Supporting Cast

The hanging strands of pieris and the ivory and burgundy blooms of hellebore are available in the garden by mid to late February. The silky soft buds of pussy willow start to open in March
This cascade bouquet includes hellebore, pussy willow and viburnum tinus from the garden.
These bright green euphorbia, soft pink cherry blooms, and blue muscari along with the Negrita tulips were gathered from the garden and woven into this ceremony design for Amanda and Jonanthan's wedding last March.
Sometimes brides will ask me, "Do you grow all your flowers?" And the answer is "No," but each year I work to grow more and more. And I am striving to have "garden additions" to add to my designs in every season. In addition to flowers, I also grow ornamental shrubs, herbs, and vines- most of my garden beds and borders are filled with plants offer something unusual or interesting to add to floral designs. Sometimes they are the stars in my designs, and sometimes they are the supporting cast. Flowers from Springwell Gardens are ideal for a vintage or garden chic design, and truly offer my brides and clients treasures to add to their floral arrangements that aren't easily found anywhere else. And who knows, maybe someday you will want to try your hand at growing a garden of your own.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Zinnias and a Wedding

Some of you may have noticed that a lot of the pictures I post of flowers have zinnias in them. I thought that I might share why I love these flowers so much, (and those dear brides who have already heard this story, please bear with me).
When I was the young bride-to-be, I knew the names of very few flowers. The only flowers that I was familiar with at the time were roses and carnations. So when I visited the florist to discuss wedding flowers, I thought that since my bridesmaids were wearing blue dresses, I would ask for carnations- dyed blue. Hmmm.... blue carnations.... I wasn't super enthusiastic, but I went ahead and requested them anyway.
As I was walking out of the shop, I thought, "Yuck, I don't want blue dyed carnations!" And then I remembered the many visits to my grandmother's garden and her little zinnias... I turned around and asked the florist, "Can I change the blue carnations to pink zinnias..."
And the dear woman said, "Why, yes."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Negrita Tulips in a ceremony arrangement
White and Apricot Parrot Tulips on the window sill
Last year I grew several varieties of tulips. One variety in particular, Negrita, was for a March wedding. I was so impressed with the color and the quality of the flowers that I planted tulips again last weekend for next March and April. I have several early varieties such as the double early tulips "Foxtrot"(a pale peachy pink) and "Monte Carlo"(fragrant light yellow blooms). A double flower is a flower that has lots of petals. Other varieties of early tulips that I planted are Triumph tulips, "Barcelona" (hot fuchsia), "Negrita" (a deep purple that I grew last year - see picture above), and "Wildhof" (blizzard white). I also have planted some later blooming varieties- well late blooming in the South means early April- the French Tulip "Menton" (a rose pink) and the Peony Flowering "Angelique" (a fragrant full bloom- lots of petals- that is pale rose pink with dark rose flushes). Now I am just praying that I have the same wonderful results as last year! I will keep you posted.
Align Center

Saturday, November 6, 2010

First Frost

Tonight we are expecting our first frost for the Triangle area, so yesterday I gathered the last of the flowers for the season. As these summer beauties bow out for the year, I am looking forward the subtle beauty of viburnum buds, bare twisty branches of curly willow and bright redtwig dogwood. Then the hellebores and Ice Follies narcissi will begin their show in mid February, and before we know it spring will be popping out all over the place.
Today I planted about 220 tulips, (in the rain) for my March weddings, and I will start batches of Paperwhites and some beautiful amaryllis to chase away the gray days of January. More about these later.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Erin McLean Events

A couple of weeks back I had the privilege of working on a wedding again with Erin McLean of Erin McLean Events, and I must say I have come to appreciate her ability to help couples negotiate the myriad of details involved in planning a wedding.
Erin truly listens to her clients. She pay attention to each individual's personality and style as well as the budget. Because she know and works with a wide variety of professionals in the wedding industry, not just a select few, (I am not the only floral designer she refers her clients to), she is able to steer couples toward wedding professionals that will best meet their needs.
Erin provides different service levels to match anyone's budget whether it is for the weekend of the wedding only, partial service and vendor recommendation, or full service. Full service means just what it says- helping couples with everything from budgeting to check list to vendor recommendations and interviews, as well as designing the event for your special day.
Think you can't afford a planner- think again. Erin can negotiate rates and make sure your money is spent with a purpose and not just frittered away. She can most definitely save you lots of money!
Check her out at:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Snipes Farm Wedding

I am so grateful to Jason at Jason Dail Photography for sending some wonderful pictures from Jennifer and Brian's wedding. He captured some great photos at the wedding in Chapel Hill and the reception at Snipes Farm in Carrboro. Happy Marriage to the newly wedded couple!!!