Saturday, April 30, 2011

And the Winner of the Rose Bouquet...Paula

Yes, there really is a Paula, and today is her Wedding Day!
Back in October I posted a picture of the rose bouquet that she had won from a drawing at the Southern Bridal Show last August. And here is a picture of the actual bouquet. She came by on Thursday to pick it up and was glowing because her wedding was just a couple of days away.
And today is the Day! Wishing you all the best on your wedding day, Paula!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wedding Flowers- Colors of Christmas with a touch of Pink!

This bouquet takes the classic Christmas colors of red and green and perks them up with PINK! It was one of the bouquets from the Bridal Show last week. It contains both large headed red roses and the smaller red spray roses, baby green hydrangea, (for December bouquets I would substitute antique green hydrangeas), yellow-tipped fronds of Chamaecyparis, and creamy green holly-like leaves of osmanthus. A spicy fragrance comes from fresh Rosemary. Two colors of pink stock and clover-like heads of dried gomphrena really set off the reds.
The velvety heads of red crested celosia are also dried flowers. There are many summer flowers that are perfect for drying and using later. This is a great way to add flowers to wedding designs that may be out of season. Check for posts later this summer on dried flowers!
This centerpiece design also features dried gomphrena and crested celosia. Red and pink roses play off the dried flowers and a variety of Christmas greens such as the Chamaecyparis, osmanthus, Rosemary and magnolia. The cube vase is wrapped with a brocade ribbon complete with a buttoned bow!
I think pink is a wonderful addition to the colors of Christmas!

DIY Wedding Flowers- Pressed Flowers

Pressed flowers are a wonderful way to add a lasting touch to your wedding decor! You can use them on invitations, place cards or to embellish pictures, your initials etc. And they can be done weeks AHEAD of time.
The flowers in the picture above are larkspur. They come in purples, lavenders, whites and pinks, and they will be coming into bloom in the Raleigh/ Cary area in the next few weeks. A good source for them would be flower vendors at your local Farmer's Market.
The first step is to remove the flowers and the ferny leaves and even the buds from the stems. Be sure to separate the flowers and lay them face down on several layers of paper such as newspaper. I also include the foliage and the flower buds- try to keep the flowers from touching each other. I cut the newspaper to fit my flower press, but you can put several layers of paper between the covers of a large heavy book. After you have added all the flowers you would like to use, cover them with several more layers of paper.
If you are using a large book, close the top cover over the papers and add some other books on top of this book so that the flowers will be pressed. I have a flower press that my husband made years ago by drilling holes in the four corners of two pieces of 12 x 12" plywood and adding 4 inch long bolts. I cut cardboard pieces that fit between the plywood boards and this is where I place the newspaper layers. I have about ten pieces of cardboard in my flower press and this allows me to press multiple layers of flowers. There are also flower pressing kits available at craft stores and online.
The picture above shows a gathering of new and old pressed flowers- I believe the pink larkspur is at least a year old.
I usually leave the flowers in the press for about two weeks, and then I inspect them to see if they are dried. If not, I close the press back up for a few more days. When they are ready to remove, I gently peel them off the newspaper and store them in a 2-4" tall cardboard box between sheets of paper. They will keep their color for about two years if stored in the dark.
Some of the best flowers for pressing in addition to larkspur, are pansies. Purples, oranges, and yellows hold their color the best. Blue and lavenders will fade, but are great if you only need the color for about six months.
The flowers on this letter "P" are purple larkspur and blue salvia- these are bedding plants that bloom from summer through fall.
The letter "S" has a yellow pansy, a red salvia floret and a larkspur bud.
Other flowers that are good for pressing are blue hydrangeas, baby oak leaves, red and purple verbena florets and dainty rose buds. For the rose buds, cut the flowers in half and put the cut side of the flower face down to press. Be sure to press foliage as well- pansy leaves, larkspur leaves and silvery leaves of Dusty Miller are some that press well.
Flowers may be added to papers with tiny dabs of white glue.
Please let me know if you have any questions- just email me at

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Southern Bridal Show & Expo

Last Sunday was the Southern Bridal Show & Expo at the Fairgrounds in Raleigh, NC. It was great to be able to meet so many brides up close and talk with them about their wedding flowers. I went with an eclectic garden look for my booth design and incorporated some truly one-of-a-kind containers and props that I offer to my brides from my studio. The colors of the linens from Connie Duglin ( set of off the designs beautifully.
Flowers such as columbine, euphorbia, anemones and wood hyacinths in colors of pinks, fuchsias, chartreuse, and blues were some of picks from the garden. I also wanted to show brides a great idea for a DIY- pressed flower pictures. I used them in the frames on the cocktail table and also on the letters that spell out SPRINGWELL above the back table. These would be perfect for place cards, framed art for the reception tables and so much more, and they can be done weeks ahead of time. I hope to have a post up about pressed flowers next week.
I love this close up that Christa of Christa Davidson Photography captured of flowers from the garden- ornithogalum, anemones and columbine along with Majolika roses from my vendor.
I am SOOO grateful to Christa for taking the time to photograph my booth at the Bridal Show last Sunday. She didn't hesitate when I asked her, (my own attempts were dark and blurry). So of course after the show, I checked out her website at I was greatly impressed with her style!
Next week I will have some outdoor pictures that I shot of individual pieces for the show and the DIY on pressed flowers.
Tomorrow is a day to reflect... See Holly Heider Chapple's post:, and Sunday is a day to Rejoice- He is Risen indeed!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Time Wedding Flowers in Hot Pink

The Southern Bridal Show & Expo was GREAT!!! I loved meeting lots of excited brides and some really fun wedding professionals too. The colors for the flowers I used included lots of bright hot pinks, fuchsias, yellows, corals and chartreuse. But I also included some soft pinks and blues as well. Last week's post featured flowers from my garden beds that I planned to use in some of my designs, and this week's first post shows some of those flowers off in this sweet bouquet. My favorite flower in this design is Bleeding Heart- it's the hanging strand of pink hearts.
This is the first year I have used Bleeding Hearts in a bouquet design, and I thought the flower held up very well. I would love to have a bride next April who would want to include it among the flowers in her bouquet! The tulips are the soft pink Foxtrot and the rich deep pink Barcelona. I plan to grow both of them again next year. Other flowers from the garden include the delicate blue hyacinthoide or bluebells and apple green hellebore.
Anemones from the garden were also featured in this bouquet- I loved having flowers from the garden in my spring floral designs for the Bridal Show!!!
Tomorrow I will have some actual pictures from the Bridal Show. I met the very talented Christa of Christa Davidson Photography at the Show. She's a wonderful young woman with an artist's eye- I loved her booth design! And she agreed to take some shots of my booth for the blog.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wedding Flowers from the Garden- Tulips Part II

Angelique Tulips are so lovely, and they smell like honey! They are one of the many varieties of Peony Flowering or Double Late Tulips. They bloomed a little early this year in my garden as did the Triumph tulips, because of the extra warm temperatures in March. I had tried this variety a few years ago, but was disappointed with them. I believe now it had a lot to do with the haphazard way that I planted them (too late), and also because I did not chill them. That year they started coming into bloom in late April and by then it was just too hot. This year I chilled the bulbs for about eight weeks and got them in the ground in early November. They performed beautifully! Next year I will definitely plant them again, (maybe around mid to late November).
This bouquet was also designed with bright pink ranunculus and the apple green flower heads of viburnum macrocephalum, commonly known as Chinese Snowball. These flowers grow on small bushy trees. The flower heads start out with tight lime green florets that gradually mature to light apple green, then finally large white flower heads. I love to use the tighter flower heads, but this is my next favorite stage.
This bouquet was a delight to create! I am looking forward to growing these tulips again next spring!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wedding Flowers from the Garden- Tulips Part l

What do you think? I am so excited to have tulips blooming now... well actually my tulips are coming to an end, but it has been wonderful these past few weeks to go to the garden and pick big, beautiful blooms in such luscious colors. And then there are the other spring flowers- muscari, euphorbia and pieris, not to mention hellebores which have been going strong for over a month. I am working hard to have a variety of blooms for my March and April brides- so if you are planning a wedding for spring of 2012- think Springwell Gardens!
These tulips are known as Triumph tulips, a cross between Darwin tulips and Early Tulips that produce nice fat blooms. This year they started their blooms a little early because of the record high temps. Normally they bloom around the last week of March into early April. Tulip bulbs are available to purchase from catalog vendors in late summer and they are shipped in late September. The key to having great tulips in the South is prechilling your bulbs for about ten to twelve weeks. So I usually plant my bulbs in late November through mid December.
The lovely dark blue flowers in the bouquet are known as muscari. These flowers come from small bulbs that are also planted in the late fall. These guys will multiply in the garden and are a wonderful welcome sight from mid to late March. They are not fussy like tulips. The lime green flowers that light up this bouquet are euphorbia. They came to my garden from my great friend, Karen (who is also responsible for the darling Love In A Puff pods that I use in my summer and fall designs).
So much is happening in the garden now. This week I have been planting summer seedlings in the garden beds: zinnias, gomphrena, celosia, Snow on The Mountain, craspedia, and a whole lot more. I can't wait to post pictures of these flowers in bouquets when they start to bloom.
Next week look for Tulips Part II- the lovely Peony Flowering Tulip known as Angelique.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wedding Flowers- Katie's bouquet in blue and white

I just wanted to post some pictures of the lovely bouquet that I designed for Katie who was married to Erik last Sunday. She wanted to go with a classic design of white flowers with just a touch of blue. I took a few shots of her bouquet before I added bound stems of dried baby's breath, thinking I would have time later to take more pictures of her bouquet as well as the bridesmaids' bouquets- I am sorry that I didn't have a chance to pull the camera out again.
Her bouquet was a dreamy cloud of white ranunculus, roses, lisianthus, stock and hydrangeas with soft blue delphinium florets peaking out. Katie and Erik had a beautiful day for their wedding, and I know that this sweet couple is so happy to be husband and wife!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Getting Ready for Katie and Erik's Wedding

The flowers have been conditioned and are waiting in the cooler or my studio- tomorrow I will begin to gather them up into bouquets and arrange the centerpieces, but most of my prep work for today has been done.
I met Katie and Erik back in January. I just love it when the guy comes to the floral consultations- I understand why most men don't want to come, but occasionally they do. I think Erik just wanted to come and support his fiancee' and also share some of his opinions too. That first meeting was a lot of fun.
The color palette is soft blues and creamy ivories and whites, perfect for early April.
The flowers include blue delphiniums- it's a gorgeous blue too! White larkspur, white and blue hydrangeas, white roses and white stock.
And to give it a personal touch- Katie sent over some dried baby's breath. The stems have been carefully separated and wired and will be added to all the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. The flowers should be lovely and I hope they will add a special touch to a very sweet wedding on Sunday!