Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Summer Bouquet- Red Zinnias from the Garden

The red zinnias are really making their presence known in the garden.
These lovely blooms are from a second planting of zinnia seeds- Yes, you can plant many different types of seeds several times in the growing season. The seeds for this second set of flowers were started in mid May. I also have some June starts and some July starts that are still in small pots. I have found that I am much more successful starting the seeds in small containers instead of ground sowing. This way I can keep them AWAY from PESTS, and move them out of the sun when the temps get really hot
The zinnias were paired with other picks from the garden such as the antique green heads of hydrangea, scented geranium leaves and several strands of Love-In-A-Puff vines.
A single flax leaf wrap adds the finishing touch!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wedding Bouquet of Hot Summer Colors!

This sizzling bouquet says it all- it's HOT!!!!!
These are the very bold colors of summer- the burning red zinnias and the molten gold rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susans) and shimmering yellow Mexican tulip poppies.
Keep theses plants watered and they will give you beautiful blooms all summer. For its first year in my garden, the Mexican tulip poppy is holding its own- even in this kind of heat.
These blooms look wonderful nestled in with antique green hydrangeas, spires of African Blue basil and spicy scented geraniums. Perfect for the bride who is daring enough to get married in July or August!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Romance in the "Puff"

There are several flower names that conjure up images of love and romance...
"Cupid's Dart" and "Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate" or "Love In A Mist", but one of my absolute FAVORITES is Love-In-A-Puff . And the name really says it all... just look at what is inside those dainty little puffs- Hearts!!!
The botanical name is Cardiospermum halicacabym, and it is an annual vine that bears oodles of green puffs from mid summer through fall. Each bright, airy puff holds three black seeds, and each black seed is imprinted with a tiny cream colored heart. Yes, love is definitely in the puff!
And of course I think that carrying these delicate little beauties in your wedding bouquet is the epitome of ROMANCE... then save the seeds and plant your own Love-In-A-Puff vines!
They will definitely find their way into in several of my upcoming summer and autumn weddings this year!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

From the Garden Today

Last week we received about two inches of rain. It was truly a blessing, and I am very grateful that the Lord sent it our way!!!
So there are still flowers to pick even in this very HOT, HOT weather. Some of the foxgloves that weren't mature enough to give springtime flowers are pushing up short spires now- I think they are still very pretty. And Black-eyed Susans are in their glory now. I am sorry that I didn't plant more of them.
I have two colors of zinnias that I am keeping my eye on- Salmon Rose and Creamy Yellow. Katherine and Jared have an upcoming October wedding, and there will be some softer muted autumn tones added to the color palette. I started a new batch of seeds that will hopefully give plants that will be blooming well then.
Here are some more Mexican Tulip Poppies with some purple magenta gomphrena in the background.
Summer flowers are a rich mix of saturated reds, oranges, and yellows with mellow pinks, creams and lavenders. There is a little something for everyone!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunshine in My Garden

Each year I try to add something new to the gardens. This year one of the new flowers started from seed was a delicate beauty that looks like a drop of sunshine.
This flower is listed with the poppies in the "Select Seeds Antique Flowers" catalog, (first learned about this company that specializes in heirloom seeds in 1994 from "Country Living Gardener Magazine"- still have my copy). The flower seeds are Hunnemania fumariifolia and this little treasure is called Mexican Tulip "Sunlite" Poppy. I had hoped that these flowers would be blooming in time for Melissa and Ryan's early June wedding, but they didn't start up until a couple of weeks later.
Sooooo... I am hoping to add them to some of the reception designs for Meredith and Casey's late July wedding. Maybe someday her Dad can teach her how to grow some of her own, (I understand that he's an avid gardener).
In this photo taken by Brad Fogleman, Mexican poppies are part of a mixed bouquet from the garden with Kimberly Queen fern, yarrow, tiny stems of pink larkspur, foxglove, gomphrena and Neon dianthus.
With new seed starts, I have learned not to go overboard- some turn out to be real duds! So I only have about six of these Mexican Poppy plants. Next year I will definitely make room for more. The great thing about antique or heirloom flowers is that they are open pollinated and should produce seeds that I can use next year.
Be sure to check out Select Seeds at:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Getting Ready for a September Wedding

Mikki and Hector will be getting married this September. I am SO EXCITED for them! I met Mikki last summer at the Southern Bridal Show & Expo, (can't believe how quickly that time has past!) She loves all things from the garden and then some, so there will be flowers from my garden beds as well as timeless favorites such as roses and freesia and lisianthus. The palette will be creams, greens, purples, and lavenders.
So one of the fun elements that will find its way into the the designs is Love-in-a-Puff. The vines are just starting up and should have plenty of "Puffs" by early September. I plan to share more about this vine later in the week.
Other flowers from the garden will be purple zinnias.
And lots of fragrance such as the scented geranium above, rosemary and spicy African Blue Basil- I just love it!!!
Last week I put together this preview design, and I believe Mikki was quite pleased.
Here's a close-up of Love-in-a-Puff, purple gomphrena and zinnias.
Corsages for the Moms will be designed as dainty nosegays. This one is sporting dried Love-in-a-Mist pods and dried dock, as well as gomphrena, stock, rosemary, black Mondo grass, dusty miller and purple tradescantia leaves. Not your typical corsage!
Boutonnieres will be fun too. Here are two that Mikki liked- one with purple gomphrena, green holly berries, horsetail and a dried poppy pod, and the other has a silky clematis pod, Fireworks gomphrena and African Blue basil stems. I hope to keep the actual groom's bout a surprise until the wedding day.
Speaking of grooms- Hector has come with Mikki to both of our floral consults, and he seems genuinely interested. And Mikki has also brought her parents and sister- the whole family seems to be so excited about this wedding! I have loved opportunity to meet with them and check out the garden beds with her Dad and such.
The wedding is less than two months away, and I am praying the garden will provide some WONDERFUL things for this very special day!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Weddings- CeCe and Lee- The Real Pictures

I met CeCe at the Southern Bridal Show & Expo last August. And I was so excited to hear how much she liked the garden style that I bring to my floral designs. When she and her mom, Cile, and sister, Lori, came for the floral consultation it was like visiting with old friends. Pinks and yellows and fresh picked greens that would be found in a springtime garden were the colors that she chose for her late March wedding. And flowers such as anemones and ranunculus and tulips which just shout SPRING were perfect for the different designs. So when I was deciding what tulips to plant for my spring garden beds- I made sure there were yellows and pinks in the mix.
And then there was this one little flower that I didn't think I would be able to get in early spring, but it was very important to CeCe- Billy Buttons. These are summer flowers around here, but my vendor said "No Problem". So a matching Billy Button found its way into Lee's boutonniere as well, (love the tie!).
And because they were so MUCH fun to work with- they found their way into my garden too!!!
CeCe's bouquet was filled with soft white ranunculus, pale pink lisianthus, dark pink anemones, fragrant rosemary, glossy camellia leaves, and of course Billy Buttons.
Her bridesmaids carried bright yellow tulips and mums, hot pink stock and pale pink tulips, waxflowers, rosemary and camellia leaves.

The posies for the pews were a gathering of pink larkspur and stock, yellow kerria japonica and rosemary wrapped with ivory ribbons.
These flowers as well as bridal wreath spirea were included in the gorgeous wreaths that CeCe's Mom created. Kerria japonica is a sweet puff of yellow that almost glows along the lime green stems.
Angelique tulips, cherry blossoms and Kerria blooms were used in the reception decor.
Such a sweet couple... and now they are busy making a new life for themselves at the BEACH!!! How fun! CeCe and Lee- I wish you all the best as you move into your fourth month of marriage.
PS: Aren't these pictures awesome! Be sure to check out the wonderful work of this talented photographer- Nancy of   Nancy Ray Photography