Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wedding Bouquet of Summer Whites & Yellows

Looking back on this past summer, I have to say that my flower beds performed very well.
We started out hot in June and July with very little rain. But the rains did start up in late July and we only flirted a little with 100 degree temperatures, (my heart goes out to the folks in Texas who suffered through days and days of drought and above 100+ degree heat!)
This bouquet features different shades of yellow zinnias including a lemon yellow bedding zinnia. And the yellow Mexican Tulip poppies produced flowers all summer long. Feathery sprays of yellow-green Sweet Annie added a sharp spicy fragrance. Sweet Annie blooms in later August and September.
There were not as many white flowers this year, but the white David phlox was a faithful bloomer from July through mid September and in late August there was also a showing of starry clusters of garlic chive flowers. Lisianthus and white stock came from my vendor.
Other great performers in both the garden beds and containers were several different varieties of scented geranium. The softly marbled leaves in the picture below are from a variety called Snowflake Scented Geranium.
Bramblewood Gardens at the State Farmer's Market in Raleigh has one of the best selections of scented geraniums. Jeff grows over fifteen varieties and has them available from mid April until July. He also has LOTS of other offerings for the kitchen garden as well as a great selection of hydrangeas!
I can't believe summer is over... Time to start planning for next year!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weddings- Gretchen & Jason

Last Saturday was the wedding day for Gretchen and Jason. I met Gretchen several years ago when I worked for Garden Supply Co. (a great place to work and shop!) And I was delighted that she asked me to design her wedding flowers!
And of course I loved the color palette that she chose for this time of year- creams, oranges, yellows, and greens and just a touch of brown. The flowers that look like mini sunflowers are Viking mums and are some of my favorites for fall bouquets.
Gretchen's bouquet was also designed with soft orange spray roses, orange freesia, feathery tufts of safflowers (another fall favorite), and creamy stock. The garden picks included bright orange and yellow zinnias, Love-In-A-Puff (in bottom picture) and scented geranium leaves.
For the bridesmaid bouquets I added stems of wild grasses and from the garden African Blue basil.
The picture above shows a close-up of the stem wrap of gold organza ribbon swirled with copper aluminum wire.
The toss bouquet was a round posy of zinnias, spray roses, and Viking mums nestled in an antique hydrangea head with a scented geranium leaf collar. The toss bouquet is a little gift for my brides.
This little centerpiece was designed in a cork bark container that I picked up at Garden Supply Company. They always have a great selection of vases, planters and containers!
The tables were decked out in a collection of antique tin votive holders surrounding flower filled Mason jars. These were perfect for the relaxed setting of the reception.
Now it's time for the honeymoon! Gretchen and Jason, I wish you all the best as you begin your married life!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Autumn Wedding Bouquet in Jewel Tones

Well Autumn is almost here... the hydrangeas in this bouquet are dressed in antique shades of green and burgundy, the tradescantia is a dark eggplant and the zinnias are a bright berry wine color.
Some of the flowers are slowing down such as the zinnias and velvety cockscomb. Other flowers such as gomphrena are still brimming over with new buds. Their magenta purple globes pair well with the zinnias.
There were even a few chartreuse heads of euphorbia that added a nice contrast to the gomphrena. It's a lovely bouquet to welcome the new season!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Anniversaries- Celebrating 31 Wonderful Years!!!

Today Wilson and I are celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary. I wish I had some recent romantic pictures of us as a couple, but I don't. The picture above is from our little weekend getaway for our 30th anniversary. It doesn't really matter, because I KNOW that I am very loved and cherished. Wilson shows me in so many ways. He is always so willing to help me out when I want to start up a new project. He supports me in this floral design business that I love to do and is my biggest fan. He listens to me talk, talk, talk. He gives me hugs when I need them and makes me feel special. And he tells me he loves the way I look. Yes, I am very loved and I am very much in love with this wonderful man.
Every time I have the privilege to design the wedding flowers for a sweet young couple, I am so excited that they are getting married. And I always pray that the LORD would bless their marriage just as He has blessed ours!
Happy Anniversary, Wilson!!!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer Bouquet- Pretty In Pink!

The pink flowers of late summer are bold textured, sometimes soft to touch, like the crested celosias and wheat celosias in the bouquet below, but not what I would call delicate.These are some of the late summer flowers that are blooming now: zinnias, crested and wheat celosias, Fairy roses, Audray and Fireworks gomphrena, Autumn Joy and Motrona sedums, and chocolate-burgundy perilla.
The dark, ruffly leaves of perilla have been a part of the summer garden since late May. Now they are just starting send out pink flower spikes and in a couple weeks they will cast their seeds and be gone until next year.
I have been so pleased the the new gomphrenas. The flowerheads on Fireworks look like they came from a picture in a Dr. Seuss book. And the Audray gomphrena (the globe pink clover-like flowers) is an excellent flower for drying. I have been gathering stems and hanging them up all over the studio. They will hold their color for about two years!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weddings- Rachel & Kevin

Rachel and I met last spring after she had sent me an email with beautiful images of blue, purple and green spring wedding flowers. I thought the color palette was stunning and couldn't wait to show her this late summer version of the same colors.
And as I delivered her bouquets, I could tell that she was very pleased! Rich blue hydrangeas and delphinium blooms with steel blue thistle, purple stock and two types of bright green chrysanthemums were used for the bridesmaids' bouquets. Rachel's bouquet featured the same blue hydrangeas and delphiniums with green button mums, dark purple lisianthus and ivory Majolika spray roses.
The toss bouquet had green button mums, blue hydrangeas and thistle, Majolika spray rose and purple gomphrena.
And personal flowers were a combination of the flowers from the bouquets.

A softer version color palette was carried through to the ceremony design as well.

Beautiful flowers for a very beautiful bride. I wish you and Kevin all the best as you begin your married life!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Late Summer Blooms from the Garden- Gomphrena

September is the beginning of the glory season for these cheerful little blooms. This flower is called gomphrena and it blooms from late June through mid November. But late summer and fall is when it really starts to take off. The picture above is a gathering of purple gomphrena. These were picked for Mikki and Hector's wedding last week.
This is the pink version. Both the purple and the pink are a new variety in my garden called "Audray", and so far they have been performing very well.
Here's my youngest daughter, Judy, who agreed to hold a bunch so that you could get an idea of the bloom's actual size. They are definitely petite and are what I call part of the support cast in my floral designs.
Still they are some of my favorite flowers. Gomphrena dries very well, and is great for winter and Christmas designs. The picture above shows clusters of gomphrena nestled in this pink and red Christmas bouquet.
And I am planning on adding a few the fresh purple blooms to a "Toss Bouquet" for my bride, Rachel, this weekend!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weddings- Mikki & Hector

Last week I had the wonderful privilege of creating some REALLY FUN floral designs that have been floating around in my head for the past twelve months. These were the flowers for Mikki and Hector's Wedding!
It's so hard to believe that it has been a little over a year since Hector and Mikki and her folks came through my booth at the Forever Bridal Show. She loved what she saw and booked an appointment for a consultation. And when they all showed up for the consultation, I could tell I was really going to enjoy working with Mikki and Hector and her family.
The vision was very eclectic, the colors were purples and creams and whites and greens. The look was "Gardeny" yes! but with other flowers too- purple carnations and lisianthus, plum colored gomphrena, creamy Majolika roses and stock, apple green sedums and Love-In-A-Puff vines, Cool Water lavender roses, velvety heads of celosia, and herbal fragrances such as rosemary and scented geraniums.
The picture above shows Mikki's bouquet almost finished. She wanted it to be encircled with vines so I was happy to provide some sweet Love-In-A-Puff and smilax vines from the garden.
Bronze hued loropetalum leaves in her bouquet catch a bit of sunlight in the picture above.
Bridesmaid bouquets featured purple carnations, lavender roses, green hydrangeas, spiky celosia flowers, ferns, loropetalum and scented geranium leaves.
Here's a quick shot of some of the bouquets before loading up the boxes for the trip to the Preston Woodall House in Benson, NC, (what a gorgeous place for a wedding!)
Mothers' corsages featured rosemary, purple stock and Majolika roses tied in a nosegay style that could be carried in the hand or held against a small clutch.
Bouts for the groomsmen and the father featured Equisetum (horsetail) stems, holly berries, dried poppy heads and gomphrena.
Hector's included flowers from Mikki's bouquet such as celosia, sedum, and lisianthus buds and well as dried poppy, curly dock and crocosmia pods.
For the reception centerpieces, Mikki and Hector decided to go with flower filled metal pails nestled on thick round slabs of oak- each one cut and sanded by her Dad! Each table also featured moss rimmed chalkboards (by Mikki and her family) that directed guest where to sit. I was so grateful to have my good friend, Sandy, assist in creating many of these sweet little pail designs- just chocked full of beautiful flowers.
In addition to metal pails, there were also taller designs created atop chunky wooden candlesticks, (sorry this picture has so much backlight- I am glad that I wasn't hired to do the photos!!!).
So much thought went into planning all the details. I wish I could picture all the wonderful touches that Mikki, her family, and Hector had placed throughout this beautiful historic home to celebrate their wedding.
And celebrate I know they did!!!
I can't wait to see the beautiful images that I am sure that Jamie Blow with J&J Photography captured, as well as videographers with Twenty-One Films.
I am so glad there are pros like them to record these once in a lifetime moments!
And today I just smile when I think of my newly married couple!!! I wish you all the best Mikki and Hector... I am really going to miss you!