Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DIY for Spring Weddings- Pressed Flowers- Pansies and More

Pressed flowers are a great DIY wedding project, and pansies are a good place to start. But there are so many more flowers that are great for pressing such as larkspur, hydrangeas, even baby oak leaves.
...Be sure to check out the April 26th DIY on pressed flowers for details on pressing.
Here are a few ideas for your flowers once you have pressed them:
Pansies are great for escort and place card settings, and these can be made weeks ahead of time. I use PPA- Perfect Paper Adhesive to attach them and as a top coat to seal them. It's available from: http://www.elizabeths-flowers.com. This is a wonderful site to learn more about pressing as well.
And hydrangeas make a lovely composition as in this framed piece below. The flowers are attached with PPA in a random pattern almost as if scattered by a soft breeze.
And for the nature lover there is this unusual piece designed with newly emerged oak leaves.
You will have to act quickly to gather these little treasures though. They are only available for about eight to ten days in early April before they quickly mature into larger leaves.
So many ways to use pressed flowers and leaves... Next week, I plan to do another post to explain in more detail the "how to" get them on the paper. I would love to hear what you think!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

DIY for Spring Weddings- Think Pansies Part 2

Last post was about using pansies for some special Do It Ahead DIY's for spring time weddings. But to get the flowers, you need to grow the pansies. This post is Part 2 in how to grow pansies in containers.
It's fairly easy to pot up pansies. Start with selecting the colors of pansies that you want, as well as the size. Pansy flower blooms come in different sizes- starting with petite blooms such as Violas, which are an 1" in size, then the Panolas which are about 1 1/2", then the larger blooms that reach 2-4 inches in size. I recommend using blooms that are 2 inches and smaller.
I also recommend using pansies that come in little six packs- they will have time to grow larger over the winter months. Remove the plants from the containers as shown in the picture above. Some of these plants have roots that are pretty full. You will want to loosen these roots before putting them in a new container.
I just take the garden tag that comes with the plants and rake it through the roots, scratching just about 1/8" below the surface- this allows the new roots to move out into soil as they start to grow.
Next take a 9" to 12" diameter pot ( I like to use lightweight resin or plastic pots that won't freeze and crack in the winter) and fill it 3/4 full with a potting soil such as Miracle Grow that already has fertilizer in it.
Now start adding your plants, evenly spacing them around the container.
Once they are in place, finish adding potting soil until you have completely cover all the root balls. Water the container and set it in a sunny corner on your deck or porch or along the walkway. You may want to plant several containers, each with about six plants, so that you will have plenty of spring time blooms.
Keep the soil moist, not soggy, throughout the season, add fertilizer again in February, and come next March, you will have start having blooms to embellish and decorate with. Next pansy post will have some fun ideas for these sweet little flowers and plants!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

DIY's for Spring Weddings- Think Pansies Part 1

Pansy BouquetPansies are such cheerful flowers that come in a MULTITUDE of colors and sizes. In Raleigh, NC, mid October through mid December is the best time to plant pansies, and there is still a pretty good selection too.
You may be thinking cute flowers, but what do they have to do with weddings.
Well... here are just a few ways that you can use pansies for your springtime wedding: pressed flower designs, edible additions to decorate desserts for a bridal luncheon or even your wedding cake. You can even take it a step further and create sugared flowers with pansies- I really like this idea because it can be done several weeks ahead of time. I will go over these ideas and more but first...
Let's talk about planting them.
Pansies are fairly easy to grow. And by growing them yourself, you can choose just the right color.
They will need to be planted in a garden bed in part to full sun. Add a light application of fertilizer when planting, and again in early March when they really start growing again.
If planting them in the garden seems intimidating, you could plant them in a large pot with potting soil. I will show you how in the next post.
In the meantime, if you live in the Raleigh-Cary area check out the selection at: Campbell Road Nursery on the corner of Tryon and Campbell Rd. and also Garden Supply Company on Old Apex Rd, in Cary.
Don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Autumn Treasures from the Garden- Looking Back

Here are some of the last blooms from my gardens. The flowers above are ones that I picked and arranged around the end of October. After I had gathered them, I began to pull the plants down. It's hard to believe another season is over.
The zinnias performed very well. I left a couple of plants just so I could pick a few more flowers. The speckled bells of foxglove were a lovely surprise in the fall garden. These are late spring bloomers that bring a vintage look to floral designs. The Black and Blue salvia put on a beautiful show with their cobalt blue flowers. Next year I plan to cut them back in late July to see if I can get shorter, bushier plants. I will also cut back and fertilize the dahlias around the same time to see if they will produce more abundantly on shorter plants.
The yellow buttons are Tansy and the pink quill like flowers are Fireworks gomphrena. I plan to make sure both of these will be back next year.
All of these flowers would be wonderful additions to vintage or garden themed wedding flowers.
And  I was very pleased that several of my brides wanted to use garden flowers in their wedding designs. I always hope that someday this may inspire them to grow flower gardens of their own! I would love to help them if they decide to do so!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weddings- Mikki & Hector... The Real Pictures

I call them the Real Pictures, because 1) they are taken by truly gifted photographers and 2) they show the Real People who have just gotten married!
And I am so excited to show off these two! Mikki and Hector make the sweetest couple and they had the most wonderful wedding in September.
And Jamie Blow of J&J Photography did an outstanding job of capturing all the wonderful details of their special day.

The color palette that Mikki and Hector chose was absolutely gorgeous- rich plum and purple, lavender, antique green and ivory.
And I loved combining beautiful flowers from my garden with the beautiful flowers from the market.
Cinda of Cinda's Creative Cakes created a fantastic wedding cake with cool leaves and branches embellished with fresh flowers and a cute bird nest!
The round oak slabs are Mikki's Dad's handiwork. They were perfect for the woodsy garden theme.

It is music to my ears when I hear from my couples how perfect their wedding day was, and I am so excited for them as they begin their lives together as husband and wife.

Mikki and Hector, I wish you all the BEST as these newly wedded days slip into weeks....then months... then years..... many, many years!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall Bouquets of Dahlias and Zinnias

The dahlias this year have been an absolute treat! Since Springwell Gardens is an urban garden, space is at a premium, so I only have about twenty-five plants. I have chosen colors that I think would work well for late summer and autumn bouquets, and I have not been disappointed.
This late October bouquet features a sunset palette that flows between dusky purples, fuchsias, warm peach tones, and magentas. The zinnias are from a July planting, and a few plants are still producing flowers.
The hyacinth bean vines will also bloom through to frost. Their flower spikes start a bright fuchsia and mature to a grape lavender. The magenta  globes of gomphrena add the finishing touch!Cream stock and ivory Majolica spray roses mix with peachy hued dahlias and salmon colored zinnias in this next bouquet. Starry florets of chives, bronze colored leaves and pink flower spikes of perilla round out this design. Perfect for the change in seasons from late summer to autumn!