Monday, January 30, 2012

Great Flowers for Springtime Weddings

With weather like this, spring is just around the corner.
Now you might be saying, but it's still cold. Yes, I agree it has been a bit nippy, but we haven't dipped into the teens yet. In fact, it's only been below 25 degrees a couple of times this whole winter season. So nature is waking up.
Hellebore flowers are starting to open up- I would say about two-three weeks early...
And I am seeing daffodils just on the verge of bloom, and my hyacinthoides (bluebells) also have green tops up about three to four inches.
There is even a lone hyacintth showing its bright green spears- I am sad to say that I just didn't get around to planting hyacinths last fall so this one is all alone.
The dainty blue muscari are being more patient though (the picture below is from last year)- it looks like it will be a few more weeks before they start showing their flower heads.
There will soon be Bridal Crown and White Lion and Ice Follies daffodils and narcissus blooming. I am watching and waiting, and when the flowers start to bloom again, I will be there ready to gather them up!
All of them are perfect for springtime weddings. This little bouquet from last spring is a sweet reminder of what is soon to come!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just Give Me Zinnias

This is certainly not the first time I've written about zinnias.
And that's because they are some of my absolute favorite flowers. My fondness for them begin when I first got married (See the post "Zinnias and A Wedding" 11-14-10), and I have always enjoyed them ever since.
Here is a picture of my wedding bouquet and one of the bridesmaid's bouquets- notice her bouquet has little pink zinnias. It was one of the few flowers I was familiar with when I got married. And what's so GREAT about them is that almost anyone can grow them!
I start with seeds usually in March, but sometimes I start them even earlier.
Not only do I enjoy growing them, but I find zinnias also make great wedding flowers! The picture above is a bouquet of mixed summer flowers such as yellow Asiatic lilies, white calla lilies, feverfew, and pink and yellow zinnias.
The summer bouquet below features red zinnias, scented geraniums and a swirling wrap of Love-In-A-Puff vine.
Zinnias come in reds, pinks, purples (more of a fuchsia purple), yellows, oranges, green and white.
I sometimes make bouquets of just zinnias as in the design above, but more often I combine them with other flowers. The white, yellow and blue bouquet below features roses, yarrow, feverfew and hydrangeas.They are the epitome of great summer flowers- bright colors, heat lovers, and they bloom and bloom and bloom.
But they love autumn too, and you can sometimes coax flowers from the plants all the way through frost.
I plan to give a quick primer on sowing the seeds in March, and then you can grow your own zinnias- who knows, you may find that you love them as much as I do!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Weddings- Megan & Paul

Winter weddings often evoke the more subtle images of beauty. Bare branched trees and evergreens, chilly sunshine and blue, blue skies, or blankets of soft gray clouds and mist, drizzle or cold rain.
For Megan and Paul there were indeed the blankets of clouds and drizzle last Saturday, but we were all thinking how appropriate for a couple who will be calling England home. And the joy of a wedding is never dampened by clouds or rain!
I have known Megan for years... Her Mom, Terry, is a very good friend of mine.
Megan is a dear, young lady with a heart for the Lord, and when she felt His call to go to England and serve in a small church there, she had NO IDEA she would find the man she would spend the rest of her life with in that place... But God did.
And last Saturday was their wedding day!
I know their story from a distance, but the parts I know are very touching. And I was delighted to join with so many others to witness this couple exchange their vows and hear Paul speak in his sweet Irish accent of "My wife..."
And of course I had a wonderful time designing the flowers that would be a part of this special day.
Megan's color palette included ivories, whites and blues. She also wanted textures and elements that would tie in with the season, yet also look forward to spring. Blue delphinium, thistle-like flowers of eryngium, pink centered waxflowers, hydrangeas, roses and seeded eucalyptus were a few of the flowers chosen for the bridesmaids' bouquets.
Boutonnieres were designed blue delphinium florets and seeded eucalyptus. Paul's boutonniere also sported a black-eyed ornithogalum floret.
Corsages were white spray roses, seeded eucalyptus and waxflower buds.
Megan's bouquet was filled with large ivory roses called Snow Blaze, ivory Majolica spray roses, blue delphinium,blue hydrangea, green hypericum berries, white stock, black-eyed ornithogalum, and seeded eucalyptus.
These flowers were also used in the ceremony designs as well as the tight pink buds of viburnum, and tall branches of fresh pussy willow stems. The centerpiece design for the refreshment table included a wonderfully twisted branch called Harry Lauder's Walking Stick (Corylus avellana 'contorta'. These branches are so interesting in the winter landscape. The trees a VERY slow growing, and the branches are not very easy to come by- so it was great to be able to cut this beauty from Megan's parents' yard.
I am so very happy for Megan and Paul. Praying for God's blessing for them as they begin their lives together!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

With This Knothole...

Last week I wrote about the "Art" in nature that I find on walks, and an interesting piece of "Art" to find is a knothole. These are round pieces of weathered wood from a tree with a hole in it, (this is where a branch use to be).I use pieces like these for their woody, organic appeal. I will usually anchor the knothole to my design with pins or wire and then fill the hole in with flowers and moss.
Can you see the knothole in these two pictures? It's nestled behind the pink and orange ranunculus.
Here is a thick stumpy knothole that's about the size of my hand.
I used it for a spring time design of Lily of the Valley, Blue Bells and Bleeding Heart.
I enjoy adding finds like these to make the designs interesting. Yes, I know it's not a really big deal, and many people will overlook it. But I also know there are a few people that will spy things like knotholes and such and be enchanted.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Art in Nature

Walks around the neighborhood are a daily must... You see, we have a Jack Russell, and she always wants to go for a walk. So while she is sniffing and searching for wild game or trying to determine what other dogs have passed our way, I am on the hunt for ART- Nature's Art.

It can be found most anywhere... in the leaves, in the grass, sometimes a little off the path among broken branches that litter patches of woods between houses. Winter is a great time for collecting these finds because you don't have to worry about snakes or bugs.Sometimes the found "Art" is something very common like these sweet gum tree balls. I am thinking of ways to incorporate them in some of my designs for fall weddings. The trick is to pick them up while they look fresh. After a few weeks of being on the ground in the weather, they will begin to deteriorate.
Other objects of interest just waiting to be found are fan-like bits of tree fungus called "Turkey Tails" or pieces of lichen. I usually spot them on old branches lying on the ground.
And some of my favorite finds are knot holes. Whenever I spot them, I quickly snatch them up. They all become a part of my nature art collection.
And many will find their way into some of my floral designs. Check back again to see what you can do with a knot hole!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Weddings- Meredith & Casey, the Real Pictures

Each season offers rewards and challenges for weddings, and this is so true for summer. And though Casey and Meredith had the challenge of some very "WARM" (102 degrees) weather, you would never know it from the stunning photographs captured by Robyn of Robyn Van Dyke Photography.
She was able to capture the joyful emotions of a young man and young woman who were so very happy to be getting married!
One of the beauties of summer weddings is the vibrant color palette. Meredith chose rich royal blue for her bridesmaids and a gorgeous royal blue floral print for her maids-of-honor.
The saturated yellows of the Gerber daisies and roses that were nestled in sky blue hydrangeas were a great complement for the color of the dresses.
Meredith chose the timeless look of an all white bridal bouquet. Her flowers included Akito roses, freesia, lisianthus and Majolica spray roses wrapped with her grandmother's handkerchief.
Casey's boutonniere was a single yellow rose.
Centerpiece designs featured blue dephinium, blue and white hydrangeas, white and yellow roses, mums, lots of fresh summery greenery and...
some cute little Love-In-A-Puff pods from my summer vines.
The centerpiece for the head table was embellished with a label designed with the "heart" seeds from Love-in-a-Puff... so appropriate for weddings, don't you think.

I am so happy for Casey and Meredith as they begin this New Year as Newlyweds- their 1/2 year anniversary is right around the corner! May God continue to bless your lives together.
And Thank You again to Robyn Van Dyke Photography for sharing these wonderful pictures!