Monthly Archives: September 2015

Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: No. 71

The Question:

Do you have a garden space at your home? At your studio? Can you describe it? Do you grow cut flowers for your business? How do you find the time to work in the garden while running your business?

The Answers:

Yes, I do have a garden space which is in fact my family garden. We have about 2000 square meters of grass, trees, fruits, vegetables, cut flowers and… chickens 🙂 It is a lot of work, so it is not always perfectly clean but I don’t mind, I like it a bit wild! Apart from the chicken (LOL!) I use almost everything from the garden for my designs: foliage (so easy to forage for foliage directly in the garden!), fruits, vegetables and flowers. As for cut flowers, I grow: garden roses, dahlias (about 20 varieties), cosmos, scabiosa, daucus, helleborus, tulips, anemones, sweet peas, clematis, lavender, heuchera, alchemilla, hydrangea, astilbe, skimmia japonica, tropaeolum, amarantus, camomile, lilies, peonies, iris, dianthus, nigellas, zinnias, sunflowers… I certainly do not have enough of my own flowers to cover an event, but I use them when I feel that something is “missing” in my designs.

Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)

Floresie

Floresie

Floresie

Floresie

Floresie

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I don’t have a garden but my parents have so I kind of “adopted” that one. It’s a small garden next the ocean so it’s a quite harsh place for many plants but they/we grow some roses, lavender, peonies, ferns, poppies, cosmos, honeysuckle + berries and foliage. I use as much as I can from the garden and nature but it’s more like a complement.

Emelie Ekborg (Svenska Blomsterbloggar and Flora Inspiro)

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I have a flower farm with a little over 2 acres in production. It’s decidedly a working farm and not a pretty little garden since I originally set out to be a flower farmer first and foremost, and then the floral designer part kind of grew out from that naturally over time. Our little design shed is sitting right smack in the middle of this flower growing operation with a large free-standing walk-in cooler next to it. Being able to design right next to where the flowers are grown makes the whole operation far more efficient and provides boundless inspiration while working on an arrangement. As we work on the designs for an event, we are often going out with snips to find that perfect crooked stem that will add a graceful gesture to polish off a bouquet. It sounds dreamy and perfect to have a flower farm or big cutting garden. And on many levels it is. But you were smart enough to ask a very important follow up question… where do I find all the time to do both growing and designing? It’s really not easy. Quite often it’s very overwhelming! And it takes a lot of courage and faith in Mother Nature if you are relying on just the blooms you grow yourself like we do here at Love ‘n Fresh. If you want to tackle growing in addition to designing, there will be a lot (a lot!!) more moving parts in your operation, and I’d advise you to build up a team as quickly as possible to help manage it all. Growing flowers is a full time job. And as we all know, being a good floral designer is a full time job too. If you’re considering starting to grow your own, I would suggest keeping it very small to start. Maybe just two raised beds in your backyard where you plant some interesting perennials and herbs for the foliage. Test out how that feels for a season….Could you keep it weeded and watered without any struggle? Did you enjoy the work or dread it by the end of the season? Did you feel like it was “worth your time”? If you can answer yes to those kinds of questions, then add several more beds the following season and just build from there as it makes sense for your business (and not just to keep up with the Instagram hype). And I always encourage designers to find existing flower farmers to partner with so you might not even need to grow your own unless you really love that idea and know you can manage it all. A strong partnership with a local grower can do wonders for your business and be much easier on your back!!

Jennie Love (Love ‘n Fresh Flowers)

Love 'n Fresh Flowers

Love 'n Fresh Flowers

Love 'n Fresh Flowers Design Shed

Love 'n Fresh Flowers

 Love 'n Fresh Flowers

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Yes, we have two acres that totally influenced my career as a designer. Our property is loaded with hydrangeas, viburnum, peonies, lilac, spirea and now lots of annuals. The garden is an always evolving part of our business. For many years I grew for farmers markets, then I was asked to do weddings and soon I had so many weddings and so many babies that I had to back off of the gardens. Thankfully the shrubs, peonies, and most perennials are old faithfuls that waited in the garden while I fed my children and my babies. Four years ago my husband quit his job and came on board with HHC to restore the gardens and he brought back all of our annual beds. We also have a small orchard. Just one month ago we bought a 25 acre farm two miles from our home and we will increase our production considerably. Gardening and growing has always been a part of my business model.

Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)

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Yes, I have lots of garden space at my home where my studio is situated. I grow as much as I can physically grow by myself. My garden is not a neatly designed one, but one that serves a purpose.. and allows me to grow the flowers I love for my business. It is hard work keeping all under control during busy periods.. but I love it.

I hope you enjoy the images that friend & photographer David Wickham took this summer..

Jo Rodwell (Jo Flowers)

Jo Flowers | David Wickham Photography

Jo Flowers | David Wickham Photography

Jo Flowers | David Wickham Photography

Jo Flowers | David Wickham Photography

Jo Flowers | David Wickham Photography

Jo Flowers | David Wickham Photography

Jo Flowers | David Wickham Photography

Jo Flowers | David Wickham Photography

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I have 2 big garden pots at my studio which I absolutely love filling every season. They are manageable  and since they frame the doorway into the studio it’s an easy reminder to take care of them.  My garden at home is a work in progress which often gets neglected during my busy season. I just moved into a new home so I am constantly at the garden center on my days off or for a break from work for ideas on new things to plant. I love watering and dead-heading, etc. early in the morning before work or with a glass of wine after work, it’s a nice way for me to unwind and have a little peace and quiet. The only blooms from my personal garden that I use at this time for events are Limelight Hydrangea, a handful of Peonies and some clippings from my blueberry bushes.

Elisabeth Zemetis (Blush Floral Design)

Blush Floral Design

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The studio is in the back yard and we have a small shady garden space. Lots of hellebores spring bulbs late winter and early spring; the rest of the year it is a textural foliage garden. I don’t grow cut flowers for my business. When I started the business I overhauled the garden into a perennial garden as I discovered that I did not have the time to spend much time in the garden during the busy wedding season  as I always have worked by myself.

Francoise Weeks (Francoise Weeks)

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I planted up in my garden for work use for the first time ever this year. I bought my parents’ house two years ago but this is the first year I have had time to look at the garden. Or at least I thought I would have time before the mammoth summer of weddings and events hit our studio. I mainly planted hydrangea, peonies, larkspur, sweet peas, echinops and senecio foliage. I have cut (and sold) some of the hydrangea and senecio and used them in designs at work, the sweet peas eventually flowered and I displayed them in the house, the echinops flowered but I only got a few heads this year and the peonies never flowered – so it’s back to the drawing board with those for next year. As a side note, the weeding never got done and by mid summer the weeds were higher than the plants!  I would love to be a flower farmer but for me it’s  a question of finding time – upwards and onwards in 2016!

Nick Priestly (Mood Flowers)

Masters Of High Contrast Bloom Balance

With extreme shade variations of color in an arrangement comes the difficult task of making the hues flow into a cohesive overall look. We’ve all seen the high contrast bouquet that ends up looking more like a polka-dotted ball of mediocre blooms than a sexy bouquet worthy of a starring role. For years, I didn’t give high contrast bouquets a second look because I’d rarely seen one I actually liked. Mainly, I’d seen round bouquets of white flowers with an occasional single red bloom thrown in and distributed fairly evenly around the design which created the polka dot vibe. As usual, you guys have managed to change my mind on the topic as I’ve seen more and more of you master the balance of designing with contrasting blooms. As it turns out, palettes ranging from nude to pale blush to deep red-wine can mingle perfectly in loosely gathered natural-looking arrangements of interesting blooms and foliage. Thanks for convincing me.  To prove my point, enjoy the arrangements in today’s post… from a few designers I consider Masters of High Contrast Bloom Balance!

Whimsical Floral Design | Rachel May Photography

Whimsical Floral Design | Rachel May Photography

eb +  jc photography | Cori Cook Floral Design

Cori Cook Floral Design | eb + jc

The Blue Carrot

The Blue Carrot

Ashley Fox Designs | Jody Savage Photography

Ashley Fox Designs | Jody Savage Photography

Blossom Sweet | David Newkirk Photography

Blossom Sweet | David Newkirk Photography

John and Joseph Photograph | Honey of a Thousand Flowers

Honey of a Thousand Flowers | John & Joseph Photography

 Whimsical Floral Design | Rachel May Photography

Whimsical Floral Design | Rachel May Photography

Alluring Blooms

Alluring Blooms

 Flower Afternoon | Elisa Bricker Photography

Flower Afternoon | Elisa Bricker Photography

Clare Day Flowers

Clare Day Flowers

Pretty Pairing: Jo Flowers | Cabbages and Roses

Last summer, I paired the interior design of Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic Couture with the floral design of The Blue Carrot in a post. I had long admired both and it just felt right to see their work side-by-side as their styles seemed to compliment one another perfectly. I enjoyed writing the post so much that I’m back with a second Pretty Pairing!

The moment I was introduced to Cabbages and Roses, a “quintessentially British brand” of clothing, fabric and house ware, I knew it would pair perfectly with the romantic English garden designs of Jo Flowers. As you’ll see in the mood boards, both brands are keen on  a mixture of ultra-feminine florals, beautiful linens and texture-rich furnishing. Jo’s images are magical. An abundance of ruffled blooms gathered into a hand-tied bouquet with gorgeous silk ribbons blowing gently in the morning breeze seem to dance around her linen skirt. Flowering branches, trailing vines and full blown roses stretch from an urn rich with patina. Catch a glimpse of the Cabbage and Roses Lookbooks and you’ll see a similar aesthetic. Raspberry pink rose-covered natural linen frames a window and pools gracefully on the wood floor. A hand-poured candle called Twenty Seven Roses burns on a wooden desk in a study flooded with natural light.  Enjoy….

Jo Flowers | Cabbages and Roses

Stephen Bunn Photography

Jo Flowers | Cabbages and Roses

Jo Flowers | Cabbages and Roses

Jo Flowers | Cabbages and Roses

David Wickham Photography

Jo Flowers | Cabbages and Roses

 Joanna Millington Photography

Jo Flowers | Cabbages and Roses

To see more:

Jo Flowers: Website | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

Cabbages and Roses: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Tips For Creating A Chic Green Wedding

Bouquets & Boutonnières

Suggest bouquets and bouts made entirely of green blooms, leaves or berries. Encourage the use of locally grown flowers and plants by offering a bouquet of foraged greenery and botanical finds such as berries, acorns and twigs.

Green Bouquet | Verde Flowers

Verde Flowers

Green Bouquet | Natalie Galasso Design

Natalie Galasso Designs

Green Boutonnieres | Studio 3 Floral Design

Studio 3 Floral Design

Wearables

Suggest forgoing the traditional veil for a flower crown of woven grasses studded with succulents or a botanical necklace or wrist cuff of succulents which the bride can plant in her first garden after the wedding.

Green Botanical Crown | Kaela-Speicher-Photography | Mt Lebanon Floral

Mt. Lebanon Floral | Kaela Speicher Photography 

Green Succulent Necklace | Passionflower | A Girl In Love Photography (2)

Passionflower | A Girl in Love Photography

Ceremony Decor

Create a striking ceremony altar with a greenery garland or salvaged frames filled with moss, ferns and a few stylish blooms. The simplicity of a single color used en masse can provide a striking backdrop in photographs.

Kim Starr Wise Floral Events | G. Chapin Studios

Kim Starr Wise Floral Events | G. Chapin Studios

Oleander

Oleander

Krista Jon for Archive | Brandon Kidd Photography

Krista Jon for Archive | Brandon Kidd Photography

Centerpieces & Reception Decor

Consider centerpieces of green flowers and foliages with a few added textural elements. For a modern aesthetic, try simple glass vessels filled with leaves and grasses for architectural interest. If your bride prefers a more rustic look, try designing centerpieces in pottery, vintage bottles or wooden boxes. Suspend an arrangement of greens above the head table to designate it as a special place. Add interest to centerpiece vignettes using branches, moss or found botanical pieces from a nature walk.

Jes Gordon

Jes Gordon

Tulipina

Tulipina

epoch.floral

epoch.floral

Ashley Fox Designs | Jody Savage Photography

Ashley Fox Designs | Jody Savage Photography

Ashley Fox Designs | Jody Savage Photography

Bloom By Anuschka

Bloom by Anuschka 

The Nichols | Sprout Flowers

Sprout | The Nichols

Urban Earth Design Studios | Vue Photography

Urban Earth Design Studios | VUE Photography

Forage For

Forage For

Wedding Cake

Creating a chic cake display can be as simple as adding a few succulents or a delicately trailing vine to a cake resting on a silver platter, woodsy base or Lucite table.

Sarah Winward | Whitney-Heard-Photography

Honey of a Thousand Flowers | Whitney Heard Photography

Bar

Green up the bar area with potted boxwoods or small trees. Design a tall bar arrangement of branches and berries. Make the space memorable by creating a green wall behind the bar or adding botanical panels to the bar front using moss or succulents.

Michael Daigian Design |  Jen Huang Photography (1)

Michael Daigian Design | Jen Huang Photography (2)

Michael Daigian Design | Jen Huang Photography

Venue

For the couple desiring a monochromatic green palette, suggest they find a venue with an outdoor area rich with natural greenery. A good alternative would be finding a venue with a neutral palette making it easy to accessorize with greens. Trying to compete with colorful surroundings would surely create a frustrating (and expensive) situation for both the designer and the wedding party.

Creeping Fig

The Creeping Fig

Molly Wood Garden Design

Molly Wood Garden Design