Oranges of Late Summer

I was inspired by the mint and citrus colors of one of my favorite tea tins to create this little late summer vignette in honor of the bold oranges that show up at the end of August. Tea tins and lithographs may come in and out of fashion, but I continue to love them and enjoy grouping collected pieces together for tiny vignettes of color play. I was completely in awe of the fact that I let the early summer blue and purple hydrangea flowers remain and ‘antique’ on the plants and by August the clusters turned a color identical to the mint green of the tin. Hope this combination puts the same smile on your face as it did ours that day.

citrus 1

Flowers include: Local Orange Trumpet, Chamomile, Pilgrim David Autsin Garden Roses, Hydrangea, and Echinacea Cones, and California Dahlias, Strawflower,  and Eucalyptus.

citrus 2

Chlorophyll

The green chemical responsible for the absorption of light by plants is called chlorophyll and those tender leafy greens are precious and rare right now in the middle of winter. With a few herbs and flowers purchased here and there, this was a nice reminder that no season is eternal and that Spring will be here before long.

Maidenhair Fern

 Ivy

Mint

Parsley0 1 2 3  45

From the Garden {Dahlias and Shrimp Plant}

There is nothing better than getting to play with a new variety of flower purchased from my local nurseries. This particular little photo collection by Annabella Charles was made up of our personal garden Dahlias, Bougainvillea, and Shrimp Plant (Or Justicia brandegeanas as they are known botanically). It also includes some Ranunculus from the wholesaler and the most beautiful peach muslin wrap (a new product from Oasis). It was her idea to do the heart and I absolutely loved it. It was simply exciting to see what color combinations made the flowers stand out. This season there are a lot of peach loving brides (who can blame them – it photographs so well!) , and there are many ways to add a new twist to a pastel.

ranunculus and peach

Spring {a time to grow}

For all of us who love that first spotted daffodil in the field or the blossoming trees that seem to pop overnight, Spring is here! It is the rebirth of not only the fresh leaves of the trees and Wisteria vines along the roads, but a chance to start over in our hearts. To love what we have growing in front of us, to have goals for our gardens as well as our lives. The amazing thing about plants  is that they teach us the true meaning of an investment and we must take that example by planting what we want to see in the future and understanding that only hard work makes a  truly bountiful harvest {and not overnight!}. There will be ups and downs, storms and locusts, sweet rain and drought, but in the end if we work with great care, no matter what happens, we learned to be a better, more patient person who is invested in the present and still believes in the blessings that lie ahead in the future.

bottles wreath

 

Beauty in Botany {Magnolia Rouge Feature}

            Magnolia Rouge published its second edition under the new name and the magazine is a treasure trove of real weddings, style, and more! Kate (the director) was able to use two seperate photo shoots from our group in the magazine and we thought we would share the lovely botanical beauty here on the blog. It’s an ode to the lithograph and fern lovers alike and includes a bunch of fresh Helleborus mixed with lively little puffs of Acacia and four different types of ferns to name just a few floral ingredients. With stylist Kristin Wolter from Everbloom Designs and Annabella of Annabella Charles Photography, we mapped out the details of a decorated repast of salads, spritzers, and sweets that include edible pansies.

0bb 1bb 2bb 3bb 5bb 6bb mag1 mag2 mag3 mag4 mag5

We Love: Dogwood {a flowering tree}

Flowering Dogwood trees are truly magnificent. We love them so much they are a part of the Haute Horticulture logo.

There exist a few common varieties that all put on a spectacular flower show in the Spring. The white, pink, and red varieties are all a member of the flowering North American Dogwood group Cornus Florida and each has the distinct four rounded bracts (what people commonly see as flower petals). The group of Asian Dogwoods has pointed bracts and blooms only creamy white flowers a little later in the Spring. These Kousa Dogwoods (Cornus Kousa) are often referred to as Japanese, Korean, or Chinese Dogwood Trees. Most of these tree variteites, and many others are available through the Arbor Day Foundation for a very fair price to plant in your own yard, which is exactly what we plan to do this Spring.

Last year we got together with Annabella Charles Photography, Everbloom Designs, with dresses from Barefoot Bride (worn by model Alicia) and Linens from Studio 1524.  We created a lovely inspiration photo session paying homage to the Dogwood. We waited until the branches were perfectly in bloom and assembled a team of quite a few behind the scenes favors in the form of: the location (a private residence), monogramming (K. Young), cake making,  and lovely paper goods by the talented Natalie Chang. We fused style elements that could be incorporated into a garden party or wedding complete with hair accessories by Kristin of Everbloom Designs. The result was just as we had hoped and even made a prompt appearance in The Wedding Chicks Blog. Now a year later, we yearn to work with those branches again and hope they make their debut soon!

Photography: Annabella Charles

Fabric Flowers and Styling : Everbloom Designs

Ring pillows/ hair and Mua : Tasha Rick

Cake and Petite fours : Cindy DeBoard

Stationary and Calligraphy : Natalie Chang

linens : Studio1524

Dresses provided by : The Barefoot Bride

Model : Alicia Nash with ETA

 

a b c d e f g h i

The Cheery Cherries {Using Fruit in Bouquets}

1cherry 2cherry 3cherry 4cherry There is nothing more delicious than using berries and various edible fruits in bouquets, but what is truly safe and what is fantasy? We have worked a great deal with fruits and unusual bouquet content recent years and here is the true advice we have to give customers and aspiring floral designers alike. When it comes to bridal bouquets these are our 7 best tips to avoid complications and gain peace of mind:

1) If you are using real fruit with clear juices make sure it is under-ripe and very hard.

2) If you wire fruits that are larger and heavier the test is simple, if you hold the wire only and the fruit does not stand erect, the gague is not heavy enough or the fruit needs more wires through it. You can also combine wooden picks but make sure the fruit is anchored with some wire or the fruit may fall off the pick alone when the bouquet is held upside down (which does happen).

3) If you use real fruits it is safest to nest them into the flowers so that they are not on the outside of the bouquet where they can get bruised or start to weep.

4) Never use real fruits with extremely dark juices. It may look appealing in magazines (yes we have published a few ourselves) but the secret is that there are some very convincing faux fruits and veggies out there,  and no floral designer or bride should have to worry about this when there are lightweight fauxs that can be tucked (wired) into the bouquet. Make sure the client understands that these concerns are for clothing safety and the reason a real plum is probably not ideal for a bouquet; give them the truth about the risks of real fruits and vegetables and they will respect you for thinking ahead.

5) Peppers and fruits like Mangos can be very irritating to skin and eyes if the oils come off onto the designer’s hands or onto the client’s hands. The best thing to do is use faux or very small ornamentals that are grown specifically for arrangements. It may seem tempting to use that cute little jalapeno pepper from the garden, but it could potentially get an irritant all over everything that it touches.

6) Be smart, if you aren’t going to be there to watch over the bouquet for the entire ceremony and reception and all photographs, then our best advice is play it safe rather than risk disaster. There are so many usable low risk berries and ornamentals to use and the options are getting better each year with the demand. If you must go outside the box, practice and see how well the fruit holds up outside the cooler and in a bouquet for a day.

7) Be creative! If the customer needs a certain color or look, there are probably alternatives that can be used instead. For example, Hypericum berries look a lot like little strawberries when used with strawberry foliage and not bunched together.

All photos by Annabella Charles Photography

Photo Shoot seen in Mag Rouge