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.

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

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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

Roses from the Garden {Milk Glass and Heirlooms}

We have had a bountiful year here in the south so far. Our garden seems to agree. Here are some hand picked lovelies in my milk glass collection. It was a little bit of fun with photographer Annabella Brandon and stylist Kristin Wolter-Canfield to break up the long week (and an excuse to see Annabella’s handsome newborn son).

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Garden Basket

What a beautiful time of year. Here is a photo that sums up the wonder of having a basket full of

freshly picked botanicals. Oh the possibilities!basket

Photo: Annabella Charles Photography

Romantic Garden Rose Bouquet

Simple bouquet recipes can be just as effective as varieties. This romantic rose bouquet was primarily garden roses and spray garden roses in a bundle surrounded by Magnolia leaves (which have a velvety tobacco colored underside).

The handle was wrapped in silk ribbon and styled by Kristin at Everbloom Designs. Lovely photographs by Annabella Charles Photography.

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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