Written By , 1 year ago

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rose2One of my favorite times each year is when the English Roses start blooming, but even better…when they are in full bloom. The stems start and they just keep coming. I know that if I keep cutting, they keep blooming, but I still stress over each cut, feeling like I should leave it in the garden.

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Most arrangements lately feature these lovelies…and they are lovely. The fragrance, the form, the delicate pastel colors…just lovely.

IMG_8252Today I clipped some of my favorite greens to mix in with this bucket of roses from the harvest. I used some blue-green Blue Crisp fern leaves that I looooooove, and some purple ninebark for drama. Always have to have drama…

IMG_8249IMG_8248 I combined it all into one of my favorite urns, deep purple black contrasting with pale ruffled petals

IMG_8273Playing with flowers never gets old or boring.IMG_8312

rose3I’m a lucky girl.

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Written By , 2 years ago

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  1. D.I.Y.
  2. Flowers

springgardenbouquetAlthough I’m not a big proponent of D.I.Y. wedding flowers, on the rare occasion that a family member has a southern garden with spring flowers in bloom (and a random aunt willing to cut, condition and arrange them), I say go for it. In fact, if I had a family member getting married this weekend, I would beg to cover their event in azaleas. In the garden, I get very unemotional about azaleas for 11 months out of the year. They are sticks in the winter and messy, nondescript foliage for summer and fall. But, for a few weeks in spring, azaleas flower in shady gardens all around me. So, to give them their props while it’s fresh in my mind, I decided to show how I put together a foraged azalea bouquet from my spring garden.

azaleavarietiesI started with a hidden gem in my garden. I mean, literally it’s hidden. A petite shrub with petite blossoms, it’s squished between a massive cluster of another variety with huge gaudy pink blooms. Each blossom is white with a slight pink edge that darkens as they age. The second variety I used is a large flowered white variety with ruffly blooms that resemble large honeysuckle florets.

steponeazaleaI combined several stems of the large flowered variety into a cluster of blooms, as the flowers are quite spread out on a branch. I then begin placing these clusters around a single stem of the third variety of azalea, a small shrub with huge clusters of tiny white blossoms.

steptwoazaleasI also add a stem or two of the pink edged variety here and there. With beautiful flowers, there is no right or wrong way to put them together. I keep the bunch loose in my hand so I can adjust it as I go, making sure some blooms are facing out and there are no big “holes” in the bouquet. Once I have a nice full bouquet, I add a few sprigs of lady fern for texture and contrast.

addfernsAgain, I hold the bouquet gently so I can work a fern frond down in wherever I think it will look nice. The green really warms up the bouquet and I love the way the tips are a lighter green in spring.

azaleabouquetThe finished bouquet is tied with ribbon…an easy way to secure stems without getting too complicated. I love to leave some ribbon hanging down from a bouquet. The finished product is fresh, natural and lovely. Although azaleas don’t typically last well, they’ll last long enough that this could be made the day before your event and kept in water.

azalea

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Written By , 2 years ago

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  1. In the Garden

dogwoodspringHappy Spring!

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Written By , 2 years ago

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  1. Flowers
  2. In the Garden

41213-tulipThe tulips that are blooming right now are beyond gorgeous. I planted them last fall, after splitting an order of bulbs with another grower. Every Spring I say I am not going to grow them next year, as they don’t perennialize and are a fairly pricey bulb. But then I get those catalogs and the fluffy double flowered varieties look like insanely hued peonies and the parrot varieties have perfect markings and color and I can’t resist. When they first popped up, I cursed myself once again. Here in the coastal south, we get less winter cold than up north and the tulips tend to bloom on short little stems. The buds formed on 4″ stems and I thought all was lost. I forgot that they continue to stretch toward the sun as the buds grow larger, and I forgot that when you pull tulips – bulb and all – rather than cutting the stem, you get several inches more. All was not lost…

41213-orange-parrot

 Both ‘Casablanca’ (top photo) and ‘Orange Parrot’ (above) managed to get to 12-14″, short on the commercial end, but just fine for me. The parrots are especially rewarding as they age and burst fully open. The blooms of the double yellow ‘Monte Carlo’ were each 5″ across when open.

41213-monte-carloIn a glass vase with the bulbs still attached, they were really cool…very interesting. The yellow color intensified as they opened further. The bulbs we removed from others were composted.

41213-tulip-bulbOur heirloom daffodils have been blooming also, I think later than they will in future years as they do perennialize and were planted late this past fall (it was actually winter to be honest). The fragrance is unreal, almost too strong for me, but at least natural and pretty.

41213daffsThe 2 varieties that are blooming this week are ‘Geranium’ with it’s bright orange cup and wing-like petals and ‘Winston Churchill’ with it’s fluffy double orchid-like blooms. I’ve been really noticing this season how many of the heirloom narcissus do look like orchids.

41213daffs2These have lasted over a week so far and while the tulips are quickly fading, the daffs still look nice and fresh. And they’ll come back next year. The narcissus are naturally shorter than the tulips, but still acceptable that way in the commercial floral industry. Tulips are just expected to be taller…funny how expectations can make a good thing bad…

 

 

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Written By , 2 years ago

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tulips

Phew…I’ve been hibernating like a bear this winter, changing things up and keeping things going. I’m ecstatic about Spring, as always, and been hustling around while trying to stay in the moment at the same time. I finally traveled to another farm, I’ve been saying for 5 years that I wanted to go play on someone else’s flower farm and the opportunity finally popped up. It was a great group of like-minded folks, amazing food (I’m still craving those roasted carrots and parsnips…need to get that recipe) and a beautiful setting. Nothing like getting away and observing someone else’s passion to force you to just “be” in the moment. The hours of solitude on the drive were therapeutic and I returned fully refreshed and ready to go, with tulips ready to harvest. Ah, Spring…

seedstartingworldsendfunspringarrangement

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Written By , 2 years ago

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  1. Slow Flowers
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Sandy came to visit. The water was half way up the back yard and made many of our trees look like they were growing out of the water. It was kind of surreal. With full power, cable, internet…we were lucky. Wedding season has died way down for me. I am enjoying time to just not hurry. I am re-working websites, getting new projects under way and playing with flowers purely for my own indulgence. More soon…

 

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Written By , 2 years ago

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This past weekend was the last of our flower workshops for the year. The flowers from the gardens performed on cue, and we ended up with more dahlias than we had for the Dahlia Workshop in July. They looooove these cooler days and nights, they’re really insane right now.

We had a full house (er…farm) with 13 lovely ladies coming to play with flowers. The weather was amazing and champagne seemed to flow more freely at this workshop… A great time seemed to be had by all and they left with inquiries of “the next one?”. I’m working that out now, perhaps spring flowers? Peonies, tulips, heirloom daffs and ranunculus are going in now, so they are fresh in my mind. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks again to everyone who came and made it such a beautiful day for me!

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Written By , 2 years ago

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LOVE these two…by far one of the sweetest couples (with great taste) I have ever worked with. So in love and so appreciative of everything. I couldn’t be happier for them and wish them all the best on their new journey in NYC. For more beautiful pics from the ever-so-talented Andi Grant Photography, click here.

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Written By , 2 years ago

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  1. Slow Flowers

Just wanted to post a few pics from the English Rose Workshop. It was raining – almost the whole time – so I only snapped a few pics. The plastic-covered hoophouse kept us relatively dry and a good time was had by all. I met some new friends and got to see some repeat attendees, I loved them all. The arrangements blew me away, as always. Thanks so much to everyone who came.

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Written By , 2 years ago

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A little snippet from a recent wedding. This was one of my favorites (do I say that about all of them?) since the bride was so easy going and they were, no doubt, the sweetest couple I’ve ever worked with. Hopefully more photos soon. Peonies and ranunculus are scheduled to arrive soon and I am beaten and bruised preparing the fall for farm planting. I have blisters and bruises from getting the fence up, and my legs look like a got into a fight with a ninja kitten from being beaten by weed wacker debris. Gotta get those summer weeds under control.

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