Sunday, February 27, 2011

Get Ready for Spring!!!

I don't know about you, but this weather is blowing me away. I can't believe these past few days! Dreary cold 40's seem a distant memory. Today has been a balmy 78 degrees and tomorrow promises more of the same. Some of my early bulbs are starting to come up and BLOOM! These are blue hyacinth. Honestly, I think they are blooming a little early because they are 2nd year bulbs and I dug them up last year. I kept the dried bulbs inside, then chilled them in the fall and ending up putting them out a little late. But aren't they beautiful!!! I may even use some in a spring bouquet.

I was so pleased to see my Ice Follies with blooms popping open too. I wrote about these sweet daffodils back in December just after we got nailed with about eight inches of snow. And now they're up and blooming.
Daffodils (or narcissus) are wonderful for the spring time garden beds. You can purchase them in the late summer or fall, and plant them out in mid to late November, and before you know it they will be opening up and announcing spring. Daffodil bulbs are great too in that they multiply and you will have more in the upcoming years.
Hellebores are such elegant beauties. Their flower show starts in mid to late February and continues through March. Sometimes the aged flower heads still look great two months later.
This one is a new variety- Helleborus 'HGC Pink Frost'.
March is just a day away and suddenly there is a lot to do in the garden.
Next weekend is also the start of my spring wedding season. Emma and Bobby will be married on Saturday. I hope to post pictures of the flower work in progress- We'll see.....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weddings- Jamie and Steve at Elodie Farms

From our very first meeting, Jamie had a definite vision for her wedding flowers. I met with Jamie and her event planner, Erin McLean, of Erin McLean Events several months before the wedding date. She was very interested in designs that would use locally grown floral material. While I do grow many flowers for my brides, I knew that I would also have to enlist the help of flower farmers in the area.
These wonderful images that capture some of the details of the wedding show how Jamie's vision was brought to life. They have been provided by F8 Photo Studio and are copyrighted.
The wedding was slated for late August, and after a long search, Jamie and Steve found the perfect setting in Elodie Farms. It's located north of Durham, heading toward Roxboro, and it boasted a beautiful laid back charm. I have to admit I was pretty impressed.
The flowers perfectly matched the setting. The fresh picked blooms included crested and feather celosia, antique green hydrangea, apple green sedum, zinnia, Silver King and Love-In-A-Puff and hyacinth bean vines.
Centerpieces for the tables were designed in Mason jars that were encircled with wreaths of ivy provided by my friend, Sandy.
Jamie's bouquet included golden yellow and magenta zinnias, pink tips of feather celosia and physostegia and purple lisianthus, (from Steve Bender's flower farm). The bouquet was finished with a delicate silvery green collar of artemisia. I love this picture of Jamie and her parents on the wrap around porch of the farmhouse.
The chuppah was set up in the front yard of the house. Jamie and Steve wanted a floral design that included long trailing vines cascading down from the canopy.
Here's a close-up of one of the floral sprays topped with hyacinth bean pods and caged in curly willow with long trailing vines of Love-In-A-Puff. Erin McLean was a big help to Sandy and me in setting up.
And here's a sweet photo of the happy couple after saying "I Do."
It was a privilege to design the wedding flowers for Jamie and Steve, and I am grateful to them for allowing me to share these pictures from their wedding. And I am also very grateful to f8 photo studio for sending the images my way for posting on the blog.
I can't wait until the gardens really start up again. I plan to share more about the wealth of flowers that are greatly suited to farm and barn style weddings!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weddings- Nicole and Rob, the Real Pictures

Nicole and Rob are celebrating their 1st Month anniversary today, so I thought I would use this special day to share these great images that were captured by their very gifted photographer, Robyn, of Robyn Van Dyke Photography.
This newly wedded couple could not have picked a better day in January for their wedding at the Chapel at St. David's School in Raleigh. While most of January was bleak and cold, the 16th brought a bit of warmth and blue skies.
Nicole's bouquet was designed with Amnesia roses, which have such a lovely vintage quality.
And what better to pair them with then some absolutely gorgeous purple shoes. I love the shoes!!!

The decor was a stylish combination of eclectic pieces that worked beautifully together: an antique typewriter welcoming guests, brass candlesticks, lanterns, dried bundles of lavender and flowers in purple, blue and lavender shades.
Flowers for the tables were nestled in white creamers and pitchers and set out with thoughtful touches such as photos of past family wedding days.

Nicole's bridesmaids carried baby's breath posies wrapped in satin ribbon.
What a beautiful Bride!!!
I am very grateful to Robyn Van Dyke (check out her website at: for sending me these beautiful images that she captured from Nicole and Rob's wedding, and to Nicole and Rob for allowing me to share them with others.
Nicole and Rob, I wish you all the best as you begin the second month of the rest of your lives together!!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Spring Time Wedding Flowers in Yellow

No, these are not yellow flowers, but they are definitely harbingers of spring- these sweet little jewels, which are only about six to seven inches tall, have been blooming for about two weeks. They are Galanthus or Snowdrops, and they are not afraid of the cold! Each year I become a little more enamored with snowdrops, and I am planning on adding more to my garden next fall. I also want to add their big cousin, Leucojum or Snow Flake, which will bloom later- around mid to late March here in Cary, NC. Snow Flakes will grow twelve to fifteen inches tall. Both of these bulbs can be planted mid to late November after a good hard frost when ground temperatures have cooled below 55 degrees. If planted when soil temps are too warm, the bulbs may put on unnecessary top growth which could diminish their spring time flower show.
I decided to try some Snowdrops as a cut flower and ended up adding them to my yellow bouquet. Because of their small size, they have a hidden water source. I have found Snowdrops will last about four to five days as a cut flower. I love the dainty heads of Snowdrops peaking over the yellow gerber daisy!
In addition to yellow gerber daisies and white Snowdrops, this bouquet also has yellow tulips and some coral, peach and red ranunculus and ivory Majolika roses.
The finishing touch- a cage of curly willow stems that are just budding out with new leaves!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wedding Flowers From the Garden- Pretty in Pink

I have been browsing through pictures from last year's garden, and I thought that I would write a little about some of the beautiful pink and magenta flowers that would be perfect for a garden themed or vintage wedding. Some may be familiar to you, others may be flowers that your grandmother use to grow. The flowers in the picture above are crested celosia or cockscomb. The flowers feel like fuzzy velvet and come in burgundies, yellows, pinks and reds. Cockscomb blooms from June through frost. I usually do several plantings, and some of the flower heads can reach about six to eight inches wide.
Rose campion or lychnis is a small flower about the size of a quarter, but its vivid hot pink petals definitely command attention. These flowers start blooming in the garden in late May and will continue for about six to eight weeks. Petite white vases grouped together holding these little gems would look sweet.
Foxglove or digitalis starts blooming around late April. I love the freckles! The first bloom spike is about 2 1/2 feet tall and makes a bold statement in any design. Secondary flower spikes are about a foot tall.
Clematis flowers are wonderful in lush, exotic designs or simply elegant floating in a crystal bowl. The cut flowers last about five days, sometimes more. I also like to use the wiry flower pods after the petals have dropped. Some clematis vines start blooming late spring, others start in summer. There are also some that flower again in the autumn.
One of my all time favorite flowers is hydrangea. I have blues, purples, whites and this rich pink, (actually most years this shrub gives me dark purple flowers, but I moved it to a new location and the pH of the soil is more alkaline). The flowers last for weeks, eventually changing to antique shades of pale green with blush undertones.
This is just a sampling of what to expect from my spring and summer garden beds. More to come!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wedding Bouquets in Purple Part II- Playing It Cool

This week's wedding bouquets feature a lovely rose called "Cool Water". It is a lavender rose with some pink undertones, and it pairs well with whites, blues and silvers.
Or it can stand alone as in the bouquet pictured above.
When a bride wants to include lavender roses in her bouquet, Cool Water roses are at the top of my list. I love their classic rose look and they seem to last forever... well for fresh flowers that is.
The top photograph is a great image captured by Pascale Fitts, and was featured a New Year's Eve post. This rose was also featured in a post about a bouquet that will be given away to bride-to-be Paula in April.