A Summer Garden Party Celebration

by

Scott Shepherd

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images by Sarah Ingram

Winter has arrived. The usual up and down of the thermometer in the south, days and days of rain, leafless trees and dormant lawns are pretty normal as we usher in the new year. As I reflect on 2018, I am overcome with a sense of joy and gratefulness. One warm and beautiful August evening was the setting of a most memorable occasion. My family was invited to the home of Nate and Ginny Early to celebrate the launch of The Flower Podcast. What a great time of fellowship and community as Ginny of Enemies of the Average and Mary Wynn of Amy Osaba Designs hosted this wonderful evening of friends and flowers.

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These are the times that build community and forever feed the soul. The vibrant colors and delicious aromas filled the evening air as we gathered around this beautiful table of family and friends. Each person brought amazingly delicious food. There was no doubt, each serving vessel was prepared with love.

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Personalized cookies brought by the amazing Mary Wynn!!! It may be a cookie, but I didn’t know how much a cookie could mean to me.

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Of course, no dinner party celebrating the launch of The Flower Podcast would be complete without gorgeous flowers! Below is Ginny Early on the left and Mary Wynn on the top right and Sheridan Weaver bottom right. I have had the pleasure of knowing these ladies and being a part of their flower journey. Each flower carefully selected to grace the table setting of the evening.

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Sheridan and Mary were among the guests around the laughter filled table. Telling jokes, sharing “Nick” names, and remembering stories of times working together. A magical night filled with the clinking of glass. The love and admiration we all share for each other was heard in every toast. Fellowship at its best.

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I’ve never experienced an evening such as this. As these amazing people, one by one, shared not only what I meant to each of them, but what this podcast has become for each of them. What began as a dream for a podcast has become so much more. I’ve discovered another family of creatives that is thrilled to support and nurture each other through this journey of life and now my new project, The Flower Podcast.

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We had fun playing with this little kitty that kept making an appearance. Apparently a stray that was drawn by the warmth, food, and caring that permeated the evening.

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What a blessing to celebrate what was the early stages of launching the podcast. The care and support was overwhelmingly felt by these individuals I am proud to call my floral family. Most of my own family was there, my wife Catherine and two of our sons, David and Ryan. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU to Ginny Early and her husband Nate for opening your home so graciously. To Mary Wynn, the sincere cheerleader and cookie guru brings a smile wherever she goes. Sarah Ingram was there to generously capture every moment of this joyous occasion. Sheridan Weaver joined in the festivities and lent a hand in the preparations. Amy Osaba along with her charming mother were there to complete this enchanting gathering. I am honored to share life with all of you.

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I don’t know how to adequately express my gratitude to the people in this picture, but I hope I have given you a glimmer into my heart. With the launch of The Flower Podcast something else special happened. Something that should happen often among those of us that love flowers and use them to create beautiful memories for others; A Flower Family. Maybe we should find more times to gather as friends in this community and create memories for ourselves. This night was one of those nights, and one I won’t soon forget.

Forever grateful to be your ‘Flower Dad’

Bouquet Beauty from The Flower Podcast

A wedding bouquet can be some of the first flowers a bride and her wedding party might see just prior to her walking down the isle. It’s that bouquet that can stir the soul and bring the sparkle of happy tears from your bride. Connecting you, the floral artist, and the bride is a very special moment- one that can bring intense satisfaction. I hope these bouquets inspire you like they did us. Thanks to The Flower Podcast guests for sharing these moments with us and now you.

Bouquet by  Holly Chapple , Photo by  Abby Jiu

Bouquet by Holly Chapple, Photo by Abby Jiu

This amazing bouquet by Holly Chapple includes the following flowers: Peonies, Lily of the Valley, Nerines, Garden Roses, Ranunculus, Eucalyptus, Gardenia Foliage, Myrtle, and Deutzia.

Finding the right textures and colors to reflect the style of each bride can be a real challenge depending on the time of year. Every bouquet needs a combination of more robust flowers that draw the eye but also the delicate flowers that bring a level of sophistication to this masterpiece. Finding that balance can be difficult yet is rewarding when the artist sees that sparkle in the bride’s eyes.

 
Bouquet by  Velvet and Twine , Photo by  J P Pratt

Bouquet by Velvet and Twine, Photo by J P Pratt

This amazing bouquet by Velvet and Twine includes the following flowers: Garden Roses, Peonies, Ranunculus, Orlaya, Seastar Fern, Plum foliage, Riceflower, Lisianthus, Black Berry Privet, Autumn Eucalyptus, Astilbe, and Super Parrot Tulips.

Color can be very personal. Not everyone loves the same palette. Working within the parameters of your taste and style while supporting the bride’s wishes may be challenging. I always find it fascinating how color can evoke emotion.

 
Bouquet by  Christy Hulsey , Photo by  Jeremy Harwell

Bouquet by Christy Hulsey, Photo by Jeremy Harwell

This amazing bouquet by Christy Hulsey includes the following flowers: Peonies, Ranunculus, Scabiosa, Silver Dollar Eucalyptus, Leucadendron Foliage, Hanging Amaranthus, and Garden Roses.

Not ever flower lends itself to every style of bouquet. Whether small or large, wide or compact, the bouquet is the perfect accessory to any bride and her gown. Choosing flowers to compliment the bouquet’s movement adds character to the piece.

 

The Flowers included in this stunning bouquet by Joseph Massie: Roses, Peonies, Queen Anne’s Lace, Saponaria, Misc Vines and Grasses.

Some bouquets are strictly for editorial purposes. It’s imperative to take a moment for yourself to just create and stretch your creative boundaries. Explore different color combinations or styles, expand beyond your usual flower choices. Growing your skills and imagination is very inspiring. Adding these images to your portfolio can also let a bride know just what you are capable of creating for her special day.

 
Photo provided by Emily Newman,  If I Made , Bouquet by  Kelly Lenard , Photographer  Lauren Balingit

Photo provided by Emily Newman, If I Made, Bouquet by Kelly Lenard, Photographer Lauren Balingit

This amazing bouquet is by Kelly Lenard of Intertwine and the flowers in the bouquet include: Spirea, Narcissus, Millet, Amaryllis, Butterfly Ranunculus, Hellebore, Flowering Pear, and Eucalyptus.

Sometimes using the most delicate of flowers can reflect your knowledge and confidence of flower material and your skill at showing restraint in a design piece. Even the smallest of bouquets can speak volumes.

 

This beautiful bouquet by Ginny Early includes the following flowers: Japanese Anemones, Garden Roses, Ranunculus, Butterfly Ranunculus, Chinese Pistache Foliage, Chocolate Cosmos, Carmel Plumosa Fern, Echinacea Pods, Autumn Eucalyptus, and Hellebores.

 

A memorable bouquet may contain minimal flowers or be composed of several varieties. No matter the composition of a bridal bouquet, designing to encompass your bride’s style and expectation for her magical day is the goal. When we are entrusted to interpret our bride’s dream for their memorable day, one finds the reward in seeing that dream come to fruition. Delight comes in the reaction of your bride. What a beautiful and fulfilling moment to know you as a floral creative have been instrumental in creating a memory.