Laura Dowling: Floral Diplomacy

Laura Dowling served as Chief Floral Designer at the White House for 6 years from 2009 until 2015. In this position, she planned and implemented decorations for major events at the White House, including the White House Christmas, state dinners, the presidential family quarters, the public tour route displays, and Camp David, an imposing portfolio of literally thousands of large and small events, floral arrangements, table settings and innovative volunteer projects.

Flowers: A Tool for Innovation and Change

Laura Dowling’s Ted Talk. Ted x Mid Atlantic

Inspired by President Obama’s message of hope and change, Laura created floral designs to reflect these sentiments and chats about using flowers as a strategic approach. Focus may be environmental, cultural traditions, symbolism, and much more.

Photo by Stichting Kunstboek

Photo by Stichting Kunstboek


Promise You a Rose Garden: Ex-White House Florist Tells All

New York Times

The former White House florist Laura Dowling, in New York City’s flower district.  Credit Tawni Bannister for The New York Times  By Katherine Rosman

The former White House florist Laura Dowling, in New York City’s flower district.

Credit Tawni Bannister for The New York Times

By Katherine Rosman


Laura Dowling’s garden style bouquets are exquisite gatherings of lush and vibrant seasonal blooms, poetic arrangements that evoke sentimental memories and inspire ethereal dreams. Highly original in concept and design, Laura’s bouquets weave layers of blooms, fruits and entwining vines with fabricated materials such as paper, ribbons and wool, blurring the lines of traditional floristry to fuse flowers with nature and handcrafts in new and unexpected presentations. At once fanciful and whimsical, refined and elegant, her colorful bouquets exude a friendly and approachable aesthetic that have inspired a First Lady, high-level dignitaries and legions of fans from around the world with their great charm and liveliness. She believes that flowers – the ephemeral but enduring mementos of special occasions and everyday life – convey a vast range of emotions and meanings that words alone cannot express, unlocking a powerful tool for uplifting spirits, telling stories and enriching our lives. In her new book “Bouquets,” due out later this year, Laura shares her secrets and insights for creating 75 innovative designs that focus on l’art du bouquet – the most personal and evocative form of floral artistry – including detailed step-by-step tips and techniques for crafting her unique, signature-style bouquets for all settings, seasons and occasions.


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“ I think we need more opportunities for thoughtful, collaborative problem-solving and creative expression vs. devolving into cliques and group think – a challenge in the social media era. The bottom line is that the appeal of flowers is timeless and enduring – and will continue to play an important role in our increasingly hectic and busy lives – creating new opportunities for everyone involved in the floral world.” Laura Dowling

New 2019 Holiday Wreath Stamp Collection will soon be available. Laura shared this wonderful news about her latest project years in the making. Antonio Alcalá served as the art director Laura Dowling designed the festive wreaths for the holiday stamps. Photographed by Kevin Allen.

It Could Be You

Hope Flower Farm Workshop 2019

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The second “It Could Be You” workshop at Hope Flower Farm hosted by Holly Heider Chapple was an inspirational success. Holly truly has a passion for educating and encouraging anyone in the flower community. Eleven designers came together for personal instruction from Holly and fellowship with other designers.

Holly, along with the designers, sat down for a heart-to-heart chat with Scott for a special episode of The Flower Podcast. Holly and the ladies discuss topics close to their hearts.


The Ladies of “It Could Be You”

The Winners of “It Could Be You” created their own designs and were photographed by Kim Branagan.

More Compote Creations

 

A Time of Teaching

Show notes

1. Recognize the importance of proper pricing early on in your business.

2.   I love the idea of creating a multi-sensory experience if you have a retail store.  Focus on the ambience of the environment by incorporating pleasant scents, calming sounds, offering refreshing beverages, and customer interactions.

3.  Look to diversifying your offerings to grow your business.

4.  Seeking and taking advantage of learning opportunities is very important.

5.  Understanding the dynamic of how your pricing affects your business, now and in the future.

6.  The importance of loyalty with customers in your market place. Building important relationships.

7.  Being aware and being careful not to “overstuff” arrangements. That might be your profit.

8.   Customers need to visually experience your design. Photograph your pieces properly.

9.  Find creative ways to get your name or business in front of potential customers.

10. Learn how to educate your customers about your services so they understand the value you bring.

11.  If you’re new to an area and starting your business, take the time to introduce yourself to other businesses in the area for possible collaborations or freelancing while you grow your business.


Thank you to Holly and the ladies for sharing your hearts with The Flower Podcast. I believe we all have stories to share.

Scott will be attending Flowerstock 2019 at Hope Flower Farm. Follow this link to learn more about Flowerstock and the featured guests. This is a wonderful time of teaching through hands-on experience and exchanging stories with other members of the floral community.

Compote Masterpieces by Christin Geall

Every week we are entrusted with an amazing collection of images from each of our guests. When we spoke to Christin Geall, we wanted to put together a collection of her compote designs and invite you to experience the magic that she creates with her flowers. All these designs and images were created and photographed by Christin Geall.

Before you look at these images we’ve put together with Christin’s help, I hope you stop and take a breath, close your eyes, and imagine you’re in a museum. When you open your eyes, my hope is that you drink in each image and notice her particular use of color and space. On her podcast with us, she mentioned the careful arranging of light and shadows in addition to the use and selection of each flower. I would encourage you to take a moment and open this blog post on a computer or at least a large screen to experience the detail in each piece.

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One of the magical qualities that Christin demonstrates time and time again is the manner in which the natural color and curve of a branch, vine, or grass can draw your eye directly into the center of the design. Then, when you step back you can see how every element works together to create a design with both continuity and form. One of the aspects of this design that I find so amazing are the clean colors: the purity of the whites, the vibrant yellows, and the hint of green that comes with spring.

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During various times of the year, a floral designer has the opportunity to work with an assortment of wild elements like grasses and vines. I love how Christin uses more wildflower like blooms to fill the space and create interest. You could look at this amazing floral design for a long period of time and continue to find hidden gems. The different types of greenery and their diverse shades and textures play with the colors of each flower.

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Color,Color, Color!! How many times do you wish you had the chance to work with vibrant colors of any kind in your designs. Once again, Christin takes the time to select a wide variety of material often harvested from her own garden to experiment with both color and light. These vibrant maple leaves draw your eye into the center of this piece to expose all of the hidden treasures. Whether it’s the crabapples stripped of their foliage and clustered together or the euonymus and their amazing contrast of hot pinks and orange dancing all around, nature continues to show us how to use color and light and welcomes us into autumn .

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In floral design, light is as important as color. Mixing this incredible collection of pastel colored flowers is only enhanced by the light in this photograph. The softness of the light allows the gentle colors to sing in a harmonious symphony. Like a chorus, each flower and their colors play their part in a soft romantic way. The Dahlias which usually are the stars of a piece are instrumental in bridging all the colors together and allowing the little dancing flowers to have their moment.

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Using a variety of containers can be inspiring. This container is made out of beeswax. It’s fascinating how this natural element can be both gold and neutral at the same time providing a stage for these rich vibrant colors to truly shine. From the dark purple sweet peas and burgundy colored nine bark to the bright oranges and hot pinks, it is truly an amazing floral piece. In our episode with Christin, we talk about experimenting with various color combinations and to study how colors play off each other and work together.

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Sometimes late summer can be a challenging time for wedding and event work. This time of year generously provides us with amazing colored flowers. I hear all the time how Zinnias and Cosmos are too casual for a prime time special occasion, but I think the bold colors can work to elevate floral designs by providing a depth of color and richness. Learning to blend colors within a design is an important part of the creative process which comes with practice. Bridging pinks, peaches, yellows, purples, and oranges, is not an easy task but seasonality is really our friend and helps us to accomplish this. Summer flowers are truly our companions to exciting summer works.

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Carrying the eye through a design from beginning to end is testament of true talent and artful skill. Christin has pulled dried fern from the lowest point and extended them through the piece. Meanwhile poppies, ranunculus, and French tulips hold their heads up on every level. Designs like this really hold your attention and can open your eyes to the beautiful stages of a flower’s or plant’s life.

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Christin Geall is a Canadian floral designer, writer, gardener, photographer, and author. Her new book, Cultivated: Elements of Floral Style(Princeton Architectural Press, 2020) is scheduled to be release sometime next spring. Trained in horticulture at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, she completed a BA in Environmental Studies and Anthropology and a MFA in writing before becoming a gardening columnist for Gardenista and the Black Press Group, an Adjunct professor, and designer.

Her writing and floral work focuses on the intersections of nature, culture, and horticulture. I hope you enjoyed this small collection of Christin’s work. No matter what the color palette or material, she creates stunning combinations. Taking the time to study her work, the lighting, and her passion for flowers, I hope will Cultivate your inspiration and your desire to put beauty out into the world.

Scott Shepherd

Bio, Designs, and Photographs by Christin Geall

Reliable Flowers for Large Scale Design

With the awakening of floral designs to the no floral foam movement, the need for information on tested products that can last out of water for an extended period of time is more valuable than ever. After talking with Susan McCleary for the upcoming release of her episode on The Flower Podcast, we had time to talk about the need for this information, and she shared her list with us.

Image by Amanda Dumouchelle Photography


This elegant flower garland/column has an amazing collection of long lasting flowers. The above picture has anthuriums, gerbera daisies, lisianthus, plumosa, stephanotis vine, lilies, and spray roses. LaPorcshia, the model, is holding a single stephanotis vine.

Below is a featured list of Susan McLeary’s Reliable Flowers & Foliage for Large Scale Designs.

Accent Decor: Inspiration with Ian Prosser and Zoë Gallina

There are many times when a company recruits outside talent to highlight some of their products. With our excitement of having Ian and Zoë on The Flower Podcast this week, we reached out to Accent Decor to showcase inspirational images created by them. This gives us many opportunities!! First to highlight their work and also to highlight some amazing products by our lead sponsor for this season, Accent Decor.

Having been in the floral business for many years, I understand the need for inspiration. Either taking vessels you already have or seeing new products for you to use can be important when booking weddings and meeting with clients. It’s far too easy to let our work become ordinary. I hope you enjoy this post and can take a quiet moment and breathe in the inspiration.

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Nature provides us with what seems like an endless number of mediums to express our visions and dreams. I love the use of tillandisas, fruit, plants, and foliage mixed with the obvious cut flowers for this vignette. Accent Decor brings in amazing talents to create these stunning visuals to showcase the possibilities for creating memorable events or weddings for your clients. Utilizing plants can be more than environmentally friendly, it can also give you inventory to repurpose or regift to your client. The flowers and plants above have been placed in the Laurent Urn. Using the natural vibrant color of fruit like cantaloupe and persimmons to carry the color from the flower designs flowing down the table and the place setting can create more impact. The candles have been placed in the Glass Lanterns with gold accents to connect with the gold in the urns. Creating more intimate light, the Sassi Votives have blended perfectly with the golds, peaches, and taupes of the tablescape.

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There is a current trend that I am absolutely thrilled to see. Being in the wholesale end of florals, I am used to having multiple products in inventory but when you see new trends bringing somewhat passed over inventory to life you can’t help but be energized! I am drawn to the pampers grass. This time of year dried product is the most available. It’s not as big and fluffy as fresh, but you can reuse it if you handle it carefully and when mixed with greenery the impact created can be spectacular. This design almost mimics the popular suspended floral design by using the Clarinet Vase without the challenges of hanging florals from the ceiling. I also love the design of this vessel and its reversal capability to add variety and interest on the same table.

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Farm tables may come and go with popularity, but I love all the natural elements incorporated into this tablescape The clean lines from the hanging amaranths effortlessly brings your eyes down past the Clarinet Vase to this inviting gathering of rustic charm. Including the Truce Candleholder and the Selenite Table Number Accent Decor reinforces this natural theme making the connection with the Earth. Also, in the background there is the use of the candleholders and sculptures from the Atlantis Collection made from selenite. Once again, fruit is being used to connect the bright green color of the centerpieces with the simple place setting design. Each setting creates a personal invite with the use of a Tea Rose Budvase and a delicate touch of color.

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Accent Decor not only creates vessels, but also brings decorative natural pieces into their collections. The bright gold Adorn Vase looks clean and is truly a bold statement when mixed with any florals like the mix of garden roses, dahlias, freesias, hydrangea, and callas. The bold florals and lines of the eucalyptus compliment the colors of these natural Agate Slices. These create a wonderful textural addition to any event. Whether for decorative purposes or like used above to personalize a setting, incorporating natural pieces with your designs is always pleasing.

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The challenge of a table centerpiece can be its height or how much it may interfere with the personal space of each guest. I appreciate the scale, fullness, color, and ambience that Ian and Zoë brought to this table. The delicate peaches and creams of the garden roses and the softness of the dahlias blend with the natural color of the chairs and the votives perfectly. Furthermore, the silver of the brunia and dusty miller compliment the simple yet elegant place setting. The votives used in the settings are Accent Decor’s Spirit Votive. Made of glass, this dramatic votive creates a delicate ambience and sets the mood of an intimate gathering. Last but not least, the Stellar Name Card Holder adds a hint of sparkle, a natural element, and overall elegance to the tablescape.

 
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Oh my goodness! When I first saw this image, my thoughts were of cherished memories of my grandmother. I believe many of you know what I am talking about. The family cake plate admired as the vessel housing Grandma’s delectable of the day, and the fresh pick of morning flowers from the garden were essential for a day at Grandma’s.

I am loving the appeal of this table. Simple yet elegant. Classic yet Current. The beautiful color of the Zelana Cake Plates can be used for anything from the obvious decorative cake plate to perfect pedestals for floral masterpieces. Designed to compliment any color palette, I am enamored with the amazing vibrant colors of the anemones, dahlias, and roses and they pop against the timeless color of the cake plate. The table also includes textured vases from Accent Decor’s Palm Collection available in multiple sizes. The neutral color of this stoneware vessel gives it flexibility in how it is utilized in one’s overall design. Truly a modern vibe to a classic table for an overall timeless experience.

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Ian Posser and Zoë Gallina of Botanica International Design and Decor Studio, collaborate with Accent Decor to create catalog images and launch new product lines. Our sincere thanks to Accent Decor for being a sponsor for The Flower Podcast and sharing with us these spectacular images for this blog post. Listen to Ian and Zoë’s chat with Scott.

 

Peonies: Varieties to Look For This Year!!

by Scott Shepherd


With the arrival of spring comes the much anticipated onset of magnificent peonies. Each year, the peony season comes and goes with mostly the same varieties. You may recognize varieties like ‘Kansas’, ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, ‘Jules Eli’, ‘Festiva Maxima’, and ‘Duches de Nemours’. Oh, and don’t forget ‘Coral Charm’, ‘Coral Sunset’, and ‘Red Charm’. These have become the staple varieties that we know to ask for year after year. Some of these varieties are earlier blooming cultivars which we have grown to depend on, but over the years new varieties that tend to bloom later in the season have become more plentiful.

Many of these varieties have been hybridized over the decades. New doesn’t necessarily mean recently created. New could be, and often is, defined as meaning the varieties have been around a long time but have finally become more available to the masses. Peonies can be a tremendous expense to plant, both in capital, labor, and land. Many varieties take a minimum of three years before blooms can actually be harvested. As you can imagine after millions of dollars have been spent in plants, the idea of tearing them out of the ground and starting with new varieties isn’t very attractive.

So as our palette of peonies progress, we want to take a moment to show you and make sure you learn and remember some names for this spring. That way, when you have a chance you can try them out. We have not used any kind of enhancement or filters on the pictures. We have used natural light in most cases to give you a sense of the true color

 

Fuchsia Peony

Peony ‘Paul Wilde’

Peony ‘Paul Wilde’

This is ‘Paul Wilde’. An amazing fuchsia with an incredibly high petal count. This fabulous variety opens reliably into a large flower with a big wow factor. It adds that degree of moodiness to any rich romantic color palette. The color is so intense it’s sure to draw your customer’s eyes straight to it.

 

New and Different

Peony ‘Do Tell’ / ‘Flat Top’

Peony ‘Do Tell’ / ‘Flat Top’

There’s a short story with this variety. When I first bought this peony, it was sold to me under the name ‘Flat Top’, and I posted it on Instagram as such. Then, one of our followers was kind of enough to give me her thoughts on the variety. I was very grateful, since I always want to be correct when posting new varieties. At the time, I found images that matched under both names. However, I do think the name is ‘Do Tell’. So I listed that first above. This is a very interesting peony with all the color in the center of the flower and the pink petals that continue to fade as it opens. It blends with almost any palette. Because it opens quickly, I would leave it in the cooler as long as possible. The color in this flower has the ability to create color bridges or help with transitioning interesting color combinations of flowers.

 

Salmon Peonies

In my hunt for salmon color peonies, I came across the next two varieties in Holland. Their names say it all, and I just had to try them. As you can see in the pictures, they really aren’t salmon. I will say that they start salmon-ish and then open to pink.

Peony ‘Etched Salmon’

Peony ‘Etched Salmon’

‘Etched Salmon’ is a beautiful peony. It opens slower than the variety below and when you see all the petals you know why. It just keeps opening and opening to the magnificent flower you see above. They consistently open with a combination of tones throughout the flower. You naturally see the darker pink inner petals that fade to the lighter pink outer petals. I would never hesitate to try this variety if given the chance. When the flower fully opens it’s almost a complete sphere. Amazing!!

Peony ‘Salmon Saucer’

Peony ‘Salmon Saucer’

If you need a fast opener, this is it, ‘Salmon Saucer’. Being in the single family of peonies, it has few petals. These two varieties look identical in the bud stage. If you use your fingers and pinch the bud the single peonies feel hollow compared to a double or semi-double. If they get mixed up you can use the pinch test to tell them apart. They are beautiful, but some people are turned off with the yellow pollen filled center. Often brides and customers that want the pink of the peony are not happy with this center. When fully opened, it reminds me of the flower from Magnolia grandiflora.

 

White Peonies

Being that white is the number one color in demand for most weddings, I’ve included two that you may not know. If you do a lot of weddings especially in late May and June you may have lucked out over the last two years and found these show stoppers.

Peony ‘Madame Claude Tain’

Peony ‘Madame Claude Tain’

This peony contains beautiful petals with a feathery center. The petals, as they approach the center sometimes have a slight yellow cast to them. However, when it opens completely, it reads white to me. I guess it depends on the color palette you may be using with it. It is definitely whiter that ‘Duchess’. The petal count makes this flower seem full and dramatic. A great choice for sure, you don’t want to forget this one.

Peony ‘Odile’

Peony ‘Odile’

White peonies are truly the jewels of the wedding bouquet. If you struggled with choosing which white peony to choose, I understand. Deciding between white with pink flecks or varities that open with this yellowish creamy center can be frustrating. For the bride that wants pure white, I think this is the best variety because it really doesn’t have much, if any, of that yellow that stands out in an all white bridal bouquet. Needless to say, the whitest variety I’ve seen. Remember this one for sure.

 

Pink Peony

Peony ‘Sweet 16’

Peony ‘Sweet 16’

Out of all the “new” peonies I’ve enjoyed this year, ‘Sweet 16’ has to be my new favorite. It’s a little darker than the ‘blush’ most people want in the wedding world. This peony is an absolute showstopper. It’s large and has a pretty balance to it, not a single blossom and not packed with petals either. It opens gracefully because these huge petals are amazing. Almost every single flower that I saw in this batch opened beautifully. I just can’t say enough about this variety because my jaw dropped open from the very first second I saw it open. Truly a work of art to be used in designs.

The flower business is constantly changing with new varieties replacing old. With some crops this is easier than others. Change in the world of peonies is truly slow. Because South America joined the world in peony production, they have brought many new varieties to our markets. I can’t wait to see what treasures they’ll send our way this winter!!

Garden Rose Favorites of Rose Story Farm®

What an experience to sit down with Danielle Dall’Armi and Bill Hahn to learn about their garden rose farm. To hear the many challenges of farming like insects or downy mildew, add damage from the devastating fires in California or the mud slide/flows that not once but twice moved through their property, only helps me appreciate the love and effort that goes into each beautiful stem. The roses below are a list of Dani’s Favorites. With wedding trends changing from year to year, different colors may be requested, but it’s nice to hear from the grower directly which garden rose are her favorites. Write them down and enjoy! Hopefully at some point this year, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the colors and fragrance of garden roses!

Rose Story Farm® Customer Favorites

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’

Amaryllis: The Star of the Winter Season

So many flowers bring back seasonal memories. Amaryllis are definitely the star of late November and December, but is that where it should end? With all the abundance and rich tones of autumn, I know that I see amaryllis as the perfect transitional flower between fall and spring, in other words, The Star of the Winter Season. Being one of the largest bulb flowers designers use throughout the year, amaryllis can be challenging to use but well worth the effort. I would like to introduce some varieties you may have seen but overlooked. I would recommend keeping these amazing ‘stars of the winter’ palette in mind when planning weddings or events.

Floral by McKenzie Powell and Image by Belathée Photography

Amaryllis Darling

Design and image from Viridis Garden Design featuring Amaryllis Darling

Amaryllis come in an array of amazing shades of pinks, peaches, reds, white, greens, and more. Often designers or clients share the opinion that amaryllis feel too ‘holidayish’. In my opinion, Amaryllis continue to impress during the winter and help pave the way into the early spring floral season and continue shining with all their glory. The variety featured above is called Darling. Amaryllis Darling is a large flowering variety with a beautiful pale pink/ blush color. Its stunning light pink incorporates well with other colors and textures.

Amaryllis Gervase

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Image by Scott Shepherd courtesy of Cut Flower Wholesale

This variety, Amaryllis Gervase, I first learned about over 2 years ago. A lovely selection to be used in any pink palette! It’s one of my favorites especially during the December holiday season, but a delicious addition to the winter season and yes, I’m going to say it…how about Valentine’s Day?!? Every time I have this variety, its beauty catches the eyes of my clients.

Amaryllis Mocha

Image and Design by Holly Bryan, with Holly Bryan Artistic Design.

Amaryllis Mocha has an amazing greenish flower with a peach blush center. It creates a great transition between darker tones or pastels!! This is one of the earlier varieties and more scarce in January but deserves a place of recognition and remembrance for next year!

Amaryllis Mont Blanc

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Image and Design by Chris Wedgeworth of Flower Power.

Over the past decades, I’ve sold scores of Amaryllis Christmas Gift. It’s been a favorite white of mine for a long time. This above image is another older variety that has definitely caught my attention, Amaryllis Mont Blanc. The larger blooms sometimes seem a little heavy and have a cascading downward appearance. Love how the image above captures the ease of this variety. I believe white amaryllis also adds a magnificent presence throughout the wedding season!!

Amaryllis Green Valley

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Image by Scott Shepherd and courtesy of Cut Flower Wholesale

Red, white, and green are typically traditional colors of the holiday season. Behold above, Amaryllis Green Valley. A striking pastel green easily compliments most color palettes and a wonderful addition of texture. When available, GreenValley is a spectacular variety to use in late winter/ early spring.

Amaryllis Loyalty

Amaryllis Loyalty is absolutely stunning! Loyalty the deepest of the burgundy/ dark red varieties with a velvet plushness. Large flowers can make it difficult to capture all the lush color with these highly reflective petals. Often these darker tones are a concern to the floral designer because in dark rooms they tend to loose their dramatic impact. Don’t be fooled, They are show stoppers!! A little tip: Take the anthers out of the flowers as soon as possible. It is tempting to keep the flower as they occur in nature, however, the pollen from the anthers can tarnish the appearance of these darker majestic blooms.

Amaryllis Rilona

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Bouquet and Photograph from Fleurology.

Amaryllis Rilona, truly an amazing peach variety that can and should be used when available. Unfortunately, it’s not grown year round so definitely incorporate its beauty when possible. Rilona is a refreshing addition throughout the spring wedding season. It’s lighter than the Patone Color for 2019, but I’m sure that Living Coral will inspire all kinds of peach/coral weddings and events!!

Happy New Year and here’s to a Colorful 2019!! As the holiday season comes to a close and the winter season begins, remember this elegant flower. Whites, Pinks, Peaches, and Greens compliment beautifully the snowy thoughts of winter. With a bold presence and assortment of colors, Amaryllis is my star for the winter season and paves the way for a wonderful and colorful journey into SPRING!

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.