A Summer Garden Party Celebration


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


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


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


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


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.