Making lemonade outta lemons.

Bishop's Children Dahlias

Bishop's Children Dahlias

Fall is officially here, with threats of frost.  After I put Charlie on the bus this morning, I played this game (which I have played in many seasons past), where I walk around the gardens and complain that there are no flowers left to cut.  "I can't possibly pull any cohesive arrangement together with what's left in the garden," I mutter to myself.  And then I spot a few prime dahlias, run inside to grab my clippers, and begin the process of convincing myself otherwise.

After gathering a few red, single petaled "Bishop's Children" dahlias, I decide to base the bouquet around this bright and cheery color, unlike most ivory and blush bridal bouquets I often make.  Then I head over to the "veggie" garden (which I should admit has more flowers than veggies planted in it these days) where I spot some lovely, tall Red Gem marigolds that I grew from seed sent to me by my mom this Spring.  The orange and red variegation compliment the red dahlias perfectly.  Their delicate, tiny flower heads are starting to give the bouquet and airy feel already.

Red Gem marigolds

Red Gem marigolds

I raided the zinnia patch looking for any and all primary colored ones available that haven't been completely absorbed by the downy mildew they are usually covered with, this late in the season, along with a few interesting Jazzy Mix zinnias, which come in yummy warm tones and unusual stripe combinations.  

Jazzy Mix Zinnias courtesy of Johnny's Seeds  

Jazzy Mix Zinnias courtesy of Johnny's Seeds

 

For a touch of whimsy, I added a few euonymous vines stripped off the side of the barn, with their fall pods starting to show, along with a few rose hips gathered from the scruff of our property.  I may have also added the last cosmo available for a pop of white brightness in this otherwise color saturated bouquet.  I even raided my container gardens for some purple sweet potato vine as well as some ivy that I cut from a topiary that should have been trimmed long ago.  See, I knew there was a reason I let it go. ;-)

 

Added a bold ribbon and voila!

Added a bold ribbon and voila!

Unique Centerpieces

Wedding reception centerpieces can be romantic, simple, sweet, and downright awe-inspiring. When approached correctly, a floral centerpiece can transform a table and enhance a room by way of color, dimension, and design. Below are some unique wedding centerpieces I've enjoyed designing and creating over the years. 

Centerpiece Designed For: The High End Bride Event | Photography: Jill Person 

Centerpiece Designed For: The High End Bride Event | Photography: Jill Person 

Centerpiece Designed For: Boston College Club Wedding | Photography: Katie Noble Photo 

Centerpiece Designed For: Boston College Club Wedding | Photography: Katie Noble Photo 

Centerpiece Design For: Wedding at The Marlowe Hotel | Photography: William Tangorra

Centerpiece Design For: Wedding at The Marlowe Hotel | Photography: William Tangorra

Centerpiece Designed For: Artists For Humanity Wedding | Photography: Abby Lorenz

Centerpiece Designed For: Artists For Humanity Wedding | Photography: Abby Lorenz

Centerpieces Designed For: Mass Audubon | Photography: Kristin Korpos

Centerpieces Designed For: Mass Audubon | Photography: Kristin Korpos

Centerpieces Designed For: Artists For Humanity Wedding | Photography: Abby Lorenz

Centerpieces Designed For: Artists For Humanity Wedding | Photography: Abby Lorenz

Centerpieces Designed For: Rustic Cape Cod Wedding | Photography: Fat Orange Cat Studio

Centerpieces Designed For: Rustic Cape Cod Wedding | Photography: Fat Orange Cat Studio

Centerpieces Designed For: Tower Hill Botanic Wedding | Photography: Abby Lorenz

Centerpieces Designed For: Tower Hill Botanic Wedding | Photography: Abby Lorenz

Wedding Swags & Garland

The romantic juxtaposition of leafy greenery and fresh blossoms makes budding swags & garland a romantic floral design option for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Below are a few of my wedding day favorites.

Photography: Li Ward of Fat Orange Cat Studios

Photography: Li Ward of Fat Orange Cat Studios

I designed this swag for the back of a Bride & the Groom's chairs at a long, shared head table. The use of grainy wood signage donned with floating flowers makes their seats a little more special while not competing with the symmetry and functionality of their dining space.

Photography: Brandon Kidd Photography | Flowers: Oak and the Owl 

Photography: Brandon Kidd Photography | Flowers: Oak and the Owl 

This romantic arbor, laced with monstera leaves, coulter pine, peonies and cabbage roses is a dreamy place to exchange vows and take wedding day photos. 

Photography: Kevin Chin Photography | Flowers: Cherries Flowers

Photography: Kevin Chin Photography | Flowers: Cherries Flowers

Lacing both sides of the wedding aisle with leafy foliage and delicate roses is a romantic statement piece for an outdoor wedding.

Photography: Abby Lorenz 

Photography: Abby Lorenz 

This bride & groom wanted long, leafy centerpieces to cascade across the dining room tables at their wedding reception. And, quite frankly, their whimsical wish was so fun to create. Using leafy greenery and roses accented by twinkly lights made the otherwise rustic and modern room feel soft and magical. 

Photography: Brklynview | Flowers: Lindsay Rae Design

Photography: Brklynview | Flowers: Lindsay Rae Design

Ride out in style with a "Just Married" swag for the back of your vehicle. Cabbage roses, peonies, eucalyptus leaves, asparagus ferns are just a few reasons why I love this trunk swag so much. 

To design unique wedding day swags & garland, be sure to contact Bittersweet Gardens here.

Bridal Bouquet Trends 2017

Having been a wedding day florist for quite some time, I can say with a deep-level of certainty that classically structured bridal bouquets aren't leaving us, or the wedding aisle, any time soon. However, I am loving this year’s dreamy interpretation on bridal florals which errs on the side of non-traditional yet still feels luxe and wedding day appropriate.

Below are the top 5 bridal bouquet trends you can expect to see in summer 2017:

Tropical-Ethereal

Photography: Channing Sees

Photography: Channing Sees

Think traditional wedding bouquet meets Havana-inspired florals. This year’s bride is ditching structured wedding flowers for a loose assortment of proteas, asparagus ferns and monstera leaves. This look, when paired with wedding day white, can add visual interest and just the right amount of whimsy.

Pocketful of Posies 

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Floral Design: Flower Allie

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Floral Design: Flower Allie

While wrist or pinned corsages are classic and beautiful, this year’s honorary guest may be seen carrying, instead of wearing, a simple bouquet. The use of three blossoming peonies or cabbage roses are lightweight enough to hold with one hand and are an elegant take on an otherwise traditional wedding day staple.

Flower Jewelry and Crowns

Photography: Abby Lorenz

Photography: Abby Lorenz

This year’s bride and her maids are all about flowers as jewelry. Simple hair combs or half halos, comprised of delicate florals, can perfectly accent romantic bouquets. While, oversized floral crowns, fixed with sprigs, berries and greenery, may be used in lieu of or in addition to coordinating wedding day florals.

Green with Envy

Photography: Katie Noble Photo

Photography: Katie Noble Photo

After Pantone announced "Greenery” as its “color of the year,” it’s no surprise that we’re seeing foliage and shrubbery really inspire this year’s bridal flowers. The use of layered, leafy greenery as a romantic statement piece adds dimension and volume to a bridal bouquet and allows for the flowers to really stand out in such an elegant way. When tied together with wedding day ribbon, you have such a fresh, ethereal look.

Harvested By Hand

Photography: Li Ward of Fat Orange Cat Studio

Photography: Li Ward of Fat Orange Cat Studio

The “just picked from the garden” bouquet is something that many brides are looking for these days. Long gone are the days of just selecting "matching" flowers that may be in season. This year’s trend is all about working with flowers from a nearby garden or farm to be used in a bouquet to give that fresh from the farm feel. As a farmer-florist, I grow and source the fresh, organic flowers so that the bridal bouquets I design are harvested by hand, often, the morning of the wedding!

For information on any of these trends and to explore harvesting your wedding day flowers together, please contact Bittersweet Gardens here.

These aren't your Grandmother's daffodils

One of the first flowers to bloom for us on the farm are our daffodils.  Not just the standard canary yellow any more, daffodil colors can range from white to pale yellow, a touch of orange or pink, and even green!

Owning the latin name, Narcissus, there are 13 different divisions of daffodils - large cup, small cup, double (my favorite), and trumpet, to name a few.  

 

4 main reasons I love daffodils:

1.  Deer have a distaste for the them, unlike my poor tulips.

2.  Many will naturalize for you and spread from year to year.

3.  They are low maintenance as long as they are planted in a fairly sunny spot with good drainage.  Daffodils planted in too wet a location will rot.

4.  Fragrance!  

 

Tips:

When cutting your daffodils to bring their beauty indoors, make sure to only cut the stem, and not the foliage.  This will ensure ongoing blooms in future years.  The leaves need to remain on the bulb to continue to photosynthesize, thus delivering stored energy back to the bulb for next year.

Lastly, I always condition daffodils for 24 hours separately from other flowers after I cut them.  This allows the daffodil sap in the stems to drain out into the water, as the sap can interfere with other flowers' ability to hydrate.   After that, they are safe to mingle with other flowers in an arrangement, bringing their beauty to your table!