Flower Blog - Floral Ideas and Arrangements

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Wednesday April 16th 2014

Personalized Wedding Gifts For The Happy Couple

As wedding season starts to pick up speed, my appointment book begins to fill up with the names of grooms- and brides-to-be who want me to help them plan their weddings. In the course of my work, I've seen my share of blenders, popcorn poppers, and bath towels arranged on the gift table at a wedding reception. I always admire a guest who comes up with a terrific, personalized gift. In my opinion, a personalized present comes with an extra element of thoughtfulness from the giver. If you are planning to attend an upcoming wedding, here are a few personalized wedding gift ideas to consider.

Posted by Sophie Pierce in Anniversary Flowers
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Tuesday April 15th 2014

6 Popular Flowers for Easter

Spring is here and Easter is just around the corner, and along with Easter comes the blooming of many beautiful spring flowers; maybe that why so many spring flowers are associated with Easter; however, some flowers are considered Easter flowers for deeper reasons. In my family, flowers were always a big part of the Easter celebration and I have always automatically associated the holiday with flowers. I never stopped to think about why certain flowers are always given and used for Easter-have you? Here are six popular flowers for Easter and some interesting history behind them.

1. Easter Lily

The quintessential Easter flower is of course the Easter lily. I remember bringing my grandmother a pot or bouquet of Easter lilies every Easter. Why is the Easter lily such a popular Easter flower? It does not naturally bloom at Easter time, after all. It turns out this flower is full of religious symbolism and there are many religious myths about it. The Easter lily bulb is said to represent Christ's tomb, while the flower emerging from it represents Christ's arising from the dead. The flower is symbolic of love, hope, and purity. There is a myth that lilies grew where drops of Christ's blood fell as he hung on the cross.

Image via Flickr by Joe deSousa

Posted by Ava Rose in Holiday Flowers
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Monday April 7th 2014

13 Color Themes For A Spring Wedding

Today, a bride has countless choices when it comes to a color theme for her spring wedding. For instance, if she is partial to blue, she has at least a dozen shades of blue that she can incorporate into her wedding ceremony and reception. In the course of my event planning work, I've seen brides come up with some lovely color themes for their weddings. I thought I would use this week's blog to highlight some of the most popular colors for spring weddings. Enjoy!

Posted by Sophie Pierce in Wedding Tips
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Monday April 7th 2014

11 Unexpected Uses for Flowers

Flowers are more than just pretty faces. They have been used for centuries as sources of food, drink, medicines, and more; today, using flowers for these purposes is making a comeback. You may be surprised at some of the other practical ways that flowers can be used. I personally love making flower teas, crafts, and salads; I encourage you to try adding flowers to your diet and crafts as well.

Tea

Flowers have been used to make teas for centuries. Chamomile, jasmine, and bee balm flowers are just a few flowers that are used to make teas. Flowers, leaves, and roots from a variety of other plants can be used to make tea as well. These beverages often have health benefits in addition to being tasty drinks. I especially enjoy blooming teas, which are as beautiful as they are flavorful.

Image via Flickr by MsSaraKelly

Medicine

There are a multitude of medicines and drugs made from plants, as you probably know; however, some are made from the actual flowers – not just the leaves or roots. Chamomile flowers are used in poultices for sprains and bruises as well as essential oils. Lavender flowers are widely used in aromatherapy for their calming properties. Hops flowers are used to make sedatives. Santonin, a type of wormwood, has flowers that are used to treat worms.

Food

Sometimes, flowers are so beautiful they look good enough to eat-and sometimes, you can! Edible flowers make a beautiful and surprising addition to salads, baked goods, and meals. Nasturtiums, chive blossoms, and violets are just a few flowers that add flavor and interest to salads. Squash flowers and dandelion flowers can be battered and fried. Lavender flowers are tasty added to cookies, while pansies and violas can be candied and used to decorate cakes. It is extremely important to make sure the flower you are eating is indeed edible, as many flowers will make you sick if you eat them. It is also important to make sure no pesticides have been used on flowers you are going to eat.

Image via Flickr by Adrian Scottow

Dyes

Many of the first dyes were made from flowers. Yarrow, calendula, saffron, and golden rod are just a few flowers that can produce a yellow dye in fabrics. Safflower produces a red or yellow dye, while foxglove produces chartreuse. Hollyhock flowers produce different colored dyes depending on the flower color.

Crafts

Don't throw out that beloved bouquet! Dried flowers can be used to make a variety of crafts. Wreaths, potpourri, arrangements, collages, mobiles, and jewelry are just some of the things that you can make with dried flowers. One of the best ideas that I have encountered is to take petals or pressed flowers from a wedding bouquet to make resin jewelry. How romantic!

Air purifiers

Numerous studies have found that houseplants can reduce air pollution indoors. Benzene, formaldehyde, and hexane are just a few pollutants that plants can break down. Florist's chrysanthemums and Gerbera daisies are just two flowering plants that are very effective at reducing indoor air pollution. In addition to filtering air, plants also increase humidity.

Beauty products

Flowers can be used to make many beauty products such as soaps, toners, and creams. If you have a lot of roses in your garden this summer, you may want to try making rose water toner, which helps tighten pores and cleanses skin-plus it smell heavenly! Dried flowers, such as lavender and chamomile, can also be added to handmade soaps or to bath water. Calendula flowers can be used to make an excellent lotion.

Companion Planting

Some flowers make great companions to other plants. Certain flowers repel insects away from other plants, or attract beneficial insects. For example, marigolds are known to repel nematodes and insects such whiteflies and tomato hornworms. Planting them next to vegetables – especially tomatoes – can help protect those plants. Planting certain flowers and cover crops can increase soil fertility and act as a weed suppressant for other plants.

Clothing

When I think of wearing flowers, I usually think of wearing a corsage or hair accessory; however, some people take it to the next level. One man in China had a dress made of real, red roses made for his girlfriend for his wedding proposal! Fashion shows featuring clothing made of flowers are not uncommon and can be quite spectacular. On a more realistic note, linen and cotton are both made from flowering plants.

Floats

Have you ever watched the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year's Day? Those spectacular floats are made of thousands of flowers. The average float is said to use approximately 100,000 flowers. Designing and building these elaborate floats takes months of work.

Image via Flickr by Matt Sherwood

Pesticides

Flowers and insects seem to be a natural combination-but not always. Some plants are used to make pesticides. For example, one type of chrysanthemum flower is used to make pyrethrins, a powerful pesticide used to kill lice, flies, beetles, mosquitoes, and roaches. The citronella plant is another common insecticide; you have probably encountered it in the mosquito repellant aisle at the store.

Posted by Ava Rose in General
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Wednesday March 19th 2014

Tips and Tricks for Flower Photography

Have you ever seen a flower so beautiful that you couldn't bear to see it die? Make the beauty of flowers last with flower photography. One summer, I actually received a bouquet of sunflowers and roses instead of making one for someone else. It was stunning, and I was so happy that I thought to photograph it; just looking at the pictures of it still brings a smile to my face and evokes fond memories of the happiness I felt when receiving it. I encourage you to try your hand at flower photography - you will be able to enjoy your flowers at any time of year this way, and you may even find a new hobby! Here are a few simple flower photography tips for the novice flower photographer.

Image via Flickr by Taras Kalapun

Posted by Ava Rose in General
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Tuesday March 18th 2014

Knowing These 7 Secrets Will Make Your Spring Wedding Look Amazing

I enjoy planning all types of events, but I'll admit that I absolutely love a beautiful spring wedding. Many of my clients opt for an outdoor ceremony, either in a blooming garden or beneath a gathering of lovely trees. A warm, fresh breeze makes a wedding ceremony all the more pleasant for family and friends. Of course, hosting a wedding in the springtime can be somewhat tricky: A spring day may start out sunny and tranquil and end up in a burst of pouring rain. Trust me, there's nothing worse than a sobbing bride in a soaked wedding gown. So I thought I would share some secrets that can help you to avoid both big and little disasters on your spring wedding day. Enjoy!

Posted by Sophie Pierce in Wedding Tips
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Monday March 10th 2014

How to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Style

Gathering with friends on St. Patrick's Day is a great way to welcome spring. I love all of the possibilities that come with planning a St. Patrick's Day party. Irish-themed music, food and drink combine to make for an enjoyable celebration. In my blog this week, I want to share some ideas with you on how to go about celebrating St. Patrick's Day in style!

Posted by Sophie Pierce in Party Ideas & Tips
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Thursday March 6th 2014

Ever Wonder Why Flowers Make You Happy?

Image via Flickr by Frederic BISSON

People have been giving flowers for thousands of years - there is written evidence that ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Chinese civilizations all used flowers to communicate feelings, meanings, and ideas. Famous botanist and horticulturist Luther Burbank once said, "Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul." Burbank was ahead of his time; scientists have proven that Burbank was right in several studies. Of course, you and I have known that flowers make you happy for a long time - but did you ever wonder why?

A famous study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University found that flowers have both an immediate and long-term effect on mood - but why and how? One reason is probably due to color. The effect that color has on mood has been known for a long time. Flowers affect mood in different ways. Pinks, peaches, and warm colors tend to provide a feeling of nurturing and are great for people who are sick or grieving, while reds and oranges are known to be colors of passion and sensuality, for example. Blues and purples promote relaxation and tranquility, while bright, contrasting colors signal celebration. I love being surrounded by flowers at work and at home; I know from personal experience that they diffuse my stress as well as that of my co-workers.

Posted by Ava Rose in General
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Friday February 21st 2014

Better Desktop Gardens

There's no denying the positive, revitalizing effects that live plants and flowers add to any decor. Our working and professional interior spaces can be made more relaxing, welcoming, and interesting with accent plants. So follow the urge to cultivate a bit of soothing green space at your own desk, where people are greeted, business is transacted, or simply hard and tedious work must be done.

It is on the desk or at the reception counter where a plant or arrangement of plants will be seen up close, where people are first impressed. Therefore, the first step to better desktop gardens is take home all scraggly dish gardens with bedraggled ribbons, plants with scale insects, spider mites, or mealy bugs, along with any plant which is not thriving. Revitalize these in private and get something new. Office plants and flowers should be healthy morale boosters for both desk occupant and visitor.

The principles of desktop gardening are simple and few.

  • Consider how much space you can comfortably allot to a container or plant. There may be room for something grand, or simply 3" for a green vine in a vase. Furniture surface is important- will condensation between the container and furniture surface cause damage?
  • Plant selections expected to last indoors usually have to be those with a low light requirement. Seasonal blooming plants vary in longevity and can be replaced on a schedule. But they shouldn't be kept on display past their period of looking vibrant. Shedding petals, dropping leaves, or moldering about the stems are disappointing to behold.
  • Soil, which many people perceive as "dirt," should not be seen in a decorative desktop planter, but covered with moss or stone, stone being the neatest overall option, since mosses can dry and become crumbly.
  • It is better to avoid cacti and bromeliads with spines for desk gardening. Also, Golden Pothos, though a hearty indoor plant, earned its common name "Devil's Ivy" because of the irritating sap which oozes when leaves or stems are broken.
Posted by Leigh Fulghum in General
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Tuesday February 18th 2014

7 Ways to Repurpose Your Valentine's Day Gifts

I'm a big fan of Valentine's Day because it's the first real sign that spring is on its way. I love to see the engaged couples I work with exchange gifts of flowers, candy, cards and, of course, jewelry. After Valentine's Day has gone by, many of us find ourselves with a stack of greeting cards, notes and even an empty candy box (or two). This week, I thought I'd share some ideas with you on how to repurpose these items instead of pitching them into the garbage. So, here we go!

Posted by Sophie Pierce in Party Ideas & Tips
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