Archive for Floral Fantasy

Floral Fantasy: Soft Autumn Colours

What another floral arrangement? What had come over me? It is wonderful to have a friend who loves flowers as much as I do. And when I was staying with her in Toronto last week, you guessed it, we decided we had to have another flower arrangement.  So off we went to Av and Dav, a nickname for the corner in Toronto where you can buy cut flowers at a very good price.  We started to look at the oranges, but decided we didn’t see anything we were in love with. And then we spotted this celosia and realized, sometimes fall doesn’t have to be bright.

Once I had the celosia in my hot little hands, it was just a matter of finding a few things to go along with it. So we ended up with commercial mums, cabbage, roses and hypericum berries, and this time, I thought you might like a few pictures of the step by step (almost) process.

I did not think to take any pictures until after I had taped a grid out of clear tape on the top of the vase, and then used some salal as a base of greenery for my arrangement, but I think you have an idea of what that would look like.

When I am designing I always add in my largest flower first, when I designed this white arrangement it was the hydrangea, this time I started with the cabbage. After we have a bit more cold weather, the cabbage will have a bit more colour in it, but I still love them even when they are green.  A trick that floral designers use is to open up the cabbage and make it more decorative looking.

When you purchase the cabbage it looks like this,

and by folding back the leaves,you will end up with this,

much more attractive isn’t it.

So in they went.

Next I added my commercial mums. Grouping is the ‘trend’ now in floral design, and I am sure everyone knows about the odd number rule. But sometimes when the flowers are quite large,  group of three would be too much. If you use two flowers, try to stagger them a bit, just so they are not exactly side by side.

Then my roses went in,

these I always try to add in odd numbers.

Finally my hypericum berry is placed to fill in any gaps.

Do you like soft autumn colours? Or do you prefer a more vibrant arrangement for fall?

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Floral Fantasy: Peonies, Part II

On my very last night in Canada, while I was pruning my willow, I started thinking, (I know, again, usually a bad idea).

The peonies were beautiful, they had just started flowering, and we were leaving, what a waste. But my MIL and SIL were there to take us to the airport the next day. Would they not like a bouquet. of course they would.

So I cut all the peonies, and since I had just pruned the willow, I had a lot of foliage to add to them.

Do you like them?

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Floral Fantasy: Celosia

What is this?

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Doesn’t it look  like an underwater creature, but velvety.

Here is another shot.

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And here it is used in a bouquet.

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Celosia is a great annual that we are using a lot of lately. It is locally field grown, we start getting in the shop around the first of August and it will go until there is frost. We get two different varities of celosia, the feather (looks like a feather) and the cockscomb, which is my favourite.  Customers are always inquiring what kind of flower this is, they are amazed by the velvety texture.

 The shop is looking very pink these days.

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And as always, lovely!

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Floral Fantasy: Dahlias

I love dahlias. At this tine of year, dahlias are going into every arrangement that I make at the flower shop.

A: As we try to be very seasonal, they are the new flower in season.

B: They are huge and cheap, two words that floral designers love to hear.

C: So many yummy colours and shapes.

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This arrangement has two sizes of very, very, pale yellow dahlias, and a creamy rose. I love monochromatic arrangements. These are actually old flowers from the store and this is in my kitchen at Kilbourne Grove.

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This is a really lovely one, the flash of the camera really changed the colour. It is a very dark red, almost black, very velvety looking.

 It is such a shame the season is so short. We buy these at the Food Terminal from a local grower. They are not available until late summer and will end with the first frost.

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Floral Fantasy: Sunflowers, Part II

A lot of sunflowers at the shop lately.

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The shop looking gorgeous.

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A sunflower arrangement.

We have a longer season for sunflowers than we do for dahlias. We can buy imported sunflowers, but they are always more expensive. Sometimes, it the petals on the sunflower are wilted, or spotty, I will pull off all the petals, just leaving the seedhead in the middle. People are always surprised, and tell me they never would have thought of that!

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Floral Fantasy:Sunflowers

People love sunflowers.  This is something that I have learned over the years I have been a floral designer. They also love gerbera daisies.  They seem to be two of the favourite flowers that people will request in an arrangement.

I love sunflowers now, not so much the rest of the year.  For me, and for a lot of floral designers you are always ahead of the season.  Commercially grown flowers are aprox one month in advance of Mother Nature and our designs reflect this.  By the time one season arrives naturally, I am ready to move on to the next.

We have been purchasing a lot of the autumn flowers at the shop lately, sunflowers, dahlias, sedums, celosia etc and this put me in the mood to make this arrangement.


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This hand tied bouquet also includes roses and asclepia or butterfly weed.

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Floral Fantasy: Forsythia


 When I was posting the blog about arranging peonies, I found this draft.  I had totally forgotten about it and even though it is out of season, I thought that you might be interested in having a look.


We had a large installation at work this spring, this is one of the first pictures I took on my new digital camera.  Unfortunately, someone moved into the shot just as I was taking the picture, but you hardly notice the black arm.  It may not look that large close up, but trust me, these were big and very heavy, getting them up on their pedestals was a definite workout.  My husband is always amazed at how strong I am, it is all due to heaving around large and heavy buckets/vases of water.

I love arrangements that are composed of only one or two elements. I think it is because I have been a florist for almost twenty years and mixed arrangements have been in style for most of them.  This is definitely an arrangement that I would have in my house (only not quite so large), I doubt that I could fit it in the front door!  In case you are not sure what the flowers are, the tall branches are forsythia and the gold flowers with the red chin are cymbidium orchids.

If you have the room, do yourself  favour and plant a forsythia.  I would plant it in an out of the way spot, where you wouldn’t see it on a regular basis, perhaps behind the garage.  It needs to be out of the way, because you are going to cut and force the branches in February every year. Just make sure it is sunny, so you set a good amount of flower buds.  Nothing says spring like an enormous vase of forsythia!

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