Archive for florist

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?

Advertisements

Comments (14) »

Floral Fantasy: White

Who doesn’t love white? Especially in flowers. Always elegant and classic, it is certainly the most requested colour scheme not only for weddings, but also for most design work. And throw in some chartreuse, yummy! I would always advise customers at the flower shop when they were not sure of a colour for a gift arrangment, to go white.

As a neutral, it is suitable for any home, and people have much stronger opinions about colour, white is certainly a safe choice. My friend happens to love white and green, smart woman, so when I was visiting her in Toronto, it was off to pick up some white and green flowers to prepare an arrangement for her coffee table.

I have already showed you the hydrangea arrangement we made for her front hall, and we had some extra Limelights left and more hostas, so we lined this vase as well.  I love lining vases, when I worked at Kenneth Turner, all our clear vases were lined, we used to use a flower frog made out of chicken wire to hold the flowers in place. But when I worked at Black Eyed Susan’s, we taped a grid on the vase after lining it, much easier on the hands.

Grouping flowers is the big trend in the floral design world now, so I added my hydrangea in two groups of two. When you are grouping larger flowers it is not as important to add them in odd numbers, however I would never put just two roses together, so they were added in groups of 5 and 7. 

Commercial chrysanthemums and alstromeria completed the  white flowers, while green hypericum berries brought in a fresh shot of green.

And that green Wasabi coleus, talk about yummy, I loved it, and it was cut fresh from the garden. Perhaps a bit too fresh perhaps.

The next morning we found small puddles of water on the surface of the tray and could not figure out where they came from. Imagine our surprise, when we discovered new ones later that day. How was this happening?

Looking a bit more closely at the arrangement we discovered this.

I have been a floral designer for over twenty years, and had never seen this before. Has it happened to you?

Comments (12) »

For Diana

I thought, while I took the time to edit the 500,000,000,000 (at least) photos that I took on the cruise, I would show you this.

Diana from Elephants Eye has been a long time reader of my blog. I guess I have blown her away with the brilliance of my flower designing, because she is always commenting how she never gets to see it any more. I did think that I would be arranging flowers in the flat all the time, but for some reason, the gardeners at the complex where I live frown on my ‘helping’ myself to their stuff. I can’t understand why? I am just trying to make life easier for them.

But I did have a chance recently to visit a cut flower farm, here in Barbados.

This is not me!

So many flowers to choose from

And I purchased a couple of things…

Then I made these two arrangements.

This is a 3 sided, and it is on a chest in my foyer. It consists of 3 torch ginger, some song of India and 2 Strelitzia leaves.

 I also used the bottom half of the ginger when I shortened them. If you look closely, you can see 2 stems in the vase, they are a red bamboo looking stem.

In this shorter vase, I also used song of india, and a green that I have not seen before

 It looks like a giant Italian parsley, but the leaves are hard, not soft like parsley. And I added these peachy anthiriums.

I hate to tell you (but I will), that I purchased these flowers the week before I left on the cruise, and in the excitement I forgot to throw them out. Most of the anthiriums were still in good shape when I arrived back, so I just went for fresh water and a quick rearrange. I certainly got my moneys worth out of that lot…

Comments (18) »

I Honestly Love You

Happy (belated) Valentines Day, a floral designers worst nightmare. The day when your own loved ones get no love! I made it though and am out on the other side!

Five years ago, the owner of the flower shop decided NOT to sell roses on Valentines Day.

                                     Just say No!

There had been a freeze in Ecuador where 99% of our roses come from, and the quality was not there. Actually I have seen the quality of roses at Valentines Day declining over the twenty years that I have been a florist. There is just too much demand for one day.

OMG, how would this work.

The first year was difficult. You would have a customer either call or come in to order a dozen red roses. Then you would have to go into your spiel. But by the end of it, they agreed (probably mostly to get away from you). But every year after that it was easier. Mostly the sender would rave on about how happy their wife/partner had been the previous year, and gave us the freedom to do whatever we wanted.

A few peoples wanted vases.

But, 99.9% of our customers were looking for a bouquet.

Whether romantic,

or vibrant,

My fav, all white and green,

tropical colours,

blue/yellow,

and soft pastel.

Another year, done and dusted!

Comments (50) »

Like A Moth To A Flame

 Unlike a lot of gardeners, I cannot get outside in the winter and garden, boo hoo! I am forced to have some house plants if I want to smell earth and get my hands in the soil this time of year.

However, I am not big on house plants, sacrilege I know, especially as I am a floral designer. We sell house plants and I have to be positive about them. I just find that I am too busy in the summer gardening, to take care of them. And driving back and forth between two homes does not help, did I remember to water them before I left for the week? It drives me crazy. So I do not have any, perhaps when I am settled in one house I will get some, but right now, nothing. Except orchids.

I find that orchids are undemanding, at least phalaenopsis,or moth orchid  which is the only variety I have in my home. They can take a lot of neglect,  most of our customers kill them by overwatering them, or letting them stand in water, they hate that. A general guideline is to water once a week in the winter and twice a week in the summer.

They like bright light but no direct sun and average temperatures, if it is comfortable for you, it is perfect for them.

There are so many beautiful colours of phalos besides the classic white.

Here is another. What an amazing colour!

 

When they are finished flowering do not cut the stem off at the ground. If you do this it takes forever for them to flower again. Orchid growers tell you to cut back the stem, to just above the second node, but I never do that. I find mine send out a side flowering shoot rom the main stem, near the top. Probably the plant would have a neater look if I did cut them back, but I am too lazy to do this, and they still flower for me. A temperature fluctuation of 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit, is the key for them to set a flower spike.  They should be fertilized once per month with an orchid fertilizer. Repotting is around every two years, you’ll know they need done when there is a large number of roots hanging outside the pot.

Phalaenopsis orchids are so inexpensive now, please try one, you will be glad you did.

 

Comments (37) »

Holiday Magic!

This is a very busy time of year for me. A lot of companies seem to all have their Christmas parties the middle of December. And a lot of people are looking for gifts as well.

As promised, here are a few things we have been working on.

These are Goldcrest Cypress.

A mix of amaryllis, paperwhites and cypress.

Helleborus are starting to be sold as a blooming potted plant at Christmas for the first time this year. Here it is planted with the cypress.

Here they are planted by themselves. I hope that my Secret Santa gives me one of these.

Paperwhites, cypress, stephanotis hoops and frosty ferns have pinecones nestled in a bed of moss.

A vase arrangement of cymbidium orchids, magnolia, bc cedar, pine cones and oregonia.

Now some flower arrangements. Amaryllis and leucadendron with a few paperwhites, commercial mums and gold pinecones.

 

The same flowers as the arrangement above,  but with roses instead of mums.

An arrangement to go with the centerpieces above. This is for the bar.

A centerpiece.

A very tall arrangement needed for a Christmas party. We used cello in the base to raise the flowers up. Add water, and it looks like ice.

We will often use a large leaf to line a vase, this hides the water (if it gets murky) and is a different look from just a clear vase.

Another party waits to be delivered. One more week to go…..

Comments (42) »

Silver Wood

This is the centrepiece to the Christmas decorations in the flower shop this year. I was inspired to show it to you in more detail after reading Christine at Idora Design post about Manzanita.

We get these branches in from California with the bark sandblasted off. They were used for a few years in their natural state, before we decided to paint them silver for Christmas.

I love these branches, they are so architectural in their shape, and make quite a statement.

These are big branches, about five feet from bottom to top. You can get much smaller ones as well.

We had to put some big stones in the base of the galvanized container they are sitting in. You need the weight to stop it from tipping over.

Then did the usual stuffing chicken wire in and hiding it with sheet moss.

We had these up last year as well, wound tiny white lights around the branches and hung silver and crystal ornaments from it. This year, a more natural look, no lights and there are moss balls hanging from ribbon tied to  the branches.

Comments (24) »