Posts tagged roses

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: 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?

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A Rosedale Garden

I know the Toronto Botanical Society’s Rosedale garden tour was a couple of months ago. I soooo wish I could have gone on it, but was flying back to Barbados that weekend.  But I wanted to share a garden with you that is gorgeous enough to be on it. It is also in Rosedale, and belongs to a friend of mine.  We met in Barbados through my neighbour, and immediately bonded over gardening. When I returned to Canada in May, I was invited for lunch and a garden tour. This garden was a true labour of love for my friend, thought about in great detail and it shows. We are both huge fans of structure in the garden, both hard and green, flowers while gorgeous are an accent to the space.

You enter through two massive beech hedges, kept softly in shape rather than firmly clipped.

This allows you to enjoy the movement of the hedge as the wind blows and allows dark then light to shine out from them.  These are accented with a clipped box hedge which in turn leads to a square box of roses sitting directly in front of the main entrance.  The paving laid in a diamond pattern directs you towards the door where two more beech hedges on either side of the door echo the ones at the sidewalk,

repetition at its finest.  A yew hedge separates the house from the sidewalk and encloses two more planting areas. 

 Another enclosure of clipped box is a frame for peonies and sedum, both plants that look good all year. A serviceberry accents one corner, allowing for early season blooms.

On the other side, directly under the window is a box parterre. This is accented seasonally with a colourful annual, this year a dark coleus was planted. I love the structure and shapes in the front garden. Even if you did not have any flowering plants in it, the different colours of green and textures make it interesting.

I took this photo from the third floor so you could get a good look at the overall design of the back yard. The back yard is divided into three main areas.  A lovely brick garage has been accented with trellis-work, breaking up the expanse and allowing roses and clematis to climb. Beside it is the dining area, bordered by box, heuchera and carex.

Two steps down and you arrive at a small sitting area where you can admire the pool with its infinity edge. Water pours out of four opening into the pool allowing the sound to mask any city noise. The copper beech hedge looks dark and mysterious against the light stonework of the pool.

This provides a lovely backdrop in the third area, which is the main sitting area.

Two identical small buildings are joined by columns, roof and backed by a large mirror. This not only hides the neighbours beside them, but the mirror doubles the size of the garden, you can see the pool (and me) reflected in it.The overturned pot on the pedestal is planted up by now, usually with grass, which is also reflected.

Changing the flooring material sets off the sitting area beside the pool, the brick looking like a carpet.

 Four laburnum trees are also enclosed in diamond shaped box, that is also underplanted with coleus for colour later in the season. Box hedges edge the garden here as well and act as a frame for the hydrangea, fern and hostas that are planted behind them. The japanese maple beside the pool is the only remaining plant from the original garden. It was dug up and saved off site while the hard landscaping was going on. Then it was returned and replanted, and it certainly adds to the overall scheme with its size and colour.

Love it against the blue of the pool.

Although there are not a lot of perennials in this garden, there is colour all year.  This garden was designed to be low maintenance (although I am sure you do not believe it). The hedges are cut a couple of times each year, and the rest is really just a few varieties of easy care perennials. And if you did not want any colour, you could remove all the perennials and between the trees, hedges and ground covers, you still have an exciting and dynamic garden.  I LOVE it!

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Architectural Salvage

OK., Maybe not architectural, but definitely salvage.

When my dad bought his new house there was a tv tower high up in the sky. there was also a satellite dish and no one had bothered to take down the tower.  I looked at the x’s on the side and thought that they were quite pretty. Then I had my brainwave (and let me tell you, that thing hurt!).

My dad and brother took it down, it was bolted together in 8 foot section, so there were four of them. My dad thinks that I am pretty brilliant (what parent doesn’t) after he heard my idea, and if I was going to do it, he was going to as well, so he kept two.

We took  the other two home to Kilbourne Grove and Ian painted them and the grass as well) a bright blue with Tremclad paint.

 

One we made the centre of the Kitchen Garden, this one has a variegated porcelain vine planted on it. I love it when the berries have coloured up in the fall, some are almost the same colour as the tower. However it is lovely in the summer as well, the green and white leaves and pink stems really stand out against the blue.

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Centrepiece of the Kitchen Garden

Centrepiece of the Kitchen Garden

 Please ignore the grass, I really hate to edge these wooden beds, that is why I am planning on getting rid of the grass. I also feel it is a waste of valuable gardening time cutting the grass every weekend, when I could be accomplishing so much more.

 

 The other we put up in the  Flora Glade. It is basically a roundabout in the Glade, with paths going off in three directions. At the moment the roundabout is looking very open and spacious, but I am hoping that over the years as the trees and shrubs fill in, it will look more mysterious. You can also see how much grass I still have to remove.  This has a hot pink Felix LeClerc rose that my friends at work gave me for my birthday.

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and here is a close up

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