July 11th, 2011
Taylor and Todd got married down in Pebble Beach, right on the 17-mile Drive at the Church in the Forest. For her bouquet we did some woodsy greenery with “string of pearls” and shots of purple for rich color. So pretty with her simple dress! The amazing Julie Benjamin (of Little Lane Studios) made Todd’s gorgeous boutonniere. Photos kindly shared by Viera Photographics.
For the reception at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, we mixed some succulents and tillandsias in with a kind of romantic, French-garden-inspired palette of springtime plants and flowers. The peachy leucospermum (pincushions) were a little outside the box, but we loved the color, perfect against the terracotta walls at the lodge.
April 26th, 2011
Ivette and Ben came to me about doing their flowers way back when my two babies (see pic below!) were just the proverbial twinkle(s) in my eye. A couple of weeks ago they finally got married at the stunning Headlands Center for the Arts in Marin, a building whose state of elegant disrepair has been so well-preserved that you really feel transported in time. Did you see “The King’s Speech”? You know that gorgeous peeling paint and the huge skylights in the speech therapist’s office? That’s what this place is like (according to Haley, one of my lovely assistants, and she is absolutely right). So inspiring!
Originally Ivette and Ben were thinking about a “World’s Fair” theme for their celebration, but in the end they went a little less literal, and we tried to create a whimsical old-timey feel that would complement the location’s amazing vintage-ness.
Her bouquet had lots of springtime goodness, including some devastating orange ranunculus. Eventually I’ll share some pics of the couple, who were adorable. Ivette’s dress was perfect for her and for this bouquet… simple, flowy, and so elegant.
Ivette found some cute old cheese crates on ebay, so we used those for the centerpieces.
This is an underwater succulent “garden.” Go figure, right? The plants don’t last underwater terribly long, but it’s a pretty look for an event. The little favors are Ivette’s homemade Mexican wedding cookies.
I’ll pass on some more photos when they come my way. In the meantime, here’s one of our twins, Iris and Jonah. They pretty much put the flowers to shame, don’t they?
March 23rd, 2011
While I’ve been on maternity leave with our amazing twins, Iris and Jonah (!!), lots of photos from fall weddings have trickled down into my e-mail. This was one of my favorites, an incredibly beautiful wedding in a Woodside garden on a sweltering Indian summer day.
I was so worried about the yellow garden roses! They were about as open as open could be without completely falling apart. Katie and Karl and their amazing photographer, Gia Canali, shared these photos with us. You can also check out their wedding on Style Me Pretty.
Enjoy! And look out for some more new pics soon… I’ll try to post some while the babies snooze.
December 14th, 2010
Samantha and Jeremy were married way back in August, but their color palette, with its rich berry tones, vibrant greens, and deep browns, feels just right for this time of year, doesn’t it? They are the sweetest couple; they planted the succulents from Samantha’s bridal bouquet in a little pot, which the plants have already outgrown, despite being kept indoors. Happy plants for a happy couple!
Samantha wanted to keep her bouquet modern and sculptural, so we focused on defined shapes, with smokebush foliage, chocolate cosmos, leucadendron ‘jester,’ echeveria ‘perle von nurnberg,’ and the dark aeonium ’schwarzkopf.’
A couple of tall pots for the corners of the chuppah were moved to frame the dance floor after the ceremony was done.
Generally I am not a fan of gerbera daisies, but these locally grown ones were the perfect shade of berry red for this wedding, so we went for it. I actually loved the way they turned out, with green figs and the maidenhair fern for softness.
Congratulations, Samantha and Jeremy!
December 3rd, 2010
Our wreath workshops at the Thanksgiving open house were so much fun. We taught participants how to dress up a plain evergreen wreath with living plants, both succulents and tillandsias. I love this project because the evergreen wreath, to me, is so evocative and nostalgic… the smell of it, and the textures, and the layers of green. But the succulents and tillandsias add an interesting sculptural edge, and after all, winter gardens in our area are often full of colorful succulents, not just the green conifers that thrive elsewhere in the colder months. When your wreath is past its prime, you can remove the succulents and plant them in your garden, and bring the tillandsias inside (care instructions later in the post). So you’re getting a wreath and a little garden all in one.
Get this: we made a lot of wreaths like the sample below, each of them unique, but we’ve also set up a little DIY station at the store where you can come in and make one of these wreaths yourself. If you’ve got some time this weekend, come on in, get your coffee or hot chocolate and set yourself up with a wreath and some plants. We’ll have all the supplies you need, so you can bring them home instead if you’re so inclined. Scroll down for some basic steps and instructions to follow (adapted from a post I did about this on Apartment Therapy).
Once you’ve got your wreath base and a few simple supplies, it couldn’t be easier to dress up your wreath for the season. You’ll want to start with a bunch of the little wooden wonders called “wired picks” (pictured above). This is basically a thick toothpick (or a miniature wooden stake, like the kind you’d use to kill a vampire) with a length of wire attached to it at the top. We’re selling them along with the wreath bases at the store; you can also find wired picks at any craft store.
Essentially all you’ll need to do is lay the stem of whatever material you’re working with flush along the length of the pick and wrap the wire around it. If you need a bit of extra support to keep your stems from breaking, use some floral tape wrapped around both stem and pick.
Then insert the pointed end of the pick into the bundled greens at the center of the wreath. If you look at the back of your wreath, you’ll see that most likely it’s wired onto a frame; you want to aim to place your pick in the center of that frame. If it’s too tightly bundled and the pick won’t go all the way in, try pushing it straight down (again, vampire-killing style) instead of at an angle, or just get it wedged in the best you can, even if it’s not between the wires. You’ll find that with lighter plants and cut material, the picks won’t budge even if they’re not placed exactly in the bundle.
I use the picks for my tillandsias too, bending back a few of the lower leaves and sort of bundling them with the roots around the pick. You can do the same with little clumps of moss, or pretty much anything else you can think of. (Sometimes with moss you don’t need a pick at all; it will suffice to just wedge the clumps in among the greens.)
Tillandsias are air plants (their roots grow in the air), and while they don’t like cold weather, they make great houseplants anywhere at all. Remove them from your wreath at the end of the season and place them around your home in little dishes or vases; a weekly mist of water and some nice indirect bright light is all they need.
If you’re using succulent cuttings, you might find that some plants are too heavy to attach to the wired picks. Try some thick-gauge wire instead, inserting the wire directly into the stem of the plant. I prep my succulents by removing all of the soil and thread-like roots, leaving only the stem behind. After the holidays you can plant your succulent cuttings again in the garden or in a pot, just tucked into a bit of soil, where they’ll happily take root.
The thick-gauge wire will be even easier to insert into your bundle of evergreens. Again, use floral tape wrapped around the stem and wire if you’re finding that your stem breaks easily. When you’re finished with your design, lift up your wreath and use a wire cutter to trim any pointy ends of the wire or wooden picks that are sticking out of the back of the wreath.
Here’s one of our fabulous workshop participants with her wreath. Isn’t it gorgeous? I like the look of a wreath with a cluster of decoration in one spot, leaving nice stretches of simple greens. But you can design your dressed-up wreath however you like. Consider using cut materials that dry well (like the pepper berries and moss we used in the workshop) to complement your living plant choices.
This is Patrick; some of you may have met him on the sales floor at the store, but you probably didn’t know he’s also a floral design genius, having run his own shop in L.A. for many years. He and I taught the wreath workshop together, and he’s the man to look for if you’re in the store this weekend and need a little guidance with your wreath.
Have fun, and happy holidays!
November 18th, 2010
It poured rain all day and night when Uyen and Steve got married at Atwood Ranch in Glen Ellen back in October, but I have to say I have rarely seen anything more beautiful. The ceremony was set up in a tent nestled in the vineyard, with the grape vines dripping sparkly raindrops everywhere, and the soft sound of it… so nice! Their reception was held in the amazing barn on the property; I didn’t get good photos, but I’m hoping there will be lots to share later on. In the meantime, here’s a taste:
Uyen’s bridal bouquet, with late-season dahlias, smokebush, various aeonium and sempervivum rosettes, snowberries, nigella pods, and a few fun guinea hen feathers.
We used dramatic xerographica tillandsias for the pew bouquets, with some olive leaves (grew them ourselves!), more smokebush, figs, soft reindeer moss, and ivory dahlias for a little contrast.
The barn looked so gorgeous dressed up for the reception, with the dim rainy light floating in from outside… this is the table in progress. Hopefully I’ll be able to show you some better pics soon, since I didn’t get any good shots of the centerpieces.
Come down and see us for our Thanksgiving weekend open house event next week! Details coming soon in the newsletter.
October 27th, 2010
If you saw my earlier post about this wedding, you might remember how excited I was about the gigantic dahlias. And indeed, they were great, but my favorite thing about this wedding was how when we arrived, lots of family and friends were bustling around putting it all together, not acting at all stressed or freaky but instead just relaxed and smiling, ready to celebrate Lisa and Cody together. So nice. Julie and I both wished we could have stuck around for the party — it looked like it was going to be a blast!
Here are a lot more gorgeous shots from their photographer, the exceedingly talented Emily Gutman. First my favorite, a portrait of the adorable couple and their hound… then some table florals, and more personal flowers at the end. If you want to see more, check out Emily’s blog!
October 13th, 2010
There are certain plants and flowers I gravitate towards, and certain colors too; personally I tend to favor earthy, warm colors, which is why this is my favorite time of year. But I also always love when a client comes in with a color palette that challenges my thinking and pushes me in a different design direction. Shannon and Dominic wanted shades of deep peacock blue, vibrant chartreuse, and rich latte or mocha brown. Ultimately these colors worked so perfectly in the setting of their wedding, at Barndiva in Healdsburg, a restaurant with a gorgeous patio filled with vintage furnishings, old signs and rusty sculptures, with an enchanting overhang of trees and lights.
The concept was to do little clusters of old blue mason jars with apothecary bottles and some loose succulents and tillandsias scattered about. I chose a deep blue delphinium with bright kermit mums, purple majesty and frosted explosion grass, parchment-hued annabelle hydrangeas, blue and white nigella, and café au lait dahlias. Also a few dark brown fiddleheads here and there. (Full disclosure: the fiddleheads are (ack!) imported! A bride from the previous weekend’s wedding really, really wanted them and I just couldn’t find wild local ones to save my life. So we made an exception to our California-only rule. They worked so well with Shannon’s color palette that I used the extras here.)
We also used a lime-green geranium leaf; I’ve found this plant to be super finicky, but I couldn’t resist it for this color palette, with its slight rusty-brown tint. Lots of the stems didn’t make it, but we still used it as an accent here and there (and as a lovely cuff for Shannon’s bouquet, which I’ll have to show you once their official pics come through!).
I can’t claim to have had anything to do with this sweet detail, but I loved it so much that I had to share: instead of laying the place cards on the plates, they tied them to these lovely garden chairs with twine. Charming!
For their ceremony at a nearby winery, Shannon and Dominic wanted something a bit unusual for their “altarpiece,” so we created a display with birch branches, shimmery solar lanterns, and dangling tillandsias. The bridesmaids each carried a single café au lait dahlia down the aisle and left it in one of the little jars around the base of the blue pot.
This was a fun one. Hopefully I’ll have some more photos to post soon. I loved Shannon’s bouquet, can’t wait to share that with you!
September 21st, 2010
Silvia and Sam got married at the lovely UC Berkeley Botanical Garden back in early August. Sorry it took me so long to share the photos — camera issues are the bane of my existence. Anyway, I hope to have the pro photos to share pretty soon as well. Our succulent composition genius, Jared Crawford, did some gorgeous potted succulent gardens for a bunch of the centerpieces, and the rest were my own designs of succulents mixed with cut flowers. Silvia and Sam gave away the potted gardens to their bridesmaids and groomsmen as thank-you gifts.
Dark eggplant dahlias contrasting with soft silvery foliage… lambs’ ear, dusty miller, and leucadendron… with wacky otherworldy nigella and metallic purple viburnum berries. Oh, and this beautiful blooming mint — you can’t see it here, but it pops up in a few of the other photos.
The head wreath looked so cute on their flower girl, with her little ponytail poking up over the top of it. I cut the leucadendron for the wreath from my own garden.
A family member had made some burlap table runners for their reception, so we did little burlap cuffs on the bouquets to match.
Here’s just one example of Jared’s amazing work for this project. Hopefully we’ll have pics of the rest of them soon! Love the table numbers too, made from the GGNRA artwork.
September 10th, 2010
Okay, here’s a little pick-me-up to get you through those last few hours of the work week… possibly the happiest colors of any wedding, ever. Lisa and Cody wanted a sort of Día de los Muertos–inspired color palette, with aqua blue and orange as the primary hues, with accents of cherry red, rosy pink, and sunny yellow. Inspired by their wedding site, an old ranch stable in Santa Rosa (now a bed and breakfast with a lovely courtyard), they wanted loose, wild arrangements in clusters of jars from Lisa’s collection, with succulents in that pretty aqua blue, ruffly dahlias, grasses and vines. Here are all the jars back at the studio, happily awaiting their delivery:
The day before the wedding, we had a serendipitous visit from a grower in Half Moon Bay, who brought along the most stunning truckload of these gigantic dahlias. Literally breathtaking… the swooning gasps from all of us over here could be heard all over the Bayview. I couldn’t resist snapping some up for Lisa and Cody’s jars.
So many adorable DIY touches at this wedding… the little gingham caps on the jars of homemade apricot jam matched the kerchief table numbers. Lisa’s dad cut the slabs of wood for the centerpieces from his neighbor’s felled avocado tree. Tissue paper flowers (a group project finished at the rehearsal dinner) adorned the ceremony space. Flags of patterned paper hanging near the entrance were the guests’ seating cards. When we arrived to set up the flowers, everybody was hanging around relaxing and adding their contributions.
To my serious dismay, I didn’t get any photos of Lisa’s bouquet, my favorite we’ve done so far this season. It was sooo pretty! Lisa and Cody have kindly offered to share their professional photos when they come in, so I promise I’ll pass them along then. Enjoy the weekend!