Tuesday, October 28, 2008

True Flowering Carpets

I recently came upon these fantastic photographs of Brussels' live Flower Carpet, which they set up in the main square called the Grand Place. One million begonias are placed directly on the cobblestones of the main square mimicking a medieval carpet design called Savonnerie. Grass and bark are used to fill in for the brown and green, dahlias for the blue. The total size is an incredible 3200 square feet and is only on display for 4 days! At night, a light and sound show is staged, creating a magical evening, especially if you are fortunate enough to view it from the balcony of City Hall.

I visited Brussels some years ago, and was treated to a fabulous dinner at La Maison du Cygne, located right in the Grand Place. www.lamaisonducygne.be
There was no Flower Carpet there that evening, but it was still the experience of a lifetime!

Last month, I saw North Carolina's own little version of the Flower Carpet, at Biltmore Estate in Asheville, much smaller in scale but certainly still impressive. We arrived to a light rain, with the soft light making the flowers just jump out at us!

Congratulations to Erin Boyle, the October winner of a Bloomers' Gift Certificate!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Razzle-Dazzle, it's Zazzle!

I'm hooked on this new site I discovered recently, called Zazzle. There, you are able to design your own Keds sneakers. Being a shoe fanatic, AND a flower fanatic, I thought I would try my hand at it and see how it works.
You be the judge!

There are several other items you can design, such as mugs, t-shirts, and tote bags. Once you are happy with your creation, you post it, allowing anyone else who sees it there to buy it. You get a small commission every time your item sells. Sadly, none of mine have sold yet, but it's just a matter of time, I'm sure!

Try it yourself at: www. zazzle.com.

I'd love to see your designs!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Horses! The Flowers! The Hats!

scot. The very name conjures up images of immaculately coiffed and attired upper classes strutting their stuff along with the horses. I just love the witty hats, especially the floral ones! Ascot is England's most famous racetrack, but it's also a fashion show for the elegant and eccentric.

The Royal Ascot races date back
to the days of Queen Anne, in 1711. Ladies' Day is also known as"Hat Day", a true fashion lover's extravaganza of over-the-top hats, the latest designer outfits and outlandish accessories.

Royalty is always in attendance at Ascot.
(After all, it's THEIR day!)

Hobnobbing is the order of the day.
Therefore, there are many rules that must be adhered to:

-No gum chewing.
-Brown shoes are banned
-Bare legs are frowned upon, though Princess Diana did manage to getaway with this a few times.
-Convicted criminals are still banned.
-Tradition holds that as soon as the Queen finishes eating, everyone else must stop as well!

Other interesting statistics: 75,000 bottles of wine and 120,000 bottles of champagne are consumed, as are 550 gallons of cream (the English do love their cream!) and 4.5 tons yes, tons of strawberries.

Outlandish costumes notwithstanding, the raison d'etre for Ascot is the high stakes horse race, with a purse this year of more than 2 million pounds. (about $3,500,000). Which is very nice for the winner.

But really, isn't it all about the hats?

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Boo"tiful Blooms

alloween is perhaps not a traditional "flower" holiday, but there's so much out there to use in your seasonal decorating that it's a shame to not include flowers!

Almost everyone succumbs to the temptation to buy a pumpkin or two when the air turns crisp. Most will be content to seat it on the doorstep until the time comes to carve it into something ghoulish. Why not bring it inside, and with the help of some fall-colored blooms, turn that pumpkin into something you can enjoy at every meal!

You can forgo the traditional orange color for the lovely cream ones so popular now. Elevate on a
footed silver stand, enhance with a few sprigs of ivy,
and suddenly that lowly gourd is elegant! Even better, no carving involved.

This fun pumpkin looks great and is quite easy to do. Simply cut your pumpkin in half, scoop out the inside, stash a block of soaked floral foam inside, and then begin inserting your stems. A fall palette of colors would work well; favorites are mums, berries, herbs and even some branches still holding their fall leaves. Instant centerpiece. (Green Tip-toss the scooped insides into your mulch pile!)

Of course, if you just have to have more
than one, make a 'tableau' with your finds, and use one or two as the vase, decorating the rest with painted designs. Vary the colors and shapes of the pumpkins and gourds for added interest.

Here's a scary little guy you can get your kids to help you with!