Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wearing Their Flowers

The Chelsea, England Flower Show is one annual event that every serious or wannabe gardener longs to attend. Easily the world's most famous flower show, it is a multi-day extravaganza of new plant introductions, envy-inducing wonders of garden design, and hundreds of flowers we want for our own gardens.

But another show that goes on at the same time is the fashion! The floral hats parading around the grounds during the show are serious competition for the ones standing still. Some of these are true marvels of construction, and can often be weighty, both in terms of actually wearing them, and in cost...often over $1000!

The Chelsea Show
also holds a competition for hat-themed floral arrangements, such as these two zany concoctions, right and left.

Queen Elizabeth was particularly inspired by the hats this year, and is said to be considering having one designed for her annual appearance at Ascot. As she is accustomed to wearing heavy headgear, she'll have no trouble balancing one of these floral beauties!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Simply "Succulent" Wedding Flowers!

Bridal bouquets have certainly come a long way over the past decades. From those silly bunches of love-child daisies in the 60's, to the fussy cascades of the 80's, we've seen a complete revolution in what today's bride is interested in for her special day.

One of the most recent, and most interesting, items florists are being asked to include are succulents. Definitely not a flower, succulents are more akin to cactus, though usually without the spines. There are dozens of different varieties to choose from, helping to blend them with most any flower and color combination the bride may want. And succulents are a great choice for the bride who says she really doesn't 'like' flowers.

Succulents also work well for boutonnieres and corsages. Their graphic shapes stand out with little embellishment needed. And of course, they last and last, without need of water!

Some of the most popular, seen in these photos, are Echeverias, also known as "Hens and Chicks", with their rosette of thick, fleshy leaves; Kalanchoe; and Purple Heart Wandering Jew. Most pair nicely with silver-leaved plants such as Lamb's Ear. I love this boutonniere that includes Chocolate Cosmos and fern curls-there are so many interesting shapes and elements going on here! For our area, where coastal 'destination' weddings are popular, succulents blend well with the seafoam greens and pale blues, hot colors right now.

Succulents are also a good choice for the bride who is interested in a 'green' wedding. Consider these centerpieces: all can be given as long-lasting gifts after the wedding, or taken home as a reminder of your Big Day.

And best of won't have to worry about them not being watered while you are away on your honeymoon!

Bloomers has lots of great ideas for your succulent wedding!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Darling Dahlias

With fall just around the corner, more customers are asking for that gorgeous flower, the Dahlia, either for wedding flowers or as part of a flower arrangement. In the Language of Flowers, the Dahlia signifies dignity, elegance and good taste. Here's a bit more information on these fabulous blooms.

The Dahlia starts life as a tuber, eventually greening up into bushes of varying heights throughout the summer, depending on the variety. The flowers begin to appear in late summer and into the fall. Native to the plateaus of Mexico, they prefer cool nights (not easy to achieve in these parts!) so should be mulched well. To achieve fewer, but larger Dahlia blooms, pinch out the center bud when it appears.

There are just so many varieties of Dahlia to choose from it will make your head spin: single, ball, pom-pom, cactus, dinnerplate and water lily, to name just a few. Some are borne on tiny bushes; others tower over everything in your garden. The colors range from white and the palest pastels, to deep burgundy that could almost pass for black, and also some bi-colors. The dinnerplate variety is my personal favorite, and so named because of it's size-the bloom can reach a foot across!

Dahlias are a popular, long-lasting choice for wedding flowers. Look at these gorgeous bridal bouquets composed of nothing but Dahlias! Availability is generally from June to October.

To see a great variety of Dahlias, visit the Freelander Dahlia Garden in Clyde, North Carolina. This garden boasts 250 types!

If you are just mad for Dahlias and want to learn more, visit the Dahlia Society at : And to send a gorgeous bouquet of Dahlias to brighten someone's day, call Bloomers!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Blooms Because...

Just about everyone sends or buys flowers when someone is sick, has a baby, gets married, or passes away. (Or as it used to be known: "Hatched, Matched, and Dispatched"). But there are certainly lots more reasons to send or give flowers!

* Make a dormroom feel like home. Your college age student may be on his or her own for the first time. Why not send a fun bouquet as a reminder of home? A good florist (Bloomers!) could tailor an arrangement to your teen's interests, such as a sports team or favorite activity.

*Break A Leg: Perhaps your friend or neighbor is acting in a local production-send flowers with a note saying Break a Leg- he or she will feel like a real star!

*To be daring: go ahead, step out of your comfort zone! Have you met someone you'd like to get to know better? What better way than over a cup of coffee, accompanied by a beautiful bouquet you just surprised him or her with!

*Because he's a he! Think men don't like flowers? Think again! Because it's so unexpected, men love receiving flowers, especially when there's no reason at all. And flowers don't have to be 'girly'! Fall is a great time for a masculine basket of sunflowers and feather accents.

*To thank someone. Has someone helped you out of a jam recently? Flowers are a thoughtful way to say you appreciate their efforts.

*Housesitting: Are you watching a home for someone? Why not bring over a gorgeous "welcome home"bouquet in time for their arrival? Or, if you are the one on vacation, leave a beautiful bunch on your kitchen counter for the housesitters to take home with them. (and to remind them to come back!)

*The Office Cubicle : Do you spend your days in a windowless cubicle? You need flowers-a cheerful bouquet goes a long way towards lifting your mood!

* Brighten the guest bathroom for visitors: Flowers in the guest bedroom are almost expected, but they will be a pleasant surprise in the bathroom!

*For no reason at all: When did we get the impression that flowers are just for 'special' occasions? Europeans know that flowers make daily life just a little nicer, and they consider a weekly bouquet as a must! Bloomers or stop in for something special, anyday!

*What are some of your ideas?