Sunday, November 14, 2010

What's an Armature?

The dictionary defines armature as : "A framework serving as a supporting core for the material that is used to make a sculpture". With this in mind, florists the world over are using armatures in innovative ways, concocting gravity-defying designs that delight and astound. Europeans are leading the way in armature-style arrangements. But even mom-and-pop florists are jumping on the design wagon and using some of these techniques to freshen up their everyday offerings.

When seeing some of these design, some questions may come to mind: Where's the water source? What's holding up those blooms? How long will this last? Who is the customer for this type of arrangement? The answers will vary. For instance, this design (above) has no water source. The wire-wrapped leaves act as the armature for the assorted blooms above, all placed on a flat tray. This may be used as a centerpiece for a particular occasion-not needed for more than a few hours. Perfectly appropriate for your dining table!

At the other end of the spectrum, this unusual design took hours to construct. It is meant for a high-end event, with a price to match. Here, the sticks act as the armature, both horizontally and vertically. The flowers are nearly an afterthought. But the effect is beautiful!

Another high-end design, this one extremely complicated to construct, and using relatively few blossoms. The majority of design time was spent constructing the twig armature, but the end result is that the blooms and leaves are more focused.

Looking for something different than the usual "Daisies in a Coffee Cup"?
Call Bloomers- we specialize in the unusual!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Language of Flowers

Just about everyone has at one time or another, given flowers as a way of expressing a sentiment: "I love you." "Forgive me." "Congratulations!" "Happy Birthday!" "Happy Anniversary!" "I'm sorry for your loss"...

But did you know that individual flowers each have their own meaning,
many dating back to Victorian era?

The beautifully fragrant Lilac, a bush not easily grown here in the South, stands for humility.

The true flower of the South, the magnificent Magnolia, stands for Love of Nature,
the heavy scent is almost too much to bear.

Sunflower: haughtiness-really? Sunflowers are very nearly the national spokesperson for sunshine and happiness. They also stand for devotion, which certainly explains why so many brides are asking for sunflowers these days!

The Carnation, that flower everyone loves to hate-oddly enough stands for Woman's Love.
It is the bane of every florist, and suffers from a poor reputation. But really, what other flower has this combination of range of color, long life, spicy fragrance, and a budget-conscious price?

Lily of the Valley, meaning Return of Happiness.
That description certainly suits this scented sweetie,
returning every spring no matter how cold the winter or how much snow has fallen.

Tulip: stands for fame.
How appropriate, given the lengths that 18th century Europeans went to
secure even one bulb of tulip!

Rose: Love, passion. The Latin name Rosa means "red".
Different colors have their own varying meanings such as white for friendship, yellow for joy,
and light pink for beauty, to name just a few.

Bloomers and flowers: a true match!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Over-The-Top Weddings

Expensive celebrity weddings are nothing new. But perhaps you'd be surprised to know just HOW expensive some have been. The average American couple will spend approximately $28,000 for their wedding. Let's see what a million-dollar wedding "budget" will get you:

Paul McCartney and Heather Mills: $3 million
Paul and Heather were married at the 1000 acre Castle Leslie in Ireland. Heather came down the aisle to a song that Paul had written just for her, and she clutched a bouquet of 11 "McCartney" roses. Two 40-ft refrigerated trailers were needed to transport the thousands of flowers, brought from Holland specifically for this event. Fireworks entertained their guests late into the night, who had no reason to fear for their safety thanks to a 100-man security unit.

Liza Minelli and David Gest: $3.5 million
For this, her fourth wedding, Liza wore an Edwardian-style lace dress
designed by the celebrated Hollywood designer Bob Mackie. Her walk down the aisle was highlighted by Natalie Cole singing "Unforgettable".
Her all-star guests were treated to a 12 tier wedding cake,
and danced to a 60 piece orchestra.
Michael Jackson was David's best man, with Liz Taylor as maid of honor.

Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar: $2.5 million
This lavish celebration lasted 8 days, entertaining over 300 guests in the medieval Sudeley castle in Gloustershire, England. Elizabeth carried only a tiny bouquet of Lily of the Valley.
Days later, a second Hindu ceremony was held in India to celebrate the groom's heritage.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes: $2 million
Tom and Katie chose a 15th century castle outside Rome for their extravagant nuptials in 2006. Katie wore a Georgio Armani gown custom-designed for her.
Armani also designed Katie's bouquet of Calla Lilies and Steelgrass.
Guests were treated to a 5 tiered chocolate wedding cake, while being serenaded by none other than Andrea Bocelli.

Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky: $2 million
For her 8th wedding in 1991, Elizabeth wore a lacy yellow Valentino gown,
valued at $25,000, which was gifted to her by the designer.
The event was held at Michael Jackson's 2700-acre Neverland Ranch in California.

Donald Trump and Melania Knauss: $1 million
There's no need to book a venue when you own a Florida estate named Mar-A-Largo, including a 17,000 square foot ballroom! "The Donald"s wedding was organized by celebrity event planner Preston Bailey. Billy Joel provided the musical entertainment. Famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten delighted guests with his menu. Melania wore a custom Christian Dior gown comprised of 300 feet of satin and 1500 crystals, with a 13 foot train,
featured in a lavish spread in Vogue magazine.
Interestingly, she carried only 3 tiny white roses.

Whether you are planning a small wedding for just friends, or an all-out bash,
Bloomers can help bring your vision to life!
Call for your free consultation: 910-815-8585.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Deconstruct a Bunch

At Bloomers, we often run Build-A-Bunch specials where customers may select their own flowers to take home. But what happens once those flowers arrive home?


First, think outside the box, er, vase.
Look around your house for unusual containers; things that you may not necessarily associate with flowers. Think pitchers, tea cups, mixing bowls, mason jars, even assorted pretty tins...

Lay all your flowers out on a table, then break them up.
For instance, if you have one tall stem, place that one into a tall, thin container by itself.
Suddenly, it will take on more importance.

Full headed blooms, such as carnations and roses look great grouped tightly together.
Try a tea cup, or a pretty glass.
This is a great way to use an item you love that may have a chip or crack in it.

The most gorgeous bloom? Float it in a gorgeous bowl.

Mums are the workhorses of the flower bunch.
Group them together using similar containers in varying colors.
You've just turned them into instant stars!

If you've picked up fall color flowers, a baby pumpkin is the perfect container!

Or hide a plain-jane glass vase behind a wall of veggies, like this asparagus!

Need more ideas? Call Bloomers anytime! 910-815-8585

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gerbera Daisies

Who doesn't love a Gerbera daisy?
It surely is one of the merriest flowers out there.
Gerbera's floral meaning is the same as those attributed to daisies in general,
which is innocence and purity. But the Gerbera itself is known as the Happy Flower.

The Gerbera daisy was discovered in 1884 in South Africa. The flower's scientific name Gerbera Jamesonii reflects the name of it's founder, a Scot named Robert Jameson; and the scientific name is thanks to German naturalist Traugott Gerber. Breeding programs in England in the late 1800's helped augment the quality and color variation.

Today, Columbia is the primary distributor of the cut version, helping the Gerb rank as the fifth most popular flower in the world behind the rose, carnation, chrysanthemum and tulip.

If you love a colorful bloom, look no further!
Gerbs come in a huge array of colors, from soft cream and bright white, yellow, orange, red,
a range of pinks from soft to hot and even deepest burgundy.
There are even new bi-colors, such as the pink and cream, (top).
Don't look for blue, though, as they aren't yet available in blues or purples.

Because of their leafless, straight stems and uniform head size,
they lend themselves nicely to 'globe' type arrangements.

A recent introduction is the 'Germini', an adorable miniature version of the Gerbera.
It's the perfect size for boutonnieres!

Bloomers Loves Gerberas!
Call us for design ideas today!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Traditional vs. Modern

Floral design has come a long way, even in the last 5 years.
The traditional "Dozen in a Vase" is now almost the exception
rather than the norm (except maybe at Valentine's Day).

I love nothing more for a customer to ask for "Designer's Choice", meaning we have no limits on what we can do! Instead of daisies, maybe we'll use chartreuse spider mums. Instead of a traditional red rose, perhaps we'll push that a bit further and use the Black Bokara rose. Uhule fern curls as accents. Wax flower in place of Baby's Breath. Pincushion Protea in place of, well, you get the idea. A truly innovative floral designer will choose blooms that are beautiful and unusual. And that means your floral gift will stand out from the crowd!

Here are a few ideas for shaking up the traditional floral order:

Instead of: "Dozen in a Vase with Baby's Breath" try this modern rose beauty:

Instead of "Funeral Spray" try this unusual design,
utilizing delicate tulips and branches:

Instead of "Baby Arrangement" ask for a fabulous mix of blooms, like this one,
utilizing orchids, roses, tulips, and hydrangea:
(who says it had to have Baby's Breath in it?)

Instead of a "Dinner Centerpiece with candles" try this
stunning conversation piece of roses and calla lilies
arranged in a unique container

Bloomers is known for innovative designs.
Perhaps you saw us at the recent Grand Opening of Wilmington Water Tours?
Call us next time you're looking to make a fresh impression!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Chocolate Weddings

Who doesn't love chocolate?
Brides surely do, as "Chocolate" is proving to be a popular color for weddings!
It melds well with peach, with pink, with green, with blue, even!

Start with the non-florals first: you can pull the color in with ribbon
and accessories, giving you a rich, yummy look.
Beautiful with this soft pink rose!

You'll need shoes, of course.
How about some fabulous brown peep-toe platforms?

Now you're asking, what flowers are chocolate colored?
Chocolate Cosmos comes to mind first.

And some gorgeous deep hues of Calla Lily.
Not truly brown, but such a deep burgundy that they work...

Then, some 'greenery', in the form of these unusual Uhule fern curls.

For the cake...what's better than chocolate fondant?
(Tastes something like Tootsie Rolls).
It's pliable, much like pie crust, and opens up a whole new world of design,
like this pink and brown beauty!

Whether it's brown, blue, green, or any other color,
Bloomers can help with your wedding designs!
Call anytime to schedule your free consultation at 910-815-8585

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Petals of Honor

I love roses. Just l-o-v-e love them! Any color, and size, I just adore them.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have one named after yourself? Lots of well-known people have been immortalized in roses, and many of those have then gone on to become legends in their own right. But creating a new rose is a painstaking process, often taking up to 10 years and involving cross-breeding of tens of thousands of varieties.

To name a rose after an individual, the hybridizer must first obtain permission from that person or their estate. The next step is registration with the International Registration Authority for Roses, through the American Rose Society. A good practice is to also apply for a trademark.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Elizabeth Taylor
A ravishing lavender-pink, as elegant as the lady herself.

Lady Diana
Princess Diana has had many roses named for her, but this particular burnished pink is the one used at royal occasions. A tall, nearly thornless variety.

Ingrid Bergman
A full, deep red which continues to bloom even after frost.

Audrey Hepburn
A free-blooming, scented hybrid tea. One of the few American roses to have ever won a gold medal at the esteemed rose competition in The Hague.
Delicate and elegant, just like Audrey.

Cary Grant
Commissioned by the actor's fifth wife in 1986, this highly
fragrant orange bloomis also extremely thorny! Hmmm.....

Queen Elizabeth
A beautiful soft pink grandiflora, it won the All-American Rose Selection prize shortly after breeding, and was then given Royal approval by the Queen.
It has been one of the 10 most popular roses for over 40 years.

Dolly Parton
A interesting orangy-pink blossom, as large in personality as its namesake.
Dolly loves it so much she's planted it at Dollywood and in her personal garden in Nashville.

John F. Kennedy
A true classic and one of the most fragrant of the white hybrid teas.

Of course, naming a rose to honor someone is nothing new. Many of the antiques, such as the Noisettes, Moss, Damask, and Gallica roses are named after benefactors, or noted people of the times, such as Napoleon, Mozart, and even Don Juan, which is appropriately enough, a climber! (pictured)

The American Rose Society currently lists over 25,000 names, so I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting to see my mine on a rose...

If you would like your own personal rose arrangement, call us at Bloomers!

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