Monday, May 31, 2010

"Royal" American Weddings

Aren't we all fascinated when someone famous gets married? We want to know everything...what is the bride wearing? What will her flowers look like? How large will the cake be? How many guests are invited? Few American weddings elicited more excitement in their time than our American "Royalty"! Read on...

When actress Grace Kelly married Monaco's Prince Rainier in 1956, she chose a dress that was classically demure, with long sleeves and a high collar. Classic, elegant and fitting her movie star image, it was constructed of rose point lace and seed pearls by Helen Rose, who headed the wardrobe department of Metro-Goldwyn Mayer. The wedding party's flowers were very understated, and Grace herself carried a simple bouquet of fragrant Lily-of-the-Valley.

Kennedy weddings have always elicited lots of excitement. When Jacqueline Bouvier married Senator John F. Kennedy in 1953, she chose a gown constructed of more than 50 yards of silk. Her bouquet was just as elaborate composed of pink and white spray Orchids and Gardenias.

Years later, when her son John married Carolyn Bessette, she chose a dramatically simple sheath by Narcisco Rodriguez, at the eye-popping cost of $40,000. She clutched an equally simple (and expensive!) bouquet of Lily-of-the-Valley, designed for her by Bunny Melon, the designer of the White House's Rose Garden.

No matter what size wedding you are planning, Bloomers has beautiful ideas for the celebrity in you!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pretty Peonies

As a 'Northern" gardener, one of my favorite flowers was the Peony. It was always thought of as the grandmother's flower, since a well-established bush can live for generations. Once I moved to the South, I was disappointed to find that it's nearly impossible to grow them here, in part due to the warm winters. I did manage to get a single bloom on my year-old bush this spring, but attribute that to the unseasonably colder winter we had.

This variety (left) is called "Bowl of Beauty", and certainly lives up to its name!

So what's a Peony-lover to do if they can't grow them? Well, head to your nearest florist! Many people aren't aware that Peonies are a cut flower that we can obtain for you for a short time in the spring. This year, I've had the deep rose, light pink and white varieties at Bloomers, and each is more gorgeous than the next! No sooner do I announce they have arrived, then they go right back out the door in the arms of a smiling customer.

Do cut Peonies need any special care? Not really. When purchasing them as a cut flower, they should still be in a tight bud. Resist buying the ones that are already blown out. They may be beautiful, but they'll have a shorter lifespan. As usual in preparing cut flowers, once they have arrived home with you, cut the stems underwater with a sharp knife (never scissors!) Remove any foliage that may be underwater. Add floral preservative to the water, and then let them drink, taking care to keep them out of direct sunlight. Then sit back, as those blooms scent your entire room.

Cut Peonies can be pricey, but that shouldn't keep you from enjoying them. Float a single blossom in a beautiful bowl, and place it where you'll see it often and enjoy their fragrance up close.

Of course, if you can really splash out, go for an exuberant arrangement of nothin' but! Isn't this centerpiece stunning?

If you're in the mood for Peonies, call or stop in to Bloomers quick! They won't be here much longer...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flowers UpClose

Whenever I am out and about, I am sure to have my camera with me. And the one thing that's guaranteed to have me lingering for a photo is a flower!

Close-up photography of flowers isn't difficult, but it does take patience. Not all cameras will zoom in as close as you'd like, so some trial and error will be necessary. Wasn't this creamy yellow Rose worth the wait?

Lighting will make a difference. Different times of day, different weather, different seasons, all have an impact on what your final result will be.

Close up flower photography can be a way to document a flower in whole or in part, or the photo can become an artform in its own right. This photo of a Calla Lily is beautiful in its subtle coloring. It almost looks like a landscape! You may not even be able to recognize a flower in an extreme close up, but the final result is still gorgeous.

Flower close-ups will often reveal secrets you may not have discovered otherwise. For instance, did you know that the common Dandelion is actually composed of 2 colors? To the casual glance, it may seem yellow, but on closer inspection, we see the subtle orange center revealed.

In my Montreal garden, a beautiful stand of Hollyhock "Nigra" would appear in different spots every year. And every year I'd photograph it. These spires sometimes reached 7 feet tall, with purple-black flowers all along the stem.

And every now and then, a visitor will make itself known...just as you're about to snap the shutter!

You can get a close up look at lots of beautiful flowers at Bloomers! Stop in anytime...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Our First Flower Class!

Our first Floral Design class was held back in March. Five brave participants signed up for the Sunday afternoon session, and what fun they had!

Flower selection was fierce! There were various colors of daisy mums to choose from, plus assorted color options for accent flowers and greens. And, everyone had different colors of mixing bowls to coordinate with. These were important decisions!
Mary Ann (center) found just what she wanted.

These 'beginner' designers were speedy! What started as nice neat buckets of daisy mums, ended with stems and severed flower heads everywhere!

The gals could choose their own color combinations.
Charlene chose all purple hues, and went with a 'more is more' effect.

Bonnie was pleased with her fresh yellow and white combo...

Gwen pondered the greenery...

A few chose to add a beautiful feather butterfly to their creation (above) - a nice touch!

Centerpieces complete, Class dismissed!

Watch for announcement of more Bloomers classes coming soon!