Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blue Roses for your wedding... you can't go wrong

Spring is in full swing, and I am handing out my wedding flower suggestions to anyone who will listen... no matter if they are getting married soon or not. Hey, you gotta have your wedding flowers planned out and get your look together.

If the Good Lord hadn't intended for roses to be blue, he wouldn't have invented food coloring. What I am saying to brides these days is, "if you have chosen any shade of blue for your bridesmaid's dresses, then you are in luck. Yes, in luck, as roses, those time-honored most respected of flowers, are available in blue! Don't be afraid of tulle puffs and baby's breath either... your mother wasn't why should you be?

Here are some other Hot Wedding Flower Tips for y'all considering gettn' hitched and want'n to decorate the reception hall to the max.

1. Feathers and balloons are real pretty, cheap, come in all colors, and you can find them anywhere!

2. No jackets for the guys? That's o.k. y'all, boutonnieres can now be attached with magnets through the thickest of shirt fabric.

3. Don't waste the money on flowers for your wedding cake, fake doves and over sized wedding rings made of tin (but painted to look like gold!) are easy to find at any party supply store.

4. Don't let that little tummy bulge keep you from wearing the gown of your dreams... Now most every wedding dress place these days has a maternity department!

5. Remember, Pink is a good fall back color for your wedding. In case you can't find carnations in that special lavender tone you're looking... remember, pink goes with everything!

Enjoy your Spring, and this first day of April!

Floral Disaster Tidbit of a royal magnitude... Once I was working at a flower shop in California, it was Valentine's Day. A customer came in and requested a dozen roses for his "old lady". The customers last request was ...wait for it... "don't forget to put some baby's bottom with them." After that, you kinda forget the woes of Valentine's Day in a flower shop.

Would you call that pink, or Flamingo?

Some many good pictures and videos too, from this past weekend. The flamingos were the first exhibit we saw at the zoo in Columbia. These birds were amazing, so colorful, and a bit loud. Their call sounds very much like geese. These flamingos have a brilliant color, much more vivid than the standard pink that you see on most flamingos, those not in somebodies front yard!

All of the animals were wonderful, I think I was most impressed by the giraffe exhibit. There you can purchase lettuce to feed them, and they are not shy. They will take the food right from your hand. The zoo has graciously provided hand sanitizer stations in that exhibit. I had lots of giraffe saliva on my hands when the feeding was done.

If anyone is in the Columbia, SC area for a visit... I highly recommend the Riverbank Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... Westminster Abbey has been the scene for several royal weddings. But, the first royal wedding to take place in the abbey occurred on November 11th in the year 1100. The happy couple was King Henry I and Princess Matilda of Scotland. The current Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II was the 10th member of the royal family to be married in Westminster Abbey.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, SC - Who knew???

Now, I have been traveling through Columbia, SC for over 40 years... mainly as a way to get to Gastonia, NC. Too bad I had taken it for granted for so long. I never knew there was a zoo and botanical gardens of such quality and beauty located in the Palmetto State's capital. The Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens was the second main event to our Carolina Cup weekend. Most fortunate for us is that currently, all of the spring flowers are in bloom... tulips, thousands of them, daffodils, pansies, violets, Japanese Tulip trees, cherry trees, almond trees, Spirea, Jasmine, Heleboris (Lenten Rose) were among the hundreds of varieties we were able to see blooming on Sunday in the gardens. Also, the zoo! Most of the animals were risin' and shinin' so there was lots of activity going on. Even got to fee a baby Giraffe.... now, that doesn't happen every day. Such a great weekend. Thanks especially to our friend and blog follower Sandra who scored us the tickets for the zoo/gardens. Sandra, we really appreciate it! Terry.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day...when Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, there was a break in tradition when he was created the Earl of Wessex... unlike Charles and Andrew, who were granted Dukedoms when they themselves were married. However, the Earl of Wessex, it is speculated, will be created Duke of Edinburgh, when that title reverts back to the crown.... ahem... in other words... when Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh dies. **It has also been decided (by who, I'd like to know!) that any children of Edward and Sophie will not carry the title Prince or Princess. Sounds like a bum deal to me... for any of their children. But, since that was decided there have been two children born to Ed an Sophie... a daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, and a son, James Viscount Severn. Edward is Earl of Wessex and Sophie is Countess of Wessex.

Carolina Cup - Horses, Fashion, and blooming trees!

It was off to the races this past weekend. The annual running of the Carolina Cup took place in Camden, SC this past Saturday. Through the generosity of great friends, I was able to attend for the first time. Simply couldn't get over the size and scope of this race, especially for our region. Over 77,000 in attendance! Most racegoers were decked out in their South Carolina finest. I hadn't seen that much madras in one place since I worked a brief stint at Brooks Brothers. Now, I have never been a race fan, but, I couldn't help but get caught up in the spirit and excitement of the Carolina Cup. The weather could not have been more perfect. Our infield location (held for many years by that generous friend) allowed us to see the races when they were run, and see all the people and the wonderful outfits they all had chosen. It appears that Bow ties have really made a comeback, especially among the college age crowd. The whole thing was like "Kentucky Derby Light". I had a blast, people watching mostly, but the races and the trip up and back afforded us a closeup view of the mid-South Carolina countryside. Since most of our trees are in bloom (Bradford Pears, Red Buds, and some Dogwoods), there were glorious floral displays to be seen. I am going to fit in a few more pics here of the day at the racetrack, the fashion and some blooming trees. Enjoy the pics of a truly traditional and southern experience. Terry.

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... during the wedding of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, the interior floors of Westminster Abbey were covered with new carpet specially for the royal wedding day... the only area not covered was the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, just inside the West door entrance to the abbey.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Day of Spring 2010 ...FINALLY!!!!

It's finally here, Spring, and long overdue if you ask me.

Sorry for the lapse in blog posts, it's been a crazy busy week at work, so the gumption to sit down and write some words just hasn't been there. Plus, Wednesday was St. Patrick's Day. In my part of the world that is a huge deal. So, there were some crazy early hours mid-week getting to Savannah for the parade, and then getting back home early enough to have our regular Wednesday night meal with family.

Our Island is bursting with the white blossoms of hundreds of Bradford Pear trees, this one here, just a few hundred feet away is one of the most vivid I have seen this week. The unusually cold months have really kept the blooming to a minimum so far, and the pears are usually the first to appear, except for the azaleas, which haven't shown any signs of blooming yet. Just has been too cold, I guess.

So, this year was like the 184th St. Patrick's Day celebration in Savannah, GA. I have been to the parade many times, and it's always a family event for us. I started the day by getting over to Savannah around 7 a.m. and was blessed by all the Irish saints with a great parking spot very close to the parade route. Then, headed over to the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist for mass. After that, back to our family campsite at State and Abercorn Streets, where I watched the parade from start to finish... about 3 1/2 hours of bagpipe bands, marching bands, Irish families, dignitaries and such. It was a great day... cold, but the rain stayed away until the parade was over. We are really looking forward to St. Patrick's Day 2010 when the parade will be on a Saturday... and we are hoping to be in the parade that year. We were in as a small family group way back in 1977 with my grandfather, long ago, but remember it as being lots of fun... really looking forward to that.
Royal Tidbit for the day... Queen Victoria's favorite flower was Snowdrops, and carried a bouquet completely made of snowdrops for her wedding in 1841. The current British Monarch... Queen Elizabeth II... well, her favorite flower is daffodils. But, her wedding bouquet was made entirely of exotic varieties of orchids, all grown in England.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Like Carnations....there, I said it.

Yes, I do like carnations... they have gotten such a bad rap over the years. I like the way they really fill in some space for just a little bit of money in an arrangement.

Our Fresh Market had a great floral selection today, so I loaded up. Obviously. These dark burgundies, crimsons, and pinks really spoke to me. I decided to add some lily grass and a wrap of ivy to give some interest with foliage. The last flowers from Fresh Market lasted almost three weeks. I hope I get as much time out of these. By the way... second photo today... Reuse, Recycle, Reduce. The roses had to finally go away, but these crimson asters made another great arrangement with the Kiwi vine as a support system... profusion!

Now on to royalty... yesterday I was browsing YouTube and came across some clips of Prince Edwards wedding to Sophie Reyes-Jones in 1999. I don't know where I was or what I was doing during this wedding, but I missed it completely. I am thinking that they were playing down the royal family events in those days, since it was so soon after Princess Diana's death. Not to mention that the Countess of Wessex looks so much like Diana, it was kinda strange to watch.

I an not a big fan of her bouquet. I read somewhere that they had a local florist in Windsor make the bouquet and other floral decorations. Just not a big fan of the larger standard size Calla lilies wired into a carried bouquet. I did like the construction, size and shape, from the videos you get to see if from the back... nice and neat construction in wire and tape. I will have to study up on this wedding a bit and report back later.

Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... since Eddie and Sophie were married in the week after the Garter ceremonies, the bridesmaids' and pages' wedding costumes were made to look like Garter ceremonial costumes... Nice touch I think.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Love Knots

Here are a couple of examples of "love knots", those are the little slip knots that florist used to tie in the ribbons hanging from bridal bouquets. Often the knots were used to tie in small flowers, tulle tufts, or other ornaments for the bouquet.

The pic to the left is of Queen Ingrid and King Frederik of Denmark on their wedding day in May , 1935. They were married in Stockholm Cathedral. At the time they were married, Frederik had not yet ascended the throne, so they were know then at Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark. Ingrid was the daughter, wife, and aunt to kings, and two of her daughters would become queens. Quite a resume I would say. It looks like her bouquet is made completely of Longiflorum/St. Joseph/ or Easter Lilies and myrtle branches, and the long trailing ribbons have small bits of myrtle leaves tied in the love knots.

The picture on the right is of my mother on her wedding day in 1964. I know for a fact that the love knots in her bouquet ribbon were tied around tulle tufts and sprigs of Lily of the Valley made of fabric. I know this for a fact... why? Because, before she tossed that bouquet away to history... I snipped some of it's ribbon and love knots to keep as mementos. Some of the salvaged ribbon wrapped the stem of my brother's boutonniere for his wedding in 2002.

Royal Wedding Tidbit of the day... After their wedding in May 1935, Ingrid and Frederik were chauffeured to a cemetery in Haga, Sweden, where Ingrid placed her bouquet on the grave of her mother, Queen Margareta.

Catching Up on Pamela Mountbatten

Just wanted to go back and make any corrections from a couple of posts-ago. The picture here is the wedding of Pamela and David Hicks in 1960. Pamela is the daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten, uncle of Prince Fillip, and Edwina Mountbatten. Note to self, never site down to do a blog post without my research material close at hand.
Photo Credit: "Free Spirit", Majesty, February, 2010, pg. 19.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flower Profusion

If I had to describe my current personal preference in design style, it would be profusion. I am talking about lots of flowers arranged very close together in any container.

I remember the "airy" open style of preferred design back in the early days of my floral career... that was the mid 1990's. I am glad to see those days are passing us by. Large arrangements where flowers were set far apart with large spaces left open. Curly willow branches and fillers such as Queen Anne's Lace and bear grass were used to give arrangements that open and airy look. A floral design friend of mine used to say... "you have to sell air". Quite opposite is the style I prefer now. The close compact look, I think, really suites weddings well. Large bowls or cube vases packed with roses and other similar shaped flowers give such a rich look. However, one has to be rich these days to afford a rich look in the arrangements. This type of arrangement requires an abundance of flowers. Most times, there is no greenery or fillers to take up the space, so, all the space has to be occupied with flowers. The first arrangement shown here is one I made back at the end of the summer. I am no flower snob, so I am not beyond using large mums or carnations to fill in the space when budget is an issue, and roses are very pricey. I am not a flower snob at all. In fact, I have just completed a wedding floral proposal consisting mainly of dense gatherings of daisies. The bride loves daisies, and the rustic outdoor setting for the wedding lends itself to these basic but well loved flowers. That wedding takes place in May, I hope to be able to post some pics of the arrangements after the wedding.

The second pic is a good example of the style I am talking about in this post. I took apart an open airy arrangement, cut the roses down, and arranged them so they would rest on the top edge of the vase, accented and supported by a gathering of Kiwi vine. I really like this look, and hope that others might as well. It's looks contemporary and somehow traditional at the same time. The roses have a great name... the variety is "Twinkle Bride" ... I wonder who gets to sit around and think up the names for all the rose varieties?

Royal Wedding Tidbit for the day... On her wedding day, Sarah, Duchess of York carried a bouquet of Gardenias, Lily of the Valley, pale yellow roses, and freesia... the bouquet was designed by David Longman to be in the shape of the letter "S" for "Sarah" giving that arrangement it's distinctive crescent shape, produced at Longman's Ltd. of London. Mr. Longman also designed the bouquet for Diana, Princess of Wales.