Monday, October 1, 2018

Garden Wedding, Roxbury, Connecticut

The stage set was a landscape worthy of a Connecticut Impressionist painting.
The ceremony took place in the spectacular gardens of the groom’s grandparents overlooking acres of treetops. The focal point was a simple arch of birch limbs decorated with tendrils of gerber daisies cascading from the structure. During the ceremony the couple exchanged custom leis which matched the bride’s stunning sari. This was a wedding of two families celebrating love and culture and beauty, seemingly all at once.
After vows were exchanged, the 150 guests moved inside a pristine tent, where colorful orange, hot pink and spring green centerpieces of roses, dahlias and ladies mantle were featured. The flowers were tucked into birch containers which complimented the beauty of the wooded hills beyond.
Connecticut in summer is a sea of greens and on the very best of days, gently rustling breezes. I suspect this elegantly understated wedding was one guests and family will remember.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Summer Wedding at Great Hollow Preserve

What makes a wedding special? Sometimes it’s as simple as using flowers from the mother of the bride’s cutting garden. I thought of this recently as I filled buckets with flowers for a bridal bouquet for a summer wedding at Great Hollow Preserve in New Fairfield.
Photo by Anna Beeke
As it turned out, zinnias of many varieties and colors, dahlias, phlox, daisies, Queen Anne’s lace and peegee hydrangeas – made for a sumptuous summer mélange that worked wonderfully in many combinations.
I loved the way the Queen’s Anne Lace mirrored the lace in the bride’s lovely gown; and that simple birch branches, topped with a spray of delphinium, hydrangeas and snapdragons, was transformed into a ceremonial arch.
Photo by Anna Beeke
Photo by Anna Beeke
Photo by Anna Beeke

The bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnières, 108 centerpieces and large stand-alone arrangements drew similarly from this charming floral palette. Antiqued metal containers and long wooden farm tables completed the rustic look.
Then, as if summoned by a God on high for some 11th hour drama. crackling thunder and lightning and a violent rainstorm took center stage. But this must have been a power-that-be with a good sense of humor.; for just as magically, the skies cleared and a marvelous party was underway.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Storybook wedding at Lake Waramaug Country Club

It had the makings of a storybook wedding: childhood sweethearts, and spectacular views of the golf course at The Waramaug Country Club and of Lake Waramaug’s sparkling waters.
Photo by Keane Eye Photography at Lake Waramaug Country Club

With such ingredients already in place, I turned to glorious, old-fashioned lavender and white flowers to make this bride and groom’s celebration all the more special.

The result -- as sweet as the young couple –could have served as inspiration for a succession of Victorian-era valentines.

Centerpieces of scabiosa, calla lily, larkspur and white veronica complemented the bride’s bouquet of lavender and baby’s breath and groom’s matching boutonniere. (I repeated the floral mix in the aisle chair décor.)

Votive candles brought these lovely wooden tables to life as the sun began to set.

Meanwhile the couple supplied joy and exuberance. It was simply a stunning event.

Friday, September 22, 2017

American Gold Cup Equestrian Event

American Gold Cup Equestrian Event
Old Salem Farm, North Salem, NY

While it was basically a “first world problem,” and not the devastation and heartbreak that was unfolding as Hurricane Irma ripped north from the Caribbean to Florida, a portion of my flower order, the 500 Ecuadorian roses, was stuck in the Miami Airport. With the prestigious American Gold Cup competition at Old Salem Farm in North Salem three days away, I knew I’d have to scramble if I were going to guarantee delivery of 88 centerpieces on time.

When snags like this happen, having contacts and experience really helps. My dear vendor, Chris, at Dutch Flower Line in the NYC flower market sprung to my aid -. voilà, this was the result. The roses were a hotter shade of orange than I’d ordered, but sometimes serendipitous outcomes turn out even better.

These arrangements, placed in wooden cubes of various sizes, and in custom made grey wooden containers , served up scrumptious mélanges that included artichokes, sea holly, pincushion flowers, Dutch hydrangeas and aubergine mini- calla lilies, Arachnea orchids, hypericum berries and kangaroo paws as well. I set them in beds of eucalyptus dotted by single magnolia leaves. Their autumnal colors looked fabulous with all of the tablecloths selected for this five day event.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Elegant Summer Party on Candlewood Lake

August is the ideal time to enjoy life on Candlewood Lake. Last weekend hosts Greg and Laura invited their friends to a very special summer party.
Laura had selected periwinkle blue and shades of white as the color palette. She loves hydrangeas, so I ordered periwinkle hydrangeas (imported from Holland) as the favorite flower to be included in all of the designs.
Cocktails were enjoyed under the blue skies around the cocktail tables which were decorated with small centerpieces (similar to the ones on the dining tables).

The guests then moved under the tent to savor the dishes prepared by Bonni Manning Catering while viewing the lush centerpieces which included hydrangeas, roses, mini calla lilies and scabiosa. The colors were set off by the shimmering pewter tablecloths. 

Tall dramatic arrangements with similar flowers (and including periwinkle blue hybrid delpheniums) decorated the buffet table. The guests were very impressed with the location of the private home, right on the shoreline, and all of the delights of the evening.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lecture at the Washington Garden Club

The topic was trends in floral design, and I’d brought some amazing materials to work with. Roses, peonies, ladies mantle, cock’s comb, green and white hydrangea, lisianthus and Bella Donna delphinium were the undisputed stars of the afternoon.
We played with a number of ideas, from container selection, to palettes of color and texture perfect for the season ahead. We created everything from a table centerpieces of varied white flowers that would be perfect at a summer wedding, or a fiery of orange and green mélange of flowers with tangerines as accents that seemed to cry out for the sounds of a Cuban bans.

One again I reminded people that simple seasonal arrangements feels right at this time of year, whether it’s this ethereal delphinium arrangement with a collard of ladies mantle, or lush peonies grouped in glass containers of three.
Hope I inspired everyone to be creative.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Wedding Season is Here

We’re moving into the wedding season now, and I am not at all surprised that many bridal couples are craving color. The choices for centerpieces are seemingly wide-open – that is, thanks to my longstanding relationships with the vendors in the NYC flower market, color trends, and a healthy dose of imagination. As an unabashed flower lover, I never grow tired to playing with certain themes. How operatic these red callas feel in a glass container – an arrangement for the late Maria Callas perhaps….
While delicate creme de la crème roses, Dutch hydrangea, and blue tweedia would be at home a table in a Jane Austin novel, or to set the stage for a wedding on Midsummer’s Eve.
Look at how this rustic container makes an exotic mix of or artichokes, sea holly, orchids, roses, and cock’s comb feel like the discovery of underwater treasure.
Simple glass containers of single varieties of flowers feel sleek and modern.
And because I’m conversant with the many varieties of roses available throughout the year I can play with vintage, springtime or autumnal looks confident that my flowers will be the best choice for any occasion.
And who could resist the cubes of flowers at this garden party? I love the way the dahlias, hydrangea and ladies mantle sparkle on beds of emerald sea glass along this fuchsia runner. The table setting is summer itself—and notice how covering the seats in matching fuschia fabric takes a great idea even further.