Monday, December 19, 2011

Think outside the vase

If you are a flower lover, you may also be a vase lover. As long as you have the space to store them, I believe you can never have enough vases. It seems that each bouquet craves a certain texture or color. If you can't seem to find the right vase it never hurts to check your glassware selection. And if you can use dishes for your flowers, why not use vases for your food?

At my recent Christmas party I used 4"x4" cube vases for my veggies. It's fun to present food in unexpected ways! And my daughter loved helping me fill these up too.

If you receive a lot of flowers as gifts, your cupboards may be filling up with vases you don't know what to do with. I have friends and clients who return vases to me which is a great way of recycling. But think about other ways to recycle that vase. Give it a different use. A kitchen utensil holder, pen/pencil holder, use it to hold mail or keys. The list could go on! What do you do with your old vases, do you have any great ideas to share?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

5 Year Old Birthday Party

My December baby turned five this past Sunday! I know we always hear it, but it's because it's true.........they grow up so fast!!

We hosted my daughter's party here at our house with 12 of her friends. Her first BIG party and she loved every minute. I re-used bunting and pinwheels from my sister's September wedding. We lined the sidewalk outside up to the house with pinwheels and bunting to greet our guests. Once they arrived the kids decorated party hats, I did face painting, we had a big scavenger hunt (find the pinwheels), ate cake and opened presents.

Party hat template can be found here.....

Make a wish!!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Outdoor Pots

I have two large pots in the front of my house. And this past summer I planted Japanese burberry in each of them. But by this time of year they are looking pretty sad. So I spruced them up with some winter greenery like cedar, pine and salal. All very affordable to buy or perhaps even found in your back yard. Definitely after some good Victoria wind storms I am always on the look out for some blown down branches along the side of the road.

You can just keep it simple and do just greenery or for a little color add some ilex berries and dogwood branches. They won't last quite as long as the greens do so keep that in mind. Other materials to try are magnolia leaves, large pine cones, red huck branches and leucodendrons. Have fun!

Here is the sad before picture...

And after a little lovin'.........

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hatley Castle - late autumn

A few weeks ago my husband and I took our kids on a little adventure to Hatley Castle. We were a couple weeks too late to enjoy the true beauty of the Japanese gardens as many of the maple leaves had already fallen, but the kids were still happy for hours exploring and I found a few hints of autumn color to photograph.

Hatley Castle (1908) was built for James and Laura Dunsmuir and designed by Samuel MacClure. The edwardian estate originally had 10 formal gardens, a Lord Burnham greenhouse and conservatory.

The conservatory was once filled with orchids from India and had a banana tree growing in the middle dome. Every room of the castle always had fresh flowers in it from the conservatory! How nice! The greenhouse is all that is left today, which is pretty amazing considering it is from 1914.

Kids love stepping stones and bridges, so Japanese gardens are perfect!

There is a lovely rose garden too. Some how roses at this stage are still beautiful!

Hatley Castle is a great place to spend a few hours and a nice place to take out of town guests. Tours of the castle are also available. Many couples also choose the castle and grounds for their wedding day. Check website for more info.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Decorating Tips

I can't believe it's November 22 and we already have our tree up! I totally gave in to the begging from my four year old daughter as I've never had a tree (artificial) up in November before. But hey, they are only little once and soon WE will be begging them to quit texting and help decorate the tree.

Christmas is my favorite holiday to decorate for, and I'm sure I'm not alone. Using flowers and greenery in your decor is a great way to bring life to your space.

Here are a few of my favorite and simple decorating tips:

1) Add small vases to shelving displays and fill them with long lasting holiday greenery. I love to use baby eucalyptus, it has a great aroma and will even dry out and still look good.

2) I like to put my poinsettia in a white modern shaped pot. Choose a pot to complement your decor.

3) One of the easiest things to do is to fill any large vase with a mass of one type of greenery. Remember, the more the better!

4) Fill vases or bowls with ornaments, pine cones or nuts. You can even tie ribbon on the top of each ornament for added color and texture.

5) When you can, use satin ribbon! It's just so luxurious and has a beautiful sheen. Velvet would be great too. Add bows to staircases, mantles, and pillows.

6) And of course you can't forget paperwhites and amaryllis. These are staples in holiday decorating! I like when every room has a hint of Christmas whether it's flowers or just ornaments in a bowl. So don't forget your bedroom or your guests' bedroom. Place a nice amaryllis on the dresser or simply some cedar filled vases on the nightstand. It will surely be appreciated.

So be inspired this up coming holiday season and decorate to your hearts content!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


My new love! For me terrariums are a great addition to interiors where you want not only a conversation piece but also a fresh hit of long lasting greenery. With terrariums the possibilities are endless, just google it and you will see! They seem to be a bit of a retro thing from the 70's. But of course they actually go way back to Victorian times.

Trio on display at Hughes Clothing in Victoria

The terrarium below is a desert scape in which I used white gravel and a single tillandsia. Also known as an air plant.

I am the type of person who is always picking stuff up outside and shoving it in my pocket for no other reason than I love it's shape, color or texture. And now I am finally putting to good use all my pieces of bark, driftwood and stones! Love it!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween to all my lovely blog readers!

wish this was my idea but it wasn't.....Thanks Garden Works, Victoria, BC.

my talented mother made and sent my kids this card

my daughter was really trying to make a scary pumpkin!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In my home - Cyclamen

I love to use potted flowers especially when life gets busy. Are you are a flower lover? And always trying to have fresh flowers in the house? Well, let's face it, fresh flowers can be high maintenance. Changing water, cutting stems, removing dead flowers, buying new flowers, it all takes time. So, potted flowers are a great alternative to use in your home. But, what is not allowed in your home decor is the plastic pot...... so cover it up please! Right now beautiful cyclamen are available, and I love using their bold colors in my home.

My dining room feels empty unless I always have something on the table. Although, I will admit most of the time my flowers are surrounded by bags, school work, snack containers, laundry, you name it!

Flowers for me just finish a space. I probably could have just done one here but they were so darned affordable I couldn't resist! These would also be great on a coffee table. Go and treat yourself today!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Party Flowers - hydrangea & godetia

Last week ended with a really fun "party" order. I went with some very saturated colors. Deep purple statice, coral godetia, and green hydrangea made these colorful designs really pop against the white walls of my clients entry. I had suggested doing a grouping of flowers because the entry table was quite long. I did one taller design in the middle flanked by two smaller designs. I also added a branch to the center design once I arrived.

It's something to consider when doing flower arrangements for your own home. Instead of one big design, turn it into three and line them up down your dining table or on your buffet. And remember, using different heights also adds interest.

The leaf I used is called hawaiian flag. I just love seeing patterns through the glass!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Thanksgiving Flowers

Who says your thanksgiving flowers have to be orange? Not me! For some of my clients this year I chose more sophisticated palettes. At this time of year green mini kale are so great to use, not only because they are long lasting but because they add a nice fullness and texture to the design. Look at the gloss on those black peppers! Love them. I wish this photo had better light quality, but by the time I finished doing these flowers it was my bedtime. And I just wanted to pack them up for delivery the next day. With kids still at home, I tend to work late into the evening. And drag my kids on deliveries!

Below is a more feminine autumn design. This was an order from a daughter to her mother for Thanksgiving. Pink dahlias how I love you! If only you were around all year. All you local Victorians, dahlias are out in full force at road side stands. Keep your eyes open and change in your wallet!

I am so thankful for the beauty in nature. Happy Thanksgiving to all my wonderful readers!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yellow wedding

This will be the last post on my sister's wedding! There were just lots of fun details I had to share. Like this sign below which I requested of my brother-in-law, and he made it with old wood just like I wanted! Thanks Rick!

 All the floral designs I made did double duty. They were first used for the backyard ceremony and then we hauled everything up to the golf course hall. These were used on the refreshment table.

I kept things simple because I didn't want to spend to much time "arranging" flowers. The easiest way to keep things simple is to buy lots of one type of flower and mass them together. Like I did with the gladiolas above.

I had ordered some green carnations (which do not look like this) but being in a different city and dealing with a different wholesaler I got the wrong flower. With flowers having so many different names it happens. Anyways, these carnations were too pale for my color palette, but by putting them in a patterned vase it helped spruce them up. I hate to waste any flower!

I have never used spider mums in a wedding before and I really enjoyed it. They were nice and hardy and managed in the heat very well. Not to mention they last well out of water so are great in bridal bouquets too!

Well I think that covers it! Oh wait, one more mother did a candy buffet which was very colorful and not only did the kids love it but the adults did too! That's my daughter stealing a jelly bean!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pinwheel Wedding

My sister's wedding a few weeks ago went off without a hitch thanks to the hard work of family. Especially my parents! My mother who is the super duper scrapbooker/crafter of the family took my idea of a pinwheel wedding and ran with it. Her and my dad made about 200 pinwheels of various sizes which we used to decorate my sister's backyard, where she had the ceremony. After the ceremony (with the help of cousins) we moved them up to the golf course hall where the reception party and dinner was held.

Something that was really "sweet" was to see the 100 tiny pinwheels that my mom made for the cupcakes........

For decor we also placed two pinwheels back to back in glass vases filled with sand for the tables...... (note: the table markers my mom also made, each one had a different picture of the bride and groom)

We just couldn't do pinwheels! So we also used paper bunting, that yes my mother made! I know, I know, she must have been cutting paper for weeks. My dad was her crafting side kick, and thanks to him the pinwheels spun beautifully. We ended up having some wind that day to test them too, and not one of them broke! The bunting on the other hand we did start to get worried about but it survived too!

For the ceremony we hung the bunting off a tree in the shape of a tent to sort of act as an alter. As a surprise to my family my sister had asked my uncle to do the ceremony for them!

For this casual, fun DIY backyard wedding I think we scored a 10! I can't think of one thing I would have changed (except for my wine consumption..haha!) and I hope my sister feels the same way.

Stay tuned for one more post on my sister's wedding, last one I promise! What can I say, too many great details and shots for one post.