Thursday, December 12, 2013

Bold and Bright Poinsettias

What is your opinion on poinsettias? Do you love the vibrant hit of red that it can add to any space at Christmas? Or are you so sick of seeing those foil wrapped plants in every restaurant and office around the holiday season?

I just want to let all you "haters" know, that if you receive a plant as a gift and really don't want to chuck it out (which you will have to do eventually as they never die!), you can cut off a few blooms and use them in your holiday decorating. Just give it try and see what you think!

I recently collaborated on a photo shoot with Ruth and Dean who create absolutely gorgeous pies and cakes here in Victoria. I had planned on using bright red amaryllis blooms for this holiday inspired shoot but when they arrived they were super tight buds. So plan B it was. Actually, there was no plan B and there were no other red flowers at my suppliers that week other than carnations. What's a girl to do? Well, you can grab a 6" potted poinsettia and cut off all the blooms and appreciate it with a whole new perspective. 

Bright, graphic and bold!!

(photo credit: Carla Unger Photography)

(photo credit: Carla Unger Photography)

(photo credit: Carla Unger Photography)

(photo credit: Carla Unger Photography)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Autumn dahlia bouquet

This colourful and bold bouquet full of maple leaves and dahlias is earthy and rustic, and is sure to satisfy all those flower people who love orange, red and fall! Enjoy the autumn inspiration........

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Garden Rose Bouquets

My best friend's wedding. What can I say, it doesn't get any better as a florist to have carte blanche. She knew she wanted soft and romantic, and I knew I wanted to use garden roses! 

In her bouquet I ended up using three different varieties of roses, white peonies, dusty miller, yarrow, and some eucalyptus.

A special detail was the heirloom diamond pendant borrowed from her mother-in-law which I hand stitched onto the ribbon. And don't you just love her jewellery? The fine, simple gold bracelet is my favourite!

I was also lucky enough to be the maid of honour and the only one in the bridal party, which meant I got to make myself whatever I wanted! Here is my bouquet being held by a girlfriend of mine, and doesn't it look like it was made for her?

Love you Mrs. Henderson!  xoxox

More on this wedding coming soon......

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ivan Meade on Flowers

I thought it would be fun to bring in my friend and local interior designer Ivan Meade of Meade Design Group for an interview on the blog today. Curious what this designer loves and hates about flowers? Well you will have to read to find out!

1) As an interior designer, when do you like to use flowers and why?

I like to use flowers in all of my interior design projects, and I always have natural flowers at my studio.  I believe flowers  can bring a space to life and complement the interior design.  They can be the final touch that finishes off a room.   If you don't have plants or flowers in an interior, it can look very sterile; flowers add the sense that a soul lives in the space, or works in a space.  I believe flowers remind us that we are part of something bigger, a reminder of the beautiful things in nature.  When you go to a restaurant and you don't see flowers on the table, the restaurant feels very mechanical - the space doesn't invite you to relax and enjoy yourself.  Flowers at the entrance of a business is always a kind way to say 'Welcome, I am glad you are here' (this is one of the reasons I always have natural flowers at my studio).  Flowers are actually the best investment to make me and my clients happy.

(Meade Design Group Studio)

2) Is there anything in the" flower world" that drives you crazy or that you don't like?

Plastic and silk flowers – I cannot stand them.  If you are going to use flowers go for the real deal or go home.  Why bother!

3) Do you have a time of year or particular season that is your favorite for flowers?

I don't have a particular season or flower that I like – I usually like unexpected flowers or leaves that are interesting. For me, it is more about the composition, but sometimes a single flower says more than anything.  I really like Magnolia flowers and you only need one to make a statement. I personally prefer white flowers such as peonies, roses, calla lilies, paper whites, poinsettias, etc.  White flowers are always crisp and always attract the eye rather than having a colourful arrangement that complement the space.  I like the simplicity that white can bring, but I also like colours on some occasions.  I definitely cannot say no to red parrot tulips or burgundy calla lilies.  Depends on my mood and where I am planning to use flowers.  A year ago, we designed a wedding and the client wanted yellow and blue flowers, not my first choice personally, but we made that work beautifully.  You have to be open to the occasion, the location and the general mood you want to create.

4) What is your favorite spot for flowers in your own home?

If I am having people over I like to have an arrangement on my dining table, at the very least, and if there is a vase elsewhere in need of some flower love why not – Sometimes flowers in unexpected places can create a very unique atmosphere.  I do like a theme around the flowers I am using in my own home, so you can tell a story involving the interiors as part of your own voice.  You are the narrator, your interiors are the main actors and the flowers are the celebrity guests.   

There you have it, a designer's thoughts on flowers. Feel free to comment as I am always curious about why people love flowers and what flower is their favorite!! And if you are a lover of interior design check out Ivan's blog at  for  beautiful inspiration and many great interviews with world renown designers.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sophisticated Summer Wedding

This past summer I finally had the "dream clients" that everyone wishes for. What makes dream clients you ask? People who are open to ideas, appreciate the art of flowers and design, are trusting, genuine, and are thankful. 

This wedding was a dream come true for me in many ways. One being, with my background in interior design, my favourite environment for flowers is the home. And I was very excited to have clients who wanted flowers to play a major role in their home for their daughter's wedding.

We decided to clear the dining room and living room shelves of all books etc. and flood them with various flowers and a few photos of the bride and groom. We kept to a crisp white color scheme, and mostly clear glass vessels throughout. The bride's parents had the black and white print hanging on the wall of St. Paul's Cathedral made just for the wedding. Such a cool touch.

(Tunde and Tamara)

The couple was married under an old hydrangea vine climbing up an oak tree. The vine wasn't actually in bloom at the time of the wedding, so I covered it with white hydrangea and dahlias in water picks and it turned out to be a beautiful natural arbour.

The bride's lovely dress was from White Peony a local shop here in Victoria. The bride let the bridesmaids choose there own dress colors. Either grey, soft pink or soft yellow.

After the ceremony while the couple was getting photographed the guests had the opportunity to hop on a local "tourist" bus and explore a couple spots in Victoria. I loved this idea! What a treat for the out of town guests.

The reception dinner and dancing took place in the back yard under a white tent softened with draping by En Vied Events

(Tara McHugh Flora)

(Tunde and Tamara)

 Look at these lovely desserts by Delish Catering who catered the whole evening. I am so in love with this gorgeous wedding cake!! 

I am a big fan of floating flowers. We floated dahlias in various pots outside the the entry of the home and also in the back yard pond. I was super excited to have the opportunity to make a floating wreath and also use floating tea light holders!

(Tara McHugh Flora)

According to the bride and groom the day went off without a hitch, which I'm always happy to hear. All the best to L&G and your new adventures in New York City! And thanks to everyone who helped out on this wedding, you know who you are.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Herb Wedding

This past August I had a really fun request from a bride who was getting married at the beautiful Sea Cider Farm. She wanted an all herb wedding. Everything was to be herbs, including her bouquet! I was very excited to do something different and even more excited to source everything from local gardens. A herbal wedding is such a "green" concept. Everything can be grown in your garden or neighbour's garden, and after the wedding day you can dry some of the herbs for a keep sake or throw the rest in a batch of stock! The timing for this wedding was perfect to be able to catch a few herbs in late summer bloom. 

(bay leaves, rosemary, oregano flowers, variegated thyme and mint, parsley flower and purple sage)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Amy Merrick and Floret Farm Workshop 2013

A short while ago I went on a small adventure down to Washington to spend the weekend with a bunch of flower loving women! Two of my favorite bloggers Amy Merrick and Erin Benzakein were co-hosting a weekend floral workshop and it turns out I was just one beautiful ferry ride away.

Seeing Erin's farm in real life was really cool! I have been drooling over all her flower farming photos for years and just to actually see the whole operation and how it runs was fantastic. She is amazing with what she pumps out on 2 acres!

The coveted Cafe au Lait dahlia....

We spent the first morning cutting buckets and buckets of flowers which we then later turned into beautiful hand tied bouquets. A friend of Erin's was generous enough to let us use her beautiful 1906 barn for the workshop. The setting was idyllic. 

(Tara McHugh Flora)

(Amy Merrick)

(Student work)

I absolutely love Amy's loose style of flower arranging. It is much harder than it looks and it was a real treat to be able to just watch her in action! She really wanted us to be thoughtful with flower placement and to give each flower enough space.  

(Tara McHugh Flora)

(Tara McHugh Flora)

(Tara McHugh Flora)

(Student work)

(Student work)

It was truly a memorable weekend. The food, wine, location, company were perfect. For our final night we spent the afternoon dressing the barn for the most magnificent salmon dinner. Linen runners, tree branches, hop vines, the table flooded in candle light and fruit. And of course lets not forget all the beautiful guests adorned in our flower crown creations. I will post a link to some professional photos once I receive them. My photos would not do it justice!!