Hello spring

IMG_1351

When you’re really lucky, you get flowers instead of showers in April, and you don’t have to wait until May.

For the first time this year, there were enough pretty things growing in the garden to go out and gather up a little bouquet.

I tucked a pair of scarlet Mache Ranunculus, a hot pink and white Mona Lisa Anemone, a few sprigs of Gold Mound Spirea and a silvery-green Lady’s Mantle leaf into a vase on the dining room table.

It’s made me smile all week. Well, that and my newy planted strawberry patch.

Happy spring!

Garden bouquet

IMG_4293.JPG
It’s been a long, productive summer in my flower garden. As usual, I learned a lot and didn’t get quite enough time just sitting on the patio staring at the beauty of it all.

This year, I learned:

  • How important it is to keep cutting your flowers. It helps plants look tidy, but it also makes a big difference in keeping the blooms coming.
  • Overwatering is almost as bad as underwatering. I have floppy echinacea, and blanket flowers that almost didn’t bloom, because I got a little carried away with the hose.
  • Bee balm, creeping rosemary, goldilocks black-eyed susans and zinnias all proved themselves worthy of their new spots in my NW garden.

One last thing, this book provided valuable information and inspiration on what to grow and how to pull together a pretty bouquet like this one.

Happy end of summer!

Cutting garden inspiration

 

20140609-215337.jpg

The Flower Recipe Book came out last spring to all kinds of rave reviews. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up this beautiful and affordable (under $15!) hardback book and read it cover to cover. It definitely delivers on how to structure a better bouquet. But maybe even better is the “ingredient chart”– it’s a ready-made shopping list for choosing plants for your cutting garden.

The ladies of Studio Choo borrowed the recipe construct and artfully applied it to flower arranging. For each bouquet, they offer a list of flower “ingredients.” Then they walk you through each step to create their sometimes sparse and sculptural, but more often lush, modern arrangements. Plus, there are lots of stunning photos.

Two summers ago, I started a cutting garden in my backyard. I love the idea of growing most or all of the flowers I need for bouquets throughout the growing season. I was hoping this book would help me fill in my flower garden, as well as create better arrangements from what I grow. It did not disappoint.

I found the ingredients chart towards the front of the book to be super useful as a sort of pantry list. I took stock of what I was already growing and compared it to their suggestions. It turns out I have lots of base flowers and secondary flowers, but need some more focal flowers, base foliage and textural “bits.”┬áSuch useful insight! And better yet, I’ll know exactly what to do with the flowers once they’re growing in my garden.

Spring palette inspiration

20140305-210504.jpg

We’ve reached the time of year when layers of navy, grey, burgundy, and black don’t seem cozy and comforting as much as depressing. I’m ready to trade those rich, dark, cold weather colors for a lighter, brighter palette. Who’s with me?

20140305-210547.jpg

I came across this pretty ranunculus print. And not only would I like to have it hanging somewhere within eyesight, I kind of want to move into this world of faded brights and blushy-buff tones that manages to be both romantic and casual at the same time. Since I can’t literally move in, I’ll settle for living in spring clothes inspired by this dreamy palette. With that in mind, I’ve pulled together some favorites.

Continue reading

Backyard bouquets: Add herbs to your cut flowers

20130730-214902.jpg

For me, herbs are one of the most rewarding things to grow. You plant them and can start using them almost immediately. This is good news for impatient me. Plus, they grow pretty quickly and often produce more than you can manage to eat.

So besides using them in salads, smoothies, lemonades (more on this soon), and seasonal dishes of all sorts, I’m happy to report they make lovely and long-lasting additions to cut flowers.

Continue reading