Flower Book I’m loving now….

April 11th, 2016 by Alex

Inspiration is all around us, this year I was happy to pick up a copy of Ariella Chezar’s new book called “The Flower Workshop” It is filled with images of gorgeous flowers, unusual vines and plenty of compotes. Its got eye candy galore!

If you love to grow flowers that are hard to find this book is beaming with quite a few of those. Akebia vine aka chocolate vine will be one of this year’s garden acquisitions alongside poppies, dahlias, zinnias and love in a puff vine.

Ariella Chezar The Flower Workshop Book

This week in my garden……

April 8th, 2016 by Alex

I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years about my garden and how big it is. Well truth be told, I actually don’t have a huge garden. It’s more like a plot of land around 50′ by 20′ that is on the side of my house. It started about four years ago on my quest to grow dahlias that didn’t look like they had been thru war on their way to Chicago via California.

The growing bug took a hold of me and kept going. I’m not out there all the time since I do have a full time job in addition to being a mom. BUT I do enjoy gardening.

It’s still pretty darn cold and windy in Chicago. But we’ve had quite a few bouts of warm weather. It is April after all. The forsythia branches already bloomed and if the frost gets them one more time they will be gone. Nonetheless, one of my favorite flowers is starting to bloom… Hellebores is quite the resilient flower. It loves the cold weather and it last quite a long time once it blooms.

Gardening is about being patient and waiting for the moment to reap what you sow. I promise you these gardening posts will get better as the weather warms up and the year moves along.

Hellebores

 

Next week, I’ll talk about my sweet peas who need to go in the ground (rain or shine!) this coming weekend.

Summer Wedding at the University Club

April 7th, 2016 by Alex

Last summer we had the pleasure of working with Katie and Samford their wedding at the University Club in Chicago. We had quite a great team of vendors such as Soiree Weddings and Events, BBJ Linen, Frost Lighting and major kudos to Andre Labour Photography for sharing these gorgeous pictures.

Katie was hoping for peonies in late August and we were able to deliver! Her bridesmaids carried bouquets of purple Vanda orchids, stock, Yves Paiget Garden roses and foliages.

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Katie wanted lots of vibrant purples, magentas, plums with a lot of texture and that’s what we gave her on all of her designs with purple hydrangeas, plum calla lilies, calypso mokara orchids, dusty miller, plum ranunculus, lisianthus and dahlias.

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Victor Vine

December 18th, 2015 by Alex

If you’ve ever been to our studio and wandered off into our design area you may find Victor Vine looking at you. Victor was an art project created by my son Max a few years ago. He has been with me for a loooooong time. Amazingly enough I don’t think my son knew how much I love vines, but between you and me, I do. I love vines so much that I try to include vines in 90% of our designs. I will sneak them up on you (just like a vine) because I will use flowers that don’t quite look like a vine but are. I’m a huge lover of sweet peas (yep, they are vines!), stephanotis (it grows in a vine too), or the usual suspects that you tend to see all the time such as jasmine, clematis, or even hops. All vines!

Victori Vine

Last year we saw a lot of designers using Smilax vines and wed id too. It’s pretty hearty and drapes beautifully. Although one of my favorites is the elusive porcelain vine, available only in the fall. It’s actually an invasive vine so a lot of counties tend to destroy it, but if you are looking hard enough you will find it.

Sweet peas on a vine

Not all vines are created equal and they all serve their purpose, flower at different times of the year and have different strengths.

Cascading Bridal Bouquet with vines

Napkin Details

December 16th, 2015 by Alex

It’s all in the details….. if you are a foodie or a lover all pretty things like us consider adding a napkin detail to your event by adding in a small sprig of rosemary or lavender to each place setting. As your guest takes a seat they will be inclined to lift the sprig off their napkin, smell the aroma…. and voila they will be ready for dinner. A small sprig of rosemary tends to wet your palate. A herb doesn’t quite fit into your design, consider using an orchid bloom or a small succulent.

Rosemary on a Napkin

 

Dior and I – How trends are born and a designer gets inspired

December 14th, 2015 by Alex

Ever seen the movie Dior and I? If you are in a creative field or you ever wonder how the heck do floral designers get inspired  (because boy we get this question all the time).   Or better yet, see how we feel on the day of an event you should watch this movie. I must admit that I cried a little at the end. The movie is about Raf Simons, a Belgian designer who took over the Dior Couture Fashion House in 2012. Although Raf is no longer the creative director at Dior he will be dearly missed, especially by all of us in the floral world and I’ll tell you why.

There was a video floating around and for floral designers it was a dream come true. Watch it here. We knew about Raf long before the movie came about. The five minute video showed  floral designer Eric Chauvin from Un Jeurs de Fleurs cover those walls with flowers. His mechanics are shown, the flowers he used and the absolute insane amount of flowers. Orchids, delphiniums, dahlias and roses galore.

Raf’s opening show would be a fall/winter collection and as fittingly so he decided that the walls of the Parisian mansion should be covered in flowers. He was inspired from Jeff Koons art work called “Puppy”. Are you seeing how a designer is getting inspired and changing the design ever so slightly to take on it’s own life form?  Covering entire walls in flowers its a statement.

Delphinium walls

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I talked about flower walls last week. Kanye and Kim decided what the hell we will build one of those and get married in front of it. Eventually clients began thinking big and asking for flower walls too, and it trickled itself onto events. Thats how trends are created and inspiration works.

I wrote this post because I want you all to Think Big! Think outside of the Pinterest box.  Pinterest is great to help you form your thoughts and see how your colors work well together. But when you ask us to copy something to a T, it kills a little piece of our artistic soul. We don’t want to copy (although some do!) we want to create new things…. give us a little bit of freedom. I assure you we will come up with ten better ideas than any of your favorite Pinterest pins.