Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ready for Christmas

Wreath. Assorted evergreens with Leyland cedar, winterberry, holly, magnolia, pine cones and Kentucky coffee tree pods.

Salal leaf wreath.

The tree. With Kentucky coffee tree pods instead of garland.

Up top, a dried bird-of-paradise leaf and a dried antherium leaf. Kind of look like angel wings, don't they?
And, of course, the Christmas kale.
O Christmas kale,
It's you we hail,
On snowy day,
You bloom away!
Merry Merry!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas at the top of our blog, from our annual visit to LWG.  Some more decorative touches:
On the home front, most of December has looked like this:Very beautiful, but we haven't had the chance to do much outdoor decorating. For one thing, there are still leaves to be cleaned up under there! But the Flower Lady has finished our front porch wreath. She taught a class at the local arboretum, and they got to use greens fresh cut from a variety of species to make their wreaths. The ladies were all natural, they didn't even use much ribbon! I'll get a picture up when we install it, but what you really need to appreciate it is Smell-o-vision-- it smells fantastic!
To close, an unusual piece. Dried roses spray painted, arranged with Key lime stem. The FL made it at Thanksgiving, but I told here it was good for Christmas, too.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming...





Sunday, December 8, 2013

It was supposed to be a wintry mix. I went for a walk just as the wintry mix, a.k.a "snow," started. I came back an hour later. This is my hat:
One thing I noticed on my walk-- snowbirds actually seem to enjoy chasing snowflakes!

The Flower Lady went out to the local arboretum to teach a class on holiday wreath-making. There was supposed to be twenty in the class. Zero people showed up. They evidently listen to better weather forecasts than we do! She is not back yet, but she is driving an all-wheel drive with a suitably outdoorsy name, so I'm not too worried. If I were a good husband, I'd shovel the walkway from the garage and get a wood fire going.

On Thanksgiving, over the river and through the woods to sister-in-law's house we went. This was our load of arrangements to take on our little journey, along with a bottle of red for my brother the carver-in-chief.
The poinsettias make a nice segue into Christmas!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

No matter how late Thanksgiving is, it always seems to be early! Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Flower Lady and I went out to O-hi-O last weekend, and I would have to say the Spectacular Multihued Autumnal Display is pretty much over for these latitudes, except for this beautiful sweet gum we found in the churchyard.

We went out there for a surprise Red Hat party, which turned out to be an absolute shock to the intended victim, our sister-in-law. All I can say is, I don't think I could be as gracious as she was, if 50 people showed up uninvited in my living room on a Saturday night! And before you give my brother-in-law too much credit for pulling it off: he held the party a month early.

The Flower Lady made this corsage in silks for her, in keeping with the theme. We all wore red hats in sympathy.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

"All the Leaves are Down, and the Sky is Blue"

The Flower Lady made a new wreath for fall, just in time for some very Novemberish weather. We've had wamer Thanksgivings than the day we've had today! October was certainly beautiful, though, a bit wet but still lots of sunshine through many colorful leaves (bright yellow, mainly). Now the leaves are coming down in earnest, and yours truly has commenced serious raking. Hope your coming days are spent in similarly rustic pursuits!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Zinnias still coming in nicely. We picked some for a friend of ours, Ron the Artist. Does he get them in water and put them on the credenza? No, he runs them through a scanner and photophops them!

Speaking of artists, here's a picture of a design by Marie-Francoise Deprez. She's the French lady the FL was assisting a few weeks ago. The FL made some of those swirly things on the side, and she carried arrangements onstage without dropping a single one!
And look at this! Is that the biggest one you've ever seen? (The cauliflower, not my head.) 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Here's a design the Flower Lady made on Friday. She took part in a workshop on Russian-inspired designs. This is meant to bring to mind a Faberge Easter egg. It worked for me, it was the first thing I thought of. And here's an Easter egg we have, made in Czechoslovakia from a real shell, in a teacup! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Indoors, Alas!

Weather's taken a wet turn--a bit nasty, even. We must turn our attention to the indoors. Here, a fall-inspired "vegetative" design, with candle. The base is a piece of grapevine trunk. Perhaps I can get the Flower Lady to comment on the technical details later on. A close-up of some of the work:

Found some time to go through the photo archives, too. Since we'll be spending more time indoors, this picture of a cozy corner seems appropriate. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013


Abutilon. An "orphan" plant that the Flower Lady bought for 99 cents back in June. A third wave of blooms coming out.

Abutilon buds.

Abutilon. A-B-U-T-I-L-O-N. Abutilon.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Structures and Biedermeiers

So, here's the Biedermeier the Flower Lady made on Saturday, sitting on our coffee table:

Go ahead, take a closer look:

Done in sand, of course, the FL's favorite Biedermeier medium. The FL has a busy week coming up, helping Longwood host internationally acclaimed floral designer Marie-Francoise Dupre. Tomorrow she will be helping Mlle. Dupre knock out some structures for upcoming demonstrations. Structures are very big on the Continent, you know. I'm almost positive we have some pictures of floral structures on hand, but the FL figured it would be simpler to make a new structure than go through our digital picture archives. And you thought the computer was going to help you get organized!

The one on the left was designed & constructed by the Flower Lady. The one on the right was designed & constructed by Jane Godshalk, AIFD during one of her presentations several years ago. It was won by the Flower Lady during a silent auction which followed the presentation.   

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcome, Fall!

Earlier today, I asked the FL what time it was and she replied, "Six minutes till fall." She's a big fan of the cooler weather; me, not so much. I took in the garden hose.

The blueberry leaves have treacherously turned crimson. 

One of the reasons the Flower Lady likes fall are the classes she gets to teach. This week she's doing Biedermeier style. Here are some things she's come up with recently:

Enjoy the season and the flowers thereof!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Class is in session! The Flower Lady is once again disseminating Floral Knowledge to all registered comers, ably assisted, from time to time, by yours truly. It looks like an exciting semester is on tap. Here's the FL in her new educational digs.

The FL cut some roses this morning. We're still getting some nice ones.

Turtleheads-- think it's easy to get them to grow like this?

Always like to end with one of the FL's creations. The FL made this concept test bouquet for a class she did on the Flowers of Spain. It's meant to suggest a mantilla, made with carnations, the national flower of Spain. Ole!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Flower Lady's Wedding

No, not that one, the one she just did flowers for. The Flower Lady lent her own special grace and class to the world of intense, high-pressure floral design by doing a wedding on Saturday.  The FL not only did the flowers, she picked them herself!

Here's the flower girl pomander with the flowers now attached:

Here's the unity candle:

Bridal bouquet.
And these are for the reception. The containers are refried bean cans! There were 18 cans! The bride's family was really tired of beans!

All in all, a great success. And this is what the Flower Lady's workshop looked like afterwards:


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Around the Old Homestead

Well, it's Labor Day Weekend and the end of the summer. It's been an exciting week full of guests, domestic and imported. Now they are gone. The jet planes overhead sound sad when they take people you love away, and the Flower Lady and I are left all alone.

But there are always things going on around the old homestead. The Flower Lady has a wedding to do on Saturday and she is hard at work even as I blog, working at present on corsage rings. Here's a pomander she made for the two-year-old Flower Girl to carry. Cute!

The FL has the week carefully planned out. It looks like a perfect week to pick zinnias, of which she will need many. Word is the harvest is ready.

We've had a good year for strawflowers and turtleheads, too.

And it's been so wet, these guys are loving it! Get out the fry-pan for these beauties!

Just when you thought it was safe to go down to the compost bin:

To end on a more elegant note, here's a centerpiece the FL made for dinner with our international guests: