Thursday, September 20, 2012

A late summer wedding

Flowers are incredibly symbolic and there's nothing more gratifying than sharing my love and adoration for them by creating something for an event that many will see and also remember for the rest of their lives.

During the first weekend of September, I was invited to my friend, Katharine's, wedding that took place at the scenic Washington coast and was asked if I was able to do the flowers for the event.

Normally, I would decline such requests as seasonal, informal bouquets from my garden and what's in season were one thing, but flowers for an event with a specific theme and color scheme were a whole other ball game. Hearing her ideas and offering some advice, I quickly began to see it coming together in my mind. With the help of her Pinterest page, it was obvious that she wanted to go a simple, almost country/rustic route that would be easy to pull off utilizing materials I had close at hand or could be sourced easily and locally!

Dahlia BucketAlready inspired by my early spring trips to Jello Mold Farm and the book "The 50 Mile Bouquet" by my friends Debra Prinzing and photographer, David Perry, I've been on such a roll putting together abundant bouquets freshly picked from my garden and I figured I would have the same approach. It came together very well!
Dahlias were the flower of choice by the bride and I couldn't have been more thrilled. It could have been a total excuse to visit Dan's Dahlias in Oakville to see his remarkable farm!

UntitledExcited, yet also nervous, I agreed to create her bouquet and the bridesmaid's bouquets. And always wanting to go above and beyond, I said I could pull off corsages and boutonnieres for the parents, centerpieces for the reception, and arrangements for others areas of the venues.

Long story short, it came together so well. I was able to raid the future mother-in-law's home garden for some fabulous material to put together other arrangements for the event.

Wedding Aisle
The aisle flanked with a pair of galvanized buckets filled with 'Limelight' Hydrangeas, Physocarpus, and plumes of Stipa gigantea. I bundled some fresh lavender, which the groom's family kindly helped me clean and prepare, to adorn the seats that defined the aisle.
Wedding Aisle 1
The bride's view as she walks down the aisle to her groom under a simple arbor draped in red silk and the dramatic ocean view in the background.

The completed bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages.


The bride's bouquet composed of hand-tied dahlias, chrysanthemums, lavender and surrounded by the sweet scent of Clethera and various ornamental grasses.

Bridemaids Bouquet

The bridesmaids had white dahlias hand-tied with silvery blue Echinops, lavender, rosemary, and various ornamental grasses for a wild, meadow look. I threw in Hypericum berries to compliment the bride's warmer tones in her bouquet.

Katharine and Scott kiss
Witnessing moments like this when two join together as partners in life is something truly special, but to see that you played a part in that union by seeing a bride holding something you created, from the heart, makes what I do working with plants and flowers, so extraordinary.

Riz and Katharine
So here I am with the bride during the reception after all the running around getting flowers and making sure everything looked beautiful.

I've known Katharine since middle school when we were in orchestra together! We both played violin and I think we were stand partners at one point. It was great to know that she continued with it and is now part of a band called Scarlett Virginia:


Congratulations, Katharine and Scott Houck!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Scenes of Summer

It's been hard to find time to post something. I'm sorry it's been awhile. I had this ultra-special post I was going to put up, but it got to a point where I was really stressing over it and questioning if I would be sharing too much of my personal life so I scrapped it....for now.

Instead, I'll just show you some images from my garden the past few weeks to give you a sense of my mostly beautiful surroundings.

UntitledEarly in the morning at Landwave is something truly special that I don't get to experience often enough because I'm such a night owl. Midsummer mornings are like nothing else. Everything is so crisp, quiet, and every plant seems to just glow as the light slowly intensifies.

Untitled Many of you know how fond of lilies I am. This is 'Scheherazade', a 5 year old clump that produces masses of gently fragrant blossoms full of nectar that the birds and the bees absolutely go crazy for and I love the airy Giant Feather Grass (Stipa gigantea) as a focal point in the garden.

Rheum Cotinus PersicariaFoliage is equally as important as flowers in the summer border. Here, Rheum 'Ace of Hearts' and Cotinus 'Royal Purple' echo one another with a little Persicaria spike photo-bombing the composition. Back-lit by the setting sun, this composition is quite dramatic.

IMG_5732That little Persicaria is actually a wonderful "weaver" in a bed as it fills in between plants and they bloom continuously and can be kept tidy if you whack 'em back to the base following the first major flush of blooms for a fresh set of foliage and more flowers! Here the soft oranges and blue purples blend well together here. I love how the reverse of the lilies pick p the purple of the Penstemon 'Sour Grapes and the Clematis, which is 'Etoile de Violette', a vigorous viticella type.

Echinacea Phlox Lilium comboThose soft blues carry through to another bed where Phlox 'Blue Paradise' is an absolute stand out and compliment a brand new lily called 'Blueberry Crush' and the wonderful Echinacea 'Hope'.

Summer Border at Landwave GardensThe dahlias typically begin in August for me, but a few blooming ones caught my eye at the nursery that I had to have so I added them into the main border and they worked so well with the soft pastel tones and texture of the pom pom Allium 'Summer Beauty'. The dahlia is 'Happy Single Wink'.  yeah...I know....ick.

Sunset at LandwaveSomeday, I hope to have a garden where I can fully appreciate a gorgeous sunset. A view of the water would be amazing, but probably not necessary because I will never be able to afford it, but much like the early morning, it can be quite a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere as you're almost forced to slow down and relax as light becomes scarce.