Wishing you all a wonderful holiday!
We’ll be enjoying time with family & friends this holiday and through some of next week as well, but will resume regular operations after the New Year.
This season we had a new offering to roll out – full service concierge holiday decor on any scale. There is enough to accomplish around the holidays and those without the extra time or inspiration took advantage of our completely customizable service. We offered a brief and complimentary consultation, proposal, then a speedy installation. Quick, easy, beautiful!
One client had a great neutral canvas to work with. For a family with two young kids we wanted to keep the design somewhat traditional and practical with a touch of whimsy. The classic combination of red and green with sparkles of gold and touches of white seemed a perfect fit.
We concentrated on areas of the house that the family spent the most time in (living room and kitchen), as well as a festive entrance to welcome them home.
L to R: Large Evergreen arrangement in a white ceramic dish with red wire baubles, gold ting-ting & cinnamon sticks; Large all-weather bow atop a shrub strung with white lights (oh so pretty at night!); Mixed greens wreath with red berry & dogwood accents; Small live cedar tree in a metallic red ceramic planter & Spanish moss (two of these created a “forest” effect when set behind the family made gingerbread house in the kitchen’s picture window); Red baubles and sparkling white snowflakes hung from red, green & gold ribbon in the large window of the living room (out of reach of little hands!)
Our Concierge Decor Service isn’t limited to just the major holidays. Let us set the stage for any event you may have! Open house, business launch, or a gathering in your home…we have custom floral arrangements, specialty planters & unique event rentals for every occasion of any size.
Check out these arrangements that will be available at bowerbird & friends antiques - garden – gifts, right in the heart of downtown Peterborough, NH. The shop features an impressive mix of antiques and must have gifts. Last minute holiday shopping anyone???
The unique containers were brought to the studio and we filled them with all sorts of distinctive holiday greens and botanical accents (fiddleheads, cones, eucalyptus pods, feathers, berries & more). They are one-of-a-kind, so hurry over if you like something you see!
There is always an abundance of beautiful centerpieces and festive plants decorating everyone’s homes and businesses this time of year. Though they add to that magical aura of merriment and wonder, it is easy to forget that some of these beauties could really ruin your holiday if ingested by a little one (human or furry). I hope that we adults know better than to nibble on the decor, but it’s especially important that we keep these common botanicals away from children and pets…
This is just a short list of some of the more prominent seasonal items to avoid. Should any of these be consumed, call your local poison control office (or veterinarian)
American Association of Poison Control Centers
Photo from one of our 2010 Holiday Designs
The holidays are such a special time of year; full of festivities and family. No wonder so many couples get engaged! You’ve probably noticed your Facebook newsfeed filling up with announcements, congratulations, and pictures of those new sparklers. I’ve seen more than a few friends and acquaintances post the happy news in the past two weeks alone and we haven’t even hit the landmark dates of Christmas and the New Year yet.
Every year we prepare for the after holiday rush of consultation requests. Newly engaged couples, still shining with that holiday glow, who are excited to plan their big day. This year there will be two very familiar faces at the table – My not-so-little-brother, John, and his FIANCE, Lisa! Lisa’s been a part of the family for years now, but we are so happy that they are making it official. (Adorable couple below – a few hours after the proposal)
Brother John made my Christmas by tricking me into going to the locally owned and operated jewelry store with him to check out the custom ring. He had been in the day before, seen the ring, and decided to bring big sister in for a second opinion. Of course it was perfect. As a craftsman (amazing woodworker & furniture maker – and I’m not just saying that because he’s family) it was important to him to buy an original piece by a fellow craftsman.
Luckily he didn’t make me keep the secret long at all and proposed the very next morning while on one of their favorite hikes. We were all able to celebrate with them just hours after while on our annual Condon Family Christmas Tree outing. Quite the hunt this year, considering the big news and our fancy new hats Pam brought back from her recent trip the Calgary.
The love birds got surprisingly tame bear toppers, while Chris and I received Sasquatch and a Yeti respectively. We may have looked ridiculous, but those handmade hats are warm! Check out all the kooky creatures from KnitWits.
So, as this year draws quickly to a close, the Condon family has much to look forward to and celebrate in 2012
Happy holidays from our entire family!
It’s that time of year again. Pantone has decreed that the color of the year - Tangerine Tango. It’s a vibrant red-orange that prominent fashion designers are integrating into their Spring 2012 lines. Will we see it spread like wildfire through the wedding industry?
It is an alluring and versatile shade that could go the way of modern, whimsical, or even classic. I’ve always been a fan of the color combo orange & purple, and this is no exception. It would pare well with hues on the fuchsia side of the spectrum, as well as the ever so trendy aubergine (or eggplant, as we traditionalists prefer to call it). Take a look at a few images I found while trolling the web for tangerine tinted inspiration…
Haven’t read enough about this new “it” color? Click here for the full release from Pantone.
It’s already December 1st and the Holidays will be upon us in no time. 'Tis the season for festive decor!
In need of a wreath for the front door, roping for the front porch, or a centerpiece for a gathering of friends & family?
This year we are offering custom designs for your every need
And new this season... Concierge Decorating Services!
(for those who need to deck their halls but don't have the inspiration or time)
Something for everyone and every budget!
Contact us early to place your custom order or take advantage of our new design services
603.620.2973 or 603.620.8743
With so much to be thankful for this year we will keep it short and sweet. Loyal support, new friends and a bevy of beautiful celebrations in the last year leave the two of us truly grateful this holiday!
Here’s to health, happiness, friends and family – cheers!
Kristin & Pam
Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is just around the corner! There are turkeys to stuff, pies to bake and guests to prepare for. Let Ideas in Bloom take one of those chores off your long list this holiday and order your festive table arrangement today.
No matter the size of your gathering, we have the perfect centerpiece for your celebration. Dining elsewhere this year? Bring a bouquet to your hosts!
in shades of the season
In All Price Ranges
Low Centerpieces or Beautiful Glass Vases
Custom orders ALWAYS welcome!
Orders available for Delivery & Pick Up through Wednesday November 23rd
Please Order Early!
via email or phone
Delivery available throughout Southern NH and the greater Boston Areas. Delivery fees apply.
I may be the only person in the Northeast (at least the only one of my Facebook friends) looking forward to our predicted fall snowstorm today. Sure, the crisp air and bright colors of fall are lovely, but you can’t beat the first flakes of falling snow, no matter how early they may come. Check back with me in late January/early February at the end of my pregnancy and I may be singing a far different tune, but for now I’ll enjoy Mother Nature’s crystal coating.
So, for those of you bummed out at the thought of hauling out the shovels and boots, here’s a reminder of the season to gaze at while the landscape outside is slowly covered in a blanket of white.
Red tipped Roses, yellow Lilies, burgundy Alstromeria, Safari Sunset and green Hypericum berries were gathered in this awesome retro plaid tin. We love to recycle unique containers and this one (complete with lid for future use) fit the bill for a very special recuperating grandfather this week.
Stay warm and safe during this first storm of the season!
This couple might have had THE wedding weekend of the season. Temperatures in the low 80s, clear blue skies and a view to die for. Luckily we didn’t hit any of the crazy holiday traffic on the way to deliver their flowers and enjoyed the foliage (a bit lackluster though it may be this year) as we wound through the Notch and White Mountains Forest to get to the beautiful Mountain View Grand.
The bouquets featured seasonal flowers in shades of purple with just a sprig of gold for contrast: Dahlias, Scabiosa, Veronica and a few stems of Lisianthus, Freesia and gold Oncidium Orchids.
Small posies adorned the ceremony chairs on the aisle and a grapevine was entwined with purple ribbon and purple Limonium (no, not the stuff on your kitchen floor) to create the perfect frame around the arbor for the outdoor ceremony.
The couple had many personal DIY touches to add to the decor, including their cairn inspired centerpieces (for those of you non-hiking folk, click here to learn more about cairns) and a carved tree that served both as the photo on their save-the-date card and as a very cool escort card display. The couple loves to hike…have you caught on to that yet? We merely stepped in to create a “woodland floor” around the base of the tree trunk using seasonal potted plants (Mums, Pansies, Violets), moss and loose greens.
Check out the video featuring bits of our scenic drive and the set up…
I promise that I don’t make Pam do all the grunt work, though the videos may make it seem that way! Certain restrictions have been put on the pregnant lady by various loved ones (apparently I’m not allow to lift heavy things, monkey around on ladders, etc) so I have a little extra time to capture the behind the scenes action these days.
Gina, one of the sweetest and most excited brides I think I’ve met to date, planned a lakeside wedding at The Margate with lots of personal touches. It was a pleasure to design for the couple. She envisioned wildflower-like groupings of budvases mingling with lit votives and lanterns, as well as bouquets that seemed “fresh picked” from the garden.
Here’s her bridal bouquet - a mix of deep purple flowers and foliage with pops of white and orange. I used purple Callas, Dahlias, Scabiosa & Smoke Bush, as well as white Snapdragons, Freesia, Ranunculus & Queen Anne’s Lace, and orange Mokara Orchids, Freesia & Ranunculus. The Bridesmaids carried similar bouquets of mostly white with pops of the two accent colors. The Groom and Groomsmen all sported Calla boutonnieres wrapped with chocolate ribbon to match the bouquet wraps.
Unfortunately the constant drizzle and rain on Saturday made a ceremony at the water’s edge impossible, so everything was moved into the tent overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. Luckily we always plan ahead for rain, so the quick change was no problem. Flower strands that were to be hung from trees near the ceremony site greeted guests as they walked through the entrance of the tent instead. Extra posies that were intended to adorn the ceremony chairs were moved to vases on the bar. Urns with Curly Willow “trees” with orange Orchids tucked into the branches flanked the ceremony space on the dance floor. These pieces, constructed by Pam on site, were easily my favorite of the event. Chocolate brown urns were topped with sheet moss before the “trees” were constructed in the center. Pam added stems of purple Alstromeria at the base of each trunk and I tucked bright orange Orchids into the branches to complete the look.
Since there was so much to do on site I didn’t have time to take many pictures, so I packed my handy Flip cam in our tool kit and managed to capture some of the behind the scenes action instead. Enjoy…and try to overlook my less than steady camera work!
Hopefully Kim Chapman captured the glow of all those candles. We had to make our exit before they were lit and guests arrived. Can’t wait to see the photos of the final product!
Our friends at Laurel Events asked us to create a few pieces to be showcased in their booth at The Wedding Event at the Gardens at Elm Bank – which is TODAY (Sunday, September 25 2011, 12:00pm - 3:00pm)!
The Elm Bank is playing host to The Wedding Event, a collection of more than 30 vendors who offer every kind of wedding-related service. It’s co-hosted by the Mass Horticulture Society and Mass New England Bridal Affair.
Check out the vendors and the beautiful grounds this afternoon!
A white & pink centerpiece compliments the mock table-scape and a small bouquet (not pictured) is on hand for brides to hold. We used pink Roses, white Hydrangea, white Stock, green Belles of Ireland, Seeded Eucalyptus, and white Snowberries.
Many of you have noticed (and more than a few of you have pointed out) that the blog posts have been a bit few and far between in the recent past. While I assure you that we ladies have been keeping quite busy behind the scenes, your discontent has been heard and noted. Apologies to all, and now some news to reward you for your patience…
Chris and I are beyond pleased to announce that a new addition will be joining the Ideas in Bloom family this coming Spring. No, it’s not another furry shop dog, but an honest-to-goodness baby! Our little sprout will make his or her entrance right on time, just as all the other seedlings start to transform the New England landscape in late March.
“Grammy” Pam is of course thrilled and will be taking the reins for a short time while we settle in as a family. But, as those of you who know me well can guess, I’ll likely have to be kicked out of the shop on my due date and will be back and designing with the little one in tow just as soon as possible. Luckily our booked spring events will in no way be impacted by the arrival. This tot has impeccable timing already :)
We are currently busy gearing up for a slew of beautiful fall weddings that are quickly approaching so there is plenty of on the job training planned for our budding apprentice. Baby O should be ready to jump right in for the 2012 Spring/Summer wedding season!
Here’s our first baby splurge – a piece by the talented Miss Laura Warecki. You should check out her Etsy shop Paper Taxi!
Well it’s that time of year again – the once-a-year Ideas in Bloom vacation week. We’ll be out of the office Sept 4-11th, rejuvenating our creative souls in preparation for the busy fall wedding season.
Knowing the country will view Sunday, September 11th in solemn reverence, we also wanted to pass along information about an inaugural bridal show to be held at Pat’s Peak. Many of you know that we are preferred florists at the banquet facilities, but will be regretfully unable to attend this event, the first of it’s kind. We encourage all those engaged couples looking for a beautiful rustic retreat to take in the show. There will be a slew of vendors, hors d’oeuvres, entertainment, fashions and thousands in door prizes (including a $500 cash grand prize). See below for details…
MEMORABLE EVENTS BRIDAL SHOW AT PATS PEAK BANQUET CENTER
Sunday, September 11, 2011
12:00pm - 3:00pm
$500 CASH Grand Prize!
"Discover The Other Season of Pats Peak"...
Pats Peak is the perfect location to host a wedding ceremony and reception. Vendors from all over NH will be at the Bridal Show to help you plan the wedding of your dreams.
$5 admission. Purchase tickets and pre-register at MemorableEventsNH.com.
Also listed at http://www.patspeak.com/weddings.html
See you soon!
I know, I know, it’s been too long since I posted. Between weddings, earthquakes, and hurricanes, it’s been an interesting end to summer. We have much to look forward to and plan for come fall, but more on that later. For now, please accept my humble apologies and this, our first video embedded post! I’m getting extra fancy these days!
I wanted to share this update on the garden in Waltham, MA that we created last season. You may remember reading about the project in the initial post, but for those of you who missed it, we had a client who strongly disliked their front yard – a small plot of grass and the obligatory shrubbery along the front of the house. They hated mowing, the stagnant look of the shrubs, and the lack of color.
Nothing’s worse than disliking your living space, so we suggested they do away with the lawn all together, add a radial patio, and a low maintenance garden. The entire design was centered around their desire for a semi-private space that looked great all season long. The plantings were designed so the garden has color at all times – vibrant purples and soft white tones.
This season we came in to install a stone pathway leading through the garden and to spread new mulch. I took the opportunity to document just how much the plants had grown since last season. The difference is amazing, even to us!
Check out this rudimentary video yours truly made to showcase the transformation!
Jennifer and Kyle picked a picture-perfect summer day to get married at Pat’s Peak in Henniker, NH. Mid 80s, no humidity, and a gentle breeze. Just gorgeous.
What a ceremony site! We provided rented blue ceramic urns planted in shades of pink and blue that flanked either side of the entrance to the bride that leads to the ceremony circle. Shepherd hooks with hanging glass votives filled with pink flowers lined the aisle.
Last week was oppressive, wasn’t it?! Well like the postal service ("Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"), Ideas in Bloom will not be deterred by the elements.
I gave these white beauties a stern pep talk before delivering them to the Colby Hill Inn in Henniker, NH on Saturday. Even the freshest flowers can wilt under the hot summer sun, so we take ever precaution possible to ensure our blooms are picture perfect. In this case, we provided a small spray bottle so the bridal party could mist their bouquets in-between photos. Hydrangea, especially delicate in the heat, can soak up moisture from their petals and will stay perky with the right care.
This romantic rounded bouquet contained Hydrangea, Garden Roses, regular Roses, Lisianthus, and Spray Roses, all in shades of white, ivory, and cream.
The Bridesmaids carried Roses, Lisianthus, Stock, and Spray Roses in the same pallet.
Everything is wilting in this oppressive heat. People, pets, and plants. I've taken refuge in the cool of the AC and Kiera pup has been snacking on Frosty Paws frozen dog treats. That leaves the plants (no pun intended, I promise!).
You might think that watering plants in heat like this is easy – switch on the sprinkler and walk away. Well, good start, but your plants need a little extra TLC to make it through the day. Here’s a tip for watering when the heat is so bad you are seeing mirages of icebergs and igloos…
Give each of your plants a good long drink directly at their base.
This means you have to get out the hose or watering can and carefully tend to each of your blooming beauties, but it is so worth it. Plants get stressed out in this weather too and need the boost of a good soaking. Sprinklers cover a large amount of ground, but unless you plan on leaving the water running all afternoon, the moisture stays on the surface and rarely reaches the roots with the amount of hydration they crave. Also, in temperatures like we will see in the next few days, the water will start to evaporate quickly, leaving your green leafy friends wanting.
Watering directly at the base of each plant ensures that every one will get the moisture they need to battle the heat without an additional stress. Thirsty varieties like Hydrangea will be most thankful for your extra efforts. It may be a sweaty job, but your garden will thank you!
I had the pleasure of sharing some great conversation and tasty gelato with Lauren Donovan of Laurel Events a few weeks back. A former small town New Hampshirite, Lauren has a dynamic personality with a lot to offer a newly engaged couple planning their big day. I thought our readers would enjoy getting to know her and her company as much as I did. Oh, and their new and improved website launched THIS MORNING, so go check it out! http://laureleventsboston.com/
Date of company's inception / background experience
Started in Sept 2010 - Officially launched in Jan. 2011
Previously worked in Marketing, Events and Affiliate Relations for CSNNE (Home of the Boston Celtics) and was a Media Planner for MPG Arnold working for major clients like VW, Choice Hotels and Bentley Motors.
I decided events was really my passion and the most fun. The "rat race" in the telecommunications world was making me a cold person so I realized I needed to make a change - and there has been no regret or looking back!
What makes you stand out from other planners?
I truly customize my services to each client's needs. If you just want help with your invitations or if you want advice on everything - I'm here to help. If you want us there the day of - or if you want us with you every step of the way - we will do it. The modern bride typically has a full time job, is going to school, has pets, friends and family to attend to - oh yeah and who has time for hitting the gym or having fun?! Planning a wedding adds a lot of stress because it is such an important and emotional day. Finding the right venues and vendors for your personality can be time consuming - and most brides don't have that time. I work with each bride to find the perfect vendors that fit her budget and personality and to make sure the planning process is fun and less stressful. And I only work on what/where you need the help the most to stay within your budget.
Since every package is customized it is hard to put a price point out there - it depends on the amount of work, travel and time involved for each task.
The only price point item we do put out there is our Day of Coordination Package. For 2012 the Day Of costs $675 plus travel (and potential overnight accommodations for travel over 1 hour from Boston). This includes our first consult together, unlimited email/phone discussions, another in depth in person meeting the month before the wedding, I will provide a full agenda for the wedding week and day of for the bride and vendors. And on site coordination and management the day of your wedding from the beginning until the end.
What's your favorite part of the work?
I've always been a hard worker and I enjoy the fast pace and moving - it makes me work better when I'm under pressure and the day goes by quicker! I also love it when my client and their family tell me how amazing I've done - I know someone has seen and loved my hard work - and that's just the coolest feeling ever - to finally be recognized for all I've done.
What's the single best piece of advice you can impart to a newly engaged couple (without giving away all your secrets, of course!)
Ignore the TV shows, ignore the magazines or all the websites out there that say "You have to.... (insert comment about something way over the top and way over your budget limitations). A wedding is ABOUT YOU AND YOUR PARTNER. Despite your budget, you truly can have a beautiful wedding if you focus on the parts that are most important and true to your own personality. If you have the right idea and resources you can work out anything you are looking for!
If you have any spare time, how do you spend it? Or some other personal tid-bit you don't mind sharing.
In my spare time I'm mostly with my pets - I have a cat Holly who doesn't leave the house and my dog Bear (8.5 mo old golden retriever) who is usually always with me where ever I go. He's my new found best friend! Other than my pets and the business, I too am getting married in November 2011 - so I'm working on that, spending time with my fiancé, family and friends and I volunteer at my yoga studio - I love heated yoga! I try to stay pretty busy and active!
We had the pleasure of driving out to Lenox, MA (that’s Berkshire territory for you coastal dwellers) for Annette and Todd’s wedding a few weeks ago. Not having spent much time in western MA, I was bowled over by the plethora of drop-dead-gorgeous wedding locations hidden in those woods. This couple’s wedding spot, Seven Hills Inn, was no exception! A former mansion with Victorian flair, the Inn was the perfect spot for this New York duo's nuptials.
Luckily our good friend, the supremely talented Brooke McConnell of Hudson Photo, was attending the events as a guest and snapped a few photos of the decor for us. If you are in the upstate New York area and need personal or professional photos, she’s your gal. Brooke took many of the photos you see on our website and has a gift for capturing the spirits of young ones as well. We love her, so you should check out her site: http://bshudsonphoto.com/.
As a nod to Todd’s hometown of Saratoga (a horseracing town if you weren’t aware) we used silver mercury glass mint julep cups and greened them up with actual mint! They were the perfect accent to the small cocktails tables in the Music Room where the dancing and bar could be found.
And here’s a shot taken by armature photographer, Tom, who came along for the scenic ride. Passing storms with torrential rain pushed the festivities indoors, which is a pity, since they were supposed to be married in front of this stunning planter by Pam. Fortunately all the other ceremony floral were easily repurposed indoors.
Just a taste of Annette & Todd’s wedding for now. A little something to whet your appetite for more. Check back in too see their photographer’s shots as soon as we have them!
Yikes! It’s been busy and I haven’t had a chance to post in a while. My apologies. We designed a beautiful wedding out in the Berkshires (more on that later) and have been going gangbusters in the gardens. So, to appease the masses, here’s a great find for today…
Laura Warecki, a fellow former New Bostonian (yay!), posted this adorable save the date on her blog and I had to share it.
Laura is a Boston based illustrator and attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she found her niche in cut paper and watercolor illustrations. She has some incredible designs featured on her website, which I would encourage you to visit - www.laurawarecki.com. Check out her great work and connect with her if you are looking for custom save the dates or invitations!
As if the warm weather wasn’t indication enough, summer if officially here! What better way to kick off the season of sun & fun than with a party (or two)?
We also had a very special graduation party this weekend (so proud of my sis-in-law!). She’s off to Nazareth in the fall so we created arrangements in the school colors – purple and gold. To add a fun touch, glitter balls filled glass cylinders and the arrangements “floated” over them. Flowers: Yellow Roses, purple Agapanthus, purple Stock and purple Daisies.
So welcome, Summer, with your lazy beach days and backyard BBQs. We’re glad to have you back!
You may have seen the recent photo (on our Facebook page) I took just the other day of a gorgeous salmon pink Poppy growing in one of the gardens we tend to. Trust me, the photo doesn’t do it justice! These bold and billowy blooms command your attention.
Poppies (we’re talking about the ornamental kind here, not those used for edible seed or illegal activity) are a very attractive and easy to grow flower of both annual and perennial varieties. The large, crepe-like petals (4-6, depending on variety) come in all shades and sit atop stems that can grow up to 2 1/2 – 4 feet high. The flowers only last about a week, but are showstoppers until their petals open flat around the blue pollen coasted stamen and eventually drift to the ground. They will also reseed themselves in the same manner.
Besides adding punches of color to a landscape, they make great for great cut flowers as well. Though they have long been used as symbols of both death and sleep, Poppies are a popular flower found in the markets during the spring season. If you cultivate them in your yard, be sure to cut them in the early morning when the buds are just barely unfolding for a long lasting bloom in the vase. Once the season for Poppies has petered out, the markets will still have their pods available. They are used as botanical accents to add texture to design. A plant of many uses!
Yikes! It’s been nearly a week since I last posted and this next flower is already making it’s retreat from the heat.
Iris is technically a genus of 260 species of flowering plants, but the name is also widely used as a common name for all the species. Apparently the name is taken from the Greek word for a rainbow, which is fitting for a flower with such a variety of colors. My favorite is a beautiful shade of butter cream yellow found in the garden, but they also come in the more common shades of purple, “blue”*, maroon, white, etc. You’ll often see blooms of “blue”, bright yellow, and white at your local flower shop.
Irises are perennial herbs (though don’t try using them to spice up dinner tonight!) with long flowering stems growing from a base of sword-shaped leaves. They come bearded or beardless (weird terms for flowers, I know). Bearded irises are constructed with three petals that grow upward while three other petals open away from the center. Kind of like a fleur-de-lis, which, not so coincidentally, was designed after the flower itself! The open petals sport a strip of fuzz or the “beard.” Though it usually looks more like a caterpillar than a beard. “Mustached” would even be pushing it. The variety that you find in the floral cooler are beardless and all the petals eventually open in full.
* I use “” marks because there is no true blue iris. They are all varied shades of purple, some cooler than others, giving the illusion of “blue”.
We all have our most favorite flowers. You know, the one you covet most on your list of loves. The one that makes you go weak in the knees and sigh with delight. For me, that’s the Peony. Their large, romantic blooms embody such grace and simplistic elegance that I can’t help but swoon in their presence. No others come close, though there is a long list vying for second place.
During their painfully short season (late spring/early summer – otherwise know as NOW!), I’m like a kid on Christmas morning; slipping my galoshes over pajamas and sneaking out of the house, all the while hoping no one sees me, to clip a few of the feathered flowers before I start my day. This morning I cut an extra few just in case the weather turns on us. Have you heard about these tornado warnings in NH and MA? What’s that about?!
I favor the “Double” flower type (so lush with petals!), but would also take any version. With well over 25 species, peonies can be classified by both plant growth habit (herbaceous bush or tree) and by flower type (Single, Japanese, Anemone, Semi-Double, Double, and Bomb-Double) - each category becoming more complex and numerous in the arrangement of petals. Herbaceous peonies die back in winter and springing from “eyes” in spring, while tree peonies lose their leaves and leave their woody stems to winter. The flowers range in shades of white to pink, red and even yellow.
The peony is named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. As goes many of the myths responsible for the names of some of our favorite flowers, this was a story of a relationship gone wrong. Asclepius became jealous of his pupil and Zeus stepped in to Paeon from his teacher’s wrath by turning him into the peony flower.
Well thank you, Zeus, for if it weren’t for you, I would be without my most beloved of blooms! I’ll soak up every last second of happiness they bring me before the summer heat ushers out their last flowers or before the tornadoes whirl them out of sight. I suggest you seek them out as well.
A fresh cut bunch of these fragrant beauties sits atop my bookshelf table as I type; an uninhibited and slightly wild grouping of woody stems with purple blooms peeking out from the mass of leaves as nature intended (courtesy of my grandmother’s backyard).
Lilacs abound in New England for a brief but spectacular season in the Spring (usually early May). They are a fast fading bloom, but very popular. The flowers will usually last 3-5 days. The trick to a longer bloom is to cut them when the tiny star-shaped flowers are just beginning to burst open and the majority are still just engorged buds. Also, resist the urge to plop them into a pool of ice cold water and opt for lukewarm instead. It will help them drink faster and stay hydrated longer.
Syringa, or Lilac, is a genus of about 20–25 species of flowering woody plants in the olive family. They are deciduous shrubs or small trees that explode with flowers in shades of purple, or in some varieties, white, pink, dark burgundy color or even pale yellow.
The Syringa vulgaris has a special place in the hearts of fellow New Hampshirites as our home’s official state flower. They are "symbolic of that hardy character of the men and women of the Granite State" (New Hampshire Revised Statute Annotated (RSA) 3:5).
Every May the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain celebrates "Lilac Sunday". During this celebration of Spring, the The Arboretum shows off its collection of over 400 lilac plants and opens the grounds for picnicking (the only day of the year it’s allowed). Unfortunately the festival was held May 8th this year and we missed it. I’ll have to settle for my bunch of blooms at home for now.
It’s raining. Again. It’s hard to stay positive when everything is so damp and dreary, I know. I was at the flower market this morning and in a moment of weakness I caved and bought myself a bunch of these orange beauties. Like you all, I too need a little color in my life these days. Yes, I’m usually surrounded by vibrant blooms, but even I needed a little pick-me-up at on my desk this week.
Few things are more beautiful than a simple bunch of tulips spilling out of a vase. Groupings of the Dutch variety, the elegant long stems of French, or the ruffled petals of the Parrott, it doesn’t matter. I love them all. I take full advantage of their abundance while in season and it saddens me that they are quickly making their exit.
So, as an homage to their simple beauty, a post on the last of our spring bulbs in this series…
Tulips are perennial bulb plants with showy flowers found in a wide range of shades (basically anything other than true blue). They belong to the family Liliaceae and are grown in gardens beds, containers, or for harvest as fresh-cut flowers. Depending on the species, tulip plants can range in height from as short as 4 inches to as high as 28 inches. Strap shaped leaves with a waxy coating surround a single stem that usually produces only one flower per stem, though a few species bear multiple flowers. The showy, generally cup or star-shaped flower has three petals and three sepals, which are often termed tepals because they are nearly identical.
Enjoy them while they last!
So it turns out that there was no newt to be found in April’s edition of NH Magazine! There is a very nice apology to those who strained their eyes looking for the little bugger last month and the magazine is offering up two prizes for those willing to give it another go in May. You could win our lovely spring/summer door piece (below) as well as a year’s subscription! For those of you without a current subscription, click here to find your local retailer.
In case you missed it on the Facebook Page, check out our post on the Prepare To Wed blog. It has all the details of our shoot at the Inn at Round Barn Farm in Waitsfield, VT. It was so much fun to design for this project and we hope you enjoy the end result!
A short post on these quickly fading blooms! It’s hard to believe it’s already May and the bulb plants are already making their exit.
Daffodils, or Narcissus, are of the Amaryllis family and bloom from bulbs in the New England spring. There are somewhere between 50 and 100 different variations of this trumpet-like bloom, including species variants and wild hybrids.
It’s is yet another spring flower with a name derived from Greek mythology. As the story goes, Narcissus became so obsessed with his own reflection as he kneeled and gazed into a pool of water that he fell into the water and drowned. Another variation of the tale depicts an entranced Narcissus trapped on the water’s edge by his reflection until he died of thirst and starvation. In both versions, the Narcissus plant first sprang from his post on the riverbed. As a result, the flower is widely seen as a symbol of unrequited love.
All species of Daffodil have a central corona surrounded by a ring of six floral leaves which unite to form a tube at the forward edge of the ovary. The usually yellow flowers (though also found in white and shades of green)are divided as follows: The three outer segments are sepals, and the three inner segments are petals. Growers have developed some Daffodils with double, triple, or ambiguously multiple rows and layers of segments, and several wild species also have known double variants.
They aren’t all pretty though! All varieties of this cheery bloom contain the alkaloid poison lycorine, concentrated mostly in the bulb but also in the leaves. The bulbs can sometimes be confused with small onions and can make you very ill. So don’t eat them!
Daffodils also cause a bit of trouble for florists, but the season is so short that we don’t mind. When cut they secrete a sap that can harm other flowers. If mixed with other blooms, the stems cannot be recut before arranging or else the sap will be released again and effect the rest of the piece. The calcium oxalate in the sap can also cause "daffodil itch," a dermatitis issue. I much prefer to use them in landscapes, rather than in arrangements!