Friday, April 29, 2011

What’s Blooming in London? {Lily of the Valley}

 Lily of the Valley

Welcome to a special post of “What’s Blooming?,” the Royal Wedding edition!  Amid all the pomp and circumstance of this international celebration, the flowers of the day were refreshingly understated and natural in shades of green and white.  The star flower of the day: Lily of the Valley.

The white bell-shaped blooms symbolize purity and happiness; a wonderful choice for such an occasion. Botanical name Convallaria majalis,  Lily of the Valley flowers are popular in wedding bouquets (soon to become even more so!), and also used to celebrate May Day in Europe.

Live Maple trees, with their newly sprouted leaves, lined the grand aisle of famed Westminster Abbey, giving the somewhat imposing space the feel of a more intimate springtime garden.  Planted at their bases were beds of ferns and Lily of the Valley.  It was the first hint of what was to come.

The second sign?  Maid of Honor, Pippa Middleton, had springs of the spring flower tucked into her hair .  A perfect compliment to her elegant white attire.  She was also flanked by the young maids carrying posies with sprigs of Lily of the Valley.

And then there was the Princess bride.  Stunning in her Alexander McQueen gown and carrying a teardrop bouquet of the fragrant flower, spilling gracefully over her hand.  Royal bouquets are traditionally all white and this was no exception.  Also, if tradition reigns, a spring of myrtle will be hidden somewhere in the bouquet, as every royal wedding bouquet has since Queen Victoria's wedding in 1840.

Shane Connelly, a London based designer who has a history of working with the Royal family, was tasked with the floral design for the big event.  The themes of the day: seasonal British blooms.  “I suggested right from the beginning that we would use things from the royal estates because her [Kate] whole ethos has been that it had to be British, which would be mine as well, and that it had to be seasonal and as organic to the place as possible,” Connelly said. Going further to ensure a green element to the day, William and Kate have requested that much of the plant materials be replanted at Highgrove Estate or donated to charities.

Today the world took in this beautiful event that will certainly set trends for years to come.  My predictions for flowers trends going forward, some of which were already on their way into the mainstream:  A return to simplicity, white or soft colored flowers, smaller teardrop bouquets, and nods to nature through the use of plants and trees indoors. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What’s Blooming? {Crocus}

 20038.Iridaceae - Crocus vernus

In the spirit of the season when everything is fresh and new I thought it would be fun to start a new series of posts: What’s Blooming?

Yes, you probably know the names of most of the common blooms (unless you are my husband – don’t worry, he won’t take offense to that), but hopefully we’ll add to your existing knowledge and highlight a few new plants for you as the growing season progresses. Let’s get started!

The Crocus. It is one of the first flowers to bloom come spring and is a welcome signal of the end of winter. Their cup-shaped blooms push through newly soften earth or even a layer of snow to reach heights of two to six inches. They pop in shades of yellow, white, purple, and lavender. Some have bi-colored or variegated blooms and all varieties have grass-like leaves that usually have a white stripe along the center.

These petite flowers are members of the iris family and are hardy perennials. Their name is derived from the Latin crocatus, meaning saffron yellow. The spice saffron is obtained from the stamens of Crocus sativus, a fall-blooming species. Now, I can hear the wheels turning in your head if you are a cook. “Hey, saffron is pricey. I’m going to go out and raid the neighbor’s yard!” Don’t. First of all, you won’t win any favor with the neighbors, and secondly, we have the spring blooming variety in New England, so please don’t try to collect your own!

Crocuses bloom from corms, which are short, compressed stems similar to bulbs. They are flatter and have “eyes”, or buds, at the top from which new shoots emerge. Each year a new corm forms on top of the old one, and tiny corms, called cormels, form around its base. Each corm produces one to five blooms a season. When planted in proper conditions, most self-sow the next generation.

If you’d like to add these cheerful little bursts of spring to your landscape, plant them in full sun to partial shade. They also prefer well-drained soil and have good drought tolerance. They do well in rock and wall gardens and look best when planted in mass drifts for maximum impact.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

 Easter 2011

Spring blooms to match the balmy weather today: Tulip, Hyacinth, Daffodil & Crocus.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Go Green: Earth Day 2011


This Friday, April 22, is Earth Day!  The Earth Day Network  is making it very easy to give a little something back to Mother Earth this year.  They’ve devised a campaign to encourage mass participation: A Billion Acts of Green®.

Visit for some great ideas of simple steps to take that will make a big difference (eating more locally sourced food, changing out your light bulbs, planting a garden, etc).  You can declare your Act of Green, organize an Earth Day event, or find an event near you to attend. 

Each Act pledged is counted towards the goal of one billion ahead of the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  As of 7:30am this morning the count was 100,499,089.  Add you pledge to the growing number!

I made a personal pledge to support my local farmer’s market more than ever this season and to finally plant that wildflower garden that I never seem to have time for.  As a business we always prefer to buy seasonal cut flower products and jump on the chance to purchase locally grown stock.  Maybe this is the year that we begin our own cut flower garden in earnest.  What will you do?

From more information visit the Earth Day Network website or their Facebook page.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Ahoy! Flowers for a landmark birthday…



Whew, it’s been a busy week!  Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to post pictures of this nautically themed party held last weekend until now. 


A faithful customer hosted the bash and gave us a copy of the invitation as inspiration.  We took the idea and ran with it!





Nautical1 We wrapped a seaside inspired driftwood and seashell wrap around a teal blue vase reminiscent of coveted sea glass.  It then was filled with Blue Delphinium, white Snapdragons, Thistle Blue Flower, red Alstromaria, and bright yellow Pincushion Protea.

040711154516 A second arrangement was done up in a wooden sailboat base.  So cool!  The arrangement was filled with Thistle Blue Flower, red Alstromaria, bright yellow Pincushion Protea, green Hypericum Berries.  It was topped off with white Snapdragons placed in a large arch from stern to aft like a sail.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tired of waiting for Spring? So are we.


I don’t know about you, but the lack of color in my life is starting to take it’s toll.  I like to think of myself as a hearty New Englander, but even we have our limits!  Spring fever is in full effect.




If you’ve got the lingering winter blues, let us create a little bit of Spring for you!  Permanents (high quality silks) are a great way to brighten up your home.  Window boxes, door pieces, etc.  They’ll never wilt and can be used year after year.  Already have a piece that’s in need of a makeover?  We do that too!


P.S.  Remember, you can win one of our pieces by participating in New Hampshire Magazine’s Find the Newt contest…in this month’s issue NOW!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Best of … with your help!


One of the best parts of our job is hearing the amazing feedback we receive from happy customers and brides.  It gives us the warm & fuzzies inside!  If you like our work, please take a few minutes to complete New Hampshire Magazine’s Best of Bride 2011 contest and vote for Ideas in Bloom.  In a business where referrals are key to success, we are so very appreciative of our loyal fan base (that means you)!

Vote TODAY through June 30th!

Oh, and don’t forget about some of our industry friends based in New Hampshire: Tastefully Wright Special Occasion Cakes, Pat’s Peak Banquet Facilities, Kate Parker Weddings, Joanna Puza Photography & Adam Flaherty Videography