Popping Up Purple

May 8, 2016, posted by Gina – I have always wanted daylilies in my yard and I finally have some beauties. Our former home had a very established, shady yard with large trees and Spanish moss dangling from every branch.  So, sun loving daylilies would not have been very happy in that environment.

Fast forward to our new home where we have plenty of sunny spots in our yard and I seized the opportunity to pop a crop of daylilies in a sunny bed. I chose all purple varieties and this week the blooms came out for the first time for the first time and I could not be happier.

The first and deepest color daylily is Purple De Oro.  The name of the second one just cracks me up, String Bikini.  Just take a look at its shape. Whoever names flowers must have had something a little stronger than sweet tea the day they came up with that one.  And the last with the lightest almost pink color is called a Purple Pinwheel.


string bikini

day lily

I look forward to enjoying these for years to come or at least until my Little Gem Magnolias get too large and shade my sunny area.  But a garden is forever changing and I think that’s what makes it so much fun.

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Pretty Peonies, Part 1 1 comment

May 5, 2016, posted by Gina – This post is a bit of a teaser but we just couldn’t help ourselves.  We are designing arrangements for a luncheon this Friday and the hostess requested peonies.  We thought it would be fun for you to see the behind the scenes of floral design as well as the after once everything is arranged.

The original variety of peony that we wanted, Karl Rosenfield, was not available so we were given several other options and selected the Paula Fay variety for their beautiful hot pink color.


This box was shipped overnight from Holland and delivered to our door.  Of course, once the box arrives we have to move fast to begin the flower processing.

in box

Upon opening the box, we found the most beautiful peony stems and gave them a fresh cut and placed them in water with floral preservative.  Just like people, after a long journey they are tired and thirsty so we gave them the TLC they needed.

pink peonies

Happy as they can be in their fresh buckets, they will be ready for us to make beautiful arrangements and help our hostess create a lasting memory for her guests.  Stay tuned for the finished creations!


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Flowers in Paris 1 comment

February 22, 2016, posted by Michelle – We suppose it’s inexcusable that we let Valentine’s Day come and go without posting about roses. Will you excuse us anyway? Maybe some photos of flowers from last week’s trip to Paris will help. Flowers at kiosks and in front of shops spill out onto the sidewalks making an already breathtakingly beautiful city all the more so. Enjoy!

Collage Eiffel TowerCollage Notre DameCollage arc de triomphe

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Christmas Florals

December 14, 2015, posted by Gina – Earlier this month I worked on several floral arrangements for a Christmas/Engagement party held at a friend’s home.  I had a lot of fun working on these and I hope you will get some good ideas from them.
Christmas Florals Collage

The noble fir wreath was beautiful on its own but I added the red bow to coordinate with some of the red in the dining room where it hung.  The champagne bucket held a tall arrangement filled with roses, stock, snapdragons and larkspur. It was the dining room table centerpiece and was complimented by a couple of coordinating smaller arrangements.  A mercury vase held a stunning all white composition and a few other cheery arrangements were scattered about the house in McCarty vases.

McCarty Vases

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Thanksgiving Pumpkin Centerpieces 6 comments

November 19, 2015, posted by Gina – Last night I had the opportunity to present floral designs and tablescapes to a really fun group of ladies. A big thank you goes out to our lovely hostess who prepared some fabulous appetizers that were enjoyed by all, including me.  I presented how-tos for variety of different designs that would carry through the holiday season; a round centerpiece, a cornucopia, a long-lasting Christmas arrangement, two tablescapes (one with a pumpkin centerpiece and the other with a cornucopia centerpiece), a vertical arrangement and a cranberry filled vase.

Thanksgiving Arrangements and Tablescapes

A tip for the vertical arrangement is to start with a bit of tall greenery in the back and then step your flowers down. I added a lemon for a bit of fun. When working on a cranberry filled arrangement, first fill a vase with cranberries and then fill with water. You won’t need oasis or a tape grid as the cranberries secure the stems. How cool is that?

After my presentation, the ladies designed their own pumpkin arrangements and they did a fabulous job. When they first walked in and saw the pumpkins ready for them and thought they would be cutting and gutting the pumpkins. They were happily surprised to find that we would actually be using the stem to secure the foam instead of cutting the pumpkin. I must tell you that I had to use a saw to cut the stems in half on each pumpkin which was quite a site, but it got the job done. We all had a lot of fun and everyone was pleased with their pumpkin arrangements, which they took home with them. Voilà, the fruits of their labor…

Pumpkin Arrangements

Coming up….I plan on posting tutorials on how to make a cranberry filled arrangement and a long lasting Christmas arrangement in preparation for the holidays, so stay tuned and check our Tutorials Page in the coming days.

We like to hear from our readers, so if you’d like to leave comments or share your thoughts click on the title of this post and the comment form will appear at the bottom of the page.

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Setting the Scene for a Thanksgiving Luncheon

November 17, 2015, posted by Gina – A couple of weeks ago I had the wonderful pleasure of attending my cookbook club’s monthly luncheon. The theme for the day was Thanksgiving and it was a true bounty of the season’s best.

I was asked to design the flower arrangements using cream, green, brown and neutral colors. It was challenging and refreshing for me to work with this color palette for a Thanksgiving feast since it’s a departure from the traditional oranges, reds, and golds.

Birch Planters Magnolia SunflowerI found some great looking birch bark planters and chose Little Gem magnolia leaves as the backdrop because of their wonderful brown back coating. Hydrangeas, roses, hypericum berries, and white mums were the stars of the arrangements. To add interest, I removed the yellow petals from the sunflowers to create a brown and green flower.

My friend set her tables with beautiful white table linens and tied wheat to the napkins. It was a great touch and really set the mood for the harvest feast that followed.

Tablescape Thanksgiving Luncheon

CLICK HERE to go to our Recipe Page and read about all the dishes that were served.

How do you decorate your table for Thanksgiving? Do you look for new twists on the standard Thanksgiving decoration or do you like the traditional look? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you. Just click on the title of this post to and the comment form appear at the bottom of the page.


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Pumpkin Party

October 16, 2015, posted by Gina – Last week I had the pleasure of hosting a floral presentation at my home for Pi Phi alumnae. These ladies were a whole lot of fun and I enjoyed my time with them.

First things first, I had prepared a few hors d’oeuvres which I set out on my patio so we could all have a chance to visit. After a while, we went back inside and installed ourselves in the kitchen where we got down to the work at hand: pumpkin floral arrangements.

PicMonkey CollageThe ladies had the opportunity to compose their own floral designs after the presentation. They worked on a succulent pumpkin and I think they each did a great job. The best thing about this group is that they paid close attention to the presentation and asked questions. So when it came time to make their own pumpkins, they were well prepared and ready to unleash their creativity.

Thanks Pi Phi’s and I hope to see you again soon! Happy Fall.

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Floral Demonstration at Farmer’s Table Cooking School

October 12, 2015, posted by Gina – Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of presenting floral designs at the beautiful Farmer’s Table Cooking School in Livingston, Mississippi. Livingston was the original County Seat for the area but as times changed so did the County Seat. This area is dotted with beautiful fields filled with trees, a few cows and gentle, rolling hills. Even though you are just minutes from the city, you feel as though you’ve stepped back to a time when the pace was a bit slower.

The Cooking School is a very nice venue where Chef Matthew teaches classes on mastering culinary skills but the school also hosts other kinds events. So, I was thrilled to be invited to teach a floral design class.

Fern and Sedum in BasketSince it’s tailgate season, the first thing I showed was this very simple arrangement that’s super easy for a tailgate host or hostess to put together and a great way to dress up tailgate tables. I chose this oval basket as it is the perfect size for a table. I gathered plants in school colors and created a coordinating bow. Spanish moss covers the pots the plants are in and finishes off the basket. This took about 5 – 10 minutes to assemble and is really a great alternative to a fresh flower arrangement. Bonus: The handle on the basket makes it easy to carry to your tailgate area.

This round centerpiece  is one of the most practical arrangements to make. It sits low, allowing for conversation, and does not take up too much space ensuring you have plenty of room for food.


The pleasing mix of colors in this dough bowl arrangement can carry you through the season. Cover the bowl with some wood shred and then arrange coordinating colored spheres in the bowl. I added a touch of whimsy with an ornamental cabbage and an orange pomander ball.

I like to call this lean, vertical design the “welcome” arrangement because it looks so striking in an entry way. Use coordinating colors in centerpieces and arrangements throughout your home.


Coke Crate Mixed Garden

These Coca-Cola crates were so ubiquitous in my childhood that we would literally trip over them in the garage. You’d probably have to pay about $50 for one today. They are so much fun to use for arrangements on porches or patios. In this arrangement I placed in a few different objects creating a casual, retro vignette. You could also place a few bottles in this create and fill each one with a single stem.

Lush Fall Arrangment

I started assembling this pretty arrangement by creating a tape grid on the top of the vase. This enabled me to place stems right where I wanted while keeping them firmly in place. Lots of tall greenery and a bit of curly willow really set the stage for the colorful flowers.


Baby Boo

It’s all about the colors in this fall place setting. I used my Italian Spode as a backdrop to a simple tablescape. The pops of green from the napkin and orange from the pumpkin really make this inviting.

Bridget and Chef MatthewChef Matthew and Bridget from the cooking school were so much fun to work with and participants were treated to some great food, new recipes and floral design. This made for a very fun evening.

I look forward to presenting again at the cooking school. They have done a phenomenal job of creating an environment that seems to brings out the creativity in everyone.

What do you think about the arrangements? Would you be likely to try one of these yourself? Do you have any ideas for tailgate, dinner party or seasonal arrangements? Let us know! To leave a comment, click on the title of this blog post and the comment form will appear at the bottom of the page.

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Artificially Dyed Flowers, Mums & Pumpkins

August 27, 2015, posted by Gina – I visit the grocery store by my house almost daily. It is a sickness and I just can’t seem to change it. Upon these visits, I can’t wait to glide into the front doors and be greeted with all kinds of floral goodness. But alas, the other day I was assaulted by not only one but two artificially dyed flowers!

First, I saw the multicolored hydrangeas garishly sporting hues that are not naturally occurring. Then I turned the corner and saw the BRIGHT BLUE orchids. I think I audibly gasped!

dayglo hydrangea

BLUE Orchids

Now I realize this post is a slippery slope as some readers may think these are pretty or at least not a travesty and I don’t want to be a flower snob but some things should not be tampered with. I think back to a presentation I did for my Garden Club. While standing in front of the 60 women attending with a microphone in my hand, I was asked what I thought about manufactured colored flowers. I felt like a deer in the headlights but spoke my truth. I DO NOT LIKE THEM. Thankfully, this was the sentiment of the group and so I was highly favored for my remarks. Dodged a big one there. And, just so you know, I just used a ladder to come down from my perch.

In fairness, I don’t want to say that I could never find a use for such flora. We all do some crazy things for very sane reasons that make sense at the time and I freely admit to occasionally using manually colored carnations in an arrangement. They are small and how much trouble could they get into?

Moving on. It’s still August, right? I thought so. On my same trip to the grocery store, these FALL goodies snuck in:

Mums at garden center

Ceramic pumpkinsNothing says FALL more than mums and pumpkins. (This is where my “slow your roll” speech usually begins). I am a planner and love to get a jump on things but these pumpkins and mums just seem a bit out of place. I think Mother Nature may be feeling a bit rushed. It has been my experience that mums have a short life. Either the summer sun is too hot for them and they dry out or the blooms wilt if they are rained on. I usually limit my purchase of mums to only a few. I am going to let Mother Nature be my guide. In my neck of the woods we do have temperatures about 10 degrees lower than normal right now. Maybe Fall is closer than I think. One thing I have done this year is mix a few small mums into my indoor planters.

mums, fern and ivyIn this planter, I chose a lavender mum to go alongside a pretty fern and some ivy. It is just one little nod to fall.

The blue and white pots in the next photo always sit on this coffee table in my family room. I change the flowers seasonally and chose these white mums. Just a few simple changes can put a smile on your face.

mums blue and white pots

We would love to know your thoughts on the colored flowers and your use of mums. When do you begin putting your fall decorations up? Do you like to bring seasonal plantings inside as well? To leave us your thoughts just click on the title of this blog post and the comment form will expand at the end of the post.

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