Archive for July, 2009

Loyal Lover of the Yellow Rose

Written by: Margaret Pless, summer intern

Perhaps an interest in flowers is genetic. I come from a mother who treasures her gardenia bushes and their blossoms like some women treasure fine jewelry.  My father planted an olive tree in the smack middle of our backyard. I’m not sure whether it was the barrage of kickballs or the Alabama humidity, but the olive tree never really prospered. My parents’ garden, however, abounded with both the beautiful and the useful, from mint and rosemary, to lamb’s ear, irises and gladiolus.

 But I am hopeful that a knowledge and enjoyment of flowers is not just genetic but acquired. I have had little experience with flowers in my twenty years. But as a lover of art and of the aesthetically pleasing aspects of life, I am confident that my love for flowers will only grow as I am surrounded by them here at flower magazine this summer. As a rising senior at Vanderbilt with a hodgepodge of majors and minors in English, History, and Art History, I am thrilled to add flowers to my ever-growing (hopefully forever growing) list of interests.

From childhood, my favorite flower has always been a yellow rose. I remember stopping by the Birmingham Botanical Garden with my mom in the late spring when the rose garden was coming to life. The red roses always seemed too cliché for my cynical taste; pink, too, was overdone. And so I gravitated towards the brightest, fattest, most vivacious rose in the garden: a yellow one. I have loyally loved yellow roses ever since. 

Courtesy of Barnsley Gardens

Courtesy of Barnsley Gardens


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“In (Nature’s) inventions nothing is lacking, 
and nothing is superfluous.” –Leonardo da Vinci

Courtesy of Barnsley Gardens

Courtesy of Barnsley Gardens


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Flowers, Flowers Everywhere…Even in Your Wallet

In the U.S., we’re all so accustomed to seeing portraits of past Presidents or national landmarks on our paper money we probably don’t even notice anymore. How much more interesting would it be if our bills “bloomed!” You might even have trouble parting with those twenties if they looked like art.

The site, run by Audrius Tomonis, includes an extensive picture gallery of historical and more current paper money used by all (if not all, it’s pretty darn close) the world’s countries. Many of their examples are also for sale, if you’re a collector.

The North Korean 200 Won from 2005 features magnolia flowers, the national flower of the country:

This Swiss note from 1963 has intricately drawn flowers all over the back of the bill:


And, of course, The Netherlands would (should) print flowers on their money! This dazzling sunflower example is from 1982:


Check out New Zealand as well for a few subtle floral images; Indonesia too has printed currency with floral motifs in the past.

Finding flowers in unexpected places? Let us know at and we may blog about your find!

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Margot’s Favorite Flower

I don’t mean to have expensive tastes; it just seems that when I walk into a department store I head straight for the Prada, without even seeing the label, or the cashmere without feeling the softness…you get the idea. I wonder if it’s just that truly beautiful, exquisitely fashioned things—purses, sweaters, flowers—are just naturally worth more. It’s like they know.

When I first started working in a flower shop, I went straight for the peonies—at eight dollars a stem (I had no idea). Again, expensive taste. But let’s face it, that “show-offy,” frothy peony is worth every peony—I mean, penny. Nothing says luscious like the peony. And nothing says confident like the peony. This is not a bashful bloom. When I want someone to know I think they’re swell, I send peonies if I can locate them. That’s the other thing about peonies: they’re not in the grocery store. Nothing wrong with grocery store flowers, but they do have the feel of everyday-ness.

Photo by Dave Schilling

Photo by Dave Schilling

Not peonies. They’re for special.
I just love ‘em.

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“A profusion of pink roses bending ragged in the rain speaks to me of all gentleness and its enduring.” 
–William Carlos Williams

Courtesy of Barnsley Gardens

Courtesy of Barnsley Gardens

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Courtney Khail Stationery

Last June I met Courtney Khail as a fellow bridesmaid in one of my best friend’s wedding. Several months later I unsuspectingly opened an email from Courtney announcing the opening of her very own stationery business. I clicked the link expecting to find your average assortment of stationery—only to realize that that expectation is precisely what Courtney is fighting against.  Of course when I discovered the majority of Courtney’s work featured large, intricate blooms I had to share with the flower team. We love the gorgeous lines and colors in these cards!


In college, Courtney combined her love of nature with her artistic talents by studying scientific illustration. Courtney Khail Stationery is the refreshing result. Courtney offers beautiful personal and wedding stationery with a truly artistic touch. Courtney hand paints each and every card and works with her clients to do custom designs that fit their needs. The result is a unique and quality piece of art that the recipient can cherish.

Invitation Set

Wedding stationery is customized to reflect your personal tastes

Courtney's hand painted stationary has a more personal feel

If you want to learn more, visit Courtney’s site here.

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