Archive for July, 2010

Bud of the Day

Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.
–   Gerald De Nerval

Photo Credit: Christina Martin via Soul Aperture blog


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Petal Pointer: Ring Around the Rosie

Written by: Katherine Perry, publishing assistant

For a recent bridesmaids’ luncheon hosted by our editor-in-chief, I attempted to add a little punch to the punch bowl with a floral ice ring. With a few simple instructions from our ever-creative design editor, Sybil Sylvester, I set out to see if this project was really as foolproof as it sounded. Good news! This project is easy and impactful… and may become my signature party trick.

All you need is a round metal mold, water, and a botanical filler such as roses, impatiens, or mint. I borrowed a mold from Sybil and used pink and white impatiens from the backyard.

Begin by adding water to the mold until it is about 1/3 full.  Give your flowers/herbs a rinse and add some to the thin layer of water.  Place this initial layer in the freezer for a couple of hours until it is completely frozen. Once the first layer has frozen, add more water until the mold is approximately 2/3 full and sprinkle in more of your filler.  Allow this layer to freeze, then add your final layer of water and filler. Freeze overnight.

To remove the ice ring, wrap a hot towel around your mold to loosen the ice and slide the ring into the punch.  And yes, this entire process is just as easy as it sounds!

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Floral Fashion Friday: David Lee Holland

Wearing fabulous and floral fine jewelry is even more enjoyable when you can be confident it was handcrafted in an entirely non-toxic process from beginning to end. David Lee Holland and co-designer Yannis Kyriazis specialize in creating botanically inspired fine jewelry with 100% recycled precious metal, natural colored precious gemstones and pearls, and conflict free diamonds. If you’re in the Birmingham area today, be sure to stop by Saks Fifth Avenue at the Summit and take a look at David Lee Holland’s fine jewelry collection and meet the noted designers behind the work; they are making a personal appearance today and their gorgeous collection is worth viewing (and wearing)!

If you’re not in the area, you still shouldn’t miss checking out David Lee Holland’s collection, so I’ve posted some of my favorites below. To see more of the collection visit the website.

Beech Bur Pod Ring with Natural Color Black Tahitian Pearl

Orchid Pendant with Diamond and Emerald

Three Leaf Ring with Rose Gold Dewberry and Pave Set Diamonds

Three Leaf Capsule Pearl Drop Earrings with Diamonds

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Bud of the Day

“Love is a flower, you got to let it, you got to let it grow.” – John Lennon

Courtesy of Barnsley Gardens

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Dior Fleurs

Written by: Jordan Staggs, intern

It was flower girl heaven at IHQ Wednesday when we stumbled across Christian Dior’s new fall couture collection, the entirety of which was designed based on—wait for it—flowers.

Designer John Galliano was quoted as saying, “I’m having a floral moment,” when creating the line inspired by Dior’s childhood home and gardens, Les Rhumes.

And what a moment it was. Vibrant colors and floral silhouettes graced the runway set up in the Rodin Museum in Paris, framed by a backdrop of giant parrot tulips that would make even Georgia O’Keefe swoon. The models’ hair wrapped in colored cellophane enriched even more the whimsical idea that each was an elegant upturned bouquet, and Galliano himself appeared bearing a straw hat, as a gardener tending his blossoms.

From daywear projecting the bold colors and shapes of daffodils, tulips, and peonies, to the drop-dead gorgeous black taffeta ball gown hand-painted with yellow pansies, the beauty of the garden was reflected on the runway with every stride. Clearly, Galliano’s latest endeavor is a winner in our book.

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Click the link to view the COMPLETE COLLECTION

All photos via:
Photo credit: Monica Feudi/

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Profile in Petals: Floret

Written by: Julie Cole Miller, managing editor

Photo Credit: Michelle W. Waite

Erin Benzakein started Floret, a Washington-based flower grower, with the dream of celebrating the best of old-fashioned flower varieties, including their vibrant colors and uncommon aromas. We caught up with Erin to learn more about her background, philosophy, and inspiration.

So I understand you are both a floral designer and a flower grower. How did you get your start with flowers?

Photo Credit: Chris Benzakein

After my great-grandmother passed away some years back, I planted sweet peas in my veggie patch to remember her by. I got a little carried away and planted two HUGE rows. When they came into bloom it was impossible to use all of the flowers around the house. I gave bouquets away to everyone I knew but still had more than I could manage. A friend ended up ordering a few bundles for gifts. During one of the deliveries the coolest thing happened… the recipient started crying. All it took was one smell and she was transported back in time to happy memories and her childhood. I was so amazed to see something as simple as a jar of flowers have that kind of impact on a person.

That fall I tore out my entire vegetable garden and replanted it with flowers. It’s funny how a simple experience can completely change your life!

Photo Credit: Michelle W. Waite

I definitely put more time into growing the flowers. In order to have a steady supply of material all season long we are constantly planting, seeding, watering, weeding, staking, etc. The garden requires an enormous amount of work. In my spare time and during the off-season I scour the internet, the library, and practice designing as much as possible. Eventually I will have a farm manager who oversees all of the growing so I can focus solely on variety selection, design, and sales.

Can you tell us a little about your organic farm?

Photo Credit: Chris Benzakein

Well, it’s best described as an insanely overgrown cutting garden! It started out as a few flowerbeds, then took over my yard and now has expanded into the neighbor’s soccer field and another neighbor’s horse pasture. We are frantically adding more rows, more plants, and more greenhouses to keep up with the demand.

With careful planning, I am able to have fresh garden bouquets from March through late October. With a bit of foraging from the forest, field hedgerows, and a stop at the local wholesaler, I’m also able to make up Thanksgiving centerpieces and Christmas wreaths in the off season.

You also supply organic flowers to other designers. Do you find that your clients are more interested in seasonality, beauty, sustainability, or variety?

I think most of them are excited by our wide selection of unique material. We grow a lot of things that don’t ship well, are highly fragrant, delicate, or are not commonly available in the trade. Brides and groceries are very attracted to our organic growing practices, whereas designers seem most impressed by the flowers’ freshness and our selection of unusual ingredients.

Photo Credit: Chris Benzakein

I LOVE full, lush, garden-inspired bouquets. I’m a huge fan of foliage and texture. I tend to fill arrangements with as many unique greens, grasses, vines, and berries as possible, often having to remind myself to leave room for flowers at the end! I want every bouquet to feel like a garden.

Where do you find inspiration?

Since 95% of the bouquets and arrangements that leave our farm are from the garden, I am always looking to it for inspiration. A morning walk through the field can be hugely inspiring. New blooms just cracking open, delicate grasses shimmering in the breeze, a nodding rose at the perfect stage for cutting; it’s impossible not to want to create after a stroll through the garden.

To read further about Floret and discover more of Erin Benzakein’s vibrant designs, visit her website.

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Bud of the Day

“The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness.” – Therese of Lisieux

Photo Credit: Alicia Bock Photography

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