Friday, April 29, 2011

Here Comes the Bride

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

The bouquet is a shield-shaped wired bouquet of myrtle, lily-of-the-valley, sweet William and hyacinth. The bouquet was designed by Shane Connolly and draws on the traditions of flowers of significance for the Royal Family, the Middleton family and on the Language of Flowers.

The flowers’ meanings in the bouquet are:

Lily-of-the-valley – Return of happiness

Sweet William – Gallantry

Hyacinth – Constancy of love

Ivy – Fidelity; marriage; wedded love; friendship; affection

Myrtle - the emblem of marriage; love

The bouquet contains stems from a myrtle planted at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and a sprig from a plant grown from the myrtle used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947.

The tradition of carrying myrtle begun after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert’s grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany. In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today.

The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858, and was used to signify the traditional innocence of a bride.

The Church was decorated with seasonally occurring blossoming branches. Almost 30-thousand flowers are to be used for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday, and most of them were taken from the Royal Estates at Windsor Great Park’s Valley Gardens in Surrey

Cake designer Fiona Cairns has been chosen to make the traditional multi-layered fruit cake for the Royal Wedding.

The flowers on the cake are all based on ‘The Language of Flowers’ and were chosen by Kate herself.

The Bridal Rose symbolizes Happiness.

The Oak and Acorn symbolize Strength and Endurance.

The Lily of the Valley symbolize Sweetness and Humility.

The cake will include the English Rose, Daffodil, Thistle for Scotland, and the Shamrock for Ireland – the four national plants.

Cairns incorporated the Lambeth Method to decorate the cake a technique which is derived from a style of decorating that was popular in England where chefs and decorators would use a lot of intricate piping to create 3-D scrollwork, leaves, flowers, and other decoration on a cake. The Lambeth Method is still popular today and is frequently used by wedding cake designers and decorators to create ornate wedding cakes. A cake decorated in the Lambeth Method and accented with fresh fruit or flowers is the wedding cake of choice for anyone who wants a traditional looking, elegant wedding cake.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Flemish Inspiration

Inspiration for Samples below

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday Part II

Yellow Magnolia Trees and friend

Bed of Candy Colored Tulips and a young Birch Tree

Bleeding Hearts in the Brambles

Mock Orange

Viburnum x carlcephalum ( Fragrant Viburnum )

Williamsburg Sky

After sleeping in late today my best friend stopped by and we took a walk to the park. It's nice how it's blooming bit by bit this year. Everytime I go there's something new to see. Today the Yellow Magnolias at the entrance of 72nd St were at the height of their regal elegance and the Willy Wonka epiphany of candy colored tulip beds around the perfectly white peeling birch trees was delightful. Bleeding Hearts, Lady's Lockets, Snowdrops, Blue Bells and Forget Me Nots were hosting their own party for fairies by invitation only.
A little deeper in the mock orange was making an early appearance. The leaves are so beautifully textured this time of year, they call to mind Mary McFadden dresses. And finally I ran down the slope from Strawberry Fields as the rain set in to see a splendid display of fragrant viburnum. Oh the scent of these clusters are so powdery and feminine as I inhaled I felt like I was immediately cast back into childhood! Then the droplets began and although we hadn't made it very far into the park we were satisfied with our little flower fix. I hopped on the A train and headed back to the studio to finish a ridiculously early delivery for tomorrow for my favorite client.
Back in Brooklyn the sky was so pretty with a gilded sun peeping out through pale blue patches swallowed by smoky cloud puffs. At mission control, the Easter Lilies filled the air with an intoxicating intensity! It was a lovely fragrant and colorful Easter.

Easter Sunday

Easter Lilies

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Holy Wednesday! It's almost "Maundy Thursday"!

Great Nettle 1854 William Bradbury

"Maundy Thursday" is also known as Holy Thursday, among other names, which commemorates the Last Supper. In medieval times people took to bathing and washing their clothes on "Clean Thursday". In German traditions it is referred to as "Green Thursday". Greeks dye their Easter eggs a bright red to represent the blood of Christ and call it "Red Thursday". In central Europe folk customs include recipes for green soups made with Spinach, Kale, Leeks and herbs including Nettle (see print above). The Eucharist serves as an important religious symbol for Maundy Thursday so I included a print of a Eucharis Lily and a bridesmaid's bouquet with the same flower in it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Promises Promises

Promises are meant to be broken but I couldn't help but keep mine. Here are the photos from an event earlier this week that I promised. Working with these materials is absolutely euphoric. I feel like the luckiest gal in the world this week to have my fridge filled with to the rim with everything light and splendid! Tomorrow I'll play a little more with what was left from this fashion launch. It will be my Sunday!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Peonies, Stock, Viburnum, Chrysanthemums, Geranium, Queen Anne's Lace, Azalea, Dogwood, Ferns Jasmine

Delivered this bright and cheerful get well gift of mixed spring white flora this afternoon.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More being More

The studio is such a fragrant disaster today after the whirlwind of flying azalea branches and rose bushes that formed the architecture to showcase the peonies, ranunculus, parrot tulips, garden roses and 2000 other ingredients for these arrangements last night. A case of MORE being more in what I think a very good way- promise to post more from this event later. Too tired to organize today so I went to the park on this most perfect day and took me some pics (see post below) to share the beauty around and get everyone packing their picnic baskets for the weekend! If it weren't for Central Park this city would be regrettably undesirable. My body is sore, my hands swollen but tomorrow I'll be back in the studio, my treasure chest of perishable colors to play play play!

Taste of Spring

We've had a late start this year but the trees in Central Park are finally starting to give way to the new season. Some of the cherry and magnolias are bursting but it's still a few weeks away from the peaking epiphany of Full Spring! Not complaining though! It's time to get out and breathe the cool air and feel the warm sun on your face. Simply perfect!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Family Jewels

Photo by Hanna Davis

Azalea, Peonies, Hyacinth, Phlox, Grape Ivy

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm so 3008.....

Bride with Black Calla Lilies

Black Beauty Roses, Ranunculus, Cymbidiums, Lady Slippers, Scabbiossas and their Pods, Begonia Leaves, Majolica Spray Roses, and Lotus Pods

......I like that boom boom pow
Them chicks is jackin my style
They try to copy my swagger
I’m on that next shit now
Im so 3008
Your so 2000 and late
I got that boom boom boom
That future boom boom boom.....
......Fergie(Black-Eyed Peas)

This made me laugh when I came across these old pics in 2007 when calla lilies were all that every bride wanted in their bouquet and I thought about Black Eyed Peas song but of course remembered the self deprecating version of the lyrics in my head and not the real lyrics above. All I remembered was,
You're so 2008.... I'm so 2000 and late.

Actually I think the photos still hold up despite their age so maybe not so late after all :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Little Sneak Peak at Summer

Summer bouquet of wild garden roses picked from our own bushes, corn flowers, phlox and silver dollars.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Democratic Eyes of Fashion

Just came from watching the film "Bill Cunningham New York" a documentary by Richard Press about the legendary man on a bike that signals trends and fashion insights before the editors have had a chance to consider.

My personal rules on when to clap at the end of a film.
1. When the film makers or subjects are in the movie house
2. At a premier screening
3. When it's about a New York personality who could be discreetly sitting in the audience and either they or the film merit an applause

I have always admired the inspirational Bill Cunningham- the world's democratic eye for style and self expression. Seeing him race around town while I was a student at Parson's, or discreetly meandering through the crowds at fashion week or buzzing through the bluebloods at the galas for the past 25 years has always given me a thrill, like spotting an endangered species or a rare bird.
Once I had the great thrill and honor of speaking with him briefly when he was fact checking a photograph he had taken of a tabletop I designed for the NY Horticultural Society Gala. When I hung up I found myself skipping around cloud 9 for days!!!! Alas!!!! Something I made was shot and would be featured in a Bill Cunnigham spread!!!!!!. I'm not fashionable enough to make onto his film but my designs are! Yes!!!This particular smile lingered for a while!
A feeling many of his subjects have undoubtedly shared.
Enough about me and that little tiny thumbnail image that made it into his article, more about him and the film that reveals the darling human being that he is and the commitment he has for his "play"- not work as he says! I love you Bill!!!!! Marvelous Bill!!!!!

"I just try to play a straight game and in New York that's very.....almost impossible. To be an artist and straight in New york that's like Don Quixote fighting windmills. Shut up Cunningham! Lets get this thing on the road! Get up and work!"
...........Bill Cunningham


Flower School 06 Winter Aconite

The Winter Aconite Fairy published in London by Blackie,
1944 in Flower Fairies of the Garden

Lithograph Familiar Wild Flowers (circa 1890)
by Frederick Edward Hulme

Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis)

A tuberous perrenial and an early Spring bloomer who likes moist soil and will be amongst the first show of color( bright orange/yellow) at the break of winter- often seen bursting through mounds of snow. Great for bringing a bright spot to a mossy ground cover as it grows on short stems 2-3" with lovely buttercup shaped blossoms and bright green ruffled collars (bracts). Sweetly paired with other early bloomers like snowdrops and primrose. May easily be divided to form new colonies once the bloom has faded. Simply dig up the tuber, wash, divide and replant to settle into new parts of the garden. Not commonly used for cut flowers but if you want to introduce it into a bridal bouquet a longer stemmed variety(E. tubergenni) could facilitate this purpose better. The blossoms can be wired by applying a wet cotton swab to the stem's ends and sealing with floral tape- a tedious job but possible and rewarding for it's originality. It's lifespan will be limited so be sure to wire directly prior to delivery for this special occasion.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Your Individuality Makes You Beautiful

The Curious Case of the Four Legged Chick

Chick's head is a sunflower, calla lilly and button mum bouquet
featured in Town and Country Weddings this month.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Martin Johnson Heade

Tropical Landscape With Ten Hummingbirds 1870

letter to Sarita Brady

My photo-editing "exacto-blade" impulse is comletely thrown out the window with the works of Martin Johnson Heade! You can see his "complete" works. I say"complete" because his works are still found in the oddest places around America including rummage sales. Many accounts of people buying his works for a few dollars then reselling for hundreds of thousands keep occuring due to the fact that he often sold his paintings to the middle classes. If I found one of these gems I'd never part with it! But then again you can always order reproductions from China (make sure get the size right). His romanticism not only shows in his work but in his writings. Above is a letter from him to Sarita Brady. Why don't men like this exist today? And if they do, why aren't they straight! I guess it wouldn't matter, he'd charm me without the need of removing said pants.