Spring Flowers: A Season Of Color And Much More

What do you think of when someone mentions to you spring flowers –  particular types of flowers, colors or a certain look or smell? 

For me, the first thing that comes to mind is an image of forsythia – those beautiful bushes of feather-like yellow flowers that bloom in the early spring.  In fact, they are a sign that spring is around the corner in a part of the country where the coming of spring is very welcome.  I grew up in the northeast, and by the time we saw that forsythia bushes were starting to bloom, we were SO ready, after a long, cold winter!

spring flowers yellow

Now, I live in California, and those bushes don’t grow here.  But, I can get forsythia branches, and actually use them quite a bit in my larger arrangements.  They are very dramatic-looking, and so cheerful!

Next, one of the typical spring flowers I think of is tulips.  Now I bet you think that tulips are from Holland!  Certainly there are very beautiful tulip fields in Holland that attract the whole world to come and visit! And, tulips are sent to wholesalers all over the world for distribution to people like me and you. However, tulips are NOT originally from Holland.  The bulbs are actually from Persia, and cultivation of the tulip started in the Ottoman Empire (here is the link to read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip).

There are so many varieties and colors of tulips nowadays.  One of my favorite spring flower arrangements is a bouquet of all tulips.

spring flowers-tulips

This can be a real challenge for a floral designer, because there are over 100 different kinds of tulips!  Skillfully mixing these in an arrangement or bouquet can create a very unique and engaging look.

mixed spring flower tulips

Certainly daffodils, hyacinths, irises, and narcissus add to the list of spring flowers.  Mixed together with tulips, a really beautiful and colorful display of different shapes, textures and fragrance can be shown.  For a perfect spring wedding, these flowers play an essential role in reflecting that feeling of new beginnings and promise.  This mix of spring flowers is a floral designers’ dream!

 mixed spring flower bouquet

When I lived in the northeast, there were 5 lilac bushes in our garden.  In the spring, when the lilac blossoms emerged, the entire garden would have this delicious aroma.  This heavenly scent would last for at least a month, and permeate every corner of the garden.  I really miss them!  It is very difficult, as well as expensive, to get lilacs out here in California, and so, I don’t use them much in my floral creations.  But, if budget is not an issue, they are a wonderful addition to a bouquet or arrangement.

And, what about all of those beautiful flowering trees – cherry, apple, peach, dogwood, quince, etc.?  Those branches are such a terrific addition to such things as larger tall arrangements, trellises, chuppas, altars, entry ways and even centerpieces (for long tables, turned sideways, enhanced with other flowers).

Last year, I was back on the east coast in April.  I had forgotten how fabulous spring is there.  Everywhere there was just an explosion of color, fragrance and the feeling of renewal and rebirth.   As I mentioned earlier, after the long, cold winter months of shades of gray, brown and white, this blast of color and renewal of life was most welcome!

spring flowers roses

As an observer, I was in awe, but as a floral designer, I was inspired and motivated to use these marvelous creations of nature to reflect that magical look and feel of Spring…

So, as we celebrate the coming of Spring, let’s weave together these various spring flowers to form an unforgettable web of colors, textures, shapes and fragrances that creates a “snapshot” in our minds that will last for a long, long time.

colorful spring flowers

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Combining Budget and Beauty

 COMBINING BUDGET AND BEAUTY

 

Wedding flowers Cost

When I conduct my wedding consultations, the issue of budget almost always comes up right away.  If you are one of those lucky ones that does not need to worry about that so much, good for you (and for me too)!

However, these days, budgeting the costs for a wedding has become more of a concern for young couples. .  It used to be that young people got married much earlier, and wedding costs typically were covered by the parents of the bride. The reason for this pattern was because a young lady usually was making that change from her childhood home to a new home of marriage.

Now, it is different.  Young couples are mostly paying for the wedding themselves (with maybe some help from the parents).  They have been working and building their careers and/or developing their knowledge, skills and abilities, and are therefore much more independent.  They are getting married later – after they have done some traveling, working, and experiencing life.  That used to come after the kids have grown up, retirement, etc.

So, what are some of the things that you need to know to effectively budget your wedding, and still have the beautiful flowers and “look” that you dream about?

On You-Tube, I have an Instructional Video that gives you 5 strategies for accomplishing this goal of “combining your budget with beauty”.

I won’t be able to name them all here, but one of the most essential steps to take is to get familiar with the flowers themselves.  You can do this either by doing your own research, or you can consult with your floral designer on which flowers are more and less expensive.

You can have a beautiful bouquet either way!  Remember, knowledge is power, and so the more that you know about what flowers cost, the more that you are empowered to make a well-informed decision – not just for your bouquets, but for all of your wedding floral needs.

Labor is also a factor that needs to be considered.  When there are flowers that need to be “wired” (such as succulents and orchids), there is an additional cost to that bouquet or arrangement.  The same is true for corsages and boutonnieres – there is quite a bit of labor involved in putting those together.  Therefore, some of the prices that you are quoted may include that cost.

There are lots of great websites out there for prospective brides that have lovely photos of flower arrangements, bouquets, centerpieces, and all sorts of ideas for unique and different floral treatments.  Typically, they do not have any sort of pricing attached to them.  Many of the brides that I deal with send me these photos as an idea of what they would like, but they often have no idea how much that particular bouquet or arrangement costs.

If  budget is a big issue, I recommend that you spend more money on the personal flowers and save on the other floral creations, such as pedestal arrangements, centerpieces and aisle enhancements.  Your personal flowers, are after all, what will be showing in your wedding photos.  There are all kinds of examples of this in that YouTube video.  In it, I have posted a lot of photos, showing  different looks for different budgets.

Of course, it is necessary to be somewhat realistic about this as well.  If you can only spend a certain amount, and you have 10 bridesmaids and 250 attendees, you may have quite a challenge on your hands!  Your floral designer will serve as a guide to help you to price that out, and make decisions accordingly.

In the end, I want you to be happy with both – the beauty of your wedding flowers, and the match with your budget needs.   That is my goal..

Please check my pinterest page : http://pinterest.com/bloemenfd/

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WHITE FLOWERS

WHITE FLOWERS:  A SPECIAL MESSAGE

 

An arrangement or bouquet of all-white flowers reflects a feeling of quiet elegance, of subtle beauty and many varieties of meaning.  That being said, the overall significance of white flowers is that of conveying a message of purity, humility, spirituality and reverence. This meaning may vary in different cultures, but the common theme is that there is something very special and profound about a combination of white flowers.   It is indeed, one of my favorite types of floral creations.

There are so many types of white flowers that can be combined to communicate this profound feeling.  The ones that come to mind the most often for special occasions are flowers such as lilies – especially the Oriental Lily, such as the Casa Blanca variety, which is the one that is very fragrant, large and quite dramatic.  Although they are often used for funerals and Memorial Services, they also appear in many ceremonial arrangements, such as for weddings and special events.  Calla lilies are also often associated with reverence, sadness and spirituality, although they are used for wedding bouquets quite often.  I have created some of these for various weddings, and they are quite beautiful in their simplicity.

white flowers

Many bridal bouquets are made up largely of white flowers, often with white roses being the most prominent.  The most popular association with a bridal bouquet of white roses is that of young love; of promise, hope and openness, and of course, love (although red roses have taken over this role, especially on such special days as Valentine’s Day).  Even if the bouquet is not made up of all white roses, this overall meaning is reflected in that theme in the “whiteness” of it all.   Lilies-of-the-valley are really beautiful little gems of delicacy and beauty that represent sweetness and purity.

A mixed bouquet of white flowers can indeed be really beautiful, as seen in this accompanying photo.  Incorporating white roses into this assortment can add that symbolic feeling of love and purity while still offering some variety and interest to it.

When I am planning on putting together a “white arrangement”, I like to use as many different shapes and textures as possible.  For a taller arrangement, snapdragons and dephiniums can add that height, as can asiatic or oriental lilies and calla lilies.   Branches with white blossoms make quite a dramatic statement. Then for the main body of the arrangement, flowers such as roses, lisianthus, dahlias, daisies, crysanthemums, hydrangea, tulips and even stock (I say that because it is often considered a “cheap flower”) are just some of the white flowers that can be combined in such a way as to create a very elegant and classy look.  Each flower has its own meaning, but together they form a perfect union – and that’s the secret!

 

Centerpieces in all white flowers can also be very dramatic if combined with containers, linens and shapes that create a backdrop for them.   Particularly taller centerpieces where a draping look with orchids can be displayed is a wonderful way of conveying the meaning of beauty, elegance and love.

One of the books that I often use in my bridal consultations is the book “Flowers, Flowers” by Paula Pryke.  I like it so much because in addition to fabulous photos of her breathtaking arrangements, she has sections that show all the types of flowers that come in a certain color scheme.  So, of course, one of those sections features white flowers with photos and names, providing an invaluable resource for visualizing an all-white arrangement – a  message of Love & Elegance – who could ask for more?

  

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BOUQUETS- A MIXED BAG

BOUQUETS- A MIXED BAG

Bride Bouquet

What are some of the floral designs for bouquets that I really love?  There are so many, but I especially am drawn to putting together a bouquet of all kinds of flowers.  Roses are lovely, and many of the bouquets that I create for brides and bridesmaids are with roses only.  The color and size may vary, but the overall look is more rounded and traditional.

However, a mixed bouquet of flowers is so refreshing and vibrant.   My floral designs feature each flower as a separate and crucial part of the whole.  Whether I am using purple flowers, spring flowers or just a simple combination of field flowers, I am very conscious of the importance of each flower and the role it plays in creating something beautiful and remarkable.  Roses add richness and glamour to the bouquet, and can be combined with  other flowers to reflect a romantic theme.  Many of these bouquets have an uneven look, incorporating many different textures and shapes. The use of “greens” is also very important, and can add yet another dimension to the overall look and feel of the bouquet.  For instance, use of interesting vines, grasses and leaves bring a whole other dimension to the overall floral design of bouquets .

One of the weddings that I did recently involved putting together bouquets that were a combination of orchids and succulents.  The result was a really interesting look of varying colors, shapes, textures and sizes.   The other personal flowers – the boutonnieres and the corsages – were based on this concept, creating a unique theme. Click here to see the pictures

Bridal Bouquet

On Pinterest, you can find lots of pictures of floral designs for all of your wedding needs. This is a great way to start exploring the many different floral designs that are available to you.

Most of these bouquets have been done in a ‘stem wrap” style, where the flowers are in a more upward vertical position, with their stems wrapped in some kind of satin ribbon with different enhancements.

There is another interesting way to create bouquets, and that is with a “cascading look”, where the flowers are coming down from a cluster, towards a central point.  Most of these types of bouquets are created with a mixture of flowers and can be very dramatic.  I love this look too, especially because the use of exotic foliage and branches can be used so effectively.

Of course, all of the wedding bouquets that I create are done according to the wishes and vision of the brides for whom I create these floral designs.   The kinds of flowers, whether they are fall or spring, and the colors of the flowers are all determined by our collaborative ideas and efforts.  As a result, each bouquet is a work of art!

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