Friday, March 4, 2016

Bloom Battle: A Floral Design Competition for Budding Designers and Flower Enthusiasts


We're so excited to announce LoCoFlo's first ever Amateur Floral Design Competition! If you've ever taken a class at Local Color Flowers or you love dabbling in design at home, this is the perfect opportunity to show off your skills and creativity.

Here How it Works! 

Competition Dates: This is a two day extravaganza!

Friday night, April 1st - Our studio will be opened to competitors between the hours of 7PM and 9PM. During this time contestants will design their centerpieces. These centerpieces will be held in our cooler overnight and set out for display and judging the following morning.

Saturday morning, April 2nd - To coincide with the Waverly Farmers Market on Saturday morning, we will have our doors open to the public between 9AM and Noon. All arrangements will be out on display for the public and judges to vote on. Our celebrity judges will vote between 11AM and Noon. Winners will be announced at Noon!


How to enter

There is a $75 entry fee. Please sign up online through our website. There are only 15 spots available so don't delay!

Supplies and Vessels

All supplies (clippers/water) and flowers necessary to create a show stopping centerpiece will be provided by Local Color Flowers.




Local Color Flowers encourages contestants to bring their own vases. Contestants are also welcome to purchase a vase from Local Color Flowers on Friday, April 1st for $5.00. We'll have a big selection of shapes and sizes.

Size parameters: If you are bringing your own vase, it can be any height but should not have an opening larger than 5 inches wide. If you have questions or need examples, please email irene@locoflo.com with an image of the vase you intend to use along with it's dimensions.


What Can You WIN?


1st Place: $150 Gift Card for the Food Market in Hampden, a LoCoFlo tee shirt AND a free class at Local Color Flowers.

2nd Place: Locoflo $100 Gift Card to Waterfront Kitchen in Fells Point AND a LoCoFlo Wnter Beanie

3rd Place: A $75 LoCoFlo Gift card  AND a LoCoFlo Winter Beanie

Best Use of Color: LoCoFlo Hoodie AND a color wheel!

Peoples Choice: Clippers just like the Pro's use and one of our favorite floral design reads

Instagram Famous: $50 Gift Card to Local Color Flowers AND a LoCoFlo Winter Beanie

The Rules

* All centerpieces must be created at Local Color Flowers' Studio on Friday night, April 1st between the hours on 7PM and 9PM. - No exceptions.

* All centerpieces must be created using the flowers/foliage/branches provided by Local Color Flowers. The use of other flowers gathered from outside the studio whether forged or bought is not permitted.

The use of floral foam or Oasis is prohibited.

*Amateurs only please! If you do floral design as your job, this one isn't for you.

* Local Color Flowers encourages contestants to bring their own vases. Contestants are also welcome to purchase a vase from Local Color Flowers on Friday, April 1st for $5.00.If you have questions about your vessel, please email irene@locoflo.com with an image of the vase you intend to use along with it's dimensions. 

How To Win

Winner of our 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes along with our Best Use of Color Winner will be determined by our celebrity judges. (To be announced soon!)

The People's Choice Winner will be determined by Baltimoreans that stop by the shop Saturday morning between 9 and noon!

The Instagram Famous winner will be determined by how much love they get on IG! LoCoFlo will post it's top 3 favorite arrangements for online voting!

All winners will be announced Saturday, April 2 at noon!




Friday, February 19, 2016

Snapdragons: The Joy of Designing with Local Flowers

On Wednesday afternoon, I  drove out to Hendrick's to pick up flowers. Hendrick's is 87 miles from our studio in Pennsylvania. That might sound like a long way to drive to pick up flowers every week during the winter. It's not. Especially when you think that most flowers sold in the US travel thousands of miles to get to the end user. And truth be told, it's one of the best parts of my job to pull up to Hendrick's shop and see what Sue Ellen has waiting for us!



This week I ordered anemones, sweet william, heirloom carnations, daffodils, mums, freesia and snapdragons. Snaps are one of the few flowers we have almost every week of the year for design. Flowers by Bauers just north of us in Jarretsville, grows snaps, hydroponically, year round. In the dead of winter, when most of what we have is greens and branches, we can count of Matt, of Flowers by Bauers to hook us up with his candy colored blooms. 




This week, while we got some snaps from Matt, on Monday, his supply was low because of Valentine's Day, so I ordered a couple hundred stems from Hendricks too. Just seeing them bunched together, made me happy. As I was carrying them to the cooler back at the shop, I happened to smell them. I don't know what made me do it. I guess it's just our habit to smell any flowers if they are close to us, even if we know they don't have any fragrance. But wait...are snaps fragrant? I didn't think they were. But these ones I was holding smelled sweet. Like candy. I thought maybe the freesia scent had migrated to them temporarily since they were next to each other in the car. I smelled again. It certainly seemed like they were fragrant. I emailed Sue Ellen, the grower of the snaps, later that night, asking about the scent. Her reply "Yes, our snaps do smell.  They smell like grape bubble Yum". She also mentioned that the most fragrant ones are Maryland Lavender. The other fragrant ones are Plum blossom and Overture pink.




Wait what? I've been using snaps most weeks for the last 9 years and never experienced or never noticed them having a scent. I googled them and found a blog post that described them as have a "stuffing scent". A  sweet scent but not one given off spontaneously in the air. Which i think means you have to smell them...to smell them.

So, if snaps smell great and come in loads of great colors, why don't we see them in designs more? Where are the snapdragons on Instagram? Why aren't brides pinning pictures of snapdragons?

I think it's because when conventional designers choose flowers for their designs, flowers that are shipped in from all over the world, they choose flowers like peonies, garden roses, orchids, japanese ranunculus and other "popular" flowers regardless of their growing season. They don't HAVE to choose flowers like snaps. So, for the most part, they don't. Don't get me wrong, I like those flowers too (sort of). But sourcing locally, is different. It means we use what's available seasonably in our community. That means, that we use alot of snaps. And sure, sometimes they're too pointy or too flimsy or too tall...but mostly they are beautiful and underrated. And they were grown by people we know. And they tell the story of our region and the farmers that grow them. And they are grown with care. And...now...we know they smell like grape bubble yum.

A bride commented on one of our photos recently saying "i love snaps now because you included them in my wedding flowers". That's our goal right? To introduce people to local flowers that they may not have known before and help them to fall in love. What's better than that? 

Here are some of my favorite designs with locally grown snaps!




January Bouquets designed by local color flowers with locally grown succulents, magnolia leaves, snapdragons, narcissus, tulips, and eucalyptus. 1797508_10102339912219013_598578648_n | Flickr - Photo Sharing!:

Winter bouquet designed by Local Color Flowers filled with tulips, iris, snap dragons, boxwood, magnolia, curly willow and white forsythia. www.locoflo.com:

Single order:
Spring bouquet filled with locally grown cut flowers and foliage. Designed by Local Color Flowers. www.locoflo.com:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Celebrating Love this Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is on it's way! Since love is too big to celebrate on just one day, we've got whole week of events planned.

Start off your celebration with Valentine's Day Paper Cutting Class with our friend Annie Howe! Make the perfect Valentine for your special someone using the easy paper cutting techniques Annie shares in class. Class is Thursday, February 4th from 7-9pm at Local Color Flowers.

Locally grown flowers are the perfect gift for Valentine's Day. Forget shipped in roses from the west coast or South America. Choose a uniquely beautiful, locally grown and designed arrangement from Local Color Flowers. We have lots of options for all of your V-Day needs. Order early and often! 

If you want to try your hand at making your own holiday arrangement, we've got just the thing for you... Valentine's Day Open Studio! This is not a formal design class. Rather, our V-Day Open Studio Session is an opportunity for self directed design...with a little help from our designers. (Adults only please). We'll provide everything you need to make a beautiful arrangement. Bring your friends, a bottle of wine and your creativity! Open Studio takes place Friday, February 12 from 6:30-8:30. 




Finally, is our Valentine's Day Pop-Up Market! You definitely want to be here for this! Order your V-day flowers in advance and pick them up at our Studio on Saturday, February 13th from 9am-noon. While you're there, pick up some amazing local gifts! Organic chocolates from our friends at Pure Chocolates by Jinji, organic beauty and skin products from Priya Means Love, amazingly delish snacks from Kinderhook Snacks and more! Be sure to come by!

Special thanks to Drift Lab for the beautiful dyed fabric in our V-day photos! Thanks to Stacy Bauer Photography for taking our V-Day photos! 




Monday, December 14, 2015

2016 Book Club List!

Our 2016 Book Club list is finally out!
  • Monday February 15, 2016 State of Wonder by Ann Patchet
  • Monday April 18, 2016 American Primitive by Mary Oliver
  • Monday, June 20, 2016 Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
  • Monday August 22, 2016 Lab Girl Hope Jahren
  • Monday November 14, 2016 Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
The LoCoFlo Bookclub is a drop in club that all are welcome to attend (adults only please). It's held at our studio and always begins at 7pm. Attendees are encouraged to bring a snack or drink to share. Help us spread the word to flower and reading enthusiasts!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer Bouquets and Lavender Shortbread: Week 3 of LoCoFlo’s Flower CSA

July is here! We are in the thick of summer and the flowers are loving the heat!

 IMG_9019

This week’s bouquet is filled with:

Since this is our first week of the season for Monarda- we thought we’d tell you a little of what we learned about it.

IMG_9018

Mondarda is also referred to as bee balm, horsemint, oswego tea, and bergamot. You can make it into a tea (it has a mildly citrus taste) as well as dry it and use it for potpourri.  Be sure to pull a stem out of your arrangement to check out the square stems!

IMG_9015Our friends at Butterbee Farm grew A LOT of  lavender this year so we picked some out at the farm last week and used it for some sweet tasting lavender shortbread cookies. We thought we’d share the recipe with you since they were so good!

Happy July!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh (local)
  • lavender
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh (local) mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the lavender, mint and lemon zest. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt; mix into the batter until well blended. Divide dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten to about 1inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 1hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Cookie stamps will work well on these too. Place on cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, just until cookies begin to brown at the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Spikey, Sticky, Sweet and Hot: LoCoFlo CSA Week 2!

It’s June 24th and it’s our 2nd CSA pick up day! While it has cooled off slightly (it’s only going to be 84 degrees today) it has been in the high 90’s for the last few days. With the heat, comes summer flowers. We’re past the transition flowers from our last pick-up like larkspur and bupluerum and we’re on to a new variety of flowers, fruit and foliage.

Today, our bunches are filled with:

Since this is the first year we’re using Borage, we thought we’d tell you a little about it. If you’re looking for it in your bouquet, it looks like this!

borage

Butterbee Farm loaded us up with a couple hundred stems in the last few weeks. Borage is also called Starflower and is actually an herb. The leaves are edible and Laura Beth from Butterbee Farm said it tastes like cucumber but Irene and I tasted it today and…it was a little gross to eat. Try it for yourself and see.

We also added thistle to our bouquets this week. We love the color but not the spikes!

thistle

Back by popular demand this week is another cold drink concocted by Eric to keep our CSA members refreshed while they pick up their flowers. This week Lemon Basil-ade! Hillen Homestead provided us with Lemon Basil this week that Eric turned into a simple syrup. He added it to lemon and water…and voilĂ !

lemon basil ade

In each of our blog posts on the CSA, we’ll share some things we heard people say while they were visiting. Today our best quote came from Andy: “The flowers last week were beautiful. My girlfriend just hugged the bouquet when I brought it home.

Thanks to all our CSA members, thanks to our growers and thanks to Irene for putting our bouquets together today!

Be sure to check the hashtag #locoflocsa on twitter, instagram and facebook to see more photos from the CSA. There is still time to join if you’re interested. Check out the sign-up form on our website.

Our next pick up date is Wednesday, July 8 from 4:30-7pm. See you then!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Flower Farming in Baltimore City with Hillen Homestead

A few Sundays ago, when we had no weddings on the schedule, Eric and I spent some time over at Hillen Homestead helping our friend Maya do some planting. The phrase “many hands make light work” was so true on this beautiful afternoon in Baltimore.

Here's Eric planting dusty miller! 


New friends and neighbors came out to lend a hand! 


Gardener and past LoCoFlo bride Jen came to plant and water the new perennials.


It was great to chat about all the new offerings Hillen Homestead is going to have this year! 


We're so lucky to be able to work with Maya and Max and their little ones. Since the farm is just 1 mile from our studio, we get to see them often. We're grateful for their hard work, dedication to Baltimore, beautiful flowers and friends.