Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Real Weddings: Mike and Kate

Kate and Mike’s September wedding at Howard County Conservancy was one of my favorites this year!  When I met Kate last December, she mentioned to me that she had a blog –mostly about wedding ideas, styles etc. I followed Kate’s blog all year long-getting excited right along with her. I loved reading about all of the details and decisions she was making. It also helped me create bouquets and centerpieces that fit perfectly with her style and decor. (so brides, if you have wedding blogs…send me a link!)

Kate looked absolutely beautiful on her wedding day! She carried a brightly colored bouquet filled with dahlias, sunflowers, lisianthus, plume celosia and asclepias.

The centerpieces were made up of a collection of mason jars and Patron bottles. The Patron bottles looked awesome! They have a great, unique shape. The glass if beautiful…and the are indestructible!

I also loved this wedding because my oldest and dearest friend was visiting and helped me deliver and set up!  Thanks Kell!

Thanks to our growers for these beautiful flowers-especially Locust Point Flowers and Belvedere Farm! Thanks to Procopio Photography for these absolutely gorgeous photos! To see more photos from Kate and Mike’s wedding, you can check our Procopio’s blog, Kate’s blog, or our flickr site!

Thanks to Kate and Mike for choosing Local Color flowers! Wishing you loads of happiness in the years to come!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Real Weddings: Mike and Morgan

On this snowy winter night, I thought it would be fun to share this beautiful summer wedding with you! Mike and Morgan’s late August wedding at The Cloisters was natural, romantic and beautiful.

Morgan carried a bouquet full of white dahlias, lisianthus and snapdragons. We include a few pink snapdragons for a splash of color. The sedum and hydrangea were perfect because they both had green, pink and white hues. The little dark brown millet peeking out complimented the chocolate brown ribbon.


The bridesmaids bouquets were filled with lisianthus, sedum and snapdragons.

One of my favorite parts of Mike and Morgan’s wedding was the Chuppah that was lovingly made by the groom’s mom. We decorated the poles of the Chuppah with potted petunia and grasses. We also made some kissing balls to decorate the front corners of the chuppah.

Thanks to Mason Summers Photography for the beautiful photos of the bouquet, bride and groom and wedding party. To see more pictures from Mike and Morgan’s wedding, check out Local Color Flowers Flickr site. Thanks to our great growers at  Belvedere Farm and Locust Point Flowers!

Congratulations to Mike and Morgan! Wishing them much happiness in the years to come!

And don’t forget…winter doesn’t last forever!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Real Weddings: Megan and Lee

What better way to brighten up this dreary (almost) winter day then to share Megan and Lee’s beautiful wedding with you!

Megan was a  glowing  bride on her wedding day. She carried a bouquet of blue hydrangeas, green and yellow zinnias and scented geranium. Her bouquet and the girls bouquets were wrapped in her family’s plaid ribbon brought all the way from from Scotland for the wedding.


We also added a charm and family pin to the wrap that were important to Megan.



The wedding ceremony took place out on the pier at Brown’s Wharf in Fells Point.


The reception took place on the top floor of the historic Admiral Fell in in Fells Point. Each table was named after a different Baltimore neighborhood.


Besides loving each other, Megan and Lee love Baltimore! They wanted to incorporate local flowers-especially Maryland’s state flower, the Black Eyed Susan, into their wedding.



We decorated the cake with Black Eyed Susan’s in all shapes and sizes.  They looked great-especially with the blue crab cake topper! (love that the bride is carrying Black Eyed Susan’s and the groom is wearing an O’s hat!)

IMG_1289 Thanks to our growers-especially Belvedere Farm who provided the Black Eyed Susans.

Special thanks to photographer Jay Moore of Jay Moore Photography for the beautiful photos. ( the crab photo is mine!)

Congratulations to Megan and Lee! You guys are an amazing couple who deserve all the happiness in the world! Thanks for letting Local Color Flowers be a part of your special day!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Book Review: The Brother Gardeners

While on vacation this past week, I read The Brother Gardeners by Andrea Wulf. Flower lovers, garden enthusiasts and growers of all sorts will enjoy this book. Wulf tells the story of a small group of botanists, flower hunters and  gardeners, known as the Brother Gardeners, that were responsible for creating the gardening craze in England in the 1700’s.

The book begins with American John Bartram. Bartram was a Pennsylvania farmer who sent plants, seeds, trees,  and more to his “pen pal” Peter Collinsworth in London. American classics such as kalmia, Echinacea, monarda, lady’s slipper and many more could now be seen throughout English gardens. This introduction of American plants changed the English garden landscape forever. The friendship between Bartram and Collinsworth lasted for over 40 years-even though they never met face to face.

While loads of new flowers and plants were being discovered, the botanical world  was having heated debates about how to identify and categorize the new varieties. While Swedish Botanist Carl Linneaus seemed like a pompous ass that everyone hated, his system for standardizing the naming of plants was the easiest to use and the most widely used. While his protégé ditched him and moved to London, while the community of European gardeners cursed him every chance they got, Linneaus is the one whose name will be remembered in history.

The last third of the books tells the adventurous tales of the team of Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander-botanists and plant hunters from England who traveled the world bringing exotic flowers and plants to England for the first time. Flowers that seem common to us today like birds of paradise or the bread fruit tree were coveted as the most unique plants ever seen.

The Brother Gardeners was captivating, interesting and even laugh out loud funny in parts. This is a great read for anyone interested in flowers and gardening.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Winter Plan and Extended Services

“What do you do in the winter?”  I get asked this question ALL the time!   It’s a good question-since Maryland usually gets a hard frost in  late October, killing most field flowers. So while it’s still a work in progress, here is the beginning of my winter plan.

First, for us, winter really means the off season. The off-season is technically November-March. We do book weddings and special events in the winter. In order to be true to our mission while also being a sustainable, viable business, we’ll do the following from November to March:

  • Use locally grown flowers from within 100 miles of Baltimore. This is the same as we do from April-October. We have a few growers that grow cut flowers in heated greenhouses. Some of our growers use unheated hoop houses to extend the growing season. Some flowers like it cooler and are available later in the season. We’ll use any and all cut flowers that are available to us locally.


  • Use local non-flower elements. In the winter, there are a plethora of branches, berries, succulents and greens available locally. Additionally, we have loads of creative ways to use fruit and veggies for centerpieces. LoCoFlo will use all of these natural elements to make beautiful, seasonal bouquets and arrangements.

  • Use potted flowers, plants, greens, succulents and herbs. We love using potted “stuff” especially in the winter including mums, amaryllis, poinsettias, paper whites, Christmas cactus and more!  We’ll also used dried flowers and branches that we’ve picked in the warm weather and dried for the cold season.

  • Use flowers shipped from ASCFG Growers outside of our 100 mile radius. The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers is a national association of flower growers that includes growers from all over the country. Local Color Flowers is creating great partnerships with growers in the association that will ship flowers directly to us in the winter. Our goal will be to get flowers from as close to Baltimore as possible from ASCFG growers that we know and trust.

So, if you are having a winter wedding or event and you want to use locally sourced flowers and natural elements, contact us today! We’ll keep you posted on our other winter plans soon!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Going Green and Local On Black Friday

I know that people go crazy about Black Friday. This year rather than head out to Target or Old Navy at 3am, though, I thought I would give you some ideas on how to Buy Local and Green on Black Friday (and throughout the Holiday Season)

Baltimore neighborhoods are filled with amazing local shops selling everything you need for the holidays. Spend and afternoon or evening with friends strolling the streets of Federal Hill, Fells Point, Canton, Mount Vernon, Hampden, Lauraville/Hamilton, Mt Washington and more. Take in the decorations, stop for a snack at a local cafe or restaurant and just enjoy the diversity of shopping options that Baltimore’s neighborhoods provides.


sunday market Farmer’s Market Gifts: One of my favorite holiday gifts –especially for friends and family out of town-are gift baskets that I make from all of the amazing things you can find at Saturday’s 32rd Street Market or the Sunday Market under the JFX. Baskets and bags filled with Zeke’s coffee, Nick’s Back Fire spices, honey and syrup and jewelry and hand knit hats and gloves and more!  A great way to finish off any of these Baltimore gift bags is with a bottle of Black Ankle Wine. Shop early-because last year they sold out! Another great way to use the market for your holiday shopping is to buy fresh veggies, milk, herbs and more and make your local friends and family a special homemade meal or dessert that they can enjoy at home!

BAZAART: Check out the the American Visionary Art Museum’s BAZAART this Saturday November 27th from 10am-5pm. This holiday marketplace of local artists and craftspeople will NOT disappoint. Entry in free on Saturday. You can also check out the early bird preview tonight for $20. 

Holiday Heap: On Saturday, December 4th from 10am-5pm head over to 2640 St Paul Street for Charm City Craft Mafia’s Holiday Heap. Local Crafters will be on hand selling their cool, quirky wares. This is a great spot for holiday shopping, coffee drinking and chit chatting with friends.

Women’s Industrial Exchange: Since 1880 (yes…1880) the sockmonkeyWomen’s Industrial Exchange located at 333 North Charles Street has been a haven for local craft artists, many who are women, to consign their crafts and handmade goods. Filled with amazing treats, my favorite are the sock monkeys! I know a little one year old that will be getting one this year! 

Baltimore’s Buy Local Directory: Need a set of wine glasses, or a pair of handmade earrings or Baltimore made holiday cards-check out the Buy Local Directory to find businesses that will have what you need!

There are loads and loads of other ways to shop local and green this year. Leave a comment to help our reader find the best local, green deals! Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Real Weddings: Rebecca and George


As Fall is coming to an end, and Winter is on it’s way, I thought it might be fun to check out this beautiful Spring wedding we did back in March.

Rebecca and George were married at the Peabody Library in Mount Vernon on March 27, 2010. Everything about that day seemed sunnier, warmer and more spring-like after the crazy, snowy winter we had in Baltimore.

The bride’s bouquet was a celebration of early spring. It was full of tulips, anemones, snapdragons, curly willow, iris’ and freesia.


The teal wrap on the bouquet matched the brides sweater perfectly.

r68 The Peabody Library is truly a spectacular place to be married. It almost doesn’t look real! The bride chose beautiful, eclectic milk glass vases for the centerpieces. Each one was bursting with flowers and curly willow.



d26 And the cake!  We added a little touch of spring to the top of this decadent delight.



Thanks to Farmhouse Flowers and Van Dyk Brother Farms for these beautiful flowers.  Special thanks to Maggie Mudd Photography for these gorgeous photos.  To see more photos from Rebecca and George’s wedding, you can check out Maggie Mudd’s blog or Local Color Flower’s Flickr site.

Congratulations to Rebecca and George! Thanks so much for choosing Local Color Flowers!


Friday, November 19, 2010

New Growers for LoCoFlo

IMG_1643 This has been a great week for LoCoFlo! On Wednesday, I went  to Annapolis to the Mid Atlantic Growers meeting. This group of growers meets in the winter (November, January and February) to discuss best practices, share upcoming flower orders, listen to speakers, get trained on new techniques-and mostly just TALK about growing flowers.

Somehow…I get to go to these meetings even though I’m not a grower…which is AWESOME!  I learn so much in these meetings about new flower varieties, new design techniques and more. I also get to meet new growers that are close enough to Baltimore to sell to LoCoFlo.

This month, I especially enjoyed meeting and talking with  Madgie from M and M Plants in Montgomery County and Suzanne Montie from Red Chimney Flower Farm in Bowie.  I’m excited to have set up a phone meeting for next week with Wenfei Uva of Seaberry Farm.  I was also encouraged to hear about some young growers buying land and trying to make the transition from regular job to flower grower. The more people growing flowers locally the more options we have for our clients. So keep growing! Finally, through the magic of Facebook, I got connected to Plant Masters in Montgomery County. Check out their Facebook page to see beautiful photos of their locally grown flowers.

I’m so excited for 2011-to visit new farms and buy from new growers!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Real Weddings: Anna and Matt

Anna and Matt were married at the American Visionary Arts Museum on a perfect August evening. When Anna and Matt and I met back in the winter, Anna let me know that her colors were going to be dark purple, orange and chartreuse green. She wanted a modern, edgy, unique look that complimented the personal style and the great venue.


Anna’s bouquet was made up of dark purple buddleia and asters, green zinnias, orange asclepias and beautiful Solomon's seal.


The girls bouquets were filed with green and orange zinnias, or coxcomb, purple buddleia and Solomon's seal.


The boutonnieres were made with purple statice, orange asclepias and a fragrant sprig of rosemary.


I was especially excited about the centerpieces for Anna and Matt’s wedding. We did two different table arrangements. The first one was a cube full of green hydrangeas, green zinnias and mountain mint, orange zinnias, coxcomb and asclepias and  purple buddleia and gomphrena.


The 2nd centerpiece was a collection of three vases. The first had a submerged gladiola, the second had a single orange zinnia and the third was a mini version of the cube above. They were so colorful-I just loved them!


All of the details of this beautiful wedding went off without a hitch because of the fabulous wedding planner Beth Bailey!

Thanks so much to our wonderful growers-who I STALKED about dark purple flowers for this wedding! Everything turned out so beautifully. Special thanks to Frank Hamilton for the beautiful photos and for being a great champion for Local Color Flowers. To see more photos from Anna and Matt’s wedding, check out our Flickr site.

And most of all…congratulations to Anna and Matt! I’m so glad you chose Local Color Flowers! We loved working with you!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Buying Local At Black Ankle Vineyard

I was invited to come out to Black Ankle Vineyard today to sell flowers at the Carroll and Frederick County Wine Tour. Seeing as it’s almost the middle of November, I was unsure about what would be available. Luckily we had a great mix of locally grown flowers, herbs, greens and berries to choose from including lisianthus, salvia, eucalyptus, millet, broom corn, statice, rosemary and beautiful bitter sweet from Pahl’s (my new favorite fall branch/berry)

IMG_1735 Check out the dahlias, salvia, mille and lisianthus from Belvedere Farm.

We did a variety of arrangements including a couple fall baskets which would be perfect for Thanksgiving centerpieces.  IMG_1748

IMG_1751 IMG_1752

We also did a great pumpkin arrangement.


Trail Garden Baked Goods was also there. They had some TO DIE FOR apple cinnamon muffins.  Located in Frederick, Trail Garden uses local, seasonal ingredients and specializes in Swedish and Scandinavian baked treats. You can check them out at the Saturday Market in Rockville.

I always enjoy my time at Black Ankle. The scenery is spectacular-no matter what season you visit. Melissa and the rest of the staff at the tasting room are so NICE! And the wine…if you haven’t had it-try it now!  For the 2nd year in a row, I’m pretty sure I know what I’ll be getting friends and family for holiday gifts!

It was a great Fall Sunday celebrating Maryland’s growers and artisans. I’m glad LoCoFlo got to be a part of it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Book Review: The Dirty Life, On Farming, Food and Love

In The Dirty Life, Kristin Kimball tells the story of her transition from single Manhattanite to married rural farmer. The story starts with Kimball visiting an organic farm in Pennsylvania for a story she is writing. She shows up in designer jeans and high heels and is immediately put to work by her future husband. The work seems impossibly hard (especially in that get up) but after a few days, Kimball start to feel the pull. She likes the how her body starts to feel as a result of manual labor, she's amazed at the produce the farm produces, she is calmed by the purposeful "chores"...and she finds she's got a crush on the farmer.

Within a few months, Kimball and the farmer (Mark) get engaged and decide to start a farm. The plan is that they will start a CSA that will be a "full diet" CSA. As you probably know, most CSA's have a vegetables, fruit and maybe some odds and ends (honey, flowers). This CSA would be different. It would be created to provide everything the share holder would need for their year round food needs. Meat, dairy, sweetener (maple syrup), vegetables, fruits, beans, grains and FLOWERS!

As I was reading I was thinking-these people are crazy! The story describes their first year on the farm in great detail. Working 18 hours a day, everyday...broke, exhausted, snippy...it doesn't sound...idyllic.

But then, like in most "back to the land" books I've read recently, they say it's worth it. The amazing food, the camaraderie, the connection to the land, the strong community, the sense of purpose. They say they couldn't imagine living any other way. And then I start to think-maybe it's the rest of us who are crazy.

Definitely worth a read-especially if you have ever dreamed of farm life as an option!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Real Weddings: Kim and Eoghan

greene0561 I met Kim and Eoghan on a cold day back in February. It was a few days after the blizzard and there was so much snow I had to walk and meet them at a cafe near my house because I couldn’t get the car out. They had come from Toronto, one of my favorite childhood cities. We talked about the winter Olympics and wedding flowers. It was a great tonic for that winter weather to talk about an August wedding with lush bouquets made of flowers in summer white and bright vibrant greens. Eoghan is from Ireland so they wanted to incorporate lots of green-including potted Irish moss!

Kim’s wedding bouquet was simple, elegant and just beautiful! It was made with white lisianthus and scented geranium.

greene0142 The girl’s bouquets were made of white lisianthus, zinnias, and snapdragons along with scented geranium, mountain mint and green zinnias. They looked great against their green dresses.




Kim and Eoghan, like many of our couples, wanted to do more than just buy flowers that would be used for one night and thrown away. They decided that they would donate the flowers to cancer patients at the University of Maryland hospital. It was a great option that went off without a hitch. I picked up the flowers at the end of the night, (bouquets and centerpieces) and took them around the corner to the hospital. The Director of Hospitality Services was there to meet me-and she distributed the flowers and potted plants to the patients. It was such a generous, loving gift to share the joy and beauty of their day with folks that are sick and suffering. It’s hard not to be inspired when working with such great couples.

Congratulations to Kim and Eoghan! Thank you so much for letting Local Color Flowers be a small part of your special day. I’m certain that your love for each other and generosity towards others will inspire LoCoFlo couples for years to come!