Sunday, October 31, 2010

LoCoFlo Visits Epiphany’s “Petal Pushers”

Yesterday, I spent a lovely afternoon with the “Petal Pushers” from Epiphany Episcopal Church. This talented group of flower arrangers volunteer each week to buy the flowers for-and create-beautiful arrangements for the alter and the sanctuary. Many of them were trained at that National Cathedral in DC. They have a classic yet natural style which fits in great with the setting.


My great friend and grower Kathy York from Scarborough Farm was greatly missed-but I loved visiting with her Aunt Sue-the ring leader of the Petal Pushers!


This Saturday, the Petal Pusher invited some “newbies” from St James in Parkton to learn some of their techniques. The ladies practiced making small alter arrangements.


After lunch, the ladies got their seasonal creative juices flowing by making “pumpkin sandwiches”. I was happy to bring a variety of locally grown, seasonal flowers for them to use including dahlias, millet, snapdragons, zinnias, plume celosia and mexican sage. Thanks to Locust Point Flowers, Bridge Farm Nursery, Wollam Gardens and Pahl’s Farm for the flowers!

IMG_1683 The pumpkin sandwich is created by cutting a pumpkin in half, placing a piece of wet floral foam between the two halves (like a burger between two buns) and then filling the middle with flowers.

They turned out awesome!



Thanks to the Petal Pushers for inviting me to share in a fun afternoon of flower arranging!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fruity Options for Wedding Centerpieces

LoCoFlo loves using the best locally grown, seasonal flowers for our clients special events. But flowers aren’t the only thing that go into these creations. We often use berries, foliage, fruits, veggies and more to add color and texture to our designs.

This year, we had several opportunities to use fruit from Reid’s Orchard in Pennsylvania. Mr. Reid has the most amazing fruits and vegetables (for both eating and designing). I especially love shopping at his stand because I get to visit with two of my favorite farmers-Katie and Anna Maunz!

In August, we created centerpieces for a wedding in Virginia with over 100 pounds of produce from Reid’s. These centerpieces were definitely a conversation starter-both amongst the multicultural staff at the hotel and the guests! 





For the couple’s sweetheart table!


All of the produce from this wedding was donated to the DC Food Bank at the end of the night!

Just a few weeks ago, we used some great green apples in these lush fall centerpieces for a wedding at the cloisters. (These apples made their way back to me  this week as a gift of spiced apples from the couple!)

IMG_1626 What would a Fall wedding season be without a seasonally inspired centerpiece of gourds, pumpkins, apples and pears.


Besides using herbs for boutonnieres and bouquets, we often add sprigs of herbs to the place settings to add a little color and fragrance to the table.



Fruits and veggies also made their way to favor tables as well. Here are two examples of LoCoFLo brides that had us set up a Locally Grown Farm Stand full of local produce and reusable grocery bags for their guests could  take home with them.


For sure, LoCoFlo gets to work on some of the coolest, most progressive, creative, socially conscious, beautiful weddings around!

Thanks to Reid’s Orchard, Breidenbaugh Farms, Martin’s Farm and Pahl’s farm for the beautiful produce and herbs!

October 23: A Sneak Peak at the Flowers

Here in Maryland, the first frost of the season means the end of the year for many cut flowers in our area.  As of today however, October 29th, lots of growers are still saying NO FROST!

The great weather week meant a plethora of beautiful flowers for the 4 weddings we did this past weekend.

The first wedding was a DIY wedding for a great couple who lives up nears Kingsville, Maryland. Jay and Kellie picked up locally grown, cut flowers, in buckets of water, that they and their friends would arrange themselves. Using LoCoFlo as a source for their flowers, meant that they could pick their colors (dark red, oranges, greens, browns) and style (branches, berries, peppers, cut flowers and foliage) and let us go to the growers and pick out the best, prettiest things for them. I can't wait to see what they created!

Our second wedding of the weekend was a small wedding for a lovely bride and groom.Vangie's bouquets were full of dahlias, amaranthus, mint and eucalyptus. They smelled awesome!


Renee and Steve's wedding started out as a DIY wedding. The plan was that we would bring the flowers to the bride and her friends and they would make all of the arrangements. We would stay on to "consult" while they were working. While I love this option and think it's tons of fun, the bride ultimately wanted a little less on her plate the day before her wedding. The bouquets were full of...guess what...dahlias! Deep purple, orange, white and green. Perfect for a sunny fall day.


Katie and Tom's wedding took place at the Elkridge Furnace Inn. The girls bouquets and centerpieces were extra special because they included fresh magnolia leaves and dried crepe myrtle from the bride's mom's garden all the way from Georgia!


IMG_1668IMG_1673   We did some other great pieces for friends this weekend too!


As a fitting end to our busy season, Jen, Marina and I all got to work together for the day. We had a great time, cracking up laughing, make bright, beautiful arrangements and planning for the year ahead.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Real Weddings: Callan and Jerry

LINDSAYMACDONALD-0417Callan and Jerry were married on a gorgeous Sunday morning in September in historic Mt Vernon Park. I can't lie, since it was in the park, Eric and I dropped off the flowers, went and had breakfast and then watched the ceremony from a nearby sidewalk. Everything was just beautiful! A perfect Baltimore wedding!

When I first met with Callan and Jerry back in the winter, Callan told me she wanted to incorporate daisies in all shapes and sizes in the wedding. She also told me that the " theme" of the wedding was "a Bicycle Built for Two". Who couldn't love that! I told Callan that daisies were probably not in season in early September-but not to worry. We would pull together lots of "daisy looking" flowers to fit in with her theme.


Callan's bouquet was filled with white and yellow gerber daisies, zinnias, dahlias daisy mums and asters. We also added a few splashes of mountain mint.


The girls bouquets were similar and looked great against their dresses.

The reception took place right across the street from the park at the Peabody Court Hotel. The centerpieces were made up of eclectic pieces that Callan had collected including antique books, loose tea tins, tea pots, tea cups, colorful glass goblets, salt and pepper shakers and more. While each table was unique, they all looked perfect together!



As if all of these creative touches weren't enough, Callan and Jerry also had me decorate their "bicycle built for two" With cut flowers and tulle bows-what better way to ride off into the sunset!


Thanks to all of the growers who provided such beautiful flowers for this wedding including Belvedere Farm, Farmhouse Flowers, Locust Point Flowers and Talmar.

Special thanks to Lindsay MacDonald for the beautiful photos. To see more photos of Callan and Jerry, check out Lindsay’s blog or check out LoCoFlo’s flickr site!

Congratulations to Callan and Jerry-an adorable, creative, loving couple! Thanks for letting LoCoFlo share in your special day!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Real Weddings: Trish and Nick

LoCoFlo brides are not your average brides. They are creative. They think outside of the box. They love nature. They love to personalize their weddings. No generic, run of the mill weddings here.

When I met Trish, I knew I was going to enjoy working with her. She let me know that her and her fiancĂ© Nick were going to get married at ThorpeWood in the Catoctin Mountains (about 75 minutes from Baltimore).  This was a perfect setting for this nature loving, animal loving, bike riding couple.

At our first meeting, Trish told me that she and Nick wanted to incorporate bike cogs into her bouquet and his boutonniere. She also told me that the centerpieces would be made out of large bike cogs-all of which Nick would send me from the bike shop where he worked. Now, I can’t say I knew what a bike cog was at first. Trish showed me some pictures and I assured her we could make it happen.

We used shot glasses for the “vase” in the center of this bike cog centerpiece and filled them with all kinds of herbs (basil and rosemary here).


The boutonnieres turned out great too! I was a little worried about how heavy they would be, how I would get them to stay on-but they turned out better than I could have imagined.


0057 And then, there was the bouquet. Jen and I agreed, this bouquet was one of the most fun, most beautiful bouquets we ever made!

It was full of eucalyptus, dahlias, snap dragons, herbs, millet, statice and curly willow.


Can you see one of the cogs sticking out under one of the dried lotus pods?


We also attached one to the handle of the bouquet!


Thanks to our growers who provided these beautiful flowers and herbs including Belvedere Farm, Pahl’s Farm, Locust Point Flowers and Talmar. Special thanks to Brian Slanger for these beautiful photos!

Special thanks and congratulations to Trish and Nick! Thank you for letting LoCoFlo be a part of your special day! We loved it!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spreading the “Buy Local” Love to Halten Garden Club in Ruxton

Today, Marina and I spent a lovely morning talking to the women of the Halten Garden Club. Halten Garden Club is part of the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland. We were invited to Halten, after our Spring talk at the District 3 Regional meeting.

Today’s talk focused on why buying local is a great idea, where you can buy locally grown flowers and how to design with locally grown Fall flowers.

Marina made some gorgeous arrangements including the ones below.

This little cube was full of burning bush, pee gee hydrangea and crocosmia pods which were supplied by the members combined with dahlias from Belvedere Farm and Wollam Gardens.


This beautiful arrangement was made in a ReCreations recycled fiber pot and was full of beautiful dahlias, snap dragons and lisianthus. We were trying to show off some “green” vessels including this compostable pot.


I think the pumpkin arrangement was my favorite. We just carved out a pumpkin, stuck a vase inside of it and marina designed a beautiful, seasonal centerpiece full of hydrangeas, nandina dahlias, lisianthus and zinnias.


All of the arrangement and extra flowers were raffled off to club members at the end of the talk.

Marina and I both agreed how much fun it is to talk to gardeners about our work. They appreciate the challenges in growing flowers. They are super creative when the go out to the garden and pick a little of everything to design with (alot like we do! ). And they were so excited to talk about flowers!

We stayed and had a lovely lunch and talked more about opportunities that they saw for LoCoFlo to grow. How fun, to have an impromptu brainstorming session with such wonderful, knowledgeable women!

This was also the first time Marina and I have gotten to work together since she moved. We had a great time together-laughing, working, catching up. It was a truly wonderful day!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Remembering Baltimore Master Gardener Paulette Kirkpatrick

On Tuesday night, Baltimore Master Gardeners joined friends and family of Paulette and Bob Kirkpatrick to remember this wonderful couple who was tragically killed in a car accident in February 2009.

Paulette was the President of the Baltimore Master Gardeners when I started my Master Gardening training in 2004. She was passionate about gardening and excited to get people involved in the Master Gardening program.  She was also fun loving and full of life. She had an infectious laugh that I’ll always remember.

I got to know Paulette more when we started the Master Gardening bookclub. Every month for several years, we would get together monthly and eat, drink wine and discuss some of the best gardening/nature/environmental books I’ve ever read.

MG Bookclub 1 Bookclub! Paulette is on the left with a red sweater wrapped around her.

Having bookclub at Paulette’s was always a treat! I used to love walking around Paulette’s amazing garden hearing about the plethora of flowers, woodies, herbs and more. She would always have, beautiful, natural arrangements inside with clippings from her yard. It was here that I first saw hosta leaves used in a cut flower arrangement. It was so simple and beautiful.

Going to Paulette’s also meant a delish dinner cooked by Bob (Paulette always said that when she retired-she also retired from cooking!) and delish baked treats that Paulette would make. May favorite were these biscuits…oh those biscuits.

After bookclub, Bob would always take us down to the basement to show off his most recent paintings. Bob was realizing his dream of becoming a professional painter.

On Tuesday night, the Master Gardeners fittingly dedicated a small garden and bench to Paulette at Cylburn Arboretum.  As Al DeGray said, this is a special place that will always remind us of  the friendship we shared with both Bob and Paulette. They are definitely missed by everyone.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Road Trip To Easton

For those of you who don’t know, my dear friend Marina moved to Easton two weeks ago.


Marina and her husband Bart were our first friends when we moved to Baltimore 11 years ago. Bart and I had been friends growing up in Buffalo, but hadn’t seen each other in at least ten years when we moved to Baltimore.

marina2 He and Marina were our neighbors and friends in a city where we knew no one. How lucky I was to have found Marina. She is truly one of the most amazing, talented, wonderful women I have ever met. Our friends have a joke, if someone doesn’t know how to do something-anything from sewing curtains, making jams, cooking a certain vegetable, growing a certain plant, baking a buckle, canning -anything-we always say: “marina would know”.

Marina’s wedding was the first wedding I ever did flowers for. We went through the Master Gardening program together, we worked in each others gardens, we went to Flower Design class together. We went on flower road trips together.


And then we started locoflo. Marina’s a superb designer. She was a creative eye with a bent toward more natural, integrated designs. She loves color and has a confidence when designing that allows her to try new things-things that would make me nervous! She is inspiring to watch and work with.


But alas, she’s left Baltimore. And for me personally and professionally, there is now a hole that probably won’t ever be filled.

But today I realized-that Easton’s not that far away. When Finn and Marina and I went on our tour of Easton, Marina told me (about 2 seconds before it happened, with one quick breath) that there was a little florist shop at this little market and the girl there grew her own flowers and that she wanted me to meet her-and that she wanted to meet her too.

Of course, in typical Marina fashion, our impromptu meeting went great! I’ll write more about our new grower/florist friend from Seaberry Farm in my next post but suffice it to say- her flowers were beautiful, she has a huge farm growing acres of woodies, she said she’s always looking for workers, she has kids Finn’s age and she invited Marina on a play date! SWEET!


After a yummy lunch at the Railway Market, I said a teary good bye and headed back to Bmore. While I was sad to be leaving Marina, I was happy that she was still close-and was feeling hopeful that our adventures in locally grown flowers would continue-albeit long distance for now.

Lovely, lovely day.