Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Locally Grown December Flowers

We here in the mid-Atlantic states are so lucky to have access to locally grown cut flowers year round! This year for our holiday centerpieces we used a great mix of tulips, ornamental cabbage, dusty miller, eucalyptus, winterberry and evergreens. (I loved these!)


For larger buffet pieces we added white lilies, white snaps and red twig dogwood.


Thanks to Farmhouse Flowers and Plant Masters for the beautiful flowers. Special thanks to all those folks who ordered holiday flowers this year. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Spreading the Love at Career Day at Patterson Park Public Charter School

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at Patterson Park Public Charter School’s Career Day. When Megan, one of the school’s teachers (and one of LoCoFlo’s awesome brides!) invited me to come, I was excited-but nervous! I love kids…I just don’t have a lot of experience talking to them-especially about work.

When I arrived, I was excited and energized to see all of the diverse Career Day speakers. Doctors, boat builders, photographers, policemen, firemen and I think…Miss Maryland (just to name a few!)

My schedule had me talking to 3 classes-2nd, 3rd and 4th grades. I was advised to make the presentation as “hands on” as possible. I took the advice to heart and brought a load of props including photo albums, roles of ribbon, vases and of course,  a sampling of the flowers that are available in December in Maryland.

The kids were AWESOME! They were super prepared with questions like: What is the best part of your job? How did you choose your profession? What skills do you need to do your job well? They also loved seeing the photos of our past work (as evidenced by the OOOOHing and AAAAHing).


I think the highlight for everyone (except maybe the teachers) was passing around and touching the flowers, branches and foliage. There were flowers with scents like lilies, tuberose, eucalyptus and spruce (which one of the kids smelled like chicken). There were flowers that felt cool-pussy willows, magnolia leaves and dried tiger grass. And there were things that were just plain weird like the fantail willow.


Overall, I thought Career Day was awesome! Patterson Park Public Charter Schools seems like an amazing school where kids are encouraged to dream big and work hard. I was inspired by their attitude and enthusiasm. I couldn’t help thinking about what great LoCoFlo helpers they could grow up to be.

My friend Megan emailed me after the day was over. She said everything had gone well and lots of the kids in Miss Huber’s third grade were excited to be florists. Woo hoo! What better compliment could there be! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

November’s “You Deserve A Bouquet Today” Contest Winner: Alyssa

IMG_3628 November’s bouquet contest was SERIOUS! We had seven nominees and the late night voting went down to the wire. Apparently, voting was taking place on both coasts and throughout the campus of McDaniel College right up until the midnight deadline. After all that voting, Local Color Flowers is happy to announce that this month’s winner, with 11,000 votes is Alyssa!

Alyssa was nominated by her cousin Alicia who was one of LoCoFlo’s brides this past season. The heartfelt nomination read:

My amazing friend Alyssa also happens to be my cousin-the closest thing to a sister I’ve got. We’ve grown up together and she’s been there for me whenever I’ve needed her, most recently as my matron of honor. Alyssa’s a woman I admire for a whole host of reasons: she’s a dedicated wife, a loyal ally, a loving mother. Flowers aren’t enough to thank her for being her, but I hope they’ll brighten her day.

Photo By Alicia and Alyssa on Alicia’s wedding day!

Congratulations Alyssa! How loved you are by so many!

Thanks to Farmhouse Flowers for these beautiful, Maryland grown flowers in mid-December!

If you would like to nominate someone to win December’s “You Deserve A Bouquet Today” contest, nominate them today by going to the contest page on LoCoFlo’s website. Spread the Love! Nominate someone you love today!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Real Weddings: Jodie and Roddy

This Fall, I was excited to be able to work with Jodie and Roddy on their wedding flowers. Their style and creativity were inspiring. They both were excited to use succulents throughout the wedding and we had loads of options from Plant Masters to work with.

Jodie carried a bouquet filled dahlias, succulents, herbs and a variety of greens. It was a beautiful, natural look for October. also added succulents to her hair for a creative, natural touch.

hair-salonThe centerpieces at the Pete Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park had a botany theme.


We used test tubes and chemistry beakers as the “vases”. We filled them with hydrangeas, herbs, dahlias and sweet smelling tuberose.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Thanks to Wollam Gardens, Locust Point Flowers and Plant Masters for the beautiful flowers.

Thanks to Carl Gunhouse for sharing a few of his gorgeous photos with us.

Congratulations to Jodie and Roddy! Wishing them a lifetime of happiness together!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Local Wreath Making in Maryland and Virginia

Last week I took a couple of road trips to some of my favorite farms to learn how to make holiday wreaths.

Dave Dowling of Farmhouse Flowers showed me the basic technique for creating green wreath bases. We went out and walked around the farm picking boxwood, leland cyprus, holly and some  pretty spruce.

We started by clamping bunches of greens on to a metal wreath base using a wreath making “clamper”. It took me a little while to get the hang of it. It wasn’t hard, but you had to make sure your bunches were the same size each time so the wreath didn’t look uneven and weird.

Once we had the base done, we added some dried flowers, pine cones and berries.


IMG_3585  IMG_3587 

At LynnVale Farm, I learned the art of decorating “fancy” wreaths. These wreaths were no joke! They were so beautiful and filled with all sorts of goodies.

We used winterberry, pine cones, ornamental peppers, apples, dusty miller, dried flowers and more! 

andrea's wreath

I was totally inspired by first attempt at wreath making. I’m excited to try some next year. I’m thinking some B-more themed designs as well as some “fancy” wreaths with treats from the Sunday market. Can’t wait!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Real Weddings: Katie and Matt

I absolutely loved everything about Katie and Matt’s wedding. From the night I met Katie and her mom and grandmom, I knew we were going to hit it off. We spent a lovely, rainy evening in Beth Bailey’s office talking about all things flowers! Katie wanted a natural, color, beautiful palette for her wedding flowers. She also wanted to use her grandmom’s antique jars and bottles for the centerpieces. LOVED IT!

A few weeks before the wedding we all met at the Mt Washington Farmers Market and looked at some of Belvedere Farm’s beautiful flowers. We picked some really great zinnias, dahlias, hydrangeas and other treats.

Then the ordering and pick-ups started! The growers are used to getting my emails listing the flowers I need for that week. However, I don’t think they were prepared for my note requesting 1200 zinnias for one wedding!  How fun!

Katie and Matt were married at the Antrim in Taneytown. This garden was such an amazing spot for a wedding.

IMG-070 The bride carried a bouquet filled with white zinnias, lisianthus, dahlias, tuberose and alliums with splashes of green from the mint and sedum.

IMG-032 The bridesmaids carried colorful bouquets of zinnias. Perfect for this end of summer day.

IMG-081 I loved these pretty hangers we used for the center aisle at the ceremony.


The centerpieces were made in over 100 jars and apothecary bottles owned by Katie’s grandmom. I always love using vessels that hold meaning to the couple.


IMG-180  We decorated the cake with some pretty lisianthus and sedum.


Thanks to ALL of our growers! We bought from almost everyone for this fab wedding!

Special thanks to Amy Ling Photography for providing us with these beautiful photos!  To see some more photos from Katie and Matt’s wedding, check out our flickr site.

Congratulations to Katie and Matt! Thanks for choosing Local Color Flowers. We had a blast working with you! Wishing you much love and happiness in the years to come.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Flowers of the Month Club: The Best of Maryland Throughout the Year

Hencken599This year, we started doing weekly flowers for a couple of small businesses here in Baltimore. It’s been a lot of fun showcasing the changing seasonal flowers week to week. The best part of using local flowers, is seeing the seasons change through the flowers that are available. It was this experience, that inspired me to start a “Flowers of the Month” club.

This monthly offering will showcase the freshest, seasonal flowers available in Maryland and Virginia.  Once a month, Local Color IMG_3395Flowers will deliver a flower arrangement to you filled with flowers, herbs, branches, foliage and other natural goodies available that month. Along with your flowers, you’ll receive a list of flowers that are in that month’s arrangement along with stories and photos from the farms that grew your flowers.

Three plans will be available:

  • The Full Monty: Arrangements will be delivered once a month for 12 months allowing you to enjoy the year round natural beauty available in Maryland. ($35 or $50 options available)
  • The Height of the Season: Arrangements will be delivered once a month May-October during the height of the growing season in Maryland. ($35 or $50 options available)
  • Custom: Choose at least three consecutive months for your monthly delivery. This is a great way to customize your delivery based on your favorite season, or as a birthday, anniversary or holiday gift.

This is a great treat for anyone who loves flowers and wants to experience the full bounty that our beautiful region has to offer. Buy Local this holiday season!

For more information, email Ellen at

Friday, November 25, 2011

Real Weddings: Lauren and Brian

Lauren and Brian’s wedding was such a treat to work on! They were married on Memorial Day weekend at the Baltimore Basilica.  The bride looked amazing! She carried a beautiful bouquet filled with white peonies, blue bachelor buttons and green Solomon’s seal.


The bridesmaids carried similar bouquets with pink peonies. They looked so beautiful against their blue dresses.



Brian’s boutonniere was made with a single white and a single blue bachelor button with a little sprig of rosemary.


The centerpieces were made it two sizes of glass cylinders. We used simple vases so that the flowers were the shining stars on the table.


The cake looked great with peonies, delphinium blooms and bachelor buttons.


Thanks to Wollam Gardens for the beautiful flowers!

Special thanks to Kathleen Hertel Photography for sharing these amazing photos with us! To see more photos from Lauren and Brian’s wedding, check out our flickr site!

Congratulations to Lauren and Brian! Wishing them many years of happiness!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

October’s “You Deserve A Bouquet Today” Contest Winner: Karl

This month we celebrate Karl! I was especially excited to deliver Karl’s flowers because he was our first male winner!

He was nominated for the contest by his wife Jenny. Jenny wrote:

Karl is not only a great husband and father, he is a great teacher. He has spent the last 16 years teaching at Roland Park Elementary and Middle - helping every child achieve. He gives unselfishly so that the children he teaches feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement.

I image that teaching 7th grade can be rewarding-but challenging. (I remember what I was like in 7th grade!).  Karl seems to be up to the challenge!  Being a positive role model for young people is one of the most important roles a teacher can play. I know that there are families all over Baltimore that are grateful to Karl for his dedication and commitment to the kids at Roland Park Elementary and Middle School!

The kids in the hall agreed that their teacher was pretty great and definitely deserved flowers. IMG_3565

Congratulations Karl! Thanks for all you do for the young people of Baltimore!

If you know someone that deserves to win flowers, nominate them today for November’s “You Deserve a Bouquet Today” contest.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Terrarium Love at Cylburn Arboretum

On Sunday morning between flower deliveries, I headed over to Cylburn for an amazing morning of terrarium building. Tovah Martin, the author of The New Terrarium was on hand to teach and guide us.  I knew Tovah and I were kindred spirits when early on in her presentation she said “You think you’re here today to make a terrarium, you’re wrong. You’re here to change the world!”. Way to think big!

Tovah was an inspiring speaker who is intensely passionate about her work. She spoke of the positive impact terrariums can have on people that are experiencing nature deficit disorder (which is most of us, whether we know it or not!). She also was very clear that terrariums are an expression of your own creativity and artistic mojo (her words!).


After about an hour of instruction and history on terrariums, we got started.

We started with gravel and charcoal mixed together to encourage good drainage. Next came about 1-2 inches of African Violet potting soil.  IMG_3534

Then came the plants. There were mosses and begonias and all sorts of other goodies. One thing that Tovah said, that I thought was interesting was NOT to use succulents in terrariums. She said while you often see them in photos in terrariums, they don’t live very long and aren’t suitable for the terrarium’s environment.

IMG_3520 I chose my plants, dug them good and then covered them with some moss and other found items like acorns, bark and twigs.


Finally, I gave it a little water and popped the top on. I’ll open it up in a few weeks to give it some air and a little more water. Other than that, it maintains itself.


Tovah was no nonsense in her message. She made the class take an oath to share what we learned with others. Be on the lookout for LoCoFlo terrarium making classes in 2012!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Real Wedding: Ikumi and Chris

At the end of June, I worked on charming wedding here in Baltimore. Ikumi and Chris were married on a beautiful June evening at Gramercy Mansion. When I met with Ikumi to talk about flowers she mentioned wanting shades of purple for her bouquet.  This was an exciting challenge to me because I couldn’t wrap my head around monochrome purple.  Purple means something different to everyone. When asking the growers for purple that week, the shades were all so different. 20110627Diamant_220

At first, I tried to leave out the phlox and balloon flowers that looked more blue against the bee balm. I liked how it looked, but it looked a little …boring. I added in the more bluish purples, with the green mountain mint and I think it really made it alot for interesting and really beautiful.


Ikumi and Chris had small dinner reception at the Charleston, one of my favorite restaurants in Baltimore.  I loved the centerpieces we made for the dinner tables because the included Bells of Ireland. Everyone loves Bells of Ireland for their bright green color and weird suction cup “petals”. Locally, Bells of Ireland are only available for a few weeks in June,  so I try to use them as much as possible.


Thanks to Talmar and Belvedere Farm for providing us with these beautiful flowers!

Special thanks to Heather Coburn Photography for the fab pictures of Ikumi and Chris.

Congratulations to Ikumi and Chris! Wishing them much happiness in the years to come!


Friday, November 11, 2011

Farmhouse Flowers Tour with the ASCFG

On Wednesday, as part of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers conference, I got to go on a tour of Farmhouse Flowers in Brookeville, Maryland. Granted, I do make it out there most weeks to pick up flowers, but this was a different experience all together.


First, there were probably 150 flower farmers there. It was so fun (and educational) to walk the farm with so many talented, passionate growers. Everyone loved comparing notes on how, when and where to plant a LONG list of annuals, perennials and woodies. There was also alot of design discussion-which I loved.

Next, since I wasn’t there for “business” (picking up flowers), I was able to take my time there, instead of rushing on to my next pick-up. It was kind of hilarious listening to Dave’s stories and his business tips. I was also able to tour all the greenhouses, hoophouses and fields. Of course, I was keeping my eyes open for what will be available in a few weeks for Thanksgiving as well as what will be coming this Winter and Spring.


It was really a great way to spend an afternoon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Local Love for your Thanksgiving Table: Order Thanksgiving Centerpieces Today!

This Fall, we made a boat load of pumpkin arrangements for weddings and other events. We loved them them so much that we decided to make some more and offer them for Thanksgiving centerpieces. What better way to decorate your table than with local flowers!

We’ll be offering two sizes of pumpkins: smaller and bigger.

A smaller pumpkin will be about this size and will cost $35 (plus tax)

IMG_3407 A larger pumpkin will be about this size and will cost $50 (plus tax)


If available from the growers, we’ll offer both orange and white pumpkins. They will be filled with local flowers (fresh and dried), foliage, berries and other non-flower goodies like branches and produce.

Pumpkins will be delivered within Baltimore for $15 on Wednesday, November 23 between 8am and 2pm. Pumpkins can be picked up at our workshop behind 4001 Falls Road on Wednesday November 5th between 3 and 5pm.

Orders can be placed by emailing me at All orders must be received by Friday, November 18th at 4pm.

Thanks in advance for your order!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 1 at the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Grower Conference

So, I’m finally here! When I agreed to speak at this year’s conference for the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers, it was months and months away. But sure enough, weddings are over for the season and here I am in Reston Virginia spending a few days with some pretty amazing people.

IMG_3478When I first arrived, I headed straight to the Design Competition room. This was an ordinary hotel conference room filled to bursting with flowers that growers brought with them from all over the country…flowers I’ve never seen and all kinds of things I wish we had more access too locally like artichokes and safflower.  

The idea for the Design Competition is that everyone uses the flowers to create a design of their choice. This year, the theme was “Raising the Jar” and all of the designs were made in Mason Jars. It was a great time visiting with friends from Farmhouse Flowers, Love n’ Fresh Flowers and M and M Plants. It was also really inspiring to see everyone’s designs.

So here is my submission. What do you think? No real flowers. Mostly grasses and foliage but I still thought the colors and textures were so pretty.


After the design competition, I headed over to the welcome reception where there was a lively discussion about the future of the flower industry and the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

Today I’m looking forward to a full day of conference sessions, seeing some of our growers like Bob Wollam of Wollam Gardens and meeting new people!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

French Farm Inspired Photo Shoot!

Over the summer, I was so fortunate to be part of a totally amazing, creative, gorgeous photo shoot with lovely ladies from Jill Andrews Gowns and the uber-talented team of Lindsay and Shane from Readyluck!

The flowers we created for this shoot were very simple and natural. They added color to a mostly neutral palette.

The bouquets were made up of larkspur, baptisia and some wild weeds.picture-19


The tablescape was so much fun to create and it looked stunning with the fading sun.

picture-123 The first centerpiece was a simple jar of late blooming lilacs.


The second arrangement was filled with larkspur, lilacs, allium and wild greens.



Thanks to Talmar, Plant Masters and Farmhouse Flowers for these beautiful blooms!

To see more from our French farm inspired shoot, check out 100 Layer Cake’s blog post and  LoCoFlo’s flickr site.