Friday, January 20, 2012

Real Weddings: Eleni and Peter

I met Eleni and Peter at an open house at the Belvedere back in March. They were a super cute couple that seemed really excited about their October wedding. The Belvedere was the perfect location for this classic, yet modern couple.

The bride carried a bouquet filled with white and dark purple/burgundy dahlias. The girls wore beautiful eggplant dresses with bouquets that were similar to the brides. 03 07In every picture I’ve seen from the wedding, Peter looks like the happiest man alive. He wore a elegant tuxedo with a simple boutonniere made from a dahlia and a splash of eucalyptus.

02For the centerpieces, the couple wanted something low to the table that wouldn’t complete with the grandeur of the ballroom. Since they had purchased cylindrical table numbers (that also doubled as a votive covers) we decided on floral wreaths.08 While floral wreaths seem like a very traditional centerpiece, we modernized it by using bright green monkey balls, burgundy, white and purple dahlias, and lots of rich colored greens including smoke bush and purple basil. I love how they turned out!

Thanks to our growers for the beautiful flowers-especially Wollam Gardens who provided most of the dahlias. Thank too to the wonderful ladies at Truffles who were a joy to work with. Finally, special thanks to Borrowed Blue Photography for the beautiful photos.

06 Congratulations to Peter and Eleni! Wishing them many years of happiness together.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Local Flowers on a Cold January Afternoon

This morning, despite the cold temperatures, I headed out to pick up flowers for some of this weeks arrangements. I know that most people think that locally grown flowers are not available in January-but they’re wrong!

The flowers I picked up this morning are just beautiful!  It’s easy to understand why one of my new fave color combinations is red and purple! There weren’t many available, but I only needed a few of these anemones to really make an impact.IMG_3892

I used a couple of these early blooming hyacinths (with the bulbs on) to make a simple, fragrant arrangement for Apothecary Spa.

IMG_3896The surprise of the day was that we got two big bunches of the wine colored calla lilies from M and M Plants. They paired up beautifully in these two arrangements.

IMG_3901 The first arrangement has them paired with pussy willow, tulips, anemones and salvia.

IMG_3904 The second is a little lighter in color with the addition of the cream colored stock. Both arrangements were super fun to make and definitely took the chill off of this bitter cold day.

Thanks to Farmhouse Flowers, M and M Plants and Seaberry Farm for this week’s flowers and branches. You guys ROCK!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Go Local for Valentine’s Day

Pinned ImageValentine’s Day is fast approaching and it’s  the biggest day of the year for flower sales across the country. I know that you’ve always been told to buy rose on Valentine’s Day. Roses are supposed to symbolize love. They are supposed to say I love you. I want you. I need you. You think you would be perceived as a sucky Valentine if you didn’t send a big bouquet of red roses. Right? WRONG.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying run out to the candy store and forgo flowers. I am a florist right? No-  I am definitely a strong proponent of buying flowers on Valentine’s Day. In fact, it’s been proven that flowers make people happy, reduce stress and create calming feelings. Sounds like the perfect gift!

What I AM saying is that roses might not be the way to go.

Since roses aren’t grown locally in the mid-atlantic states, how about locally grown tulips instead? They come in beautiful shades of red, pink and white. Locally grown tulips say I love you! I care about the environment! I support local Maryland growers and communities! They say YOU Rock as a Valentine!


Don’t you want to rock on Valentine’s Day? Contact Local Color Flowers to find out how you can order locally grown tulips and other Spring cut flowers for your loved one this year.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Local Color Flowers Wins 2nd Place in the ASCFG Design Competition

Back in November, I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the annual conference for the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers. Since I had never been to this national get together of flower growers, I spent the weeks before the conference asking our local growers what it was like-what I should expect.

One of the highlights that I heard over and over again was about the Design Competition. Growers from all over the country (including ALASKA!)  bring flowers with them to the conference to be used during the design competition. This year’s theme was “Raising the Jar”. All of the arrangements had to be made inside the ever popular mason jar. You could either bring your own (if you had a fancy one you loved) or you could use one of the standard Ball jars the ASCFG provided.

As soon as I got to the hotel, I headed into the design room. The design room was nothing more than a standard hotel conference room. However along the walls were buckets and buckets of flowers, foliage, branches, grasses, seedpods and more.  Much of the material there I had never used-some of it I had never even seen.

IMG_3478While i felt nervous being in a room with so many great growers/designers, I jumped in. The last wedding I did before going to the conference was a beautiful Fall wedding filled with great orange and green flowers. While orange is my favorite color, I had orange overload. So even though there were amazing orange options (callas, proteas, berries, ornamental peppers), I opted for something more subtle, more unique. I had also been working almost exclusively been working with dahlias for previous two months, so I was happy to pass on the large bloomed flowers as well.

My arrangement was in green and “black” tones. I used mostly grasses and herbs including a chartreuse salvia (that I have to convince someone to grow here!) that was beautifully vibrant against the millet and “black” ornamental peppers. As is usually the case, I didn’t mind that you could see the mechanics of the stems in the jar, however is did think my jar looked a little boring. To finish is off, I tied a piece of ornamental grass to the jar and called it complete. 

I really loved this arrangement although it felt different than many of the arrangements I’m used to making. There were no parameters (except the jar). I didn’t have to use someone else’s color palette or style inspiration. It was just mine. It felt freeing-especially at the end of the season.

IMG_3483The voting was secret ballot and went on for two days. I didn’t give much thought to not being able to be at the conference Wednesday night when the winners were drawn because of an event I had to work on back in Baltimore. I was beyond surprised when Dave Dowling of Farmhouse Flowers texted me to tell me I had won 2nd place. I didn’t believe him-but quickly got confirmation from some other friends that were there.

I was really excited about this award! Not because I am personally very competitive, I don’t think I am. I was just so thrilled that I could compete with these growers/designers that I look up to (and stalk on facebook and blogs).

So, here it is is. My prize!

Design Competition

Thanks to the ASCFG and especially Neal Caggiano for all of his effort on the design competition. Special thanks to all of the growers that provided flowers from their farms for the competition. It was a wonderful experience!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My New Obsession: Pinterest

PinterestWhen I first heard about Pinterest I thought, how on earth am I going to be “involved” another social media tool. I can’t do it. I already have the blog, and facebook and twitter and flickr  and linkedin. How will I ever add something else to the list?

And then…I tried it.

Pinterest is amazing. Ingenious. Addictive…and totally inspiring. It’s basically an online pin board or bulletin board which allows you to make boards of your favorite stuff. Put that way, it doesn’t sound exciting. But it is. If you’ve tried it, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out.

People use Pinterest for EVERYTHING! They pin recipes they like or want to try, home decor they like or get inspiration from, books they’ve read or want to read and just about everything else you can think of.

I have been seeing clients use it to create quick, easy, wedding or event inspiration boards. I’ve also seen vendors start to use it to put together inspiration boards for their clients.

So far I’ve been primarily using it two ways for LoCoFlo.  The first, is way I’ve been using it is to create boards showing what flowers are available in each month of the year. People are always asking and while we have a list on the website,  this will be an easy, visual tool for clients to use when they want to find out some of the flowers that might be available during the month of their event. Once I’m finished with these boards, I hope to create additional  companion boards that will show examples of arrangements made with each months flowers.

The other way I’ve used it so far is to create custom boards for clients and potential clients. Last week I spoke with a couple that was living in London. They are getting married at the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore. While they had an idea of colors of flowers they wanted for their centerpieces, they didn’t have a clear picture of what they wanted the vases/vessels to look like.  I quickly put together a Pinterest board showing examples of vases we’ve used in the past, some that we can rent and others that we can procure if they like them. It took about 15 minutes and it’s a great tool that Ill definitely use again with other clients.

While I didn’t think I could commit to another social media tool, Pinterest  has me hooked. If you want to check us on out Pinterest, here’s the link. Let me know if there are boards you’d like to see or feel free to share boards that you think we might love. Happy Pinning!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Winter in Maryland and Flowers are Blooming!

It’s freezing here today. It was 13 degrees when I left the house this morning to go pick up flowers.  Everything along my drive was grey and dreary.

IMG_3709 IMG_3718 Despite the cold, some of our regular growers were busy at work.

At Plant Masters, Leon showed me some of the succulents he has growing that we at Local Color Flowers will  use for bouquets/boutonnieres and centerpieces this year.

IMG_3716 I also got a glimpse of the daffodils and hyacinths that we’ll be using for our Spring weddings this year.


I was excited to pick up some beautiful quince from Leon too! They are going to be great for this weekends arrangements.

IMG_3727 Next stop was Farmhouse Flowers for tulips, loads of lilies and some pretty calla lily leaves. Even in the greenhouse, Dave was bundled up picking the tulips!

IMG_3722Lilies are a staple for Farmhouse Flowers in the winter. There are so many beautiful varieties. These were as tall as me! 

IMG_3721I also picked up some pretty potted cyclamen. Potted cyclamen are great to have at home in the winter to add a little bit of natural color to your days.


I’m really grateful to the growers that work hard despite the cold temperatures to bring us these beautiful jewels. It’s really wonderful to live in a place where local flowers are available year round. So while I’ve got Spring in the back of my mind, I’m enjoying what Winter in Maryland has to offer.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Real Weddings: Molly and Steve

Molly and Steve’s late Fall wedding was our last of the season. It was beautiful and fun-filled in so many ways. Molly is from Buffal0 and was referred by a friend of my cousin. I loved working with a fellow Buffalonian-especially one that wanted to include lots of ORANGE in her wedding.

Molly was an absolutely beautiful bride. Her joy was evident in every photo taken of her. She carried a naturally shaped bouquet filled with dahlias, snapdragons, eucalyptus and rosehips.



The girls carried similar bouquets with a touch more orange. The bouquets looked great against the girls blue dresses.

DeBoy-4625 The reception at the beautiful, rustic Elkridge Furnace Inn had a mix of centerpieces. My favorites were the local gourds and pumpkins. Adding non-flower elements is a great way to fully embrace the season.


The cake was stunning and classic on it’s own. We added a few flowers, herbs and berries for some pops of seasonal color.


Thanks so much to Epic Photography for these beautiful photos. Special thanks to John McKeown of Locust Point Flowers for going above and beyond to help me locate local pumpkins and gourds (apparently there was a shortage this year because of all the rain we had!).

Congratulations to Molly and Steve! Wishing them much love and happiness!