Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Home Décor For the Holidays

Getting our home ready for the holidays is such a special treat. Unpacking all of our beloved decorations and displaying them part of the holiday ritual in many homes.  Local Color Flowers and Once Upon A  Table: Vintage China for Hire is happy to share some of our favorite holiday home décor ideas with you this season. Special thanks to Stacy Bauer Photography for these amazing photos!

Local_Color_Flowers_Christmas-7Our favorite way to welcome guests into our home is with a welcoming wreath.  A wreath on your door is the first sign that Christmas has arrived. This wreath is in tones of blues and silvers to represent the cold of winter.  It’s filled with locally grown evergreens, dried flowers and pine cones.


Can’t you just feel it? Walking in from the cold to a warm and cozy home filled with your friends and family .  Mantles are a wonderful focal point in any home that has one.  Take care to give it some extra attention during the holidays by adding some of your favorite seasonal decorations.  Here we have a trio of wooden trees from Hannah's Ideas in Wood, milk glass votives, vintage Santa sled from Once Upon a Table and some natural elements foraged from the yard.






There are lots of ways to use natural elements in decoration. These natural placemats were easy to make and add a bit of the outdoors to you celebration. 



It’s likely the bar will be a gathering spot this holiday season. Don’t forget to dress it up with flowers, fancy glasses and sweet holiday décor.



Don't forget to add a little holiday cheer to the powder room.  Pair your favorite soap with a few of your favorite flowers.  Our friends at Plant Masters are multi-talented.  Not only to they grow flowers year round, they also make soups in a rainbow of colors and fragrances.  The pretty celadon colored soup dish is from  Once Upon a Table Vintage.  


Sharing a meal with folks you love is one of the best parts of the holiday. Candles and garland are a simple, beautiful way to decorate your table. Of course, this is the time of year to bring out the fancy china.  This burgundy banded china from Once Upon a Table is a perfect addition to any holiday table.



Once the decorating is complete, it’s time to celebrate! Hoping you and your loved ones have a happy holiday! Much love from everyone at Local Color Flowers, Once Upon a Table and Stacy Bauer Photography!

To see more photos of our Holiday Décor photoshoot, click here!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Holly and The Ivy: The Original Holiday Décor

butterbee-butterbee-0026By Irene Donnelly

During the recent wreath making classes hosted by Local Color Flowers, I noticed that the holly hardly ever gets used.  Of all the evergreens we pre-cut and offer to students, the holly is rarely touched.  It must be the thorns that deters them.  Students tend to lean toward magnolia, cedars, firs and berries but as folklore has it, the most commonly used holiday decorations were holly and ivy.

PrintBringing holly and ivy indoors dates back to the 4th century when Pagan people would celebrate the winter solstice or the “return of the sun”.  It was considered bad luck to bring these evergreens indoors before the solstice (December 21st/22nd) and equally bad luck to leave them up past the twelfth day of Christmas, (January 6th, also known as Epiphany).  The hardiness of both plants was believed to ward of evil spirits and protect the household through the winter, as well as provide homes for faeries and spirits wishing to escape the cold.  These greens would give people hope and reassurance that Spring would eventually return.

According to folklore it was said that whichever plant, holly or ivy, made it’s way into the home first would predict whether the husband or the wife would run the household the following year.   Holly having associations with masculinity and ivy with femininity.  In Roman times wreaths of holly and ivy were given to newlyweds as a token of good will and good luck for the future.

As Christianity spread through Europe, pagan traditions were reluctantly incorporated along side Christian celebrations.  The ancient symbolism of both holly and ivy were altered to conform to new Christian beliefs so that people could continue to deck their halls without being damned.  While holly formerly symbolized  “protection and good will” it began to take on new meanings.  The leaves and berries would symbolize the crown of thrones worn by Jesus and the drops of blood that was spilt.  Ivy on the other hand held it’s original symbolism as representing “eternal life”. 


As time when on, holly and ivy remained the predominate evergreens in holiday decor throughout Europe and the New World. Every establishment from churches, houses, bars and schools would be decorated.  The tradition of trimming interiors grew to decorating front doors and streets.  Cards and wrapping paper use holly and ivy as a symbol of the season and there are a number of carols that incorporate the plants into their lyrics.  In fact, holly was the favored decoration for celebrating Christmas until the 1800’s when “Prince Albert popularized the Christmas Tree”.

All symbolism and tradition aside, the only green plants around my home right now are holly and ivy.  Even though I am a nut for symbolism, I think it is possible that people just used what was available, abundant and beautiful in December to decorate their homes.  I can’t think of another time of year where people emphatically decorate their homes with plants.  I guess their is some magic to it after all.



In a couple of weeks I will defiantly celebrate the return of the Sun and longer days by decorating my home with a tree, a wreath and perhaps some garland.  I’ll fold in a little Christianity and a whisper of Santa Claus and I’ll be sure to make it all disappear by January 6th.  I hope to find more people reaching for holly and ivy in our upcoming  holiday centerpieces class and open studio sessions!  Now to get rid of those pumpkins. ;)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Introducing….Open Studio Sessions at Local Color Flowers!

We’re so excited to announce our new Open Studio Sessions! Drop by our studio for some informal design time. During our Open Studio Sessions, students can choose their own individual floral project to work on, while instructors guide, share ideas and help as needed. This is an opportunity for self directed design and creation. This is not a formal class.
Join Us!
  • Wednesday, December 10th from 5-8pm
  • Saturday, December 13th from Noon-3pm
  • Thursday, December 18th from 10am-1pm
For our dates in December, come make your own holiday wreath, wreath in progressswag and/or garland. We'll provide a wide variety of floral elements including locally grown evergreens, branches, seed pods, berries and more! We'll also provide all the tools, supplies and decorations you'll need.
If you don’t have time to stay, but would like to pick up supplies for some at home design, we’ll have evergreens, branches, berries and more for sale during our open studio time.
13379178784_06fb4ab1dd_zPay when you arrive, $25 for swags, $50 for wreaths, $10 per 1ft of garland. Please arrive no later than one hour before the end time listed.
Bring a friend! Bring a snack/drink! Bring your creativity! We’re looking forward to seeing you! Questions?  Email us at

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Experimenting with Flowers: The November 2015 Maryland Cut Flower Growers Meeting

butterbee-butterbee-0032by Carling Adele Wyncoll Elder

Brrr! It’s really getting cold here in Maryland (and everywhere else in the USA), which means that flower-growing season is starting to slow down for many of our flower growers. Or, at least it’s slowed down enough for them to get together and start strategizing for next year!

This morning, I had the pleasure of attending the meeting of the Maryland Cut Flower Growers. Walker Marsh, a brand new flower grower and friend, accompanied me from Baltimore, and I loved hearing about his Van Selfieplans for his farm The Flower Factory that he’ll start this coming year as we drove. I was also excited for Walker to meet many of the seasoned growers at the meeting and for him to pick their brains! The pool of flower farming knowledge that these Maryland flower growers possess is wide and deep, and an amazing resource for anyone who wants to learn about flowers. These growers are also friendly and extremely giving of their expertise, so I knew Walker was in for a treat!

As Walker commented on the ride home, the meeting was very “chill” and “actually useful”, a statement that I completely agree with! During the course of the meeting, we went around the room, and each flower grower shared useful tips and techniques that had worked, or hadn’t worked for them during 2014. LB (1)Dave Dowling of Ednie Flower Bulbs explained how to use Limelight Hydrangea stems instead of Rebar to stake down a hoop house cover (they won’t destroy your tiller!). Eileen Stoner of Stoney Acres, demonstrated how to soak and split Norway spruce pinecones in half for use in Christmas wreaths.

Laura Beth Resnick of Butterbee Farm told of her success using a solar powered fence baited with peanut butter to keep deer out of her flowerbeds. All this information, and much more, was shared via a relaxed and natural conversation, with many interruptions for questions and comments, and of course laughter!

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As Leon Carrier of Plant Masters stated, “we are constantly experimenting with cut flowers.” As all these flower growers have experienced, and I myself as a designer have experienced, there’s always more to learn about flowers, and more ways to improve growing, or designing with them. That’s why there is such a value in these meetings where we all get together, and help each other out by sharing what we know. Because when your life revolves around “experimenting with flowers” it’s nice to know there’s a bunch of smart and awesome flower growers out there who’ve got your back!

Makers Alley 2015!

In just 17 days, Makers Alley will be here again! Local Color Flowers is so excited to be hosting Makers Alley for the second year in a row, and can’t wait for a wonderful day of local Makers and their products, community building, and holiday cheer!

Makers Alley will be held on Saturday, December 6th, from 9AM-1PM at Local Color Flowers’ studio located at 3100 Brentwood Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21218. At the same time (7AM-12PM), the 32nd Street Farmer Farmers Market  will be happening at the end of our same alley, as well as Holiday Heap (10AM-5PM)  located nearby at 2640 St. Paul Street. So, Dec. 6th will be a great day to knock out some holiday shopping at numerous vendors, all while staying in the same Charles Village neighborhood!

The four hours of Makers Alley will be packed with fun! This year, we are thrilled to have 11 local Baltimore vendors participating! Makers Alley 2014 vendors include Woot Granola, Baltimore Rat Czar, Sparkle Designs, Pure Chocolate by Jinji, Two Back Flats, Kinderhook Snacks, Red Door Studio, Haute Mess Kitchen, Rebcycle, Happy Heat, and Local Color Flowers.

From 10:30AM-11: 30AM, Makers Alley will also have live music from the talented duo of local musicians Nadia and Kristina! They’ll be playing their lively interpretations of folk tunes, and bringing some serious festive spirit to the party! What could be more fun than listening to live music while you shop?

Mark your calendars! Bring a friend (or two, or three) and meet us at Makers Alley! For updates and further information, visit or #makersalley. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bookclub 2015 at Local Color Flowers

As we look head to the new year, we’ve got our next line-up of books for our Bookclub. If you haven’t been to the Bookclub before, you should come! It’s a great group of folks interested in flowers, nature, gardening, conservation and reading. It’s a drop-in group so no pressure to attend every meeting. We usually have some light snacks and drinks (contributions are welcome) and we meet from 7pm-9pm on the given dates.  There is great discussion and lots of laughter. What could be better!
2015’s books include:
If you’re interested, check out what we’ve read in 2014! We have one more meeting left this year. For our December 15 meeting, we’re reading Gaining Ground by local farmer/entrepreneur Forrest Pritchard. Join us!
Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


This year’s local flower CSA at Local Color Flowers was seriously awesome! If you aren’t familiar with our CSA, here’s how it worked. Over the course of 5 months (June through October) CSA members came over to our studio twice a month to pick up a wrapped bouquet of locally grown flowers and foliage.  Each bouquet included a tag telling members what is included in the bouquet and what farms the flowers came from. Most weeks, members were also treated to snacks incorporating locally grown flowers and produce.

Steve H. seen here with his CSA bouquet!


Sweet William Shortbread and Basil Limeade made by LoCoFlo designer Carling Elder

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Loved these little friends who were always interested in learning about flowers!

We always envisioned creating a space for people to come together to chit chat, laugh, eat and learn. This season felt like we had accomplished that.

If you’d like to see more photos from the CSA, check out our Facebook page.

We’re looking ahead to 2015 already! If you’re interested in signing up for the CSA, check out the registration page on our website. This year we’re offering a HALF share for $150 and a FULL share for $300.  This is a great holiday gift for anyone who loves flowers (and who doesn’t love flowers!!)

Hope to see you next year at Local Color Flowers!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Locally Grown Flowers for Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer Chrissie Hynde!

As many of you already know, Local Color Flowers loves WTMD! We are proud to support our local radio station as sustaining members and super enthusiastic listeners! (check out who our FAVE WTMD DJ’s are on our About Us Page!)

When WTMD reached out to us this week to see if we would be interested in bringing flowers over to the station for this week’s Live Lunch with Chrissie Hynde…we jumped at the chance!

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Our growers were equally excited!

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The show was AMAZING! Lots of old Pretenders songs sung acoustically and lots of new songs that sounded sooooo good. Seeing Chrissie Hynde in real life and hearing her voice in real life, was pretty incredible! To see some photos from the show (there was a NO PHOTO policy) check out WTMD’s photos! (the photographer was sitting right next to me!)

Thanks WTMD!! You are definitely one of our favorite things in Baltimore!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Flower Factory is Becoming a Reality!

There are some crazy exciting things happening in Baltimore right now! Since we started LoCoFlo 7 years ago, we always day dreamed about flower farms in and around Baltimore City.  How cool would it be to support farms in over very own neighborhoods? Well, it’s happening. It’s really happening!

You already know our friends at Butterbee Farm and the Hillen Homestead. Now, get ready for the Flower Factory!

Our friend Walker and the team at Real Food Farm entered the Baltimore Growing Green competition back in August. Sponsored by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore City, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the goal of the competition was for community groups and designers to come together and develop creative greening projects for vacant land in their communities as well as reduce and treat stormwater runoff.

Real Food’s design was for a production flower farm in East Baltimore just north of Johns Hopkins Hospital.


Guess what! They WON 1st PLACE! They won $63,000 to get an urban flower farm started in East Baltimore!!! AMAZING!!

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this new venture. There is so much to be joyful about. More green space in a community that desperately needs it, more flowers growing and available for sale in our community, an amazing entrepreneurial opportunity for a bright, excited young man…what could be better.

After winning and receiving the prize from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake,  Walker said:

I honestly still can't believe it! This is just the beginning! Look out for The Flower Factory! Thank you again to everyone… this has been one of the greatest things that has happened for me.

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Stay tuned for updates on the future of the Flower Factory!

Monday, September 8, 2014

You Deserve A Bouquet Today: #For3oMore


Cystic Fibrosis. If you asked me a month ago what this disease was all about, I wouldn’t be able to tell you too much. I didn’t know anyone with CF…until I met Katherine. Katherine was introduced to me by a past client and now friend, Renee Beck. Katherine is a beautiful young woman with a passion for life. She is committed to making a difference in the life of people living with CF. Her story inspired me and reminded me that each of us has the power to make a positive impact on our community. She was a perfect recipient for our You Deserve a Bouquet Today bouquet.

In Katherine’s own words:

“At 16 I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system.Even 13 years later I’m still a long way from fully dealing with what it means to have this disease and the implications it has on my future.

Right now, my life looks like many other 29 year olds?. I have a wonderful husband, fabulous family and friends, and a job that I love. But unlike most people my age, I have to do time-consuming daily treatments, spend countless hours at the hospital, and worry about what my future looks like.

When I was born in 1984, the life expectancy of someone with CF was just 25 – on September 26th I’ll turn 30! And I can’t wait to celebrate the many things this wonderful life has allowed me to do.”

10623938_833622901146_3083142440515038437_oIn celebration of her upcoming 30th birthday, Katherine and her friends set out to raise $15,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation over 30 days in September.  #for3omore  has raised $8310 to date and there are still 18 days to go! The way it works: great prizes are donated by local businesses. You bid on the prizes like in a regular auction and try to win.  All the bids are donations to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Local Color Flowers was thrilled to donate a $50 gift certificate for the first day of the auction. Check the site for new prizes this week!

There are still 18 days left. If you’d like to make a donation to Katherine’s fundraiser, check out the auction site. There are amazing prizes to win and you’ll be making a difference in the lives of people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis.

Keep up the amazing work Katherine!! We’re behind you all the way!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Perfect Day for Head Wreaths at Butterbee Farm

butterbee-butterbee-0032By Carling A. W. Elder

On Saturday, July 26th, I began my day at Butterbee Farm. While the dew still lingered on the earth at my feet, I prepared to guide some ladies through the fun of designing a Midsummer Head Wreath. With the help of my talented and cheerful partners; Laura Beth Resnick, Farmer and Owner of Butterbee Farm, Krystal Masson, Owner of Esther&Harper - Vintage Rentals and Interiors, and Stacy Bauer, Owner of Stacy Bauer Photography and Local Color Flowers Designer, we set up for the class and got ready to begin!

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Our class guests were a delightful mix of excited, adventurous, kind, and flower-loving women. As they sipped Basil Lemonade out of Esther&Harper’s delicate crystal cups, and snacked on Sweet William Shortbread, I had the pleasure of meeting each one of them. Their enthusiasm for the farm and the class was infectious, and made me feel extremely lucky that meeting new people is a central part of life at Local Color Flowers.


After sharing a brief history of Head Wreaths and Floral Crowns (did you know Head Wreaths started being worn at weddings in Ancient China?), I turned the floor over to the owner of our gorgeous venue, Laura Beth. Laura Beth then led us all on an informative and interactive tour of her farm. Stopping at different flower beds, Laura Beth let us touch, smell, even taste, and harvest flowers for our Head Wreaths. She also told us about her farming practices and plans for the future of Butterbee. After the tour, traipsing back to the work tables with handfuls of just-harvested flowers to use in our designs, I thought you really can’t get more farm-to-vase than this!


Once we went through the basics of making a Head Wreath, my “students” dove into making their own designs. Some ladies chose bold, bright colors, while others opted for more subtle, muted tones. One of the best things about making a Head Wreath, especially when it’s for yourself, is that there really is no wrong or right way to do it. At it’s core, all you really have to do to make an awesome Head Wreath is to have a blast playing with flowers, and to make something that you love, which I believe all of our guests did!



By the end of the class, each guest wore a stunning Head Wreath atop their head. Posing while Stacy took their portrait, each guest looked happy and beautiful wearing their creation. The variation among the Head Wreaths perfectly reflected the designer’s personality and style. I loved seeing the different details each person chose, from ribbon color to how they positioned the wreath on their head. All were perfect.



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This design class was Local Color Flowers’ first ever design class at one of our grower’s farms, a dream of Ellen’s for many years. As I admired the Head Wreaths of our guests and looked out over this vibrant flower farm, I felt the joy of a dream fulfilled settle over me. I couldn’t believe that just a few months ago, I had stood in this exact same spot and looked out this same field, resting empty and barren. Now, just like the Head Wreaths we had made, this farm and this dream had come to full circle, brimming with flowers and life.

I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning.

To see all the gorgeous photos from our Head Wreath Class taken by the amazing Stacy Bauer of Stacy Bauer Photography, check out our Flickr page.