Gerber daisies

The Gerber daisy is one of those flowers that I either prefer all on its own, or paired with other Gerber daisies. I don’t mind the flower (as they are so cheery), but I feel when they are (over)used with a multitude of other flowers they tend to lose their spunk. Just my opinion.

I was gifted several stems (as part of a much larger and beautiful arrangement) and decided to scatter a few into different vessels. I made a small exception in the photo below and added a few orange stems to a tireless green succulent and a sunflower sans petals. Part of this large bouquet I received involved many stems of tropical flowers. I cut the leaf off of a stem of ginger and used this to wrap in the bottom of this vase.

This arrangement certainly added just the right amount of color to a semi-cloudy weekend.


I took little to no length off this yellow Gerber daisy above. I like the outrageous height of this stem and how proud the head stands without the help of those unsightly plastic neck braces. For longevity and Gerber daisies, I’ve always been told to keep the water length at about an inch or slightly more. The flower has no leaves on the stem, so the water goes straight to the top. If the stems are submerged in too much water, they ‘drown’ and the heads will drop. The low water method has generally worked for me. I’ll see how it goes this time around.

This empty mineral water bottle is a current favorite for single stems. Jarritos mineral water is pretty good too!

For fun, I also staged a few stems in this fantastic cookie jar discovered in Geyserville. Here the elf appears with out her pink cap. Beside it is a vanilla ice cream cone cookie jar (also from the same antique store). I’m brainstorming on flower types for a possible floral display in this giant ice cream cone….

Ideas anyone?

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Return to Succulence

One of the many things I left behind in Texas upon moving to the Bay area two years ago are plants. I had built up quite a collection over the years, and you could say I loved having plants around me. In particular succulents. In drought prone and scorching hot (Hello 106) Austin and Houston, I tended to gravitate towards succulents, aloes and the cactus variety. In such a unforgiving climate they are clearly the hardiest and the most logical choice. As well, I just love how they multiply with ease. All one does is break off a stem, get it rooting in some water (with the help of sunlight) and then replant. Voila! Just that easy. I knew when I moved I was definitely going to build up my plant collection again. Since I’ve been so fortunate to have a friend gift me with a whole soccer team of succulents. Here’s what they are looking like right now.










And just when you thought it was over, it isn’t. I have to include the new plants that I have acquired. Here are some pencil plant clippings (in the process of rooting).

Recently, I sort of assaulted an over-grown pencil plant tree that happened upon in L.A. In return I got a stem of the tree plus one very serious red and almost oozing left eye. Beware when handling pencil plant. When the stems are cut, there is an incredibly dangerous milky white substance that it is excreted. It causes an allergic reaction and in some cases shortness of breath. Lucky for me I just had a very allergic reaction (all through dinner). Alas I’m hoping that this cut finally reaches somewhere around the 4 ft. height of the planted I gifted to a neighbor before I moved.

Last but not least a cute little Echeveria that picked up in the Muni station recently. I promptly planted it in a treasured dish from Mexico which formerly held keys and loose change. I think this plant suits the dish perfectly.

Wildflowers of California

I went on a hike a few days ago and picked up some wildflowers along the way. Would you expect anything less of me? Didn’t think so.

This white scabiosa is distinctively striking. Scabiosa, crocosmia and wild dill also complete the foraged bouquet with the scabiosa bulb part of the medley.

Then I played around with this Jonathan Adler vase, and tried several arrangements to see what looked best in the bud vase. The vase is really fun and was gifted to me (from this fabulous designer, whom I assisted on the floral arranging for her very own wedding back in June).

I pretty much decided I like each individual flower in the vase. In other words: It all works. But I figured this much.

In the end I decided to stick with the dill and crocosmia pairing (as seen below).




Leftovers

floating zinnias and marigolds

One of the perks of working in the flower industry is leftovers. Sometimes you end up with more flowers than you need. This is both a good thing and an unfortunate thing. There may be leftovers from a business account, from a special function or even a beautiful wedding. Such was the case last weekend when I was happy to come home with some leftovers. It’s not often that this happens after a wedding, but when it does occur I’m certainly thankful to help out with the clean-up.

Last weekend I assisted with two weddings, designed by a wonderful and brilliant floral designer I work with often. One wedding was held at Headlands Center for the Arts, which is right past the Golden Gate bridge on the north side. It is a lovely and remarkable space.

Here’s what I did with some of the leftover flowers.

Image above of floating flowers: It’s common for zinnias and marigolds to become detached from their stems. I love floating flowers even just for a temporary moment of brightness.

I combined a marigold, a bit of thistle and a few stems of bachelor’s button (vada mulla) with a big orange and small cherry-colored dahlias (from Thursday Farmer’s market).

A single marigold head fits perfectly in a candle holder.

Hanging on to thistle. I love using empty wine bottles (in this case Lava Vine port)

to host random stems.

Delicious smelling roses (still going strong) with more thistle in a Bodum French press single cup. Enjoying this beauty in my office.

I also ended up with a few stems of purple Vanda orchids ( a personal favorite). I paired them with orange orchids (from Headlands wedding) and existing backyard succulent (in need of company).

I also paired the same purple and orange couple with a very large backyard succulent and more of the fuchsia-colored bachelor’s buttons.

The bright colors are a much-needed lift to lingering Summer fog…

Feels like ‘Summer’ inside minus the triple digits.

Dahlias

If you aren’t a fan of Dahlias then this post is really going to bore you. Dahlias happen to be my favorite flower and they are in season at the moment, which means I have dahlia fever….And from what I gather I’m not the only person out there pleasantly infatuated with this fantastic flower. Seems folks are as passionate about dahlias as they are peonies. We all can’t get enough. Lucky for all, they were practically giving them away at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market on Thursday, for somewhere in the tune of 3 for 10$ or 7 for 20$. Yes, that is correct. I happily scooped up 3 bunches, after a good ten minutes of deciding what bunches to select. So many vibrant colors, various sizes and shapes, it was better than a shoe sale at (insert your favorite store).










One can never have too many dahlias.

Airplants

At a restaurant account I was covering a few weeks ago, I decided to use airplants in the beautiful bowl by the entrance and host stand. In the past we’ve used everything from acorn pods, to succulents, citrus and a whole other myriad of seasonal elements. But interesting enough, we had yet to use airplants in the bowl. I picked up these beauties at Green Jeans nursery in Marin. They aren’t exactly cheap (about 8.50$ stem) but the great thing about airplants is that they are incredible long-lasting and require neither water or soil. They just needed to be misted from time to time. I can do that.

I have a few keeping me company now and have found a few nooks to tuck them into like this long green dish above. It (the green dish) has been known to host chocolate coins during Christmas, loose coins and candles. I don’t mind the monochromatic look that is now occurring with the airplants in place. I added some beach shells to break up the green and add texture.

This is part of a mini-vignette sitting on the window sill in my office. So simple but such a pleasing sight. Amethyst, and an airplant spilling out of one of my favorite drinking glasses from Mexico. Stirred but not shaken.

Summer

With Summer in mind, I made this arrangement a few days ago.Though the weather in the bay doesn’t feel or cooperate like typical ‘summer’ weather (at the moment), the colors are a much-needed boost to combat morning and afternoon fog. But I’m careful not to complain too much, as there is no way I’d trade lingering fog in July/August for 106 degree temperatures.

Geranium, kale, dahlias, sunflowers, blackberry, lime

Kale

In the mood for purples and greens (with a touch of white), I created this arrangement using kale as my inspiration. I used both blue hydrangea and a stem of antique hydrangea that has high tones of purple.

White garden roses, burgundy dahlias and jasmine vine are also included. Silver/gray grosgrain ribbon is a favorite of mine, and I feel it really works with almost everything. Almost.

Textures at the Getty

I have to admit L.A. was not high on my list of places to visit. But it seems it was all just a matter of time before I eventually would get to LaLa land and see just for myself the diversity and beauty of the area. I also desperately needed a bit of warm weather and Los Angeles definitely has a great warm climate.

Upon hearing that I’d be traveling to L.A. last weekend, I put the Getty museum at the top of ‘places to visit’.

I was inspired by the contrast in materials of the building. The curves and shape of the museum are like a cloud dangling above in the sky. If clouds were made of rough stone and shiny ceramic. As a visitor, you have open access to the elements, some natural and some implanted. The gardens of the Getty are so comfortable and well thought you could easily spend a day just sitting in the grass.

And knowing that Van Gogh’s Irises reside inside the museum, is even more of a reason to stay here all day and visit again and again.. Simply breath-taking up close.