There are many (more than 15) varieties of Leucadendron. Leucadendron are also part of the large family of Protea. The family tree is quite extensive so if you are interested in either, check each link which will take you directly to the Wikipedia page.

When I worked in a floral boutique in Houston, we commonly received various Protea product (grown in California). Incidentally Protea is native to Australia and South Africa, and grows extremely well in California’s accommodating climate. I once spoke with a man whose family owns a Protea farm in California. As you might imagine, they like Protea quite a bit.

Here a few shots of the restaurant installations last week. The photos were shot with my camera phone so please understand why they are a little fuzzy. My camera phone isn’t one of the best, but it’s what I had at the time.

Both arrangements are in the back corners of the dining room.

Safari Sunshine with Pussy Willow

The vibrancy of the red colors of the Safari Sunshine, looked beautiful with the long stems of Pussy Willow.

Below is a better picture of what Safari Sunshine looks like.

photo of Safari Sunshine Leucadendron

from Upland Nursery


In the middle section of the restaurant (separating the bar and the main dining room) are two white boat-shaped pods. Somehow they acquired the nickname ‘Avatar arrangements’. I generally execute one of the large arrangements in the dining area, but last week I was asked to do the Avatar pods.

I really enjoyed doing both. The detail work that goes into these pod arrangements is entertaining to me.

Elements include in both pod arrangements are:

Inca Gold Leucadendron, Seeded Eucalyptus, Magnolia leaves, Banksia and thin stems of Pussy Willow.

It is hard to tell where the Banksia is in this picture. Banksia is also in the extended family of Protea. The variety used this time is brown and dried in appearance. It resembles that of an elongated pine cone (see below image corner right).

I can’t help but share this gorgeous illustration of Banksia from

Ferdinand Bauer’s Illustrationes Florae Novae Hollandiae.

I’m a huge fan of vinatge floral illustrations.

I love leftovers

Leftover clippings from the weekly installation. I gladly took some home.

I clipped the succulent from a pot outside. Added it to protea clippings, Grevillea leaves (also tucked into the bottom of the vase) and  very tall burgundy stems which look a bit like Amaranthus, but less droopy. They are  hearty and last for weeks. This worked well in the guest room this weekend.

Spring Yellow

I have been fortunate these days doing some freelance work in the city working with several very talented local floral designers. One in particular was out-of-town and asked if I might help out with a restaurant account earlier this week. What a delight being at the SF Flower Market at 8 a.m. which is way late in the floral world (most are there picking and choosing by 5 a.m.). I am also marveled walking among the endless stalls and mazes. The selection is unsurpassed (maybe except by Holland’s huge flower warehouses where people come far and wide to bid on fresh cuts).

I simply picked up the flowers ordered and took them back to the restaurant (known for its fried green beans) to arrange them. I love the monochromatic yellow. So bright and vibrant, perfect for this time of year when the sun seems to peek and hide at will. The arrangement includes: Dogwood branches, Protea, lemon on the vines and French Tulips.

Above is a spring arrangement I did over the weekend in celebration of our friend’s special Birthday weekend that lasted 4 days. What a great time we had and flowers were everywhere. Not pictured are many bunches of tulips and large stalky blue Delphinium. I just love Delphinium, the color is wonderful. And funny enough, none of the flowers included were plucked off the side of the road or on a daily hike. Yes, they were all purchased at a local florist down on Bridgeway. The arrangement includes: Freesia, Iris, Marguerite Daisy, Bupleurum and its leaves.