Thursday, 26 January 2012

Sweet summer berries

It's summer, although the weather is not always reflecting that! I'm all for living by the seasons, so we have been doing plenty of summer stuff. 
Ducking to the beach whenever the smallest window of opportunity presents itself.
Eating meals outdoors.
Staying out to see the sun set.
Wearing thongs.
That sort of thing. Have you been doing summer stuff?

Here's a few snaps of what's been going on around here...

GLORIOUS sunsets, and helpful cats in the garden...

Big, bad tomatoes, but still green sadly...

weird pods (after Zantedeshia Lilies, commonly known as Calla or Arum Lilies) and funky patterned leaves

And beautiful ripening strawberries. Of course they taste better than store bought...they taste like summer!
This got me thinking about using berries in wedding flowers. Berries like unripened Blackberries (green)  and Privet berries (any shade between lime green and frosty blue/black) are readily available to florists and often used in bouquets or compact table arrangements. I've also used cut limes and branches of cumquats in arrangements before. Here are some brave botanics designs I've made up in the past - 

 lush looking spray of Delbard roses, tulips, anthuriums, lotus pods and figs

 rosehips included in a buttonhole for the lapel. This one below is Snowberry - the most beautiful, whimsical little berries with a blush of pink or green on them. So pretty, and I saw some just this week as I was driving out of a friends' driveway....

 this bouquet from Martha Stewart of course!

And finally, summer time means more time with the kids and we have had some lovely, lovely moments and relaxing days with the boys. Last weekend Bryn came with me to the markets and in the middle of the shopping decided he would buy me a bunch of flowers!!! 
"with my own money, Mum."

What a sweetheart, I have to say this kids' emotional intelligence is through the roof.


Friday, 20 January 2012

Tropical Canberra

Things are weird here to be sure.

As I dont have a wedding this weekend I have been pondering the weather - and been grateful I haven't had delicate flowers to care for, manipulate and transport. It has been positively tropical here in Canberra...weird...clear, bright skies in the morning then a slow and accumulating stuffiness until the mid afternoon, when banks of gruff clouds appear to the west or south and threaten a storm.

Empty threats usually, but tonight some real rain after several hours of build up, and a 360 degree light show. The severe weather which the Bureau of Meterology have been issuing warnings for: large hailstones, flash flooding, damaging wind. Last time we experienced a storm like this our most treasured cat* disappeared and our outdoor terrace area was torn up by hail. So I've put the cats to bed already.

Anyways...the weddings. I have been thinking of the flowers which provide that real lush, tropical feel to a summer wedding and have included some of them here. The reality is that many of these are commercially available to florists (and punters) almost year round - Dendrobium Orchids, Vanda Orchids, large broad leaves and the like are generally greenhouse farmed crops. 

For a really authentic tropical wedding you would be requesting frangipani, hibiscus, gingers, heliconias, palm husks and berries but we dont do those sorta weddings in Canberra! 

One of my favourite floristry stories comes from when I was working for the most fabulous Juliet Justice in Balmain and making and learning so much. At the crack of dawn we would unpack a van load of flowers fresh from the markets and make up a long list of arrangements for corporate clients - this particular week using tropical stuff, freighted in boxes from north Queensland like this vibrant, long lasting Crab Claw Heliconia.

To my surprise and delight, when I grabbed a stem I found a tiny brilliant green tree frog tucked neatly into the cavity of the "claw". Still alive but probably scared out of its wits, we popped it into the closest bit of garden - I dont know how well adjusted it would be. So cute, and such a good memory! 

I am off to listen to the rain pounding....

* of course we loved both of our cats equally, but Princess Lea was most treasured because she was SO unlike a cat, and so unusual. We have never had a cat with a personality like hers, and we never found her after the storm.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

latest wedding album from a lovely local bride

Canberra has some really lovely venues for photography if you are after a relaxed, rustic tone. Plenty of grassy plains, meandering pathways, hillsides, heritage buildings in various states of grandeur or disrepair and lots of rural textures - timber, stone, corrugated iron etc etc!
Without further ado, here are some of the lovely images from a recent wedding I did for a Canberra bride and groom. The photos are by Mel Hill Photography
and they do such a great job of portraying the relaxed atmosphere and the beautiful settings.

The bouquet was to be full and blowsy with old fashioned style roses - so was made of open roses, David Austin roses and Lisianthus.