Thursday, December 29, 2016

His and Hers Wedding Flowers in Autumn

Photo by Jon Jarvela
Sometimes, I am asked to provide the simplest of wedding flower orders - a bride's bouquet and a groom's boutonniere.  I find that these weddings are really memorable, because so much effort goes into making the one bouquet and buttonhole just right.  In Autumn 2016, I was asked to do a simple bouquet and boutonniere for a couple who were getting married in the Huon Valley.  

The bride provided some pictures of the styles and colours she loved.  The inspiration came when I saw what the groom had picked out to wear.  

I loved the sage green in the tie, and the golden yellow and apricot too.  I decided to go for a bouquet with plenty of creamy white and green, with touches of apricot and bronzy gold. 

For the bridal bouquet I used a Protea White Ice, two types of banksia - Banksia Baxterii, the Birdsnest Banksia, and Banksia Marginata, a local native.  Brunia Albiflora in full flower was used along with flowering Eucalyptus Cordata, usually used as a cut foliage.  The apricot came with the use of Fountain Pincushion and Leucadendron Safari Goldstrike whose new growth is tinged with a pinkish bronze.  

The foliage I used includes Grevillea, again with a bronze new growth tips, flowering lemon-scented Leptospermum and the shimmering Leucadedron Argenteum or Silver Tree.  You can also see, peeping out on the left of the above photo, some creamy Leucadendron Pisa cones with their outer bracts removed.  

Other foliage included Eucalyptus Cordata, and some Cootamundra wattle in bud. 

For the groom, I used a small Banksia Marginata in creamy yellow, Grevillea foliage with an orange bud, Cootamundra Wattle with its little buds, tea tree (Leptospermum) and Eucalyptus foliage. 

Photo by Jon Jarvela
Autumn weddings in Tasmania really are special!  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Christmas Time!

Christmas is fast approaching and I've started the annual Christmas Wreath making, one of my favourite Christmas activities.  I have a number of different styles planned which I'm looking forward to making.  There is so much variety in colour and texture at this time of year, which makes it a joy to get creative with flowers.

This year, I've decided to streamline the ordering process and use my Swallows Nest Farm online shop to handle the payments.  This way if you're a Hobart local, you can order and pay with credit card or paypal.
Here's a link to the listing.

There are three different styles you can choose from this year.  "Traditional" is your typical Christmas colouring - red and green with added holly.

Christmassy and full of fresh native goodness!

The second style is "Citrus" - yellows, oranges, and greens in a celebration of our Australian summery Christmas.

The third style is "Surprise Me!", where you give me permission to get creative with colour and come up with a unique design for your wreath.  So far, its proving to be the favourite style which has made me happy!

I love the opportunities for endless combinations of colour, texture and pattern that floral wreaths give.  Playing with flowers is a beautiful job to have.

I hope you have a wonderful, joy filled Christmas and that you have time to enjoy the beauty of the season wherever you find yourself.  

Saturday, December 3, 2016

April wedding at Frogmore Creek Winery

Picture by Kristy L Photography
Autumn in Tasmania is so pretty!  I might go so far as to say its my favourite season… The autumn showers bring green to the sun-tired landscape and the colours of the autumn leaves are so beautiful.  I think its a great time for a wedding.  And I think you'd have to agree that the gorgeous pictures by Kristy L Photography capture an Autumn wedding so perfectly.  In April, I was lucky to be involved in this beautiful Autumn wedding at Frogmore Creek Winery

Burgundy was the colour theme of the wedding, so I used some new season Silvan Red Leucadendrons, which are a lovely rich deep-red colour in April.  

The bride loved the King Proteas so they became the focal flower.  

The Red King Proteas were teamed up with some pink Protea Repens and Brunia Albiflora in flower.  I also used gum buds, white flowering tea tree, and some fine leucadendrons in green with a bronze blush on the tips.  

The bouquets were bound with a rustic chocolate coloured twine, which I think really enhanced the burgundy colouring.

Cootamundra Wattle in bud was the foliage I used mostly.  It is a beautiful wattle foliage that comes in both a silvery blue green and a purple.  The frilly fern-like leaves of the green variety shown here, are covered in a silvery bloom which gives that blue-green, eucalyptus look.  And those buds, frilly and wonderful, create a cloud of soft texture around the bouquets.  

Boutonnieres made a feature of the new season Silvan Red leucos.  They were teamed up with white flowering tea tree, Cootamundra Wattle, deconstructed Brunia, and the fine bronze-green leucos.  

I loved using the flowering Brunia.  Brunia Albiflora (meaning "white flower") grow a cluster of balls which are covered in tiny flower heads.  By deconstructing them, I've been able to use the individual balls in these boutonniere.  

The beautiful bride wanted a floral crown.  I used plenty of foliage and texture, for a rustic look.  The tea tree, gum buds, eucalyptus, and Cootamundra wattle all make an appearance.  But the richly coloured Silvan Red Leucos were the focal point.

There were a number of little wrist corsages too, continuing with the overall theme.  

They look so cute, all in a row!

Picture by Kristy L Photography
I just love this beautiful photo by Kristy L Photography.  Stunning!  So happy to be involved in such a gorgeous wedding.  

Dryandra Formosa

Dryandra Formosa is a beautiful Australian Native Flower that I've begun to grow at Swallows Nest Farm.  It is an unusual flower that is from the Proteaceae family, as are many other well known Australian Native flowers.  As recently as 2007 it has been re-classified at a Banksia, so is now known as Banksia Formosa.  Its common name is Showy Dryandra, and it is!

The flowers are golden and at once furry and bristly - a strange combination which makes sense when you see them begin to open more.  The bristles are very firm, almost plastic-like.   A fibrous golden top, when all clumped together, forms the "furry" look.  It has the appearance of velvet and catches the sunlight in a similar way.   

The colour is difficult to describe too - golden orange, or old gold would be my best words to describe it. 

Another feature of this unusual flower is that the leaves almost become part of the flower.  The leaves grow immediately below the flower and are long and deeply zig-zagged.  They are beautiful to use as a cut foliage.

Like most proteaceae plants, what we call the "flowers" are actually many small individual flowers clumped together.  The diagram above shows that each bristle is an individual flower.

With so many flowers in each flower head, there are many opportunities for seeds.  When you look at the seed heads of the Dryandra Formosa you can see why they've been re-classified as Banksias.  The seed heads are very banksia-like, as are the seeds which are very dark and attached to a papery film, just like banksia seeds.  Showy Dryandra grow well from seed.  

Dryandra or Banksia Formosa are a great flower to use for weddings.  You can see how the leaves are put to good use in the boutonnieres above.  I love the way the leaves sit haphazardly.  

The young flowers really catch the light because of the velvety texture.  They look great in corsages too. Here, the young flowers are teamed with Pimelea Nivea or Bushman's Bootlace, Lipstick Boronia, Berzelia buttons and Grevillea.

The effect is different when the flower is more mature and the velvety texture is replaced with the tips of the bristles.  Still lovely, just different.  In this boutonniere, it is teamed with a Blusing Bride Serruria flower, Berzelia buttons, and flowering gum.  

I really love the colour of this flower!  It's not a "hit you in the eye" colour but it just provides so much depth.  There are times when the colour combinations just sing!  I think the wreath above would be a bit bland without the Showy Dryandra.

Again, in a brides bouquet, the Showy Dryandra really makes the colour palette.  There's nothing else that adds the colour and texture quite like these amazing Australian Native blooms.