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Vintage Kitchen Inspired Flower Displays

Vintage Kitchen InspirationIt’s the newest fad – Flowers in Culinary Containers! Kitchen-themed flower art is both inspiring and classic. If your party plans take guests into the kitchen, this flower idea is the perfect addition to your kitchen.

To get that vintage-inspired, natural look, use these items for the foundation of your design:

  • Old colanders
  • Mixing bowls
  • Mason jars and ceramic jugs
  • Vintage tin cans
  • Muffin pans.

Find these items at local thrift or second hand stores. The older the better; these items can bring a special childhood nostalgia to life.

Kitchen-themed Flower Ideas

When choosing flowers, simplicity is key –

  • Choose garden flowers, such as peonies, garden roses, liatris, sunflowers, lilies, and delphiniums.
  • Include fruits and veggies, such as artichokes, apples, and eggplant for a natural, timeless ‘Farmers Market’ feel.
  • Interesting foliages add texture and eye-catching designs to your arrangement. Think long bear grass or wheat.

Fruits and vegetables are a great way to bring depth and creativity to a clear vase as well. Fill your vase or clear jugs with apples, oranges, carrots, cranberries, cucumbers or any bright colored vegetable or fruit.  Just imagine guests walking through the kitchen buffet spread, all the while mesmerized by your amazing kitchen flower arrangement. These displays are perfect for bringing an interesting impact to any event!

If you’re interested in adding a vintage kitchen flower arrangement to your next party mix, give your local florist a call. I’m sure they will have even more exciting ideas!

Fruit & Veggie Floral Design Trends

Oranges and Cloves used in Floral Design

Using apples, oranges and limes in floral design has become increasingly popular over the past few years, but now florists are finding new and innovative ways to use fruit like never before! At the recent Tennessee State Florist Convention, fruit and veggies in flower arrangements seemed to be a reoccurring trend, let’s take a look…

The best thing about using fruit in flower arrangements is the incredible smell. Check out the above picture of oranges and apples being used. Notice not only are the oranges being used in whole forms, they are also sliced or have been covered in delicious smelling cloves. This adds a bit of spice to the mix.

Orange Clove Arrangement Oranges and Cloves used in Floral Design

How absolutely perfect would this look adorning your Thanksgiving buffet table?

Hedge Apple Texture With Flowers

So, just what is it that draws florists to fruit? Well, the smell for one is fantastic, but also texture is a big part of design. Florists look for textures they can use in anything and everything, and fruit is another available resource for them to use to construct their floral masterpieces.

Take a look at the above picture, do you know what those green fruits are? Hedge apples! While they aren’t readily available, I can see why a florist would actively seek out this fruit with such incredible texture. It’s rough surface is a direct contrast to the delicate petals of flowers, which creates interest, while keeping it all natural.
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Vegetables, Fruits & Flowers – A Winning Combination

Don’t Just Pick The Flowers! Use The Whole Garden!

Lemons & Flowers From Belvedere FlowersLooking for a unique way to add interest to a flower arrangements? Take a hint from Mother Nature by utilizing everything that grows in the garden to create unique and fun arrangements. Gardens contain a multitude of wonderful flowers as well as fruits and vegetables.

Sometimes we forget how noteworthy fruit and vegetables can be used as decorations, or as gifts in the form of  “floral arrangements”.  By marrying the items found in gardens with fresh cut flowers, you can create unique and fabulous designs. For example, try something as simple as roses and statice with green grapes draping over a container. The mixture of the roses with the grapes is less formal, but conveys a bit of garden whimsy.

What I enjoy about adding fruits or vegetables to flower designs is the ability to blend different textures, colors and smells into my table centerpieces.  I recently had a dinner party and was serving  Mexican food, lots of spicy Mexican food.  My florist designed a centerpiece using bright red cayenne chili peppers along with red roses, grapes and red apples.  The peppers, grapes and apples made the arrangement pop from the table.  Everyone commented on the wonderful idea of incorporating fruits and vegetables.

Taking  A Cue From The Farmers Market

Flower Arrangement with KaleOpen yourself up to new ideas and creations by thinking outside the standard florist cooler. Browse your local fruit stands or grocery centers for unconventional ideas to use in arrangements.  Fall is a great time to experiment with gourds.  Try using small gourds, both round and elongated styles, with oranges in a clear tall vase to hold fresh flowers.  You won’t need floral foam because your gourds and oranges do the trick.

Another fantastic garden option is kale, which comes in a variety of beautiful colors. The colorful ones are often referred to as flowering kale. All flowering kales are edible like the garden varieties, making it a superb item for use in fruit and flower arrangements.

Imagine joining a bright, white-colored flowering kale with the deep green of  broccoli florets and bright orange baby carrots all in an edible arrangement. This is a great way to treat your Mother on Mothers day with an edible gift you both can share.

Edible Flower Arrangements

Most of us have seen edible flowers, such as pansies used as wedding cakes decorations. In fact, edible flowers have been used in the catering industry for a very long time.  Just like fruits and vegetables, edible flowers can be used to add a special touch of beauty or uniqueness.

More and more florists are using veggies and fruits to spice up their arrangements and to add texture as well. Vegetables and fruits are becoming more common in floral designs. Often you see fruits and vegetables used in silk flower arrangements because the colors and textures work well with different types of flora.  The use of fresh fruits and vegetables is growing more common. Fresh fruit and vegetables offer you a wide variety to draw from for inspiration and work your creative magic.

Sure you can eat them…But mostly they are for admiring.

When using fruits and vegetables in arrangements, most often the idea is not to eat them but to enjoy the unique idea of fruits and vegetables as floral arrangements.  If you decide to use or send edible flowers with edible fruits and vegetables in an arrangement, be sure they are indeed edible. Some flowers are not edible or may have an unpleasant taste.  You can find charts that tell you which flowers are edible as well as their taste. I highly recommend checking charts. Just as I used flowering kale and broccoli with carrots for a Mother’s Day gift suggestion, some people may not be aware that flowering kale is edible. Be sure to insert a note that tells the receiver about the arrangement. That note should include care instructions and if the arrangement is for admiring, eating or both.

Fruit & Flowers Arrangement From Apple Blossoms Floral Design

Yes! You can make a “flower” arrangement by using fruit.

Fruit & Flowers By Kings Creek FlowersThese types of arrangements can be edible! Just wrap them in colorful cellophane to keep them moist prior to delivery.  Edible fruit arrangements are easy to make. They just take some time and some creativity, and cookie cutters to make some “fruit flowers”. Or you can do as I do. I have my local florist make them for me. Not all florists, will make these types of edible arrangements, but it’s worth a phone call to see if they will.

The art of flower design takes on a new perspective, a whole new pizazz when you add an element of fruit or vegetables.  Enhancing your arrangements by adding the unexpected, shows design flair, as well as creativity. Don’t be afraid of fruits and vegetables.  Maybe you don’t like to eat fruit or vegetables, but don’t deny yourself the beauty found in veggies or the brilliant colors found in fruits. Use them in a colorful fruit and flower arrangement.

I don’t like brussels sprouts but using them as a base to add some light green color with pink roses in a topiary style is one way I can enjoy brussels sprouts. So contact your local florist to get a dose of healthy fruits and vegetables in your flower arrangements, today.

A special thanks goes to Belvedere Flowers for the picture of their Fresh Lemonade arrangement. A special thanks to King Creek Flowers for the fruity reception centerpiece photo. A special thanks to Apple Blossoms Floral Design for the fruit and flower arrangement photo.

Whether you are a Havertown PA Florist, a Miami Florist, a Tampa florist or one of the fine florists across the U.S. and Canada, Flower Shop Network would love to see pictures of your fabulous arrangements.  You can send pictures to jadams@flowershopnetwork.com.

A Colonial Williamsburg Style Christmas

It’s not too early to begin thinking about decorating for Christmas, and one of the ever popular decorating themes is known as the Colonial Williamsburg style. Abundant with fruit, vegetables, foliage, herbs and dried flowers, the charm of Williamsburg wreaths, swags, and centerpieces has delighted generations of Americans.

Traditional Williamsburg Arrangement

The Truth About the Colonial Williamsburg Style

Ironically, what has come to be known as the Colonial Williamsburg style of holiday decorating never actually existed in colonial times. No one in eighteenth century America would have been caught dead with real fruit tacked to the front door, left to rot or be eaten by squirrels, when food was so scarce. They certainly would not have used such exotic and precious commodities as the pineapples, pomegranates, and citrus fruits we see displayed today.

The True Early Style

In those days, Christmas decorations were more spartan, making use of natural materials at hand, such as magnolia leaves, holly berries, milkweed pods, sumac berries, cotton bolls, rosemary, laurel, boxwood and pine. Common was the practice of “sticking the church” with green boughs on Christmas Eve. Garlands of indigenous evergreens were hung from the church roof, the walls, the pillars and the galleries. Sometimes even the pews and the pulpit were included. Private homes were much more modestly adorned.

Colonial Revival & the Rise of the Colonial Williamsburg Style

The practice of affixing fruits, dried flowers herbs, and other plant life to basic Christmas forms such as wreaths and garlands began in the earlier years of the 20th century, at a time when Christmas was growing in significance and the Colonial Revival style was a leading decorating trend. The holiday fashion appears to have been suggested by the terra cotta carvings of the noted fifteenth century Italian sculptor Luca della Robbia and his heirs, whose family name has become synonymous with fruit and foliage swags. Even then, only wealthier American citizens decorated in such a style.

First Appearance of Colonial Williamsburg Style

Colonial Williamsburg first officially dressed up for Christmas in 1936, and by 1939 the “della Robbia” style wreaths, which were then created by some more of the talented local ladies, had caught on in popularity. Thus, the Williamsburg Christmas look was launched. Annual decorating contests ensued, and the public became so enamored that, in 1969, the Williamsburg “Christmas Decorations Tour” was inaugurated.

Where to get Colonial Williamsburg Style Arrangements Today

Today, your professional florist can create a centerpiece for you in the traditional Williamsburg mode. Familiar elements such as:

  • Bboxwood
  • Magnolia leaves
  • Holly
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Pine cones
  • Roses
  • Deep-toned chrysanthemums
  • Pheasant feathers
  • The requisite pineapple – a long-standing symbol of hospitality

All of the above may be combined to produce the arrangement. Fresh fruit is secured on wood florist’s picks, (tip: piercing the fruit through the blossom end rather than through the skin helps keep it fresh longer). Alternatively, realistic artificial fruit may be used. A Revere-style silver bowl would be a period-appropriate container.

Customarily, the centerpiece would be rounded, compact and symmetrical – almost regimentally so. Quite a departure from today’s relaxed standards, to be sure, but classically beautiful in it’s own right.

Intrigued by this festive theme? Call or visit your local florist soon and have a glance back at history with your own Williamsburg style Christmas centerpiece.

Autumn In The Pumpkin Patch

The autumn season brings with it the freshness of crisp, cool air, the glow of rich, warm colors, and an abundant harvest of floral materials. As the leaves begin to display their brilliant hues, we find ourselves irresistibly drawn to the natural symbols of fall pumpkins and gourds, dried wheat and cattails, berries and pods, and of course, vibrant fresh flowers and your local florist has just what you need to complement your seasonal decorating theme.

Celebrate the Bounty of Autumn

Fall arrangement inside a pumpkin by Old Dominion Florist, Tazewell VAWe can celebrate the bounty of autumn and simultaneously welcome our guests with a seasonal wreath of dried and permanent materials placed on the front door. A circular frame of grapevine or twigs can be embellished with any combination of fall leaves, preserved eucalyptus, artificial blossoms or fruits, and grasses or pheasant feathers, all coordinated with a patterned ribbon.

We’ve all seen pumpkins carved into jack-o-lanterns, but a fresh pumpkin can also become the container for a novel autumn centerpiece, such as the one shown here.

Flowers of Autumn

Fresh flowers for the autumn season include soft-textured red or green amaranthus, velvety celosia, tall purple liatris, a variety of asters in a wide range of colors and sizes, bristly orange safflower, cheery golden sunflowers, delicate montbretia, and crunchy yellow or purple statice. Of course, roses, alstroemeria, carnations and gerberas are available year round in a palette of autumnal hues such as orange, red, burgundy, and gold. For an interesting contrast in form and texture, consider using the waxy, mahogany-toned hypericum berries (better known as St. John’s Wort), or bright red-orange bittersweet on it’s tendrilled stems.

The Quintessential Flower of Autumn

Perhaps the quintessential flower of autumn is the chrysanthemum, which is available in a tremendous selection of colors, sizes and shapes. “Spray” chrysanthemums feature several individual flowers on one stem, whereas “disbuds” have their lateral shoots removed as they grow, resulting in one, large flower at the top of the stem. Football mums, spider and fuji mums and “Red Rovers” (with a large, reddish- rust colored, daisy-type flower at the end of the stem) are all examples of disbuds. Spray chrysanthemums are available as “cushion” or “daisy” types, as well as small, round “button” varieties, and anemone-flowered, or “duet” styles, which feature semi-double, ruffled centers.

Spray chrysanthemums are one of the best flower values around. They are inexpensive, they have many blossoms per stem, they offer a huge choice of colors and styles, and they are long lasting, often enduring for up to two weeks or longer in a vase. It’s no wonder they have been so popular for so many years.

Bring the blaze of autumn colors into your home or send some to someone you know. Call or visit your local professional florist to see what’s been harvested for you!

Fall arrangement inside a pumpkin by Old Dominion Florist, Tazewell VA

You’re Invited – Set The Party Mood With Flowers

Fresh flowers can really set the mood for any celebration, from casual to formal, and the well-appointed luncheon or dinner party table always includes a floral centerpiece. If you’re planning a special event, your local professional florist can work with you to create the perfect decorations for the festive occasion, expertly coordinating the flowers to the environment. It’s a fact that people will remember and talk about beautiful flowers long after the food has been consumed.

Popular Party Trends With Flowers

One popular trend in table decor features the use of several smaller components to make up the total design. These individual components might consist of a series of small glass vases in varying shapes lined down the center of the table, each separate vase containing it’s own type of flower. The little arrangements can then double as party favors.

Fruit & Flower ArrangementA similar effect can be achieved with terra cotta pots (with waterproof liners) in a variety of sizes, mounded tightly with blossoms, arranged along the table, and linked with strands of bear grass or curly willow twigs between them. Even though each vase or pot might hold just one kind of flower, it’s best to consider the overall color harmony of the total design.

For example, a monochromatic color scheme, with all of the flowers being within different values of the same hue, can be very effective even if the flowers are of assorted species. The addition of other decorative elements, such as linens, candles, and napkin ties, completes the tablescape.

Fresh fruit can be an excellent complement to flowers in a centerpiece. In fact, the arrangement pictured here uses grapes and green apples as means of support for the fresh blossoms.

Party Flower Etiquette

No matter what style of centerpiece you choose, it is important to keep in mind that your guests will want to be able to see each other across the table. A good rule of thumb is to place your elbow on the table with your forearm in the vertical position, wrist bent. This will be the maximum height for the flowers in order for the party-goers to see across them. Of course, you may also choose to elevate the flowers above the guests’ sight lines, as in the case of a topiary style arrangement. This is especially effective in a high-ceiling room.

Centerpieces for buffet tables should be tall and raised above the food so that they can be seen over the fare and so that they are not competing with it for table space or attention. In this case footed urns, cake plates, or tall vases make suitable containers.

Your local florist can provide lots of ideas for flower arrangements that will help make your party splendid. Don’t delay…throw a party today!