Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Travels to Ecuador

This past week I took an amazing trip to Quito, Ecuador for the International Rose Fair. One of my friend’s and rose wholesalers (Flowerlink) that I purchase from invited me down to her family’s rose farm (Flora Cal & Floras Verdes). Their hospitality was amazing and absolutely unforgettable. I’m going to break the blog up into a few segments because I learned so much from the trip and I don’t think I could possibly give each section justice by lumping them all together!

Quito and Cayambe
Traveling to Quito was a little daunting at first. You read all of these stories about “what not to do”, where you shouldn’t go, what you shouldn’t eat….the list goes on. The city of Quito and the people that make up the towns were wonderful. The city itself is full of old world architecture and history. Quito has the hustle and bustle of any metropolitan city. The contrast is the quiet town of Cayambe where the infamous Ecuadorian roses that we have all learned to cherish as a florist and consumer are grown and harvested. I was able to spend a couple nights in Quito and a couple nights at the farm in Cayambe. The pace is so different for city to country.

Cayambe is where Flora Cal and Floras Verdes are located. They boast a breathtaking view of the Snowcapped Andes Mountain tops (at certain times of the year). The town itself is filled with various rose farms but none more spectacular than these two. Their farm is immaculately taken care of with acres and acres of greenhouses.
Their employees are provided transportation to & from work, uniforms, meals, childcare and onsite doctor/nurse. The greenhouses are tended too on a daily basis by caretakers who know exactly how to plant, prune, water and fertilize the roses. (more to come on the day to day of rose harvesting in the next blog!)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Helping Your Flowers Last Longer

I know i have blogged about ways to keep your flowers fresher longer in the past. I was reading Real Simple Oct 2008 issue today and found a great new tip. They suggested using a turkey "baster to suction up the liquid without disturbing your arrangement. Then add fresh water directly from the tap" back into the vase. What an ingenious idea! Thanks for the great tip Real Simple!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Centerpieces tell your Story

When designing a reception room for an evening affair (wedding, private dinner party, bar/bat mitzvah) it’s always important to look at the room as if it is telling a story to your guests. You should look at your table centerpieces as a collective group in the room. In order to entice your guest’s eyes to wander about the ballroom, you need to create different tablescapes to engage their visual senses.
Many people debate whether they want their centerpieces to be all tall, all low, all the same or slightly little different. I always opt for, a little different. The more you change up the look from table to table the more your guests will enjoy the visual display of the space.
Create a story with your centerpieces so their eyes wander about the room from table to table not sure what they will see next.
If all of your arrangements are the same height (high or low) then the guest’s eye tends to scan the room at only that level. It’s very stagnant. If you switch up the height and the design throughout the tables then you have created something much more enticing for the guests.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Radio Show Appearance Tomorrow

I'll be on Blend Radio's "Creative Celebrations" online radio show tomorrow, September 19 LIVE at 2 pm PDT.

We'll be discussing Fall & Winter floral ideas including great tips to create Holiday decor like a pro and also how to make your fresh cut flowers last longer.

Hope you will tune in!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Aisle Entrances

Have you ever considered your entrance to the aisle decor as a backdrop? You should. This is a main focal point at any wedding ceremony and should be included when deciding on your ceremony decor. The entrance (and exit) to your ceremony is a part of many ceremonial photos and should be considered an important element to consider when designing your overall ceremonial space.
As you are about to walk down the aisle, the guests look back at the bride (and her parents) and the entrance is a backdrop. When you depart as husband and wife the photographer gets that great shot of you walking through the exit of the aisle and again....this is a part of the image.
So consider how you can dress this important part of your ceremony. Whether it is a "mini version" of your ceremonial structure such as an arch that compliments the gazebo or chuppa OR if it's two pedestals with a beautiful vase of hydrangeas, just consider how impactful the entrance to your aisle can be.
These photos show two weddings we designed at Hidden Garden and they are great examples of how you can create something specatacular.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Better TV Segment: Fall Table Top Treatments

This past week i took a trip to New York and visited our friends at Better TV. While we were in the studio, we taped a segment about dressing up your fall dinner table with Audra Lowe (our favorite host!). We demonstrated some easy tips which included pumpkin holder place cards, fall leaf votive candles and beautiful napkin treatments.

We also had the opportunity to film some segments in the field at the New York Flower Market (Rallis Wholesale). During this segment we talked about what to expect from a trip to the flower market and how to pick out the best flowers while at the flower market.

Our last 2 segments we taped were "how to segments" (which i love!). Our first taping was how to dress up those old vases under your kitchen sink. Don't you always wonder, "what am i going to do with all those vases?" Well we came up with a few ideas that can take those vases to a designer level. You can accent them with a ribbon treatment or cover them with a beautiful fabric treatment. Our final segment was a step by step instruction on designing an orchid plant arrangement.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Classic Crystal & Gorgeous Gold

Lara & Justin wanted a wedding with the beautiful elegance of glamorous crystal mixed with gold accents. The Hidden Garden created floral decor in shades of soft pink, champagne, ivory, and lavender. A mix of roses, hydrangea, dahlias, orchids, and amaranthus created a floral fantasy for the wedding decor.

Centerpieces alternated between tall crystal candelabras with dramatic displays of flowers at the top of the candelabra, intermixed with the other half of the tables having a lower version of the same candelabra with a lush arrangement of the flowers at the base of the crystal. Every table had illuminated gold embellished votives on the table, to compliment the gold chairs... and the gold custom tablecloths (provided by Tabella Design).

The bride carried a gorgeous bouquet of all roses, hydrangea, and stephanotis with subtle rhinestone accents ~ the stems of the bouquet were specially wrapped in french, satin ribbon and finished off with the same broche that adorned each of her invitations. Check back soon for pictures from the wedding....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wedding Blogs

As I venture out into the blogging world I am starting to find some of the cutest wedding blogs. I thought I would share 3 of my "new" favorites with you:
Style Me Pretty
Pink Book
Wedding Chicks
Both sites are full of great information all about weddings.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Better TV in New York

Sunday it's off to New York again to shoot 3 more segments for Better TV. I'm really excited! I love the crew with Better TV so i'm looking forward to the trip. We are shooting 1 segment in the studio and 2 in the field.

Our studio segment is all about adding those "special" touches to your fall dining table. Things like place card holders, detailed votive treatments etc. All the little ways you can make your fall dinner table look like the pros came in and designed it for you! It's easier than you think and your guests will be very impressed!

After the studio segment we are headed out to the city for our location segments. One of the segments will be filmed in the heart of the New York Flower Market with George Rallis (a premier floral wholesaler.) We are going to show you how to pick the best flowers when buying in the wholesale market. It's not as easy as you think but it's really fun!

The second field segment will be in a Manhattan High Rise apartment. We'll be teaching the viewers how to dress up those ugly vases that you have under your kitchen sink. Give the container a new life!

We'll keep you posted once the segments air.
Bye for now!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Old World Elegance

Erin & Josh chose the perfect location for their glamorous and elegant wedding with old world charm. The wedding ceremony and reception was held at Cicada Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. The Oviatt Building, where the restaurant is located, holds historical standing and all the glamor that goes along with it. The room is surrounded with rich mahogany wood walls with a beautiful crystal chandelier that creates a dramatic focal point in the middle of the room. The bride choose all deep red flowers to compliment the richness of Cicada. Everything from the bouquets to the centerpieces consisted of deep red black magic roses, black dahlias, black beauty roses, and black cala lilies. Check back for pictures from the wedding...