Styling ::: Local Flowers

A big bouquet of fresh flowers, what’s not to love? Flowers make people happy. Just yesterday a lady called me a “picture” as I carried an armful of flowers through the Farmer’s Market. My love affair with local flowers began about five years ago. I started a catering company and ordered flowers weekly for tastings and events. Every Wednesday I would wait for the flowers to arrive, happily close my spreadsheet, forget my email and immerse myself in beautiful blooms. Using local flowers allowed me to create a steady revenue stream for my business, support local farmers and delight clients.

Fresh local flowers from Heartland Family Farm

Fresh flowers from Heartland Family Farm

This weekend, I had the pleasure of styling a wedding reception for a beautiful couple. I selected a hippy-chic theme full of eco-friendly elements, reflecting the bride and groom’s love of music, local culture and family.

Early Saturday morning I stopped to see my flower guru, Sara McGee of the Heartland Family Farm. Sara has been my local flower supplier for over 5 years, bringing me buckets of lush ruffled peonies, fragrant bells of ireland and everything in between. Sara’s flowers are beautiful and fresh. I also procure flowers from Harvest Moon Flower Farm. Linda Chapman is an amazing artist and I swoon over her arrangements every Saturday. Linda took me on a tour of her farm a few years ago. If you ever have a chance to take a tour, do so! The farm is breathtakingly beautiful.

Here are 3 of my favorite details from the reception :

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1. Arranging the flowers : I worked on a picnic table and my supplies included: 11 large ball jars, a pair of sharp scissors, one overstuffed bucket of fresh local flowers and water.

Technique : Fill the jars with water halfway before placing the flowers. Snip off the ends of the flowers if need be. Start with a focal point flower, here I used the peony. Work in circular pattern adding blooms as you slowly turn the bouquet. My flower style is organic and free form, striving for lush arrangements that aren’t too perfect. The goal is to let each bloom shine.

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2. The table decor : A mixture of tapestries were set as tableclothes. So many beautiful colors and patterns adorned the tables and the designs worked beautifully with the flowers.

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3. The drinks : An infused water bar provided mint & lemon water and blueberry & strawberry water. For more ideas on infused water, see my post here.

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If you have a chance, stop by the Farmer’s Market and pick up a BIG bouquet of flowers. Spend a little time arranging the blooms and spread the arrangements around your house. Flowers are a great way to bring fresh positive energy into every space, delight the senses and make people feel special.

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Infused Water

Infused water is a super fresh alternative to sugar-laden juices and soda. What a great way to up your H2O intake! Add fresh herbs and citrus to your water bottle and enjoy throughout the day. An Infused Water Bar is a great way to create a memorable experience at your next backyard soiree or reception. Combine fruits, vegetables and herbs with fresh filtered water and enjoy immediately or let sit for a stronger flavor.

My first experience with infused water happily occurred at the Southwestern spa, Ten Thousand Waves. After a dip in the local spring, I enjoyed cucumber water and fell IN LOVE. Since then, I have found some wonderful flavor combinations and I keep track of them on my Pinterest board. I prefer to use clear glass pitchers, enjoying the beauty of the ingredients is half the fun.

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Mint & Lemon Water

Mint & Lemon Water

This is a classic combination and for good reason, so refreshing, light and perfect any time. This is a great way to use all that extra mint from the garden!

1 organic lemon, 4 large organic mint sprigs

Fill a glass pitcher with cool, filtered water. Thinly slice lemon into wheels. Gently bruise the mint leaves and place in the pitcher, add lemon wheels. Enjoy over ice, if desired. Refill pitcher with water throughout the day

Basil & Cucumber Water

The herbaceous flavor of the basil leaves is subtle allowing the flavor of the cucumber to shine through.

1/2 organic english cucumber, 5 large organic basil leaves

Fill glass pitcher with cool filtered water. Thinly slice cucumber. Gently bruise basil leaves and place in pitcher, add cucumber slices. Enjoy over ice, if desired. Refill pitcher with water throughout the day.

Here are a few of my other favorite ingredients :

  • Berries (of any kind)
  • Fresh herbs (lavender, rosemary, chocolate mint, lemon verbena)
  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Edible flowers (nasturtiums are my favorite, a bit peppery)

Come up with your own Infused Water combinations using your favorite flavors! Please share with me in the comments.